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Structure of the Shear-Wave Low-Velocity Channel in the Western United States

By Tuncay Yasar and Otto W. Nuttli


Shear-wave travel-time residuals observed at seismograph stations in the western United States indicate that there are lateral variations in the mantle low-velocity channel (LVC). Velocity models to fit the delay times are generated from the model of Ibrahiin & Nuttli. Assuming that the velocity in the LVC is constant and that the depth to its bottom is fixed at 200 km, the channel velocity is found to be 3.85 km s-'. The maximum channel thickness, 160 km, occurs beneath southern Utah and central Arizona. Partial melting in the LVC of approximately 15 per cent by volume could result in S-wave delay times comparable to those found in this study, assuming that the sources of the delay times are wholly within the outer 200 km of the Earth. If they occur over a greater depth interval, a lesser amount of partial melting would be required to satisfy the observed travel-time data

Year: 2016
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