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Constraining spatial variations in P-wave velocity in the upper mantle beneath SE Asia

By C. Li, R.D. van der Hilst and N.M. Toksoz


We have produced a P-wave model of the upper mantle beneath Southeast (SE) Asia from reprocessed short period International\ud Seismological Centre (ISC) P and pP data, short period P data of the Annual Bulletin of Chinese Earthquakes (ABCE), and long\ud period PP-P data.We used 3D sensitivity kernels to combine the datasets, and mantle structure was parameterized with an irregular\ud grid. In the best-sampled region our data resolve structure on scale lengths less than 150 km. The smearing of crustal anomalies to\ud larger depths is reduced by a crustal correction using an a priori 3D model. Our tomographic inversions reveal high-velocity roots\ud beneath the Archean Ordos Plateau, the Sichuan Basin, and other continental blocks in SE Asia. Beneath the Himalayan Block we\ud detect high seismic velocities, which we associate with subduction of Indian lithospheric mantle. This structure is visible above the\ud 410 km discontinuity and may not connect to the remnant of the Neo-Tethys oceanic slab in the lower mantle. Our images suggest\ud that only the southwestern part of the Tibetan plateau is underlain by Indian lithosphere and, thus, that the upper mantle beneath\ud northeastern Tibet is primarily of Asian origin. Our imaging also reveals a large-scale high-velocity structure in the transition zone\ud beneath the Yangtze Craton, which could have been produced in multiple subduction episodes. The low P-wave velocities beneath\ud the Hainan Island are most prominent in the upper mantle and transition zone; they may represent counter flow from the surrounding\ud subduction zones, and may not be unrelated to processes beneath eastern Tibet

Topics: Aardwetenschappen, P-wave tomography, Crustal correction, Upper mantle, SE Asia
Year: 2006
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