Uppermost mantle P wavespeed structure beneath eastern China and its surroundings

Research paper by Weijia Sun, B.L.N. Kennett

Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 11 Jun '16Published in: Tectonophysics


Pn travel-time tomography provides a way of improving structural information on the uppermost mantle across eastern China exploiting recent developments of dense seismic networks with well recorded seismic events. We used waveforms from 2009 at Chinese stations, supplemented by bulletin arrival times. An initial P wave model was constructed using the crustal model from CRUST1.0 coupled to a P wave model in the mantle derived from the SL2013sv model to capture the broad-scale features. This starting model enables us to compensate for the large contrasts in crustal thickness across the region. All events were relocated using the initial 3-D P model, and after relocation, consistent patterns of travel-time residuals are obtained. We extract Pn as the first arrival in the distance range 1.8 ∘ to 12 ∘. We use the FMTOMO (Fast Marching TOMOgraphy) approach to invert the travel-time results to generate a P wavespeed structure with a resolution of 2 ∘× 2 ∘ down to 75 km. There are considerable variations in Pn wavespeed in the uppermost mantle across the region. The central portion of the North China craton is imaged with particularly slow P wavespeeds, whilst most of the neighbouring Ordos block is fast. Fast P wavespeeds extend through much of the uppermost mantle beneath eastern Central Asia Orogen, northeast China and beneath the Korean peninsula. In the south, the Sichuan Block and the western Yangtze craton show rather fast P wavespeeds. The Tanlu fault system appears to cut through the crust into the mantle with marked slow P wavespeed at its southern end.

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