A Caltech Library Service

Imaging strong lateral heterogeneities across the contiguous US using body-to-surface wave scattering

Yu, Chunquan and Castellanos, Jorge C. and Zhan, Zhongwen (2020) Imaging strong lateral heterogeneities across the contiguous US using body-to-surface wave scattering. . (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Body-to-surface wave scattering, originated from strong lateral heterogeneity, has been observed and modeled for decades. Compared to body waves, scattered surface waves propagate along the Earth’s surface with less energy loss and, thus, can be observed over a wider distance range. In this study, we utilize surface waves converted from teleseismic SH or Sdiff wave incidence to map strong lateral heterogeneities across the entire contiguous US. We apply array-based phase coherence analysis to broadband waveforms recorded by the USArray Transportable Array and other permanent/temporary networks to detect coherent signals that are associated with body-to-surface wave scattering. We then locate the source of the scattering by back-propagating the beamformed energy using both straight-ray and curved-ray approximations. Our results show that the distribution of scatterers correlates well with known geological features across the contiguous US. Topographic/bathymetric relief along the continental slope off the Pacific Border is the major source of scattering in the western US. On the other hand, sedimentary basins, especially their margins, are the dominant scatterers in the central US. Moho offsets, such as the one around the periphery of the Colorado Plateau, are also a strong contributor to scattering, but isolating their effect from that of other near-surface structures without any additional constraints can be complicated. Finally, we demonstrate the possibility of using scattered surface waves to constrain subsurface velocity structures, as complementary to conventional earthquake- or ambient-noise-based surface wave tomography.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemIncorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center
Yu, Chunquan0000-0001-8681-8572
Castellanos, Jorge C.0000-0002-0103-6430
Zhan, Zhongwen0000-0002-5586-2607
Additional Information:Published Online: Sun, 23 Aug 2020. Seismic waveforms were retrieved from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (, last accessed Aug 2020). This research is supported by the NSF EarthScope grant 1829496 (Z. Zhan) and NSFC grant 41974043 (C. Yu).
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China41974043
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201027-070510549
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106283
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Oct 2020 17:07
Last Modified:27 Oct 2020 17:07

Repository Staff Only: item control page