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Published February 10, 1985 | Published
Journal Article Open

Lateral Heterogeneity and Azimuthal Anisotropy of the Upper Mantle: Love and Rayleigh Waves 100-250 s


The lateral heterogeneity and apparent anisotropy of the upper mantle are studied by measuring Rayleigh and Love wave phase velocities in the period range 100-250 s. Spherical harmonic descriptions of the lateral heterogeneity are obtained for order and degree up to 1 = m = 10. Slow regions are evident at the East Pacific Rise, northeast Africa, Tibet, Tasman Sea, southwestern North America, and triple junctions in the northern Atlantic and Indian oceans. Fast regions occur in Australia, western Pacific, and the southern Atlantic. These features are also found by a completely different analysis based on the Backus-Gilbert method. The Backus-Gilbert method also shows that the obtained phase velocities are averaged values within an area of about 2000-km radius and the errors are about 1% of the phase velocity in the zeroth-order spherically symmetric earth. Inversion for azimuthal dependence shows that for low angular order the fast phase velocity directions seem to correlate well with the plate motion vectors. However, resolution analysis by the Backus-Gilbert method shows that the current data do not have enough resolution for everywhere on the globe. Only a few regions currently have adequate azimuthal coverage. Thus confirmation of the above correlation requires a more complete data set.

Additional Information

© 1985 American Geophysical Union. Received October 24, 1983; revised June 7, 1984; accepted October 19, 1984 We wish to thank Ichiro Nakanishi for listening to our ideas and kindly supplying his data. The IDA data used were made available to us by courtesy of the IDA project team at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California. This research was supported by National Science Foundation grants EAR-8115236 and EAR-8317623 and NASA grant NSG-7610. Contribution 3993, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.

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