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Published August 1975 | Published
Journal Article Open

A study of lateral inhomogeneities in the upper mantle by multiple Scs travel-time residuals


An analysis of records of multiply reflected ScS phases from ten deep‐focus earthquakes yields near‐vertical one‐way travel‐time residuals varying from +5.0 to −3.5 s. Continental and oceanic residuals overlap and both indicate large lateral variations. Similar values are found for the older oceanic basins and for continental shields. Most, if not all, of the variations can be attributed to differences in the lithosphere and asthenosphere. The mantle under Hawaii, Iceland and Trindade (South Atlantic) Islands is anomalously slow, all being postulated hotspots. In the case of Trindade, petrological data is consistent with a pronounced low‐velocity zone and large S delays. Some recent studies assumed that stations on oceanic islands were representative of the ocean as a whole and it has been suggested that continent‐ocean differences extend deeper than 400 km. The present results indicate that oceanic islands are anomalous, and that differences between oceans and continents need not extend below 200 km. This does not rule out the existence of deep lateral inhomogeneities, but only the proposal that continents, in general, are faster than oceans to depths greater than 400 km.

Additional Information

© 1974 by the American Geophysical Union. Received July 2, 1975; accepted July 16, 1975. This research was supported by the Advanced Research Project Agency of the Department of Defence and was monitored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under contract F44620-72-C-0078. Contribution 2641, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.

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Published - Okal_et_al-1975-Geophysical_Research_Letters.pdf


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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023