Waveform inversion for 3-D S-velocity structure of D′′ beneath the Northern Pacific: Possible evidence for a remnant slab and a passive plume 4. Seismology

Yuki Suzuki, Kenji Kawai*, Robert J. Geller, Anselme F.E. Borgeaud, Kensuke Konishi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We conduct waveform inversion to infer the three-dimensional (3-D) S-velocity structure in the lowermost 400 km of the mantle (the D′′ region) beneath the Northern Pacific region. Our dataset consists of about 20,000 transverse component broadband body-wave seismograms observed at North American stations for 131 intermediate and deep earthquakes which occurred beneath the western Pacific subduction region. We use S, ScS, and other phases that arrive between them. Resolution tests indicate that our methods and dataset can resolve the velocity structure in the target region with a horizontal scale of about 150 km and a vertical scale of about 50 km. The 3-D S-velocity model obtained in this study shows three prominent features: (1) prominent sheet-like lateral high-velocity anomalies up to ∼ 3% faster than the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM) with a thickness of ∼ 200 km, whose lower boundary is ∼ 150 km above the core-mantle boundary (CMB). (2) A prominent low-velocity anomaly block located to the west of the Kamchatka peninsula, which is ∼ 2.5% slower than PREM, immediately above the CMB beneath the high-velocity anomalies. (3) A relatively thin (∼ 300 km) low-velocity structure continuous from the low-velocity anomaly "(2)" to at least 400 km above the CMB. We also detect a continuous low-velocity anomaly from the east of the Kamchatka peninsula at an altitude of 50 km above the CMB to the far east of the Kuril islands at an altitude of 400 km above the CMB. We interpret these features respectively as: (1) remnants of slab material where the bridgmanite to Mg-post-perovskite phase transition may have occurred within the slab, (2, 3) large amounts of hot and less dense materials beneath the cold Kula or Pacific slab remnants just above the CMB which ascend and form a passive plume upwelling at the edge of the slab remnants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number198
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • D′′
  • Northern Pacific
  • S-velocity structure
  • Tomography
  • Waveform inversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science


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