skip to main content


Title: The Signature and Elimination of Sediment Reverberations on Submarine Receiver Functions
Abstract

While the receiver function technique has been successfully applied to high‐resolution imaging of sharp discontinuities within and across the lithosphere, it suffers from severe limitations when applied to seafloor seismic recordings. This is because the water and sediment layer could strongly influence the receiver function traces, making detection and interpretation of crust and mantle layering difficult. This effect is often referred to as the singing phenomena in marine environments. We demonstrate, using analytical and synthetic modeling, that this singing effect can be reversed using a selective dereverberation filter tuned to match the elastic property of each layer. We apply the dereverberation filter to high‐quality earthquake records collected from the NoMelt seismic array deployed on normal, mature Pacific seafloor. An appropriate filter designed using the elastic properties of the underlying sediments, obtained from prior studies, greatly improves the detection of Ps conversions from the Moho (∼8.6 km) and from a sharp discontinuity (<∼5 km) across the lithosphere asthenosphere transition (∼72 km). Sensitivity tests show that the dereverberation filter is mostly sensitive to the two‐way travel time of the shear wave in sediment and is robust to seismic noise and small errors in the sediment properties. Our analysis suggests that selectively filtering out the sediment reverberations from ocean seismic data could make inferences on subsurface structure more robust. We expect that this study will enable high‐resolution receiver function imaging of the oceanic plate across the growing ocean bottom seismic arrays being deployed in the global oceans.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1818654
NSF-PAR ID:
10361515
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume:
126
Issue:
5
ISSN:
2169-9313
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    The Earth, in large portions, is covered in oceans, sediments, and glaciers. High‐resolution body wave imaging in such environments often suffers from severe reverberations, that is, repeating echoes of the incoming scattered wavefield trapped in the reverberant layer, making interpretation of lithospheric layering difficult. In this study, we propose a systematic data‐driven approach, using autocorrelation and homomorphic analysis, to solve the twin problem of detection and elimination of reverberations without a priori knowledge of the elastic structure of the reverberant layers. We demonstrate, using synthetic experiments and data examples, that our approach can effectively identify the signature of reverberations even in cases where the recording seismic array is deployed in complex settings, for example, using data from (a) a land station sitting on Songliao basin, (b) an ocean bottom station in the fore‐arc setting of the Alaska amphibious community seismic experiment, and (c) a station deployed on ice‐sediment strata in the glaciers of Antarctica. The elimination of the reverberation is implemented by a frequency domain filter whose parameters are automatically tuned using seismic data alone. On glaciers where the reverberating sediment layer is sandwiched between the lithosphere and an overlying ice layer, homomorphic analysis is preferable in detecting the signature of reverberation. We expect that our technique will see wide application for high‐resolution body wave imaging across a wide variety of conditions.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Due to a sharp contrast in elastic properties across the basement rocks of sedimentary basins (SBs), strong reverberations are generated during the passage of seismic waves. Traditional receiver function methods become inadequate for imaging crustal structure due to the existence of these strong reverberations. We investigate the feasibility of an autocorrelation technique to extract vertical component receiver functions from teleseismic earthquake data and the efficiency of the method to image the crustal architecture in presence of a SB. The method involves spectral whitening followed by autocorrelation and stacking in the depth domain. We show promising results when using temporary seismic networks in the eastern United States. Using synthetic and field‐data examples, we demonstrate that vertical autocorrelations are more efficient than classical radial receiver functions for interpretation purposes in an SB context. We also perform a joint analysis of the amplitudes on radial and vertical receiver functions for characterizing the thickness of the Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho). We find that the Moho in the eastern United States is a transitional layer (up to 5‐km thick) instead of a sharp boundary. Further, we point out that it is challenging to unambiguously pick and interpret reflected phases on autocorrelations because of the effects of reverberations, cross‐mode contaminations, and a narrow frequency band limiting the resolution of velocity gradients. We therefore send a message of caution for future interpretations based on this technique.

     
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    Geologic processes at convergent plate margins control geochemical cycling, seismicity, and deep biosphere activity in subduction zones and suprasubduction zone lithosphere. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 366 was designed to address the nature of these processes in the shallow to intermediate depth of the Mariana subduction channel. Although no technology is available to permit direct sampling of the subduction channel of an intraoceanic convergent margin at depths up to 18 km, the Mariana forearc region (between the trench and the active volcanic arc) provides a means to access this zone. Active conduits, resulting from fractures in the forearc, are prompted by along- and across-strike extension that allows slab-derived fluids and materials to ascend to the seafloor along associated faults, resulting in the formation of serpentinite mud volcanoes. Serpentinite mud volcanoes of the Mariana forearc are the largest mud volcanoes on Earth. Their positions adjacent to or atop fault scarps on the forearc are likely related to the regional extension and vertical tectonic deformation in the forearc. Serpentinite mudflows at these volcanoes include serpentinized forearc mantle clasts, crustal and subducted Pacific plate materials, a matrix of serpentinite muds, and deep-sourced formation fluid. Mud volcanism on the Mariana forearc occurs within 100 km of the trench, representing a range of depths and temperatures to the downgoing plate and the subduction channel. These processes have likely been active for tens of millions of years at this site and for billions of years on Earth. At least 10 active serpentinite mud volcanoes have been located in the Mariana forearc. Two of these mud volcanoes are Conical and South Chamorro Seamounts, which are the furthest from the Mariana Trench at 86 and 78 km, respectively. Both seamounts were cored during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Legs 125 and 195, respectively. Data from these two seamounts represent deeper, warmer examples of the continuum of slab-derived materials as the Pacific plate subducts, providing a snapshot of how slab subduction affects fluid release, the composition of ascending fluids, mantle hydration, and the metamorphic paragenesis of subducted oceanic lithosphere. Data from the study of these two mud volcanoes constrain the pressure, temperature, and composition of fluids and materials within the subduction channel at depths of about 18 to 19 km. Understanding such processes is necessary for elucidating factors that control seismicity in convergent margins, tectonic and magma genesis processes in the forearc and volcanic arc, fluid and material fluxes, and the nature and variability of environmental conditions that impact subseafloor microbial communities. Expedition 366 centered on data collection from cores recovered from three serpentinite mud volcanoes that define a continuum of subduction-channel processes defined by the two previously cored serpentinite mud volcanoes and the trench. Three serpentinite mud volcanoes (Yinazao, Fantangisña, and Asùt Tesoro) were chosen at distances 55 to 72 km from the Mariana Trench. Cores were recovered from active sites of eruption on their summit regions and on the flanks where ancient flows are overlain by more recent ones. Recovered materials show the effects of dynamic processes that are active at these sites, bringing a range of materials to the seafloor, including materials from the lithosphere of the Pacific plate and from subducted seamounts (including corals). Most of the recovered material consists of serpentinite mud containing lithic clasts, which are derived from the underlying forearc crust and mantle and the subducting Pacific plate. Cores from each of the three seamounts drilled during Expedition 366, as well as those from Legs 125 and 195, include material from the underlying Pacific plate. A thin cover of pelagic sediment was recovered at many Expedition 366 sites, and at Site U1498 we cored through serpentinite flows to the underlying pelagic sediment and volcanic ash deposits. Recovered serpentinites are largely uniform in major element composition, with serpentinized ultramafic rocks and serpentinite muds spanning a limited range in SiO2 , MgO, and Fe2 O3 compositions. However, variation in trace element composition reflects pore fluid composition, which differs as a function of the temperature and pressure of the underlying subduction channel. Dissolved gases H2 , CH4 , and C2 H6 are highest at the site furthest from the trench, which also has the most active fluid discharge of the Expedition 366 serpentinite mud volcanoes. These dissolved gases and their active discharge from depth likely support active microbial communities, which were the focus of in-depth subsampling and preservation for shore-based analytical and culturing procedures. The effects of fluid discharge were also registered in the porosity and GRA density data indicated by higher than expected values at some of the summit sites. These higher values are consistent with overpressured fluids that minimize compaction of serpentinite mud deposits. In contrast, flank sites have significantly greater decreases in porosity with depth, suggesting that processes in addition to compaction are required to achieve the observed data. Thermal measurements reveal higher heat flow values on the flanks (~31 mW/m2) than on the summits (~17 mW/m2) of the seamounts. The new 2G Enterprises superconducting rock magnetometer (liquid helium free) revealed relatively high values of both magnetization and bulk magnetic susceptibility of discrete samples related to ultramafic rocks, particularly in dunite. Magnetite, a product of serpentinization, and authigenic carbonates were observed in the mudflow matrix materials. In addition to coring operations, Expedition 366 focused on the deployment and remediation of borehole casings for future observatories and set the framework for in situ experimentation. Borehole work commenced at South Chamorro Seamount, where the original-style CORK was partially removed. Work then continued at each of the three summit sites following coring operations. Cased boreholes with at least three joints of screened casing were deployed, and a plug of cement was placed at the bottom of each hole. Water samples were collected from two of the three boreholes, revealing significant inputs of formation fluids. This suggests that each of the boreholes tapped a hydrologic zone, making these boreholes suitable for experimentation with the future deployment of a CORK-lite. An active education and outreach program connected with many classrooms on shore and with the general public through social media. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Geologic processes at convergent plate margins control geochemical cycling, seismicity, and deep biosphere activity in subduction zones and suprasubduction zone lithosphere. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 366 was designed to address the nature of these processes in the shallow to intermediate depth of the Mariana subduction channel. Although no technology is available to permit direct sampling of the subduction channel of an intraoceanic convergent margin at depths up to 19 km, the Mariana forearc region (between the trench and the active volcanic arc) provides a means to access materials from this zone. Active conduits, resulting from fractures in the forearc, are prompted by along- and across-strike extension that allows slab-derived fluids and materials to ascend to the seafloor along associated faults, resulting in the formation of serpentinite mud volcanoes. Serpentinite mud volcanoes of the Mariana forearc are the largest mud volcanoes on Earth. Their positions adjacent to or atop fault scarps on the forearc are likely related to the regional extension and vertical tectonic deformation in the forearc. Serpentinite mudflows at these volcanoes include serpentinized forearc mantle clasts, crustal and subducted Pacific plate materials, a matrix of serpentinite muds, and deep-sourced formation fluid. Mud volcanism on the Mariana forearc occurs within 100 km of the trench, representing a range of depths and temperatures to the downgoing plate and the subduction channel. These processes have likely been active for tens of millions of years at the Mariana forearc and for billions of years on Earth. At least 19 active serpentinite mud volcanoes have been located in the Mariana forearc. Two of these mud volcanoes are Conical and South Chamorro Seamounts, which are the farthest from the Mariana Trench at 86 and 78 km, respectively. Both seamounts were cored during Ocean Drilling Program Legs 125 and 195, respectively. Data from these two seamounts represent deeper, warmer examples of the continuum of slab-derived materials as the Pacific plate subducts, providing a snapshot of how slab subduction affects fluid release, the composition of ascending fluids, mantle hydration, and the metamorphic paragenesis of subducted oceanic lithosphere. Data from the study of these two mud volcanoes constrain the pressure, temperature, and composition of fluids and materials within the subduction channel at depths of up to 19 km. Understanding such processes is necessary for elucidating factors that control seismicity in convergent margins, tectonic and magma genesis processes in the volcanic arc and backarc areas, fluid and material fluxes, and the nature and variability of environmental conditions that impact subseafloor microbial communities. Expedition 366 focused on data collection from cores recovered from three serpentinite mud volcanoes that define a continuum of subduction-channel processes to compare with results from drilling at the two previously cored serpentinite mud volcanoes and with previously collected gravity, piston, and remotely operated vehicle push cores across the trench-proximal forearc. Three serpentinite mud volcanoes (Yinazao, Fantangisña, and Asùt Tesoro) were chosen at distances 55 to 72 km from the Mariana Trench. Cores were recovered from active sites of eruption on their summit regions and on the flanks where ancient flows are overlain by more recent ones. Recovered materials show the effects of dynamic processes that are active at these sites, bringing a range of materials to the seafloor, including materials from the crust of the Pacific plate, most notably subducted seamounts (even corals). Most of the recovered material consists of serpentinite mud containing lithic clasts, which are derived from the underlying forearc crust and mantle and the subducting Pacific plate. A thin cover of pelagic sediment was recovered at many Expedition 366 sites, and at Site U1498 we cored through distal serpentinite mudflows and into the underlying pelagic sediment and volcanic ash deposits. Recovered serpentinized ultramafic rocks and mudflow matrix materials are largely uniform in major element composition, spanning a limited range in SiO2, MgO, and Fe2O3 compositions. However, variation in trace element composition reflects interstitial water composition, which differs as a function of the temperature and pressure of the underlying subduction channel. Dissolved gases H2, CH4, and C2H6 are highest at the site farthest from the trench, which also has the most active fluid discharge of the Expedition 366 serpentinite mud volcanoes. These dissolved gases and their active discharge from depth likely support active microbial communities, which were the focus of in-depth subsampling and preservation for shore-based analytical and culturing procedures. The effects of fluid discharge were also registered in the porosity and gamma ray attenuation density data indicated by higher than expected values at some of the summit sites. These higher values are consistent with overpressured fluids that slow compaction of serpentinite mud deposits. In contrast, flank sites have significantly greater decreases in porosity with depth, suggesting that processes in addition to compaction are required to achieve the observed data. Thermal measurements reveal higher heat flow values on the flanks (~31 mW/m2) than on the summits (~17 mW/m2) of the seamounts. The new 2G Enterprises superconducting rock magnetometer (liquid helium free) revealed relatively high values of both magnetization and bulk magnetic susceptibility of discrete samples related to ultramafic rocks, particularly dunite. Magnetite, a product of serpentinization, and authigenic carbonates were observed in the mudflow matrix materials. In addition to coring operations, Expedition 366 focused on the deployment and remediation of borehole casings for future observatories and set the framework for in situ experimentation. Borehole work commenced at South Chamorro Seamount, where the original-style CORK was partially removed. Work then continued at each of the three summit sites following coring operations. Cased boreholes with at least three joints of screened casing were deployed, and a plug of cement was placed at the bottom of each hole. Water samples were collected from two of the three boreholes, revealing significant inputs of formation fluids. This suggests that each of the boreholes tapped a hydrologic zone, making these boreholes suitable for experimentation with the future deployment of a CORK-Lite. 
    more » « less
  5. SUMMARY

    Seismic interrogation of the upper mantle from the base of the crust to the top of the mantle transition zone has revealed discontinuities that are variable in space, depth, lateral extent, amplitude and lack a unified explanation for their origin. Improved constraints on the detectability and properties of mantle discontinuities can be obtained with P-to-S receiver function (Ps-RF) where energy scatters from P to S as seismic waves propagate across discontinuities of interest. However, due to the interference of crustal multiples, uppermost mantle discontinuities are more commonly imaged with lower resolution S-to-P receiver function (Sp-RF). In this study, a new method called CRISP-RF (Clean Receiver-function Imaging using SParse Radon Filters) is proposed, which incorporates ideas from compressive sensing and model-based image reconstruction. The central idea involves applying a sparse Radon transform to effectively decompose the Ps-RF into its underlying wavefield contributions, that is direct conversions, multiples, and noise, based on the phase moveout and coherence. A masking filter is then designed and applied to create a multiple-free and denoised Ps-RF. We demonstrate, using synthetic experiment, that our implementation of the Radon transform using a sparsity-promoting regularization outperforms the conventional least-squares methods and can effectively isolate direct Ps conversions. We further apply the CRISP-RF workflow on real data, including single station data on cratons, common-conversion-point stack at continental margins and seismic data from ocean islands. The application of CRISP-RF to global data sets will advance our understanding of the enigmatic origins of the upper mantle discontinuities like the ubiquitous mid-lithospheric discontinuity and the elusive X-discontinuity.

     
    more » « less