The Earth’s Coriolis force has been well-known to impact surface waves and normal modes, which is essential to accurately interpret these waves. However, the Coriolis force on body waves has been assumed to be negligible and mostly ignored. It has been previously shown that the Coriolis force impacts polarizations of shear waves, whereas the wavefronts remain unaffected. We expand on the potential influences of Earth’s Coriolis force on shear-wave polarization measurements by conducting 3D numerical simulations for elastic waves generated by earthquake and explosive sources in a radially symmetric, and 3D mantle and crustal models. The Coriolis force can produce polarization anomalies of mantle shear waves up to 7° and core phases, such as SKS and SKKS, up to 4°. Uncorrected shear-wave polarizations due to the Coriolis force can cause an additional source of error (5°–10° in fast direction, and 0.2–0.3 s delay time depending on the method and seismic phase), inaccurate interpretation of station misalignments, and imprecise estimates of the core–mantle boundary topography. We show how to correct for the Coriolis force on teleseismic shear waves using 1D ray tracing for well-isolated phases. We recommend the use of full waveform simulations to accurately account for earthquake sources parameters, poorly isolated phases that could include interfering phase arrivals within the measurement time window, and the effect of the Coriolis force on the polarizations of shear waves.
The solid inner core grows through crystallization of the liquid metallic outer core. This process releases latent heat as well as light elements, providing thermal and chemical buoyancy forces to drive the Earth’s geodynamo. Here we investigate temporal changes in the liquid outer core by measuring travel times of core-penetrating SKS waves produced by pairs of large earthquakes at close hypocenters. While the majority of the measurements do not require a change in the outer core, we observe SKS waves that propagate through the upper half of the outer core in the low latitude Pacific travel about one second faster at the time when the second earthquake occurred, about 20 years after the first earthquake. This observation can be explained by 2–3% of density deficit, possibly associated with high-concentration light elements in localized transient flows in the outer core, with a flow speed in the order of 40 km/year.more » « less
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Nature Publishing Group
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Communications Earth & Environment
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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