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  1. Seismic imaging shows a melt fraction of up to 20% in the depth range that supplied prior Yellowstone eruptions.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 2, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 17, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    Although transformational faulting in the rim of the metastable olivine wedge is hypothesized as a triggering mechanism of deep-focus earthquakes, there is no direct evidence of such rim. Variations of thebvalue – slope of the Gutenberg-Richter distribution – have been used to decipher triggering and rupture mechanisms of deep earthquakes. However, detection limits prevent full understanding of these mechanisms. Using the Japan Meteorological Agency catalog, we estimatebvalues of deep earthquakes in the northwestern Pacific Plate, clustered in four regions with unsupervised machine learning. Theb-value analysis of Honshu and Izu deep seismicity reveals a kink at magnitude 3.7–3.8, where thebvalue abruptly changes from 1.4–1.7 to 0.6–0.7. The anomalously highbvalues for small earthquakes highlight enhanced transformational faulting, likely catalyzed by deep hydrous defects coinciding with the unstable rim of the metastable olivine wedge, the thickness of which we estimate at$$\sim$$~1 km.

  5. Abstract The SPECFEM3D_Cartesian code package is widely used in simulating seismic wave propagation on local and regional scales due to its computational efficiency compared with the one-chunk version of the SPECFEM3D_Globe code. In SPECFEM3D_Cartesian, the built-in meshing tool maps a spherically curved cube to a rectangular cube using the Universal Transverse Mercator projection (UTM). Meanwhile, the geodetic east, north, and up directions are assigned as the local x–y–z directions. This causes coordinate orientation issues in simulating waveform propagation in regions larger than 6° × 6° or near the Earth’s polar regions. In this study, we introduce a new code package, named Cartesian Meshing Spherical Earth (CMSE), that can accurately mesh the 3D geometry of the Earth’s surface under the Cartesian coordinate frame, while retaining the geodetic directions. To benchmark our new package, we calculate the residual amplitude of the CMSE synthetics with respect to the reference synthetics calculated by SPECFEM3D_Globe. In the regional scale simulations with an area of 1300 km × 1300 km, we find a maximum of 5% amplitude residual for the SPECFEM3D_Cartesian synthetics using the mesh generated by the CMSE, much smaller than the maximum amplitude residual of 100% for the synthetics based on its built-in meshing tool. Therefore,more »our new meshing tool CMSE overcomes the limitations of the internal mesher used by SPECFEM3D_Cartesian and can be used for more accurate waveform simulations in larger regions beyond one UTM zone. Furthermore, CMSE can deal with regions at the south and north poles that cannot be handled by the UTM projection. Although other external code packages can be used to mesh the curvature of the Earth, the advantage of the CMSE code is that it is open-source, easy to use, and fully integrated with SPECFEM3D_Cartesian.« less
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  7. Summary The contiguous United States has been well instrumented with broadband seismic stations due to the development of the EarthScope Transportable Array. Previous studies have provided various 3D seismic wave speed models for the crust and upper mantle with improved resolution. However, discrepancies exist among these models due to differences in both data sets and tomographic methods, which introduce uncertainties on the imaged lithospheic structure beneath North America. A further model refinement using the best data coverage and advanced tomographic methods such as full-waveform inversion (FWI) is expected to provide better seismological constraints. Initial models have significant impacts on the convergence of FWIs. However, how to select an optimal initial model is not well investigated. Here, we present a data-driven initial model selection procedure for the contiguous US and surrounding regions by assessing waveform fitting and misfit functions between the observations and synthetics from candidate models. We use a data set of waveforms from 30 earthquakes recorded by 5,820 stations across North America. The results suggest that the tested 3D models capture well long-period waveforms while showing discrepancies in short-periods especially on tangential components. This observation indicates that the smaller-scale heterogeneities and radial anisotropy in the crust and upper mantlemore »are not well constrained. Based on our test results, a hybrid initial model combining S40RTS or S362ANI in the mantle and US.2016 for Vsv and CRUST1.0 for Vsh in the crust is compatible for future FWIs to refine the lithospheric structure of North America.« less
  8. SUMMARY The detailed structure near the 410-km discontinuity provides key constraints of the dynamic interactions between the upper mantle and the lower mantle through the mantle transition zone (MTZ) via mass and heat exchange. Meanwhile, the temperature of the subducting slab, which can be derived from its fast wave speed perturbation, is critical for understanding the mantle dynamics in subduction zones where the slab enters the MTZ. Multipathing, i.e. triplicated, body waves that bottom near the MTZ carry rich information of the 410-km discontinuity structure and can be used to constrain the discontinuity depth and radial variations of wave speeds across it. In this study, we systematically analysed the trade-off between model parameters in triplication studies using synthetic examples. Specifically, we illustrated the necessity of using array-normalized amplitude. Two 1-D depth profiles of the wave speed below the Tatar Strait of Russia in the Kuril subduction zone are obtained. We have observed triplications due to both the 410-km discontinuity and the slab upper surface. And, seismic structures for these two interfaces are simultaneously inverted. Our derived 410-km discontinuity depths for the northern and southern regions are at 420$\pm $15 and 425$\pm $15 km, respectively, with no observable uplift. The slab upper surface is inverted tomore »be located about 50–70 km below the 410-km discontinuity. This location is between the depths of the 1 and 2 per cent P-wave speed perturbation contours of a regional 3-D full-waveform inversion (FWI) model, but we found twice the wave speed perturbation amplitude. A wave speed increase of 3.9–4.6 per cent within the slab, compared to 2.0–2.4 per cent from the 3-D FWI model, is necessary to fit the waveforms with the shortest period of 2 s, indicating that high-frequency waves are required to accurately resolve the detailed structures near the MTZ.« less
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  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 10, 2023