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  1. SUMMARY The method of ScS reverberation migration is based on a ‘common reflection point’ analysis of multiple ScS reflections in the mantle transition zone (MTZ). We examine whether ray-theoretical traveltimes, slownesses and reflection points are sufficiently accurate for estimating the thickness H of the MTZ, defined by the distance between the 410- and 660-km phase transitions. First, we analyse ScS reverberations generated by 35 earthquakes and recorded at hundreds of seismic stations from the combined Arrays in China, Hi-NET in Japan and the Global Seismic Network. This analysis suggests that H varies by about 30 km and therefore that dynamic processes have modified the large-scale structure of the MTZ in eastern Asia and the western Pacific region. Second, we apply the same procedure to spectral-element synthetics for PREM and two 3-D models. One 3-D model incorporates degree-20 topography on the 410 and 660 discontinuities, otherwise preserving the PREM velocity model. The other model incorporates the degree-20 velocity heterogeneity of S20RTS and leaves the 410 and 660 flat. To optimize reflection point coverage, our synthetics were computed assuming a homogeneous grid of stations using 16 events, four of which are fictional. The resolved image using PREM synthetics resembles the PREM structure andmore »indicates that the migration approach is correct. However, ScS reverberations are not as strongly sensitive to H as predicted ray-theoretically because the migration of synthetics for a model with degree-20 topography on the 410 and 660: H varies by less than 5 km in the resolved image but 10 km in the original model. In addition, the relatively strong influence of whole-mantle shear-velocity heterogeneity is evident from the migration of synthetics for the S20RTS velocity model and the broad sensitivity kernels of ScS reverberations at a period of 15 s. A ray-theoretical approach to modelling long-period ScS traveltimes appears inaccurate, at least for continental-scale regions with relatively sparse earthquake coverage. Additional modelling and comparisons with SS precursor and receiver function results should rely on 3-D waveform simulations for a variety of structures and ultimately the implementation of full wave theory.« less