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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    The upper boundary of the mantle transition zone, known as the “410-km discontinuity”, is attributed to the phase transformation of the mineral olivine (α) to wadsleyite (β olivine). Here we present observations of triplicated P-waves from dense seismic arrays that constrain the structure of the subducting Pacific slab near the 410-km discontinuity beneath the northern Sea of Japan. Our analysis of P-wave travel times and waveforms at periods as short as 2 s indicates the presence of an ultra-low-velocity layer within the cold slab, with a P-wave velocity that is at least ≈20% lower than in the ambient mantle and an apparent thickness of ≈20 km along the wave path. This ultra-low-velocity layer could contain unstable material (e.g., poirierite) with reduced grain size where diffusionless transformations are favored.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 30, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  6. 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 mantle 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. 
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  7. 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 to 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. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    The 410‐ and 660‐km discontinuities define the top and bottom of the mantle transition zone (MTZ). The properties of these mineralogical phase transformation interfaces provide critical constraints on the dynamics, temperature, and composition of the MTZ. Triplicated body waves that bottom near these discontinuities carry rich information about them. To streamline the modeling of upper‐mantle triplications recorded at regional distances (13°–30°), we have developed a (Fast) Message Passing Interface (MPI)‐accelerated 1D (Tr)iplication Waveform (I)nversion (P)ackage (FastTrip). With triplication waveform data as input, FastTrip uses a global search method to output a set of acceptable 1D velocity models. Quantitative estimation of the model uncertainties can be further derived based on the range of acceptable models. FastTrip supports central processing unit (CPU) parallel acceleration (15,000 models within 2 hr with 100 CPUs) and is portable to other inversion problems that can be described by a relatively small number of model parameters. 
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