Mapping Mantle Transition Zone Discontinuities Beneath the Central Pacific With Array Processing ofﾠSSﾠPrecursors
Day, Elizabeth A.
de Hoop, Maarten V.
van der Hilst, Robert D.
We image mantle transition zone (MTZ) discontinuities beneath the Central Pacific using ~120,000 broadband SS waveforms. With a wave packet‐based array processing technique (curvelet transform), we improve the signal‐to‐noise ratio of SS precursors and remove interfering phases, so that precursors can be identified and measured over a larger distance range. Removal of interfering phases reveals possible phase shifts in the underside reflection at the 660, that is, S660S, which if ignored could lead to biased discontinuity depth estimates. The combination of data quantity and improved quality allows improved imaging and uncertainty estimation. Time to depth conversions after corrections for bathymetry, crustal thickness, and tomographically inferred mantle heterogeneity show that the mean depths of 410 and 660 beneath the Central Pacific are 420 ± 3 km and 659 ± 4 km, respectively. The mean MTZ thickness (239 ± 2 km) is close to global estimates and suggests an adiabatic mantle temperature of ~1,400°C for the Central Pacific. Depth variations of the 410 and 660 appear to be relatively small, with peak‐to‐peak amplitudes of the order of 10–15 km. The 410 and 660 are weakly anticorrelated, and MTZ is thinner beneath Hawaii and to the north and east of the hotspot and thicker southwest of it. The relatively small discontinuity topography argues against the presence of large‐scale (more than 5° wide) thermal anomalies with excess temperatures over 200 K across the transition zone. The data used cannot exclude stronger thermal anomalies that are of more limited lateral extent or that are not continuous across the MTZ.