Imaging the Locked Zone of the Cascadia Subduction Zone Using Receiver Functions from the Cascadia Initiative

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Helen A Janiszewski1, Geoffrey A Abers2, James B Gaherty1 and Helene Delphine Carton1, (1)Columbia University in the City of New York, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States, (2)Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
The Cascadia subduction zone is a hot end-member system that is characterized by the subduction of young, thickly sedimented lithosphere. Previous receiver function studies have observed a low velocity zone (LVZ) with strong contrasts along the thrust up to 40 km depth. It is hypothesized that this may be created by a channel of either near-lithostatic pressure fluids or stronger metasediments, implying a weak thrust zone. These studies have been limited to data from onshore stations, and thus have not imaged the shallower, geodetically locked portion of the thrust zone, which is located offshore. The ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) from the Cascadia Initiative (CI), which are among the first broadband instruments successfully deployed in shallow water using low-profile Trawl-Resistant-Mounts (TRM), offer the opportunity to extend receiver function studies of the LVZ offshore. Calculation of receiver functions from OBS data is difficult due to water column noise. Fortunately, the TRM housing yields quieter horizontal-component signals, and with proper application of tilt and compliance corrections receiver functions are calculated at all of the successfully deployed TRM OBS from CI Year 1, as well as at some deep water stations. We use velocity models from the previous onshore receiver function studies to generate synthetic receiver functions to compare with our data. Several of the stations on the continental margin have consistent arrivals at 3-4 s lag that match predicted depths for the subduction interface. The shallow-water stations deployed off the coast of Grays Harbor, Washington record a high-amplitude asymmetric arrival consistent with reverberations off the top and bottom of the LVZ. This high-amplitude arrival is not as evident at other stations along the margin region. This along strike variation may be evidence for segmentation along the thrust zone; however, a careful analysis of these complex signals will be needed to determine the extent of the LVZ offshore. The evolution of this LVZ from the up-dip locked region through the transition zone to the down-dip freely slipping region will aid in our understanding of the hydration state of the Cascadia thrust.