Compressional and Shear Wave Structure of the Upper Crust Beneath the Endeavour Segment, Juan De Fuca Ridge
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
We present tomographic images of the compressional (Vp) and shear (Vs) wave velocity structure of the upper crust beneath the Endeavour segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. This ridge segment is bounded by the Endeavour and Cobb overlapping spreading centers (OSCs) to the north and south, respectively. Near the segment center an axial magma chamber (AMC) reflector underlies 5 hydrothermal vent fields. Our analysis uses data from the Endeavour tomography (ETOMO) experiment. A prior study of the Vp structure indicates that the shallow crust of the Endeavour segment is strongly heterogeneous [Weekly et al., 2014]. Beneath the OSCs Vp is anomalously low, indicating tectonic fracturing. Near the segment center, upper crustal Vp is relatively high beneath the hydrothermal vent fields, likely due to infilling of porosity by mineral precipitation. Lower velocities are observed immediately above the AMC, reflecting increased fracturing or higher temperatures. Anisotropic tomography reveals large amplitude ridge-parallel seismic anisotropy on-axis (>10%), but decreases in the off-axis direction over 5-10 km. Here we use crustal S-wave phases (Sg) — generated by P-to-S conversions near the seafloor — to better constrain crustal properties. Over half the OBSs in the ETOMO experiment recorded horizontal data on two channels that are of sufficiently high quality that we can orient the geophones using the polarizations of water waves from shots within 12 km. For these OBSs, crustal Sg phases are commonly visible out to ranges of ~20-25 km. We invert the Sg data separately for Vs structure, and also jointly invert Pg and Sg data to constrain the Vp/Vs ratio. Preliminary inversions indicate that Vs and Vp/Vs varies both laterally and vertically. These results imply strong lateral variations in both the physical (e.g., crack density and aspect ratio) and chemical (e.g., hydration) properties of oceanic crust.