Inner Core Tomography Under Africa

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Jessica C E Irving, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, United States
Hemispherical structure in the inner core has been observed using both normal mode and body wave data, but the more regional scale properties of the inner core are still the subject of ongoing debate. The nature of the vertical boundary regions between the eastern and western hemispheres will be an important constraint on dynamical processes at work in the inner core. With limited data available, earlier inner core studies defined each boundary using one line of longitude, but this may not be a sufficient description for what could be one of the inner core's most heterogeneous regions.

Here, I present a large, hand-picked dataset of PKPbc-PKPdf differential travel times which sample the inner core under Africa, where the proposed position of one hemisphere boundary is located. The dataset contains polar, intermediate and equatorial rays through the inner core, and the presence of crossing raypaths makes regional-scale tomography of the inner core feasible. I invert the data to find regional variations in inner core anisotropy under different parts of Africa, and present both anisotropy and voigt isotropic velocity variations of this important portion of the inner core.