Rayleigh wave tomography beneath the oceanic and continental margin of the North-America and Pacific plate boundary.
Monday, 15 December 2014
The inception of the San Andreas fault, a transform plate boundary system, is the result of subduction of the EPR spreading center, rifting of the Borderland in the Miocene and subsequent plate rotation that is ongoing today. To address the lack of offshore data at this plate boundary, we use Rayleigh waves recorded by a marine seismic array of 34 ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) to tomographically image phase velocities beneath the oceanic and continental margin of the North America-Pacific plate boundary. The OBSs were deployed as part of the ALBACORE project offshore southern California on 18-32 Ma seafloor. The marine seismic array recorded data from August 2010 to 2011 and are combined with 82 land stations from the CISN network. We analyze ~100 teleseismic events at distances ranging from 30° to 120° for Mw ≥ 5.9, filtered at periods between 16 and 78 s. Strong structural gradients are present across this plate margin; therefore, we perform amplitude corrections for OBS stations that account for velocity variations in water, sediment layer, crustal thickness, marine fossil layers and lithospheric thickness as a function of seafloor age. We use a surface wave inversion that considers a two plane wave method and perform a grid search for inversion parameters. Our results indicate that averaged phase velocities are 1.3% lower than previous studies for the seafloor age bin 20-52 Ma. Phase velocities at lithospheric depths are 5% higher in the oceanic mantle compared to the continental mantle indicating compositional and structural differences due to formation history in the two tectonic environments. Anisotropy in the offshore region of our study is consistent with Pacific plate motion, N 78.5˚ W, except for periods longer than 40 s in the Borderland where anisotropy demonstrates N-S alignment. The Borderland, a transitional region between the continental and oceanic plate margin where rotation of the transverse ranges involved rifting and extension, shows unique velocity and anisotropic structure compared to the land and deep seafloor regions.