Slab anisotropy from subduction zone guided waves in Taiwan

Friday, 19 December 2014
Kate Huihsuan Chen1, Yu-Lung Tseng2 and Jyr-Ching Hu2, (1)Department of Earth Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, (2)Department of Geoscience, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Frozen-in anisotropic structure in the oceanic lithosphere and faulting/hydration in the upper layer of the slab are expected to play an important role in anisotropic signature of the subducted slab. Over the past several decades, despite the advances in characterizing anisotropy using shear wave splitting method and its developments, the character of slab anisotropy remains poorly understood. In this study we investigate the slab anisotropy using subduction zone guided waves characterized by long path length in the slab. In the southernmost Ryukyu subduction zone, seismic waves from events deeper than 100 km offshore northern Taiwan reveal wave guide behavior: (1) a low-frequency (< 1 Hz) first arrival recognized on vertical and radial components but not transverse component (2) large, sustained high-frequency (3-10 Hz) signal in P and S wave trains. The depth dependent high-frequency content (3-10Hz) confirms the association with a waveguide effect in the subducting slab rather than localized site amplification effects. Using the selected subduction zone guided wave events, we further analyzed the shear wave splitting for intermediate-depth earthquakes in different frequency bands, to provide the statistically meaningful shear wave splitting parameters. We determine shear wave splitting parameters from the 34 PSP guided events that are deeper than 100 km with ray path traveling along the subducted slab. From shear wave splitting analysis, the slab and crust effects reveal consistent polarization pattern of fast directions of EN-WS and delay time of 0.13 - 0.27 sec. This implies that slab anisotropy is stronger than the crust effect (<0.1 s) but weaker than the mantle wedge and sub-slab mantle effect (0.3-1.3 s) in Taiwan.