Structure of the deep oceanic lithosphere in the Northwestern Pacific ocean basin derived from active-source seismic data

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Akane Ohira1,2, Shuichi Kodaira1,2, Yasuyuki Nakamura2, Gou Fujie2, Ryuta Arai2 and Seiichi Miura2, (1)Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan, (2)JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa, Japan
Many seismological studies have detected the sharp seismic discontinuities in the upper mantle, some of which are interpreted the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). However there are few data at the old Pacific plate, in particular at ocean basin, which is critical information for understanding nature of the oceanic LAB. In 2014 we conducted an active-source refraction/reflection survey along a 1130-km-long line in southeast of the Shatsky Rise. Five ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) were deployed and recovered by R/V Kairei of JAMSTEC. We used an airgun array with a total volume of 7,800 cubic inches with firing at intervals of 200 m. Multi-channel seismic reflection (MCS) data were also collected with a 444-channel, 6,000-m-long streamer cable. In OBS records the apparent velocity of the refraction waves from the uppermost mantle was high (< 8.6 km/sec), and considered to be caused by preferred orientation of olivine (e.g., Kodaira et al., 2014). Another remarkable feature is wide-angle reflection waves from the deep lithosphere at large (150-500 km) offsets. We applied the traveltime mapping method (Fujie et al., 2006), forward analysis (Zelt and Smith, 1992) and the amplitude modeling (Larsen and Grieger, 1998) to the OBS data. The results show that deep mantle reflectors exist at the depths from 35 to 60 km, and one possible explanation is that these reflectors correspond to patched low velocity zones around the base of the lithosphere. On MCS sections the clear and sharp Moho was imaged only at the southwestern end of the profile, but Moho was ambiguous or even not imaged in the most part of the profile. Since our seismic line covers the oceanic lithosphere with different ages that correspond to different stages of the Shatsky activity, the Moho appearance may reflect the variation of the Shatsky activity.