Elastic Wavespeed Images of Northern Chile Subduction Zone from the Joint Inversion of Body and Surface Waves: Structure of the Andean Forearc and the Double Seismic Zone
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Partly in anticipation of an imminent megathrust earthquake, a significant amount of seismic data has been collected over the past several years in northern Chile by local deployments of seismometers. In this study we generate elastic wavespeed images of the crust and upper mantle using a combination of body wave arrival times and surface wave dispersion curves. The body wave data set consists of 130000 P and 108000 S wave arrival times generated by 12000 earthquakes recorded locally over a period of 25 years by networks comprising about 360 stations. The surface wave data set consists of Rayleigh wave dispersion curves determined from ambient noise recorded by 60 broad band stations from three different networks over a period of three years. Transit time biases due to an uneven distribution of noise were estimated using a technique based on that of Yao and van der Hilst (2009) and found to be as high as 5% for some station pairs. We jointly invert the body and surface wave observations to both improve the overall resolution of the crustal images and reduce the trade-off between shallow and deep structures in the images of the subducted slab. Of particular interest in these images are three regions of anomalous Vp/Vs: (1) An extensive zone of low Vp/Vs (1.68) correlates with trench-parallel magmatic belts emplaced in the upper continental crust. In the region of the coast and continental slope, low Vp/Vs corresponds to batholithic structures in the Jurassic-Cretaceous magmatic arc. Between the central depression and Domeyko Cordillera, low Vp/Vs correlates with the distribution of magmatic arcs of Paleocene-Oligocene and Eocene-Oligocene age. Low Vp/Vs also correlates with the location of the Mejillones Peninsula. (2) A region of high Vp/Vs occurs in what is most likely the serpentinized wedge of the subduction zone. (3) An additional zone of low Vp/Vs is located in the middle of the double seismic zone at depths of 90-110 km. This region may exist all along the imaged part of the subduction zone, although it appears to be interrupted where the slab changes strike and the anomaly is more pronounced in the north than in the south. We suggest that the increased strength within a dehydrated region corresponding to this low Vp/Vs region could be responsible for the existence of the double seismic zone.