TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space
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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 58 (No. 10), pp. e45-e48, 2006

E-LETTER

Spatial variation of lithospheric heterogeneity on the globe as revealed from transverse amplitudes of short-period teleseismic P-waves

Mungiya Kubanza, Takeshi Nishimura, and Haruo Sato

Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aramaki-aza Aoba 6-3, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan

(Received March 29, 2006; Revised August 12, 2006; Accepted August 24, 2006; Online published October 13, 2006)

Abstract: We systematically characterized the medium heterogeneity of the lithosphere by analyzing transversecomponent amplitudes of teleseismic P-waves from shallow earthquakes in short periods of 0.5 to 4 Hz. Normalized transverse amplitudes, which are less affected by a layered structure, were measured at each station of the IRIS GSN network. The data revealed significant regional differences in lateral heterogeneity of the lithosphere, with small amplitudes observed at stations on stable continents and large normalized transverse amplitudes observed in seismically active regions, such as island arcs or collision zones. These spatial changes are consistent with the tectonic settings of each station. However, large normalized transverse amplitudes were also observed in regions of very low seismicity and in regions where no seismic activity has been recognized, which may indicate the existence of medium heterogeneity in the lithosphere that has been formed in ancient times.
Key words: Heterogeneity, lithosphere, transverse amplitude, teleseismic P-wave, seismicity, tectonics.


Corresponding author E-mail: kubanza@zisin.geophys.tohoku.ac.jp


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