Box Tomography: first application to the imaging of upper-mantle shear velocity and radial anisotropy structure beneath the North American continent

P Clouzet 1 Yder J. Masson 2, 1 Barbara Romanowicz 3, 1
2 Magique 3D - Advanced 3D Numerical Modeling in Geophysics
LMAP - Laboratoire de Mathématiques et de leurs Applications [Pau], Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest
Abstract : The EarthScope Transpotable Array (TA) deployment provides dense array coverage throughout the continental United States and with it, the opportunity for high-resolution 3-D seismic velocity imaging of the stable part of the North American (NA) upper mantle. Building upon our previous long-period waveform tomographic modeling, we present a higher resolution 3-D isotropic and radially anisotropic shear wave velocity model of the NA lithosphere and asthenosphere. The model is constructed using a combination of teleseismic and regional waveforms down to 40 s period and wavefield computations are performed using the spectral element method both for regional and teleseismic data. Our study is the first tomographic application of 'Box Tomography', which allows us to include teleseismic events in our inversion, while computing the teleseismic wavefield only once, thus significantly reducing the numerical computational cost of several iterations of the regional inversion. We confirm the presence of high-velocity roots beneath the Archean part of the continent, reaching 200–250 km in some areas, however the thickness of these roots is not everywhere correlated to the crustal age of the corresponding cratonic province. In particular, the lithosphere is thick (∼250 km) in the western part of the Superior craton, while it is much thinner (∼150 km) in its eastern part. This may be related to a thermomechanical erosion of the cratonic root due to the passage of the NA plate over the Great Meteor hotspot during the opening of the Atlantic ocean 200–110 Ma. Below the lithosphere, an upper-mantle low-velocity zone (LVZ) is present everywhere under the NA continent, even under the thickest parts of the craton, although it is less developed there. The depth of the minimum in shear velocity has strong lateral variations, whereas the bottom of the LVZ is everywhere relatively flat around 270–300 km depth, with minor undulations of maximum 30 km that show upwarping under the thickest lithosphere and downwarping under tectonic regions, likely reflecting residual temperature anomalies. The radial anisotropy structure is less well resolved, but shows distinct signatures in highly deformed regions of the lithosphere.
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P Clouzet, Yder J. Masson, Barbara Romanowicz. Box Tomography: first application to the imaging of upper-mantle shear velocity and radial anisotropy structure beneath the North American continent. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2018, 213 (3), pp.1849-1875. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggy078⟩. ⟨hal-01856430⟩

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