- Open Access
Mapping the upper mantle discontinuities beneath China with teleseismic receiver functions
Earth, Planets and Space volume 60, pages713–719(2008)
We used teleseismic body waves recorded at stations of the Chinese Center of Digital Seismic Network to map the upper mantle discontinuities beneath continental China. The CRUST2.0 and an S-tomography model beneath each station were combined with the one-dimensional tracing method to convert time series of radial receiver functions to depth series. Clear signatures corresponding to the 410- and 660-km discontinuities (‘410’ and ‘660’) are visible at almost all of the stations. The average S velocity contrast of ‘410’ beneath the study area is close to the global average, but that for ‘660’ is smaller than the global average. The average depth of ‘410’ is 413 km, and the peak-to-peak topography is about 36 km, with regional depressions that correlate with the Datong quaternary volcano in northern China. The ‘660’ topography exhibits a peak-to-peak variation of about 43 km, and its average depth is 669 km; the depressions of the ‘660’ in northeastern, southeastern and northern China are well correlated with the past subduction around the Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea. The width of the transition zone is also increased in the region with the deeper ‘660’. Our results would appear to indicate that there may be a low-velocity layer below a depth of approximately 600 km that may be the accumulated garnetite layer of an ancient crust above the ‘660’.
Ai, Y., T. Zheng, W. Xu, Y. He, and D. Dong, A complex 660 km discontinuity beneath northeast China, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 212, 63–71, 2003.
Ammon, C. J., The isolation of receiver effects from teleseismic P waveforms, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 81, 2504–2510, 1991.
Bassin, C., G. Laske, and G. Masters, The current limits of resolution for surface wave tomography in North America, EOS Trans. AGU, 81, F897, 2000.
Dziewonski, A. M. and D. L. Anderson, Preliminary reference Earth model, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 25, 297–356, 1981.
Efron, B. and R. J. Tibshirani, An introduction to the Bootstrap, 436 pp., Chapman & Hall, 1998.
Fukao, Y., S. Widiyantoro, and M. Obayashi, Stagnant slabs in the upper and lower mantle transition region, Rev. Geophys., 39, 291–323, 2001.
Grand, S. P., Mantle shear-wave tomography and the fate of subducted slabs, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A, 360, 2475–2491, 2002.
Gudmundsson, O. and M. Sambridge, A regionalized upper mantle (RUM) seismic model, J. Geophys. Res., 103, 7121–7136, 1998.
Hafkenscheid, E., M. J. R. Wortel, and W. Spakman, Subduction history of the Tethyan region derived from seismic tomography and tectonic reconstructions, J. Geophys. Res., 111, B08401, doi:10.1029/2005JB003791, 2006.
Huang, J. and D. Zhao, High-resolution mantle tomography of China and surrounding regions, J. Geophys. Res., 111, B09305, doi:10.1029/2005JB004066, 2006.
Karato, S., Importance of inelasticity in the interpretation of seismic tomography, Geophys. Res. Lett., 20, 1623–1626, 1993.
Karato, S., On the separation of crustal component from subducted oceanic lithosphere near the 660 km discontinuity, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 99, 103–111, 1997.
Karato, S., The dynamic structure of the deep earth: an interdisciplinary approach, 241 pp., Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2003.
Kennett, B. L. N. and R. E. Engdahl, Travel times for global earthquake location and phase identification, Geophys. J. Int., 105, 429–465, 1991.
Langston, C. A., Structure under Mount Rainier, Washington, inferred from teleseismic body waves, J. Geophys. Res., 84(B4), 4749–4762, 1979.
Lebedev, S. and G. Nolet, Upper mantle beneath Southeast Asia from S velocity tomography, J. Geophys. Res., 108, doi:10.1029/2000JB 000073, 2003.
Lebedev, S., S. Chevrot, and R. D. van der Hilst, The 660-km discontinuity within the subducting NW-Pacific lithospheric slab, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 205, 25–35, 2002.
Li, X. and X. Yuan, Receiver functions in northeast China—implications for slab penetration into the lower mantle in northwest Pacific subduction zone, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 216, 679–691, 2003.
Li, X., S. V. Sobolev, R. Kind, X. Yuan, and C. H. Estabrook, A detailed receiver function image of the upper mantle discontinuities in the Japan subduction zone, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 183, 527–541, 2000.
Ligorria, J. P. and C. J. Ammon, Iterative deconvolution and receiverfunction estimation, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 89, 1395–1400, 1999.
Niu, F. and H. Kawakatsu, Complex structure of the mantle discontinuities at the tip of the subducting slab beneath the northeast China: a preliminary investigation of broadband receiver functions, J. Phys. Earth, 44, 701–711, 1996.
Niu, F. and H. Kawakatsu, Determination of the absolute depths of the mantle transition zone discontinuities beneath China: effect of stagnant slabs on mantle transition zone discontinuities, Earth Planets Space, 50, 965–975, 1998.
Shen, Y. and J. Blum, Seismic evidence for accumulated oceanic crust above the 660-km discontinuity beneath southern Africa, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(18), 1925, doi:10.1029/2003GL017991, 2003.
van Keken, P. E., S. Karato, and D. A. Yuen, Rheological control of oceanic crust separation in the transition zone, Geophys. Res. Lett., 23, 1821–1824, 1996.
Yang, Y. and H. Zhou, Application of receiver function method to estimate the buried depths of discontinuities in the upper mantle beneath china and adjacent area, Chinese, J. Geophys., 44(6), 783–792, 2001.
Yuan, X., J. Ni, R. Kind, E. Sandvol, and J. Mechie, Lithospheric and upper mantle structure of southern Tibet from a seismological passive source experiment, J. Geophys. Res., 102(B12), 27491–27500, 1997.
Zhao, D. and J. Lei, Seismic ray path variations in a 3D global velocity model, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 141, 153–166, 2004.
About this article
Cite this article
Shen, X., Zhou, H. & Kawakatsu, H. Mapping the upper mantle discontinuities beneath China with teleseismic receiver functions. Earth Planet Sp 60, 713–719 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03352819
- Mantle discontinuity
- receiver function
- low-velocity layer