Seismic anisotropy in the lowermost mantle beneath the Pacific

Jeroen Ritsema, Thorne Lay, Edward J. Garnero, Harley Benz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Onset time differences of up to 3 s are observed between transverse (SSH) and longitudinal (SSV) components of broadband S waves at distances of 85° to 120° for paths traversing the lowermost mantle (D") beneath the Pacific. After correction for upper mantle anisotropy, SSH usually arrives earlier than SSV with the splitting increasing with distance from 100° to 120°. The data yield two possible models of anisotropy: (1) anisotropy may vary laterally, with transverse isotropy existing in higher-than-average shear velocity regions beneath the northeastern Pacific, or (2) anisotropy may vary with depth, with transverse isotropy concentrated in a thin (100 km) thermal boundary layer at the base of D". A few recordings at distances less than 105° show that SSV arrives earlier than SSH, indicating that general anisotropy likely exists in shallower regions of D".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1232
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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