Allen CV
Seismo Lab
Earth & Planetary
UC Berkeley

Seismic anisotropy beneath Cascadia and the Mendocino triple junction:
Interaction of the subducting slab with mantle flow

Caroline M. Eakin, University of California, Berkeley and Imperial College London
Mathias Obrebski, Richard M. Allen University of California, Berkeley
Devin C. Boyarko, Michael R. Brudzinski Miami University
Robert Porritt University of California, Berkeley

Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. , 297 627-632, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.07.015, 2010

Download a reprint: EakinEtAlEPSL2010all.pdf

Data download: Shear-wave splitting observations

Mantle flow associated with the Cascadia subduction zone and the Mendocino Triple Junction is poorly characterized due to a lack of shear wave splitting studies compared to other subduction zones. To fill this gap data was obtained from the Mendocino and FACES seismic networks that cover the region with dense station spacing. Over a period of 11-18 months, 50 suitable events were identified from which shear wave splitting parameters were calculated. Here we present stacked splitting results at 63 of the stations. The splitting pattern is uniform trench normal (N67E) throughout Cascadia with an average delay time of 1.25 seconds. This is consistent with subduction and our preferred interpretation is entrained mantle flow beneath the slab. The observed pattern and interpretation have implications for mantle dynamics that are unique to Cascadia compared to other subduction zones worldwide. The uniform splitting pattern seen throughout Cascadia ends at the triple junction where the fast directions rotate almost 90. Immediately south of the triple junction the fast direction rotates from NW-SE near the coast to NE-SW in northeastern California. This rotation beneath northern California is consistent with flow around the southern edge of the subducting Gorda slab.

© Richard M Allen