Resolution experiments for NW Pacific subduction zone tomography

Wim Spakman*, Seth Stein, Rob van der Hilst, Rinus Wortel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We investigate the resolving power of ISC/NEIC P travel time data in tomographic inversions for the geometry of the subduction zones in the NW Pacific. From thermal models for the Kurile, Japan, Izu‐Bonin, Mariana and Ryukyu slabs, we generate three dimensional synthetic velocity anomalies for subducting slabs which are then projected onto a cell model for the uppermost 1400 km of the mantle. Using these synthetic models we compute synthetic delay times for ray paths corresponding to the source and receiver locations used for the actual data, add Gaussian noise, invert the synthetic data, and compare the resulting velocity structure to the initial synthetic models. This comparison is illustrated for sections through the Kuriles and the Mariana arcs. A variety of resolution artifacts are observed, which in many cases resemble features visible in the tomographic results obtained from inverting the actual ISC/NEIC data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1100
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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