Three-Dimensional Geometry of the Juan de Fuca/farallon Slab

Three-Dimensional Geometry of the Juan de Fuca/farallon Slab Juan de Fuca/Farallon lab model in 3D visualization framework. This is a still image from a 3D visualization scene used to overlay tomography models and results of a recently developed full 3D, scattered wave imaging method. Coastlines and state boundaries in magenta and rivers shown in blue provide a geographic reference. A section through the Burdick et al. (2009) P model and a section through the scattered wave image are shown to illustrate data that went into the interpretation. The slab model shows flow lines and constant time surface based on the NUVEL1 model of relative plate motion. The time ticks are based on a no strain approximation. The surface is constrained to daylight at the trench and pass through points 100 km below all active volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest. A estimate of the western edge of the slab window based on the no strain approximation is shown as the blue line passing through California and Arizona.
New understanding on the three-dimensional geometry of the western US subduction system is emerging by viewing multiple imaging results in a fully three-dimensional framework. The process is comparable to interpreting 3D seismic reflection data, but is complicated in USArray by the scale, which makes spherical geometry important. The figure shown is a first attempt at a joint interpretation of P tomography models by Burdick et al. [2009], Sigloch et al. [2008], and recently produced scattered wave images of Pavlis [submitted]. The scattered wave images show dipping features above the 410 km discontinuity I have interpreted as defining a shear zone at the boundary layer between the subducting slab and the overriding North American plate. The model shown in this figure is a kinematic model showing flow lines and constant time lines based on the current relative motion of the Juan de Fuca and North American plates. The surface is interpreted from data, but the time lines assume no longitudinal strain in the descending slab. The visualization shows the predicted edge of the slab window from the San Andreas based on the no longitudinal strain approximation and using the current trace of the San Andreas as an anchor point. The new scattered wave images and the reasonable geometry of this slab model provide strong support for the model of the Farallon slab described by Sigloch et al. [2008].
</p><p>Burdick, S., C. Li, V. Martynov, T. Cox, J. Eakins, T. Mulder, L. Astiz, F. L. Vernon, G. L. Pavlis, and R. D. van der Hilst, 2009, Model update December 2008; upper mantle heterogeneity beneath North America from P-wave travel time tomography with global and USArray trans- portable array data, Seismol. Res. Lett., 80(4), 384-392, doi: 10.1785/gssrl.80.4.638.
</p><p>Pavlis, G. L., submitted, Three-dimensional Wavefield Imaging of Data from the USArray: New Constraints on the Geometry of the Farallon Slab, Geosphere, in review.
</p><p>Sigloch, K., N. McQuarrie, and G. Nolet, 2008, Two-stage subduction history under North America inferred from multiple-frequency tomog- raphy, Nature Geosci., 1, 458-462, doi:10.1038/ngeo231.
</p><p>Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under CMG-0327827. It also benefited from advanced computing resources provided by the National Science Foundations TeraGrid program at Indiana University.</p>


No comments yet.



Welcome to the IRIS Image Gallery – a diverse collection of photographs and visuals that encompass the range and breadth of seismology and the seismological community.

Please browse through our albums. These low and medium-resolution images can be freely used for personal and educational/academic purposes, but we request you recognize the image contributor by including in your product or presentation the credit displayed with each image.

More information is available in the Image Use Agreement.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions related to the IRIS Image Gallery, you can send them to

Photo info

Popular tags