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Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 143–150 | Cite as

Velocity structure of uppermost mantle beneath China continent from Pn tomography

  • Suyun WangEmail author
  • Thomas Hearn
  • Zhonghuai Xu
  • James Ni
  • Yanxiang Yu
  • Xiaodong Zhang
Article

Abstract

39473 Pn travel times are inverted to tomographically image both lateral variation and anisotropy of uppermost mantle velocities beneath China continent. The result indicates that the overall average Pn velocity of uppermost mantle in the studied region is 8.0 km/s and the regional velocity fluctuation varies from ?0.30 km/s to +0.35 km/s. Pn velocities higher than 8.2 km/s are found in the regions surrounding Qingzang Plateau, such as Junggar Basin, Tarim Basin, Qaidam Basin and Sichun Basin. Pn velocities slightly lower than the average are found in western Sichuan and Yunnan, Shanxi Graben and Bohai Bay region. A Pn velocity as low as 7.8 km/s may exist in the region striding the boundary between Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. In general, Pn velocity in tectonically stable region like cratonic platform tends to be high, while that in tectonically active region tends to be low. The regions in compressive setting usually show higher Pn velocity, while extensional basins or grabens generally display lower one. Anisotropy of Pn velocity is seen in some regions. In the southeastern region of Qingzang Plateau the directions of fastest Pn velocity show a rotation pattern, which may be related to southeastward escape of the plateau material due to the collision and compression of Indian Plate to Asia along Himalaya arc. Notable anisotropy also exists around Bohai Bay region, likely indicating crustal extending and possible magma activity therein.

Keywords

China continent Pn velocity seismic tomography 

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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suyun Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Hearn
    • 2
  • Zhonghuai Xu
    • 1
  • James Ni
    • 2
  • Yanxiang Yu
    • 1
  • Xiaodong Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsChina Seismological BureauBeijingChina
  2. 2.Deptartment of PhysicsNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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