Lateral Variations of Rayleigh-Wave Dispersions in the Philippine Sea Region

Abstract

Fresh two-dimensional group and phase-velocity distribution maps of the Philippine Sea and surrounding areas are constructed using the tomographic inversion of more than 2500 Rayleigh-wave dispersion curves in the 20- to 120-sec period range. The results show that, for the periods used, both the group and phase-velocity variation patterns are very close to the geological and topographic features and are also consistent with previous studies of magnetic anomalies and evolutionary history of the Philippine Basin. On average, the periods of the peak group-velocity for the West Philippine Basin and the Oki-Daito ridge are about 40 and 32 sec for the Parece Vela and Shikoku basins. This implies that the lithosphere of the western Philippine Sea Basin is thicker, which is related to plate cooling and seafloor age. For most of the examined periods, the high velocity symmetry of the two sides of the Central Basin Ridge in the West Philippine Basin coincides well with the evolutionary history of the Philippine Sea Basin, and may be taken as additional evidence confirming the existence of the ridge. The group and phase-velocity distributions for periods longer than 80 sec are smooth throughout the whole Philippine Sea Basin, which implies that the upper mantle beneath the Philippine Sea Basin is nearly homogeneous at depths of 100 - 200 km. Moreover, the group and phase velocities in the region of the East Volcano Belt and Active Marginal Basin remain almost constant in the 36- to 80-sec period range, which indicates that the boundary between the lithosphere and asthenosphere is probably not obvious in this area.

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