Depth-Dependent Azimuthal Anisotropy Beneath the Juan de Fuca Plate System

TitleDepth-Dependent Azimuthal Anisotropy Beneath the Juan de Fuca Plate System
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsEilon, ZC, Forsyth, DW
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Keywordsmantle fabric, oceanic asthenosphere, oceanic lithosphere, surface wave anisotropy

We use surface wave measurements to reveal anisotropy as a function of depth within the Juan de Fuca and Gorda plate system. Using a two-plane wave method, we measure phase velocity and azimuthal anisotropy of fundamental mode Rayleigh waves, solving for anisotropic shear velocity. These surface wave measurements are jointly inverted with constraints from SKS splitting studies using a Markov chain approach. We show that the two data sets are consistent and present inversions that offer new constraints on the vertical distribution of strain beneath the plates and the processes at spreading centers. Anisotropy of the Juan de Fuca plate interior is strongest ( 2.4%) in the low-velocity zone between 40- to 90-km depth, with ENE direction driven by relative shear between plate motion and mantle return flow from the Cascadia subduction zone. In disagreement with Pn measurements, weak ( 1.1%) lithospheric anisotropy in Juan de Fuca is highly oblique to the expected ridge-perpendicular direction, perhaps connoting complex intralithospheric fabrics associated with melt or off-axis downwelling. In the Gorda microplate, strong shallow anisotropy ( 1.9%) is consistent with Pn inversions and aligned with spreading and may be enhanced by edge-driven internal strain. Weak anisotropy with ambiguous orientation in the low-velocity zone can be explained by Gorda's youth and modest motion relative to the Pacific. Deeper (≥90 km) fabric appears controlled by regional flow fields modulated by the Farallon slab edge: anisotropy is strong ( 1.8%) beneath Gorda, but absent beneath the Juan de Fuca, which is in the strain shadow of the slab.


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