Evaluating the Resolution of Deep Mantle Plumes in Teleseismic Traveltime Tomography

Research areas:
Year:
2018
Keywords:
seismic tomography, computational seismology, hot spots and mantle plumes, wave scattering and diffraction, wave propagation
Authors:
  • Ross Maguire
  • Jeroen Ritsema
  • Mickaël Bonnin
  • Peter E. van Keken
  • Saskia Goes
Journal:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume:
123
Number:
1
Pages:
384-400
Abstract:
Abstract The strongest evidence to support the classical plume hypothesis comes from seismic imaging of the mantle beneath hot spots. However, imaging results are often ambiguous and it is questionable whether narrow plume tails can be detected by present‐day seismological techniques. Here we carry out synthetic tomography experiments based on spectral element method simulations of seismic waves with period T > 10 s propagating through geodynamically derived plume structures. We vary the source‐receiver geometry in order to explore the conditions under which lower mantle plume tails may be detected seismically. We determine that wide‐aperture (4,000–6,000 km) networks with dense station coverage (