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Geophysical Research Letters

Scattered waves from low-frequency earthquakes and plate boundary structure in northern Cascadia

Authors

  • Robert L. Nowack,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
    • Corresponding author: R. L. Nowack, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. (nowack@purdue.edu)

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  • Michael G. Bostock

    1. Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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Abstract

[1] We use 3-D waveform modeling of LFEs (low-frequency earthquakes) to investigate their relation to plate boundary structure along a linear transect in northern Cascadia. To account for crustal velocity heterogeneity, a smoothed 3-D model of subduction zone structure is assembled that incorporates constraints from regional tomographic and plate boundary models. Scattered phases within LFE waveforms are identified based on synthetic predictions that incorporate thrust mechanisms aligned parallel to a dipping plate boundary atop a high-Vp/Vs low-velocity zone (LVZ). Scattering for near-vertical paths is dominated by S-to-P/S-to-S reflections/conversions from the LVZ. The modeling suggests that LFEs lie at or very close to the plate boundary and that the LVZ structure is laterally heterogeneous but broadly consistent with results from teleseismic analysis.

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