Seismic attenuation structure in central Mexico: Image of a focused high-attenuation zone in the mantle wedge
Article first published online: 14 JUL 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978–2012)
Volume 114, Issue B7, July 2009
How to Cite
2009), Seismic attenuation structure in central Mexico: Image of a focused high-attenuation zone in the mantle wedge, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B07304, doi:10.1029/2008JB005964., and (
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 14 JUL 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 APR 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 19 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Received: 29 JUL 2008
 Velocity spectra from moderate-sized earthquakes were used to investigate the P wave attenuation structure in central Mexico. In particular, we included regional events with magnitudes in the range of 4.5 to 6.1 recorded from 2005 to 2007 on the Middle American Subduction Experiment (MASE) array, which consists of 100 broadband sensors across central Mexico from Acapulco to Tempoal, near the Gulf of Mexico. By assuming a Brune-type source, a frequency-independent t* value was obtained for each seismogram in the frequency band 1 to 30 Hz. These measurements were then inverted for two-dimensional spatial variations in Qp in the cross section along the MASE array, perpendicular to the trench. The model has uniform 20 km vertical grid spacing down to a depth of 200 km and 50 km or 100 km horizontal grid spacing depending on ray coverage. The inversion results show low attenuation in the subducting slab and high attenuation in the mantle wedge and the crust below and to the north of the volcanic belt. The focused high-attenuation zone (Qp < 200) in the mantle wedge lies away from the top of the slab, between depths of 80 km and 120 km beneath the volcanic belt, and is likely to be related to relatively high temperature, fluids, and partial melts produced in subduction process. The high-attenuation region in the lower crust correlates with the low-resistivity and low-velocity region and could be caused by partial melts and fluids from dehydration and magmatic processes.