Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

Waveform modeling of shear wave splitting from anisotropic models in Iceland



[1] No quantitative model of seismic anisotropy beneath Iceland has yet explained the observed shear wave splitting results in Iceland. In this study we explore the structure of mantle seismic anisotropy associated with plume ridge interaction beneath Iceland by modeling synthetic waveforms using a pseudo-spectral method. First, predicted SKS waveforms are shown to produce shear wave splitting results for two anisotropic layers that are in generally agreement with analytic solutions. Next, simple models in which anisotropy are imposed at different depths and geographic regions around Iceland are used to examine different hypothesized effects of plume-ridge interaction. The model that is designed to represent crystallographic fabric due to mantle deformation associated with lithosphere spreading in western Iceland and along-axis, channeled asthenospheric flow in eastern Iceland can predict the distinct shear wave splitting observations on the east and west sides of the island. Last, we analyze geodynamic models that simulate 3-D mantle flow and evolution of mineral fabric. The predicted fast directions of shear wave splitting from the models with realistic spreading rate (10 km/Myr) and broad range of plume viscosities are consistent with the observations in central and eastern Iceland. However, because these models are symmetric about the ridge, none of them can predict the observed shear wave splitting results in western Iceland.