Waveguide effects within the Philippine Sea slab beneath southwest Japan inferred from guided SP converted waves



High-sensitivity, dense seismic observations and numerical simulations revealed a distinct guided SP converted wave of oceanic mantle earthquakes that occurred within the subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) plate and a waveguide effect of the PHS Plate beneath southwest Japan. Based on seismograms, we identify the oceanic mantle earthquakes of the double seismic zone and find a new type of later phase for these earthquakes. The primary features of these later phases are as follows: (1) these phases are observed at the northeastern inland stations of the convex slab axis, (2) the vertical and radial components are dominant and (3) the apparent velocity is approximately 8.0 km s–1. To examine the origin of these later phases, we simulate a 2-D P-SV seismic wavefield considering the PHS slab geometry. Based on the numerical models, we conclude that the later phases are guided SP converted waves trapped within the oceanic crust, which acts as low-velocity layer. A series of numerical simulations indicates that two factors are necessary to reproduce the observed SP guided waves: (i) a low-velocity channel must exist between stations and sources and (ii) the oceanic crust must only be in contact with the lower crust near the stations.