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    Solid earth sciences

    Session convener-recommended article JpGU Meeting 2014

    201509201509

    Geographical distribution of shear wave anisotropy within marine sediments in the northwestern Pacific

    Tonegawa T, Fukao Y, Fujie G, Takemura S, Takahashi T, Kodaira S

    Ambient noise, Ocean-bottom seismometer, Shear wave reflection, Shear wave anisotropy, Northwestern Pacific

    S anisotropy within marine sediments in the northwestern Pacific. Yellow bars represent the degree of anisotropy and the fast polarization direction at each ocean-bottom seismometer (OBS) site. Mechanism solutions, which were determined by F-net centroid moment tensor (CMT) with M>4 and depths shallower than 60 km, are displayed by red beach balls.

    In the northwestern Pacific, the elastic properties of marine sediments, including P-wave velocities (Vp) and S wave velocities (Vs), have recently been constrained by active seismic surveys. However, information on S anisotropy associated with the alignments of fractures and fabric remains elusive. To obtain such information, we used ambient noise records observed by ocean-bottom seismometers at 254 sites in the northwestern Pacific to calculate the auto-correlation functions for the S reflection retrieval from the top of the basement. For these S reflections, we measured differential travel times and polarized directions to reveal the potential geographical systematic distribution of S anisotropy. As a result, the observed differential times between fast and slow axes were at most 0.05 s. The fast polarization axes tend to align in the trench–parallel direction in the outer rise region. In particular, their directions changed systematically in accordance with the direction of the trench axis, which changes sharply across the junction of the Kuril and Japan trenches. We consider that a contributing factor for the obtained S anisotropy within marine sediments in the outer rise region is primarily aligned fractures due to the tensional stresses associated with the bending of the Pacific Plate. Moreover, numerical simulations conducted by using the three-dimensional (3D) finite difference method for isotropic and anisotropic media indicates that the successful extraction of S anisotropic information from the S reflection observed in this study is obtained from near-vertically propagating S waves due to extremely low Vs within marine sediments. In addition, we conducted an additional numerical simulation with a realistic velocity model to confirm whether S reflections below the basement can be extracted or not. The resultant auto-correlation function shows only S reflections from the top of the basement. It appears that such near-vertically propagating S waves obscure S reflections from interfaces below the basement.