Allen CV
Seismo Lab
Earth & Planetary
UC Berkeley

The thin hot plume beneath Iceland

Richard M. Allen (1), Guust Nolet (1), W. Jason Morgan (1), Kristin Vogfjord (1), Bergur H. Bergsson (2), Palmi Erlendsson (2), Gillian R. Foulger (3), Steinunn Jakobsdottir (2), Bruce R. Julian (4), Matt Pritchard (3), Sturla Ragnarsson (2), Ragnar Stefansson (2).

(1) Dept. Geosciences, Princeton University, USA.
(2) Vedurstofa Islands, Reykjavik, Iceland.
(3) Dept. Geological Sciences, University of Durham, UK.
(4) U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, USA.

Geophysical Journal International vol 137, p51-63 (1999)

Download reprint: GJI1999paper.pdf (0.9Mb pdf)

Abstract We present the results of a seismological investigation of the frequency dependent amplitude variations across Iceland using data from the HOTSPOT array currently deployed there. The array is composed of 30 broadband PASSCAL instruments. We use the parameter t*, defined in the usual manner from spectral ratios [Halderman and Davis, 1991], to compare S-wave amplitude variations observed, with those predicted due to both anelastic attenuation and diffraction effects. Four teleseismic events at a range of azimuths are used to measure t*. A 2D vertical cylindrical plume model with a Gaussian-shaped velocity anomaly is used to model the variations. That part of t* caused by attenuation was estimated by tracing a ray through IASP91, then superimposing our plume model velocity anomaly and calculating the path integral of 1/vQ. That part of t* caused by diffraction was estimated using a 2D finite difference code to generate synthetic seismograms. The same spectral ratio technique used for the data was then used to extract a predicted t*. The t* variations caused by anelastic attenuation are unable to account for the variations we observe, those caused by diffraction do. We calculate the t* variations caused by diffraction for different plume models and obtain our best fit plume which exhibits good agreement between the observed and measured t*. The best fit plume model has a maximum S-velocity anomaly of -12% and falls to 1/e of its maximum at 100 km from the plume center. This is narrower than previous estimates from seismic tomography, which are broadened and damped by the methods of tomography. This velocity model would suggest greater ray-theoretical travel-time delays than observed. However we find that for such a plume, wavefront healing effects at frequencies of 0.03 to 0.175 Hz (the frequency range used to pick S-wave arrivals) causes a 40% reduction in travel-time delay, reducing the ray-theoretical delay to that observed.

Key words: attenuation, diffraction, plume, spectral analysis, S waves, upper mantle.

Download reprint: GJI1999paper.pdf (0.9Mb pdf)

© Richard M Allen