Skip to main content

Using PKiKP coda to study heterogeneity in the top layer of the inner core’s western hemisphere

Author(s): Wu, Wenbo; Irving, Jessica CE

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: Significant lateral and depth variations of the inner core's properties, such as the large-scale hemispherical pattern, have been confirmed by a variety of seismological observations. However it is still unclear which dynamic processes in the core are responsible for these variations. Small-scale volumetric heterogeneity has been detected in the top layer of the inner core by PKiKP coda observations. Studies of these small-scale heterogeneities can provide critical information, such as the degree of alignment of iron crystals, the presence of possible partial melt and the grain size of iron crystals, all of which can be used to constrain the dynamic processes of the inner core. However, most previous observations sampled the inner core beneath the Pacific Ocean and Asia, often in the inner core's ‘eastern hemisphere’. We use seismic stations in the North America, including the Earthscope Transportable Array, to look at PKiKP and its coda waves. We find 21 events with clear signals. In agreement with previous studies, inner core scattering (ICS), resulting in clear PKiKP coda, is found at epicentral distances of 60°–95°. However, the ICS we observe in these 21 western hemisphere events is weaker than previously reported for the eastern hemisphere. Comparing our observations with numerical simulations, we conclude that this relatively weak ICS indicates small-scale heterogeneity in at least the top layer of the inner core beneath Central America. Combining our clear observations with previous studies suggests either a hemispherical difference, or a regional variation, of small-scale heterogeneity in the inner core.
Publication Date: 1-May-2017
Citation: Wu, Wenbo, and Jessica CE Irving. "Using PKiKP coda to study heterogeneity in the top layer of the inner core's western hemisphere." Geophysical Journal International 209, no. 2 (2017): 672-687. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggx047.
DOI: doi:10.1093/gji/ggx047
ISSN: 0956-540X
EISSN: 1365-246X
Pages: 672 - 687
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Geophysical Journal International
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.