GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 124-2
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM


DUCELLIER, Ariane, Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Box 351310, Seattle, WA 98195 and CREAGER, Kenneth, Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington, Johnson Hall Rm-070 Box 351310, 4000 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98195,

Hydration and dehydration of minerals in subduction zones play a key role in the geodynamic processes that generate seismicity and that allow tectonic plates to subduct. Detecting the presence of water in the subducted plate is thus crucial to better understand the seismogenesis and the consequent seismic hazard. A landward dipping, low velocity layer has been detected in most subduction zones. In Cascadia, this low velocity zone is characterized by a low S-wave velocity and a very high Poisson’s ratio, which has been interpreted as high pore-fluid pressure in the upper half part of the subducted oceanic crust. Most previous studies were based on seismic reflection imaging, receiver function analysis, or body wave tomography, with seismic sources located far from the low velocity zone. In contrast, the sources of the tectonic tremors generated during Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS) events are located on the plate boundary. As the sources of the tremors are much closer to the low velocity zone, seismic waves recorded during ETS events should illuminate the area with greater precision. Most methods to detect and locate tectonic tremors and low-frequency earthquakes are based on the cross correlation of seismic signals; either signals at the same station for different events, or the same event at different stations. We use the autocorrelation of the seismic signal recorded by eight arrays of stations, located in the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. Each tremor, assumed to be on the plate boundary, generates a direct wave and reflected and converted waves from both the strong shear-wave velocity contrast in the mid-oceanic crust, and from the Moho of the subducted oceanic crust. The time lag between the arrivals of these different waves at a seismic station corresponds to a peak of amplitude on the autocorrelation signals. Using the time lags observed for different locations of the tremor source, we intend to invert for the seismic wave velocity of the subducted oceanic crust under the arrays. Identifying zones with lower S-wave velocity and a high Poisson’s ratio will then help detecting the presence of water in the subducted oceanic crust.