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Open AccessArticle

New Candidate Ultralow-Velocity Zone Locations from Highly Anomalous SPdKS Waveforms

Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0102, USA
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Campus, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(3), 211;
Received: 25 January 2020 / Revised: 21 February 2020 / Accepted: 24 February 2020 / Published: 26 February 2020
Ultralow-velocity zones (ULVZs) at the core–mantle boundary (CMB) represent some of the most preternatural features in Earth’s mantle. These zones most likely contain partial melt, extremely high iron content ferropericlase, or combinations of both. We analyzed a new collection of 58,155 carefully processed and quality-controlled broadband recordings of the seismic phase SPdKS in the epicentral distance range from 106° to 115°. These data sample 56.9% of the CMB by surface area. From these recordings we searched for the most anomalous seismic waveforms that are indicative of ULVZ presence. We used a Bayesian approach to identify the regions of the CMB that have the highest probability of containing ULVZs, thereby identifying sixteen regions of interest. Of these regions, we corroborate well-known ULVZ existence beneath the South China Sea, southwest Pacific, the Samoa hotspot, the southwestern US/northern Mexico, and Iceland. We find good evidence for new ULVZs beneath North Africa, East Asia, and north of Papua New Guinea. We provide further evidence for ULVZs in regions where some evidence has been hinted at before beneath the Philippine Sea, the Pacific Northwest, and the Amazon Basin. Additional evidence is shown for potential ULVZs at the base of the Caroline, San Felix and Galapagos hotspots. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultralow-velocity zone; core–mantle boundary; hotspots; large low velocity provinces ultralow-velocity zone; core–mantle boundary; hotspots; large low velocity provinces
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Thorne, M.S.; Pachhai, S.; Leng, K.; Wicks, J.K.; Nissen-Meyer, T. New Candidate Ultralow-Velocity Zone Locations from Highly Anomalous SPdKS Waveforms. Minerals 2020, 10, 211.

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