P-wave anisotropic tomography of the central and southern Philippines

Jianke Fan, Dapeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The first P-wave anisotropic tomography of the crust and upper mantle beneath the central and southern Philippines is obtained by inverting a large number of P-wave arrival-time data of local earthquakes and teleseismic events, which sheds new light on the geodynamic evolution of the study region. Our results show that fast-velocity directions of azimuthal anisotropy in the upper mantle below 250 km depth and the mantle transition zone change gradually from NE-SW to NW-SE northwards, possibly indicating a horizontal mantle flow in and around the mantle transition zone. The existence of the horizontal flow suggests that basalts of the Indian-type mantle in the eastern part of the South China Sea possibly originated from the mantle beneath the Celebes and Molucca seas. Our results also reveal a positive radial anisotropy (Vpv<Vph) reflecting a horizontal mantle flow between the Manila Trench and the northern part of the Philippine Trench, which may facilitate the subduction initiation along the northern Philippine Trench.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan


  • Mantle flow
  • Philippine Trench
  • Seismic anisotropy
  • South China Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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