Liya Hu, Fengxue Zhang, Yu Li

Crustal Velocity Structure of the Sichuan–Yunnan Block Revealed by High-Quality Crustal Phase Travel Time

  • Geophysics

Abstract The Sichuan–Yunnan block is located at the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, which is the key area as a transition belt from the active plate extrusion zone to the stable Yangtze Craton. Using a semiautomatic measuring method based on a graphical interface, we pick 81,585 precise travel times from 449 local earthquake records and finally obtain a crustal 3D P-wave velocity model of the Sichuan–Yunnan block. The model reveals an unexpected velocity contrast between the shallower and deeper crusts. It is summarized as weakly perturbed low-velocity belts encircling a high-velocity zone in the upper crust and strongly perturbed low-velocity anomalies in the mid-lower crust, respectively. The weak low-velocity anomalies are revealed along the major strike-slip faults, and their small perturbations may imply a slip-driven mechanism. The strong low-velocity anomalies are distributed extensively in the Sichuan–Yunnan block, and their great perturbations may be related to the partial melting of weak material extruded from Tibet. Besides, our result shows noticeable high-velocity anomalies in the core zone of the Emeishan Large Igneous Province (ELIP), which may be an indication of magma solidification from the ancient mantle plume. The result further exhibits an interesting pattern that the strong low-velocity anomalies are partially separated by the high-velocity anomalies in the ELIP. Such a specific pattern probably reflects that the stable zone in the ELIP leads to the bifurcation of weak Tibetan material.

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