High-resolution probing of inner core structure with seismic interferometry

Hsin-Hua Huang, Fan-Chi Lin, Victor C. Tsai, Keith D. Koper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


© 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Increasing complexity of Earth's inner core has been revealed in recent decades as the global distribution of seismic stations has improved. The uneven distribution of earthquakes, however, still causes a biased geographical sampling of the inner core. Recent developments in seismic interferometry, which allow for the retrieval of core-sensitive body waves propagating between two receivers, can significantly improve ray path coverage of the inner core. In this study, we apply such earthquake coda interferometry to 1846 USArray stations deployed across the U.S. from 2004 through 2013. Clear inner core phases PKIKP2 and PKIIKP2 are observed across the entire array. Spatial analysis of the differential travel time residuals between the two phases reveals significant short-wavelength variation and implies the existence of strong structural variability in the deep Earth. A linear N-S trending anomaly across the middle of the U.S. may reflect an asymmetric quasi-hemispherical structure deep within the inner core with boundaries of 99°W and 88°E.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10,622-10,630
Number of pages1
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 23 2015
Externally publishedYes


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