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An improved high-resolution shear velocity model beneath the Iranian plateau using adjoint noise tomography

Abolfazl Komeazi (1)Ayoub Kaviani (1)Farzam Yaminifard (2) ...+10 Germany)
Nov 2023
We perform an adjoint waveform tomography using Rayleigh wave Empirical Green's Functions (EGFs) at 10-50 s periods to improve a prior 3-D velocity model of the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the Iranian Plateau. EGFs were derived from cross-correlations of ~8 years of continuous vertical component seismic noise recorded by 119 broadband stations within the region. Adjoint tomography refines the initial model by iteratively minimizing the frequency-dependent travel-time misfits between the synthetic Green's Functions (SGFs) and EGFs measured in different period bands. The total misfit is dropped by ~75 percent after 6 iterations. Overall, the adjoint tomography provides images with more realistic and improved resolutions and amplitudes due to the inclusion of finite-frequency waveforms. The use of a numerical spectral-element solver in adjoint tomography provides highly precise structural sensitivity kernels, resulting in more robust images compared to those generated by ray-theory tomography. Our study also demonstrates improvement in lateral resolution and depth sensitivity. The final model adjusts the shapes of velocity anomalies at crustal and uppermost mantle depths especially in the Zagros convergence zone. These improvements include a high-resolution image of delamination of the subducting Arabian lithosphere from Zagros lower crust beneath the central and NW Zagros. The refine, high-resolution images also better show the geometry of low-velocity anomalies, which represent diachronous underthrusting of Arabian crust beneath central Iran.
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