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Frontiers of Earth Science

Front. Earth Sci.
Determination of the crustal structure and seismicity of the Linfen rift with S-wave velocity mapping
Zigen WEI1, Risheng CHU1(), Meiqin SONG2, Xiaolin YANG3, Shanshan WU4, Feng BAO1
1. State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth’s Dynamics, Innovation Academy for Precision Measurement Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430077, China
2. Earthquake Administration of Shanxi Province, Taiyuan 030021, China
3. Shaanxi Earthquake Agency, Xi’an 710068, China
4. Shanghai Earthquake Agency, Shanghai 200062, China
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The Linfen rift is a Cenozoic extensional rift with significant seismicity and seismic hazards. Studies of this rift shed light on deep dynamic processes and seismogenic mechanisms relevant to crustal structure and seismic activity. We first conducted a joint inversion of receiver functions and surface wave dispersion on waveform data collected from 27 broadband seismic stations to image the crustal S-wave velocity in the Linfen rift and its surroundings. We then relocated the source parameters for 10 earthquake events with depths>20 km and studied the relationship between crustal S-wave velocity and seismicity. The results show that low-velocity zones of different scales exist in the middle-lower crust, and that the depth of the seismogenic layer gradually increases from ~25 km in the south to ~34 km in the north, roughly corresponding to the bottom of the low-velocity zone. We found that most of the relocated earthquakes occurred in the low-velocity zone at depths of 18 km to 34 km, with the deepest at 32 km. Two of the greatest historic earthquakes, Linfen (Ms 7.75) in 1695 and Hongtong (Ms 8.0) in 1303, occurred at the bottom of the high-velocity zone at depths of 12 km to 18 km. Our results, combined with previous studies, suggest that the upwelling mantle material below the rift did not remarkably affect the velocity structure from the bottom of the seismogenic layer down to the uppermost mantle nor heat the crust. It is likely that neither crustal-scale faults nor mantle earthquakes exist in the Linfen rift.

Keywords Linfen rift      joint inversion      S-wave velocity      seismogenic layer      deep crustal earthquake     
Corresponding Author(s): Risheng CHU   
Online First Date: 29 April 2020   
 Cite this article:   
Zigen WEI,Risheng CHU,Meiqin SONG, et al. Determination of the crustal structure and seismicity of the Linfen rift with S-wave velocity mapping[J]. Front. Earth Sci., 29 April 2020. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1007/s11707-019-0804-6.
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Zigen WEI
Risheng CHU
Meiqin SONG
Xiaolin YANG
Shanshan WU
Feng BAO
Fig.1  Regional geological tectonic setting, active faults, broadband (red and black triangles) and short-period (blue triangles) and two strong earthquakes (Li et al., 2015a) in the Linfen rift. QD: Qinling-Dabie Orogen; TP: Tibetan Plateau; YinM: Yin Mountains; YM: Yan Mountains; LLM: Lüliang Mountains; THM: Taihang Mountains; S–S rift: Shaanxi–Shanxi rift; Y–H rift: Yinchuan–Hetao rift; Ordos: Ordos Block; SNCB: South North China Basin; BBB: Bohai Bay Basin; HZ: Huozhou City; HT: Hongtong City; LF: Linfen City; LY: Linyi City; YC: Yuncheng City; IGGCAS: Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; IGCEA: Institute of Geophysics, China Earthquake Administration; IGGCAS1: Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Fig.2  Stacked receiver functions for 30°–60° and 60°–90°epicentral distances (ED.) and the surface wave dispersion curves (a). Phase velocity sensitivity kernels for shear velocity for different periods (b).
Fig.3  Waveforms and results for typical stations by joint inversion method. G: Gaussian factor; ED: Epicentral distance.
Fig.4  Plots of the S- and P-wave velocity models used for joint inversion in the Linfen rift. Two S-wave velocity models (a, b) are the results of the joint inversion in this study, while the third (c) is obtained from the surface-wave dispersion result (Shen et al., 2016). P-wave velocities were assumed to be 1.78 times the S-wave velocities using joint inversion in our study (a, b) and the result of seismic exploration (c, Duan et al., 2016).
Fig.5  The S-wave velocity distribution at different depths (a–g) in the study region and beneath two profiles (h–i). The profile locations are shown in g. Dashed lines (h, i) show the Moho (Wei et al., 2016). LLM: Lüliang Mountains; THM: Taihang mountains; HZ: Huozhou City; HT: Hongtong City; LF: Linfen City; LY: Linyi City; YC: Yuncheng City; Alti: Altitude.
Fig.6  The earthquake depths before and after relocation for ten deep earthquakes. The letters o and n indicate data from before and after relocation, respectively.
Ear.(time) Lon.(o) Lat.(o) Lon.(n) Lat.(n) Dep.(o)/km Dep.(n)/km Dep.(e)/km ML. N.(sta)
308/16:25:20 111.76 36.51 111.77 36.51 27.0 26.40 0.7 0.2 5
315/13:24:46 111.85 36.22 111.86 36.24 28.0 18.95 1.1 0.5 7
317/10:48:45 110.55 35.07 110.58 35.06 22.0 19.34 2.0 1.5 9
321/18:33:50 111.73 36.31 111.73 36.32 27.0 25.79 1.0 0.9 12
324/05:23:50 111.74 35.35 111.73 36.34 28.0 22.32 1.3 0.4 5
325/11:31:57 111.69 36.20 111.71 36.21 25.0 20.25 1.0 0.4 8
327/08:11:52 110.81 35.46 110.86 35.43 21.0 25.14 3.4 0.5 4
331/21:52:14 111.14 35.70 111.15 35.71 22.0 19.26 1.4 1.0 10
335/00:40:31 111.67 36.24 111.67 36.25 22.0 17.98 1.2 1.7 17
336/03:11:00 111.81 36.48 111.80 36.51 23.0 32.13 1.1 0.7 8
Tab.1  The original and relocation source parameters of ten earthquakes in 2017
Earthquake Vs Vp Dep./km Dep.(e)/km
336/03:11:00 a a 32.13 1.1
336/03:11:00 b b 31.98 1.1
336/03:11:00 c c 32.47 1.3
336/03:11:00 a c 34.33 1.3
336/03:11:00 b c 32.24 1.6
Tab.2  Test results of focus depth for different velocity models (Fig. 4) in the Linfen rift
Fig.7  Waveforms (a, c) and station distribution (blue triangles in b, d) for two typical relocated earthquakes (black boxes in b, d) in the Linfen rift. Red and black dots (b, d) show the seismic events before and after relocation.
Fig.8  The earthquake distribution from January 1981 to June 2009 and S-wave velocity beneath two profiles in the study region. The 20 km radius earthquakes are projected in b; all earthquakes projected in c. Red solid circles (c) show the locations of the ten relocated deep earthquakes and two strong earthquakes. HZ: Huozhou City; HT: Hongtong City; LF: Linfen City; LY: Linyi City; YC: Yuncheng City.
Fig.9  A profile sketch of the present velocity results and additional mantle tomography results and seismicity in the Linfen rift. Black arrows show the directions of stretching force and circles show the earthquakes. LFF:Linfen–Fushan fault. Circles show the earthquakes. The focal spheres show the Linfen Ms 7.75 (1695) and Hongtong Ms 8.0 (1303) earthquakes.
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