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Caveats on tomographic images

September 18, 2013

Geological and geodynamic models of the mantle often rely on joint interpretations of published seismic tomography images and petrological/geochemical data. This approach tends to neglect the fundamental limitations of, and uncertainties in, seismic tomography results. These limitations and uncertainties involve theory, correcting for the crust, the lack of rays throughout much of the mantle, the difficulty in obtaining the true strength of anomalies, choice of what background model to subtract to reveal anomalies, and what cross-sections to select for publication. The aim of this review is to provide a relatively non-technical summary of the most important of these problems, collected together in a single paper, and presented in a form accessible to non-seismologists. Appreciation of these issues is essential if final geodynamic models are to be robust, and required by the scientific observations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2013
Title Caveats on tomographic images
DOI 10.1111/ter.12041
Authors Gillian R. Foulger, Giuliano F. Panza, Irina M. Artemieva, Ian D. Bastow, Fabio Cammarano, John R. Evans, Warren B. Hamilton, Bruce R. Julian, Michele Lustrino, Hans Thybo
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Terra Nova
Series Number
Index ID 70048242
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center