anisotropy of Earth's inner core

Xiaodong Song, Don V. Helmberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an effort to confirm inner core anisotropy, we conducted a systematic search for PKP ray paths with various angles from the Earth's spin axis. In particular, we studied paths nearly parallel to the spin axis (polar paths) and those nearly parallel to the equatorial plane (equatorial paths). Data for earthquakes and explosions were collected from Worldwide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN), Long Range Seismic Measurements (LRSM), and Global Digital Seismograph Network (GDSN). Absolute times (DF, BC) and differential times (BC‐DF, AB‐DF) as well as waveform data were examined. For all polar paths, differential times of BC‐DF consistently yield residuals of 1.5 to 3.5s larger than equatorial paths. Absolute DF time residuals exhibit anomalies of the same magnitude (1 to 4s) with DF being early along polar paths while BC residuals have no obvious correlation with the differential time anomalies. DF phases appear multi‐pathed for polar paths and are relatively simple for equatorial paths. These results coupled with previous studies suggest an axisymmetric anisotropy at the top of the inner core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2591-2594
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 14 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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