Crust and upper mantle structure of East Asia from ambient noise and earthquake surface wave tomography

Mengkui Li, Xiaodong Song, Jiangtao Li, Xuewei Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The complex tectonic background of East Asia makes it an ideal region for investigating the evolution of the continental lithosphere, for which high-resolution lithospheric structural models are essential. In this study, we measured Rayleigh-wave phase-velocity dispersion curves at periods of 10–120 s and group velocity dispersion curves at periods of 10–140 s using event records from more than 1,000 seismic stations in and around China. By jointly inverting new and previously published dispersion data from ambient noise and earthquakes, we developed a high-resolution shear-wave velocity model down to a depth of ∼300 km beneath East Asia. Our model revealed heterogeneous lithospheric structures beneath East Asia, and allowed us to investigate the velocity structure of the entire lithosphere. We also derived crustal and lithospheric thickness models from the three-dimensional (3D) shear-wave model, revealing strong spatial heterogeneity and a general thinning trend of lithospheric thickness from west to east across the study region. Overall, our models reveal important lithospheric features beneath East Asia and provide a valuable baseline dataset for understanding continental-scale dynamics and evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalEarthquake Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • East Asia
  • Rayleigh wave tomography
  • lithospheric thickness
  • shear-wave velocity model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Geology


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