The fast orientation and magnitude of crustal azimuthal anisotropy beneath the southeastern Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas are measured by analyzing the sinusoidal moveout of the P to S converted phase from the Moho. Beneath the tectonically active plateau, the mean magnitude is 0.48 ±Â 0.13 s, which is about twice as large as that observed in the stable Sichuan Basin (0.23 ±Â 0.10 s). The two areas are separated by the Longmenshan fault zone, a zone of devastating earthquakes including the 12 May 2008 MW 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake. Fault orthogonal fast orientations observed in the southern Longmenshan fault zone, where previous studies have revealed high crustal Vp/Vs and suggested the presence of mid-lower crustal flow, may reflect flow-induced lattice preferred orientation of anisotropic minerals. Fault parallel anisotropy in the central segment of the fault zone is most likely related to fluid filled fractures, and fault perpendicular extensional cracks are probably responsible for the observed anisotropy in the northern segment. The crustal anisotropy measurements, when combined with results from previous studies, suggest the existence of mid-lower crustal flow beneath the southeastern margin of the plateau. Comparison of crustal anisotropy obtained before and after the Wenchuan earthquake suggests that the earthquake has limited influence on whole crustal anisotropy, although temporal changes of anisotropy associated with the earthquake have been reported using splitting of shear waves from local earthquakes occurred in the upper crust.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

crustal flow; Longmenshan fault; seismic anisotropy; Tibetan Plateau; Wenchuan earthquake

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2018 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2018