Download the full-sized PDF of Regional reflectivity analyses of the upper mantle using SS precursors and receiver functionsDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Regional reflectivity analyses of the upper mantle using SS precursors and receiver functions Open Access


Other title
mantle transition zone
Radon transform
singular spectrum analysis
receiver function
SS precursor
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Contenti, Sean M.
Supervisor and department
Sacchi, Mauricio D. (Physics)
Gu, Yu Jeffrey (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Jung, Jan (Physics)
Kavanaugh, Jeffrey (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Gu, Yu Jeffrey (Physics)
Currie, Claire (Physics)
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
SS precursor imaging and receiver function analysis allow for a detailed investigation of mantle structure of the Earth and subduction dynamics due to their sensitivities to the sharp velocity contrasts within the mantle. By investigating the lateral depth variability of mantle seismic interfaces, primarily the 410 and 660, this thesis explores the mantle structure beneath South and North America. In South America, we utilize over 5000 SS precursor waveforms to investigate the high-resolution reflectivity structure of the upper 1200 km of the mantle. In the vicinity of the subducting Nazca slab we observe a ~1500-km wide reflection gap on the 410, significant variability of the 660, and scattered lower mantle reflections. These observations support the existence of a slab-related compositional heterogeneity atop the 410, significant slab deformation with the transition zone, and combined Nazca slab stagnation and penetration at the base of the upper mantle. In North America, we compute over 1800 P-to-s receiver functions to investigate the local structure of the mantle beneath Alberta. We observe correlated depression of the 410 and 660 consistent with strong upper mantle heterogeneity. Thickened transition zone and increased P wave velocities in southernmost Alberta are potentially associated with a remnant of the Farallon-Kula plate near the base of the upper mantle.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Contenti, S., Y. J. Gu, A. Ökeler, and M. D. Sacchi (2012), Shear wave reflectivity imaging of the Nazca-South America subduction zone: Stagnant slab in the mantle transition zone?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L02310, doi:10.1029/2011GL050064.

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 7400805
Last modified: 2015:10:12 19:31:39-06:00
Filename: Contenti_Sean_Fall_2012.pdf
Original checksum: b5c58ce416928a5430ae001458911aa5
Well formed: false
Valid: false
Status message: No document catalog dictionary offset=0
File title: Sean's Thesis, M. Sc. Thesis
File author: Sean M. Contenti
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date