1997 Volume 45 Issue 6 Pages 383-396
Polarization anomalies of surface waves suggest the existence of lateral variations of isotropic and azimuthally anisotropic velocity structures in the upper mantle. We investigate the polarization anomalies of fundamental-mode Rayleigh and Love waves (37 earthquakes, 128 paths) at periods of 5-30 s as recorded by a local four-station network of broadband seismometers in Hokkaido, Japan. The network has been operated by the Research Center for Earthquake Prediction of Hokkaido University since December 1988. Rayleigh waves coming from many back-azimuthal ranges show three types of particle motion anomalies, which are usually called inclined, tilted, and sloping motions. The Rayleigh anomalies observed in the data for the Vanuatu region are mainly caused by the azimuthally anisotropic structure beneath the northwestern Pacific, because the effects of the lateral eterogeneities on the inclined motions are considered to be negligible. The Love waves coming from the earthquakes located near Oregon and California, USA, show anomalous waves in the vertical and radial components. It was expected that the waves were higher-mode Rayleigh waves. We calculate synthetic waveforms with normal modes for an oceanic spherically symmetric Earth model for the August 17, 1991, earthquake off the coast of northern California, which shows significant anomalous Love waves. A comparison of the synthetic and observed waveforms suggests that the anomalous waves are not higher-mode Rayleigh waves and require the Love to Rayleigh conversion. The conversion locations concentrate in and around the Kuril trench region. The Love wave anomalies may be caused by lateral variation in the isotropic or anisotropic structures beneath the Kuril trench region.