Seismic evidence for a fossil slab origin for the Isabella anomaly

Sara L. Dougherty, Chengxin Jiang, Robert W. Clayton, Brandon Schmandt, Steven Hansen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    A teleseismic receiver function image of a slab-like feature that extends from the Pacific coast to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada beneath central California, connects the expected location of the subducted remnant of the Monterey microplate to the high-velocity Isabella anomaly in the upper mantle. The observed structure indicates that this anomaly is a relic of the subduction zone that preceded capture of the Monterey microplate by the Pacific plate and is not due to the delamination of the lithosphere beneath the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as had been previously proposed. The fossil slab connection is also supported by surface wave tomographic images. The images are derived in part from a new linear broadband array across the western part of central California.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1188-1196
    Number of pages9
    JournalGeophysical Journal International
    Issue number2
    Early online date5 Oct 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


    • Body waves
    • Interface waves
    • Seismic tomography
    • Crustal structure
    • Subduction zone processes


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