loading page

High Frequency (6 Hz) PKPab precursors and their sensitivity to deep Earth heterogeneity
  • Christoph Sens-Schönfelder,
  • Klaus Dieter Bataille,
  • Marcelo Bianchi
Christoph Sens-Schönfelder
GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Klaus Dieter Bataille
Universidad de Concepcion
Author Profile
Marcelo Bianchi
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Author Profile


We present observations on a new precursory phase of seismic waves scattered in the deep Earth. This phase arrives prior to the PKPab wave at epicentral distances larger than 155º, and we call it PKPab precursor. We show that the presence of the PKPab precursor is a necessary consequence of scattering in D’‘, which is the commonly accepted cause of the PKPdf precursor at distances smaller than 145º. PKPdf waves that propagate through the inner core should arrive before the PKPab precursor but those, are strongly attenuated in the inner core at frequencies between 4 Hz and 8 Hz used here, making the PKPab precursor the earliest teleseismic signal at distances larger than 155º. Calculated PKPab precursor sensitivity kernel shows that this phase is mostly sensitive to scattering along the closest PKPbc path between source and receiver. It can thus help to constrain the lateral distribution of heterogeneity along D”.
28 Jan 2021Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 48 issue 2. 10.1029/2020GL089203