Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Research article
29 Jan 2020
Research article |  | 29 Jan 2020

The relative contributions of scattering and viscoelasticity to the attenuation of S waves in Earth's mantle

Susini deSilva and Vernon F. Cormier

Related subject area

Subject area: Core and mantle structure and dynamics | Editorial team: Seismics, seismology, paleoseismology, geoelectrics, and electromagnetics | Discipline: Geophysics
Second-order scalar wave field modeling with a first-order perfectly matched layer
Xiaoyu Zhang, Dong Zhang, Qiong Chen, and Yan Yang
Solid Earth, 9, 1277–1298,,, 2018
Short summary

Cited articles

Birch, F.: Elasticity and constitution of the Earth's interior, J. Geophys. Res., 57, 227–286, 1952. 
Choy, G. and Cormier, V. F.: Direct measurement of the mantle attenuation operator from broadband P and S waves, J. Geophys. Res., 91, 7326–7342, 1986. 
Cormier, V., Li, X., and Choy, G.: Seismic attenuation of the inner core: Viscoelastic or stratigraphic?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 4019–4022, 1998. 
Cormier, V. F.: D′′ as a transition in the heterogeneity spectrum of the lowermost mantle, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 105, 16193–16205, 2000. 
Cormier, V. F., Tian, Y., and Zheng, Y.: Heterogeneity spectrum of Earth's upper mantle obtained from the coherence of teleseismic P waves, Commun. Comput. Phys.,, online first, 2019. 
Short summary
Seismic waves attenuate with distance due to two effects: (1) removal of energy by internal friction and (2) redistribution of energy into different distances and time windows by scattering from heterogeneous Earth structure. The relative contribution of these two effects is estimated by synthesizing seismograms having varying amounts of internal friction and heterogeneities. The attenuation of observed S waveforms requires contributions from both internal friction and scattering.