US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 85, NO. B5, PAGES 2471-2483, MAY 10, 1980


Teleseismic P wave arrivals were recorded by a dense array of seismographs tations located in the Coso geothermal area, California. The resulting pattern of relative residuals reveals an area showing approximately 0.2-s excess travel time that migrates with changing source azimuth, suggesting that the area is the 'delay shadow' produced by a deep, low-velocity body. Inversion of the relative residual data for three-dimensional velocity structure determines the lateral variations in velocity to a depth of 22.5 km beneath the array. An intense low-velocity body, which coincides with the surface expressions of late Pleistocene rhyolitic volcanism, high heat flow, and hydrothermal activity, is resolved between 5 - and 20- km depth. It has maximum velocity contrast of over 8% between 10 and 17.5 km. The shallowest part of this body is centered below the region of highest heat flow; at depth it is elongate in approximately the N-S direction. The hypothesis that this low-velocity body is caused by the presence of partial melt in the middle crust is consistent with the local seismic, geologic, and thermal data.