Radial anisotropy in seismic reference models of the mantle
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Description: Sambridge's Neighborhood Algorithm was applied to normal mode and surface wave phase velocity data to determine the likelihood of radial anisotropy in mantle reference models. This full model space search technique provides probability density functions for each model parameter and therefore reliable estimates of resolution and uncertainty, without having to introduce unnecessary regularization on the model space. Our results for shear wave anisotropy (described by parameter ξ) show a fast decrease with depth with no significant deviation from Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM) at any depth. The data do not require strong deviations from PREM for P wave anisotropy either, except between 220 and 400 km depth and in the D″ layer. The intermediate parameter η might depart from PREM between 220 and 670 km depth. This implies a likely deeper P wave anisotropy and η anisotropy than S wave anisotropy. The sign change in the anisotropic parameters across the 670-km discontinuity found by other authors is not warranted by our data set, which is far more extensive than in previous studies. We found that density needs to be well resolved because we observe a high dependence of the results for P wave-related parameters on the presence or absence of density in the parameterization. S wave anisotropy and η are less affected by density. A well-resolved negative density anomaly was found in the uppermost mantle, and a density excess was observed in the transition zone and the lowermost mantle which might be a seismic signature of the recently identified postperovskite phase.