On the nonuniqueness of receiver function inversions

C. J. Ammon, G. E. Randall, G. Zandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

588 Scopus citations


To study the resolving power of teleseismic P waveforms for receiver structure, we model synthetic waveforms using a time domain waveform inversion scheme beginning with a range of initial models to estimate the range of acceptable velocity structures. We present the results of more than 235 waveform inversions for one-dimensional velocity structures that indicate that the primary sensitivity of a receiver function is to high wavenumber velocity changes, and a depth-velocity product, not simply velocity. The range of slownesses in a typical receiver function study does not appear to be broad enough to remove the depth-velocity ambiguity; the inclusion of a priori information is necessary. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15,303-15,318
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue numberB10
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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