Maria Tsekhmistrenko1, Karin Sigloch*1, Kasra Hosseini1, Guilhem Barruol2
1University of Oxford, 2Institut de Physique du Globe Paris & CNRS
The RHUM-RUM experiment (Reunion Hotspot Upper Mantle – Reunions Unterer Mantel) investigates the presence or absence of a whole mantle plume beneath the volcanic hotspot island of La Reunion. From 2011 to 2016, RHUM-RUM instrumented a 2000 km x 2000 km area of western Indian Ocean seafloor, islands and Madagascar with broadband seismometers and hydrophones. The central component was a 13-month deployment of 57 German and French Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) in 2300-5600 m depth. This was supplemented by 2-3 years deployments of 37 island stations on Reunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues, the southern Seychelles, the Iles Eparses and southern Madagascar. Two partner projects contributed another 30+ stations on Madagascar.
We present results of multifrequency P- and S-waveform tomography of the entire mantle column beneath the Reunion hotspot. We use all frequency passbands that efficiently transmit body waves and rise above the considerable noise floor of OBS measurements.
More than 200 teleseismic events during the 13-month long OBS deployment yielded usable measurements, and another 400 events before and after. We present our methods, discuss data yield and quality of ocean-bottom versus island/land seismometers and hydrophones. ~150,000 combined cross-correlations measurements were used in multifrequency P-wave tomography, in passbands between 30 s and 2.7 s dominant period. Cross-correlation coefficients at permanent and temporal land stations are generally higher than on OBS, which are more affected by both microseismic and self-noise. Hydrophones worked more reliably, but strong reverberations from the water column mean that they are still less usable than seismograms.
All measurements of the RHUM-RUM array are embedded in a global P-wave inversion. Mantle structures obtained from this new, high resolution tomographic model of the La Reunion area are compared to existing tomographies. We also compare to local and global convection models in order to understand the relation between mantle flow and the development of mantle plumes through time.