Abstract Three-dimensional shear wave speed structure of the upper mantle beneath the Japanese Islands and the surrounding regions is constructed from the measurements of inter-station phase speeds of surface waves. We employ the dense broad-band seismic network (F-net), deployed throughout Japan, as well as permanent stations of global seismic network in East Asia. A temporary broad-band seismic network in Far-East Russia, which has been constructed as a part of the Stagnant Slab Project since 2004, is also used in combination with the permanent stations. Using seismic events from 2005 to 2007 with moment magnitude greater than 6.0 and depth shallower than 100 km, we measure the phase speeds of the fundamental-mode Rayleigh and Love waves, working with the conventional two-station technique. Phase speed maps of the Japanese Islands and the Sea of Japan are obtained from the inversions of inter-station phase speeds that are measured for a large number of station-pairs. We have collected over 5300 paths for Rayleigh waves and 3800 paths for Love waves. The phase speed maps of Rayleigh waves, in the period range from 25 to 140 s, are inverted to obtain an isotropic 3D shear wave speed model in the depth range from 40 to 200 km. The isotropic S wave model represents prominent fast wave speed anomalies in northeastern Japan, associated with the subducting Pacific Plate. Fast anomalies of the lithosphere beneath the Sea of Japan are also imaged, implying that the average thickness of lithosphere beneath the Yamato Rise and Japan Basin is about 60 \PlusMinus 10 km. Immediately below this oceanic lithosphere, slow anomalies are found in the asthenosphere beneath the entire region of the Sea of Japan in the depth down to about 200 km. In southwestern Japan, the low-angle subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate is mapped clearly, indicating that the northern end of the plate extends beyond the northern coast of the Chugoku region, reaching beneath the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan. A strong low velocity anomaly off the west coast of Kyushu is found in the depth down to about 130 km, which supports the existence of an upwelling flow beneath this area. We also invert the phase speed maps of Rayleigh and Love waves in the period range from 30 to 80 s simultaneously, to construct the radially anisotropic shear wave speed model. A remarkable anisotropy with SH > SV is found in the mantle wedge beneath northeastern Japan, while only weak anisotropy is seen beneath the Sea of Japan. Such anisotropic properties, which cannot readily be obtained from body wave studies only, will be an important key to understanding the dynamic processes in this tectonically actively region.
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