||Accurate interpretation of seismic travel times and amplitudes in both the exploration and global scales is complicated by the band-limited nature of seismic data. We present a stochastic method, Viterbi sparse spike detection (VSSD), to reduce a seismic waveform into a most probable constituent spike train. Model waveforms are constructed from a set of candidate spike trains convolved with a source wavelet estimate. For each model waveform, a profile hidden Markov model (HMM) is constructed to represent the waveform as a stochastic generative model with a linear topology corresponding to a sequence of samples. The Viterbi algorithm is employed to simultaneously find the optimal nonlinear alignment between a model waveform and the seismic data, and to assign a score to each candidate spike train. The most probable travel times and amplitudes are inferred from the alignments of the highest scoring models. Our analyses show that the method can resolve closely spaced arrivals below traditional resolution limits and that travel time estimates are robust in the presence of random noise and source wavelet errors. We applied the VSSD method to constrain the elastic properties of a ultralow- velocity zone (ULVZ) at the core-mantle boundary beneath the Coral Sea. We analyzed vertical component short period ScP waveforms for 16 earthquakes occurring in the Tonga-Fiji trench recorded at the Alice Springs Array (ASAR) in central Australia. These waveforms show strong pre and postcursory seismic arrivals consistent with ULVZ layering. We used the VSSD method to measure differential travel-times and amplitudes of the post-cursor arrival ScSP and the precursor arrival SPcP relative to ScP. We compare our measurements to a database of approximately 340,000 synthetic seismograms finding that these data are best fit by a ULVZ model with an S-wave velocity reduction of 24%, a P-wave velocity reduction of 23%, a thickness of 8.5 km, and a density increase of 6%. We simultaneously constrain both P- and S-wave velocity reductions as a 1:1 ratio inside this ULVZ. This 1:1 ratio is not consistent with a partial melt origin to ULVZs. Rather, we demonstrate that a compositional origin is more likely.