Sample records for earth mantle

  1. Viscosity jump in Earth's mid-mantle. (United States)

    Rudolph, Maxwell L; Lekić, Vedran; Lithgow-Bertelloni, Carolina


    The viscosity structure of Earth's deep mantle affects the thermal evolution of Earth, the ascent of mantle plumes, settling of subducted oceanic lithosphere, and the mixing of compositional heterogeneities in the mantle. Based on a reanalysis of the long-wavelength nonhydrostatic geoid, we infer viscous layering of the mantle using a method that allows us to avoid a priori assumptions about its variation with depth. We detect an increase in viscosity at 800- to 1200-kilometers depth, far greater than the depth of the mineral phase transformations that define the mantle transition zone. The viscosity increase is coincident in depth with regions where seismic tomography has imaged slab stagnation, plume deflection, and changes in large-scale structure and offers a simple explanation of these phenomena.

  2. Thermoconvective waves in the earth's mantle (United States)

    Birger, B. I.


    The thermoconvective instability of the Earth's mantle is analysed. The mantle is modelled as an infinite horizontal layer with a free upper surface, heated from below. The creep in the mantle is supposed to be transient when strains are small. This transient creep is described by Lomnitz's law modified by Jeffreys (1958a). It is shown that disturbances, in the form of thermoconvective waves with a period of 10 8 - 10 9y and wavelength of the order 10 3 km, can propagate through the mantle without attenuation. These waves induce oscillations of the Earth's surface. The pattern of flows differs greatly from that suggested by plate tectonics. An attempt is made to give a new explanation for the linear magnetic anomalies over oceanic ridges.

  3. Volcanism, Earth Degassing and Replenished Lithosphere Mantle (United States)

    Bailey, D. K.


    Volcanism that pierces plate interiors is characteristically rich in alkalis and volatiles, and its cause and persistence are essentially expressions of the Earth's outgassing. The general balance of mobile elements (such as H, C, F and Cl) rules out recycling of sea floor, hydrosphere, sediments or atmosphere: furthermore, it is not in accord with accepted planet degassing budgets. The typical eruptive mode of volatile-rich magmatism means that the observed regional chemical variations, and even differences between adjacent volcanoes, must largely reflect source heterogeneity. In a broader context, this magmatism is also at odds with a concept of continental crust underlain by strongly depleted (refractory) mantle. Repetition of activity along crustal zones of weakness shows that the lithosphere mantle (a) is structurally complex and (b) still holds continuing (or continual) rich reserves of mobile elements. Unbroken lithosphere muffles the evolutionary escape of volatiles from the deep mantle: any lesion that appears then offers easy escape channels, whereby volatiles are drained from a large mantle region and funnelled through the plate. Horizontal movement of thick continental lithosphere releases volatiles from deep sources, imparting some of the special chemical characteristics of the stable continental magmatism. Present evidence requires consideration of the continental lithosphere as a site of primordial heterogeneity that has been accentuated rather than diminished by geological processes.

  4. Constitution and structure of earth's mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zunino, Andrea; Khan, Amir; Cupillard, Paul


    This chapter describes a quantitative approach that integrates data and results from mineral physics, petrological analyses, and geophysical inverse calculations to map geophysical data directly for mantle composition and thermal state. Seismic tomography has proved an important tool to image...... the inaccessible parts of the Earth. Computation of physical properties using thermodynamic models is described and discussed, and an application of the joint inverse methodology is illustrated in a case study where mantle composition and thermal state beneath continental Australia is determined directly from...... seismic data. There is a growing consensus that the cause of the imaged wavespeed anomalies not only relates to variations in temperature, but also bears a strong compositional component. However, separation of thermal and chemical effects from seismic wave speeds alone is difficult and is further...

  5. Hydrogen storage in Earth's mantle and core (United States)

    Prewitt, Charles T.


    Two different approaches to explaining how hydrogen might be stored in the mantle are illustrated by a number of papers published over the past 25-30 years, but there has been little attempt to provide objective comparisons of the two. One approach invokes the presence in the mantle of dense hydrous magnesium silicates (DHMS) stable at elevated pressures and temperatures. The other involves nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) that contain hydrogen as a minor constituent on the ppm level. Experimental studies on DHMS indicate these phases may be stable to pressures and temperatures as high at 16 GPa and 1200 C. This temperature is lower than that indicated by a mantle geotherm at 16 GPa, but may be reasonable for a subducting slab. It is possible that other DHMS could be stable to even higher pressures, but little is known about maximum temperature limits. For NAM, small amounts of hydrogen (up to several hundred ppm) have been detected in olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and garnet recovered from xenoliths in kimberlites, eclogites, and alkali basalts; it has been demonstrated that synthetic wadsleyite and perovskite can accommodate significant amounts of hydrogen. A number of problems are associated with each possibility. For NAM originating in the mantle, one would like to assume that the hydrogen measured in samples recovered on Earth's surface was incorporated when the phase-crystallized at high temperatures and pressures, but it could have been introduced during transport to the surface. Major problems for the DHMS proponents are that none of these phases have been found as minerals and little is yet known about their stabilities in systems containing other cations such as Fe, Al, and Ca.

  6. The Earth's heterogeneous mantle a geophysical, geodynamical, and geochemical perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Amir


    This book highlights and discusses recent developments that have contributed to an improved understanding of observed mantle heterogeneities and their relation to the thermo-chemical state of Earth's mantle, which ultimately holds the key to unlocking the secrets of the evolution of our planet. This series of topical reviews and original contributions address 4 themes. Theme 1 covers topics in geophysics, including global and regional seismic tomography, electrical conductivity and seismic imaging of mantle discontinuities and heterogeneities in the upper mantle, transition zone and lower mantle. Theme 2 addresses geochemical views of the mantle including lithospheric evolution from analysis of mantle xenoliths, composition of the deep Earth and the effect of water on subduction-zone processes. Theme 3 discusses geodynamical perspectives on the global thermo-chemical structure of the deep mantle. Theme 4 covers application of mineral physics data and phase equilibrium computations to infer the regional-scale ...

  7. The composition of mantle plumes and the deep Earth (United States)

    Hastie, Alan R.; Fitton, J. Godfrey; Kerr, Andrew C.; McDonald, Iain; Schwindrofska, Antje; Hoernle, Kaj


    Determining the composition and geochemical diversity of Earth's deep mantle and subsequent ascending mantle plumes is vital so that we can better understand how the Earth's primitive mantle reservoirs initially formed and how they have evolved over the last 4.6 billion years. Further data on the composition of mantle plumes, which generate voluminous eruptions on the planet's surface, are also essential to fully understand the evolution of the Earth's hydrosphere and atmosphere with links to surface environmental changes that may have led to mass extinction events. Here we present new major and trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotope data on basalts from Curacao, part of the Caribbean large igneous province. From these and literature data, we calculate combined major and trace element compositions for the mantle plumes that generated the Caribbean and Ontong Java large igneous provinces and use mass balance to determine the composition of the Earth's lower mantle. Incompatible element and isotope results indicate that mantle plumes have broadly distinctive depleted and enriched compositions that, in addition to the numerous mantle reservoirs already proposed in the literature, represent large planetary-scale geochemical heterogeneity in the Earth's deep mantle that are similar to non-chondritic Bulk Silicate Earth compositions.

  8. Geophysical and geochemical constraints on geoneutrino fluxes from Earth's mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Šrámek, Ondřej; Kite, Edwin S; Lekić, Vedran; Dye, Steve; Zhong, Shijie


    Knowledge of the amount and distribution of radiogenic heating in the mantle is crucial for understanding the dynamics of the Earth, including its thermal evolution, the style and planform of mantle convection, and the energetics of the core. Although the flux of heat from the surface of the planet is robustly estimated, the contributions of radiogenic heating and secular cooling remain poorly defined. Constraining the amount of heat-producing elements in the Earth will provide clues to understanding nebula condensation and planetary formation processes in early Solar System. Mantle radioactivity supplies power for mantle convection and plate tectonics, but estimates of mantle radiogenic heat production vary by a factor of up to 30. Recent experimental results demonstrate the potential for direct assessment of mantle radioactivity through observations of geoneutrinos, which are emitted by naturally occurring radionuclides. Predictions of the geoneutrino signal from the mantle exist for several established est...

  9. Sulfur in Earth's Mantle and Its Behavior During Core Formation (United States)

    Chabot, Nancy L.; Righter,Kevin


    The density of Earth's outer core requires that about 5-10% of the outer core be composed of elements lighter than Fe-Ni; proposed choices for the "light element" component of Earth's core include H, C, O, Si, S, and combinations of these elements [e.g. 1]. Though samples of Earth's core are not available, mantle samples contain elemental signatures left behind from the formation of Earth's core. The abundances of siderophile (metal-loving) elements in Earth's mantle have been used to gain insight into the early accretion and differentiation history of Earth, the process by which the core and mantle formed, and the composition of the core [e.g. 2-4]. Similarly, the abundance of potential light elements in Earth's mantle could also provide constraints on Earth's evolution and core composition. The S abundance in Earth's mantle is 250 ( 50) ppm [5]. It has been suggested that 250 ppm S is too high to be due to equilibrium core formation in a high pressure, high temperature magma ocean on early Earth and that the addition of S to the mantle from the subsequent accretion of a late veneer is consequently required [6]. However, this earlier work of Li and Agee [6] did not parameterize the metalsilicate partitioning behavior of S as a function of thermodynamic variables, limiting the different pressure and temperature conditions during core formation that could be explored. Here, the question of explaining the mantle abundance of S is revisited, through parameterizing existing metal-silicate partitioning data for S and applying the parameterization to core formation in Earth.

  10. Thermochemical structure of the Earth's mantle and continental crust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerri, Mattia

    A detailed knowledge of the Earth's thermal structure and chemical composition is fundamental in order to understand the processes driving the planet ormation and evolution. The inaccessibility of most of the Earth's interior makes the determination of its thermo-chemical conditions a challenging...... in determining crustal seismic discontinuities. In the second chapter, I deal about the possibility to disentangle the dynamic and isostatic contribution in shaping the Earth's surface topography. Dynamic topography is directly linked to mantle convection driven by mantle thermo-chemical anomalies, and can...... argue therefore that our understandings of the lithosphere density structure, needed to determine the isostatic topography, and of the mantle density and viscosity, required to compute the dynamic topography, are still too limited to allow a robust determination of mantle convection effects on the Earth...

  11. Global-scale water circulation in the Earth's mantle: Implications for the mantle water budget in the early Earth (United States)

    Nakagawa, Takashi; Spiegelman, Marc W.


    We investigate the influence of the mantle water content in the early Earth on that in the present mantle using numerical convection simulations that include three processes for redistribution of water: dehydration, partitioning of water into partially molten mantle, and regassing assuming an infinite water reservoir at the surface. These models suggest that the water content of the present mantle is insensitive to that of the early Earth. The initial water stored during planetary formation is regulated up to 1.2 OMs (OM = Ocean Mass; 1.4 ×1021 kg), which is reasonable for early Earth. However, the mantle water content is sensitive to the rheological dependence on the water content and can range from 1.2 to 3 OMs at the present day. To explain the evolution of mantle water content, we computed water fluxes due to subducting plates (regassing), degassing and dehydration. For weakly water dependent viscosity, the net water flux is almost balanced with those three fluxes but, for strongly water dependent viscosity, the regassing dominates the water cycle system because the surface plate activity is more vigorous. The increased convection is due to enhanced lubrication of the plates caused by a weak hydrous crust for strongly water dependent viscosity. The degassing history is insensitive to the initial water content of the early Earth as well as rheological strength. The degassing flux from Earth's surface is calculated to be approximately O (1013) kg /yr, consistent with a coupled model of climate evolution and mantle thermal evolution.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miyagoshi, Takehiro [Institute for Research on Earth Evolution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0001 (Japan); Tachinami, Chihiro [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan); Kameyama, Masanori [Geodynamics Research Center, Ehime University, 2-5 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8577 (Japan); Ogawa, Masaki, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [Department of Earth Sciences and Astronomy, University of Tokyo at Komaba, 3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8902 (Japan)


    Numerical models are presented to clarify how adiabatic compression affects thermal convection in the mantle of super-Earths ten times the Earth's mass. The viscosity strongly depends on temperature, and the Rayleigh number is much higher than that of the Earth's mantle. The strong effect of adiabatic compression reduces the activity of mantle convection; hot plumes ascending from the bottom of the mantle lose their thermal buoyancy in the middle of the mantle owing to adiabatic decompression, and do not reach the surface. A thick lithosphere, as thick as 0.1 times the depth of the mantle, develops along the surface boundary, and the efficiency of convective heat transport measured by the Nusselt number is reduced by a factor of about four compared with the Nusselt number for thermal convection of incompressible fluid. The strong effect of adiabatic decompression is likely to inhibit hot spot volcanism on the surface and is also likely to affect the thermal history of the mantle, and hence, the generation of magnetic field in super-Earths.

  13. Iron-carbonate interaction at Earth's core-mantle boundary (United States)

    Dorfman, S. M.; Badro, J.; Nabiei, F.; Prakapenka, V.; Gillet, P.


    Carbon storage and flux in the deep Earth are moderated by oxygen fugacity and interactions with iron-bearing phases. The amount of carbon stored in Earth's mantle versus the core depends on carbon-iron chemistry at the core-mantle boundary. Oxidized carbonates subducted from Earth's surface to the lowermost mantle may encounter reduced Fe0 metal from disproportionation of Fe2+ in lower mantle silicates or mixing with the core. To understand the fate of carbonates in the lowermost mantle, we have performed experiments on sandwiches of single-crystal (Ca0.6Mg0.4)CO3 dolomite and Fe foil in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell at lower mantle conditions of 49-110 GPa and 1800-2500 K. Syntheses were conducted with in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction to identify phase assemblages. After quench to ambient conditions, samples were sectioned with a focused Ga+ ion beam for composition analysis with transmission electron microscopy. At the centers of the heated spots, iron melted and reacted completely with the carbonate to form magnesiowüstite, iron carbide, diamond, magnesium-rich carbonate and calcium carbonate. In samples heated at 49 and 64 GPa, the two carbonates exhibit a eutectoid texture. In the sample heated at 110 GPa, the carbonates form rounded ~150-nm-diameter grains with a higher modal proportion of interspersed diamonds. The presence of reduced iron in the deep lower mantle and core-mantle boundary region will promote the formation of diamonds in carbonate-bearing subducted slabs. The complete reaction of metallic iron to oxides and carbides in the presence of mantle carbonate supports the formation of these phases at the Earth's core-mantle boundary and in ultra-low velocity zones.

  14. Subduction and volatile recycling in Earth's mantle (United States)

    King, S. D.; Ita, J. J.; Staudigel, H.


    The subduction of water and other volatiles into the mantle from oceanic sediments and altered oceanic crust is the major source of volatile recycling in the mantle. Until now, the geotherms that have been used to estimate the amount of volatiles that are recycled at subduction zones have been produced using the hypothesis that the slab is rigid and undergoes no internal deformation. On the other hand, most fluid dynamical mantle flow calculations assume that the slab has no greater strength than the surrounding mantle. Both of these views are inconsistent with laboratory work on the deformation of mantle minerals at high pressures. We consider the effects of the strength of the slab using two-dimensional calculations of a slab-like thermal downwelling with an endothermic phase change. Because the rheology and composition of subducting slabs are uncertain, we consider a range of Clapeyron slopes which bound current laboratory estimates of the spinel to perovskite plus magnesiowustite phase transition and simple temperature-dependent rheologies based on an Arrhenius law diffusion mechanism. In uniform viscosity convection models, subducted material piles up above the phase change until the pile becomes gravitationally unstable and sinks into the lower mantle (the avalanche). Strong slabs moderate the 'catastrophic' effects of the instabilities seen in many constant-viscosity convection calculations; however, even in the strongest slabs we consider, there is some retardation of the slab descent due to the presence of the phase change.

  15. Strong, Multi-Scale Heterogeneity in Earth's Lowermost Mantle. (United States)

    Tkalčić, Hrvoje; Young, Mallory; Muir, Jack B; Davies, D Rhodri; Mattesini, Maurizio


    The core mantle boundary (CMB) separates Earth's liquid iron outer core from the solid but slowly convecting mantle. The detailed structure and dynamics of the mantle within ~300 km of this interface remain enigmatic: it is a complex region, which exhibits thermal, compositional and phase-related heterogeneity, isolated pockets of partial melt and strong variations in seismic velocity and anisotropy. Nonetheless, characterising the structure of this region is crucial to a better understanding of the mantle's thermo-chemical evolution and the nature of core-mantle interactions. In this study, we examine the heterogeneity spectrum from a recent P-wave tomographic model, which is based upon trans-dimensional and hierarchical Bayesian imaging. Our tomographic technique avoids explicit model parameterization, smoothing and damping. Spectral analyses reveal a multi-scale wavelength content and a power of heterogeneity that is three times larger than previous estimates. Inter alia, the resulting heterogeneity spectrum gives a more complete picture of the lowermost mantle and provides a bridge between the long-wavelength features obtained in global S-wave models and the short-scale dimensions of seismic scatterers. The evidence that we present for strong, multi-scale lowermost mantle heterogeneity has important implications for the nature of lower mantle dynamics and prescribes complex boundary conditions for Earth's geodynamo.

  16. Predicting lower mantle heterogeneity from 4-D Earth models (United States)

    Flament, Nicolas; Williams, Simon; Müller, Dietmar; Gurnis, Michael; Bower, Dan J.


    The Earth's lower mantle is characterized by two large-low-shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs), approximately ˜15000 km in diameter and 500-1000 km high, located under Africa and the Pacific Ocean. The spatial stability and chemical nature of these LLSVPs are debated. Here, we compare the lower mantle structure predicted by forward global mantle flow models constrained by tectonic reconstructions (Bower et al., 2015) to an analysis of five global tomography models. In the dynamic models, spanning 230 million years, slabs subducting deep into the mantle deform an initially uniform basal layer containing 2% of the volume of the mantle. Basal density, convective vigour (Rayleigh number Ra), mantle viscosity, absolute plate motions, and relative plate motions are varied in a series of model cases. We use cluster analysis to classify a set of equally-spaced points (average separation ˜0.45°) on the Earth's surface into two groups of points with similar variations in present-day temperature between 1000-2800 km depth, for each model case. Below ˜2400 km depth, this procedure reveals a high-temperature cluster in which mantle temperature is significantly larger than ambient and a low-temperature cluster in which mantle temperature is lower than ambient. The spatial extent of the high-temperature cluster is in first-order agreement with the outlines of the African and Pacific LLSVPs revealed by a similar cluster analysis of five tomography models (Lekic et al., 2012). Model success is quantified by computing the accuracy and sensitivity of the predicted temperature clusters in predicting the low-velocity cluster obtained from tomography (Lekic et al., 2012). In these cases, the accuracy varies between 0.61-0.80, where a value of 0.5 represents the random case, and the sensitivity ranges between 0.18-0.83. The largest accuracies and sensitivities are obtained for models with Ra ≈ 5 x 107, no asthenosphere (or an asthenosphere restricted to the oceanic domain), and a

  17. Chondritic Xenon in the Earth's mantle: new constrains on a mantle plume below central Europe (United States)

    Caracausi, Antonio; Avice, Guillaume; Bernard, Peter; Furi, Evelin; Marty, Bernard


    Due to their inertness, their low abundances, and the presence of several different radiochronometers in their isotope systematics, the noble gases are excellent tracers of mantle dynamics, heterogeneity and differentiation with respect to the atmosphere. Xenon deserves particular attention because its isotope systematic can be related to specific processes during terrestrial accretion (e.g., Marty, 1989; Mukhopadhyay, 2012). The origin of heavy noble gases in the Earth's mantle is still debated, and might not be solar (Holland et al., 2009). Mantle-derived CO2-rich gases are particularly powerful resources for investigating mantle-derived noble gases as large quantities of these elements are available and permit high precision isotope analysis. Here, we report high precision xenon isotopic measurements in gases from a CO2 well in the Eifel volcanic region (Germany), where volcanic activity occurred between 700 ka and 11 ka years ago. Our Xe isotope data (normalized to 130Xe) show deviations at all masses compared to the Xe isotope composition of the modern atmosphere. The improved analytical precision of the present study, and the nature of the sample, constrains the primordial Xe end-member as being "chondritic", and not solar, in the Eifel mantle source. This is consistent with an asteroidal origin for the volatile elements in Earth's mantle and it implies that volatiles in the atmosphere and in the mantle originated from distinct cosmochemical sources. Despite a significant fraction of recycled atmospheric xenon in the mantle, primordial Xe signatures still survive in the mantle. This is also a demonstration of a primordial component in a plume reservoir. Our data also show that the reservoir below the Eifel region contains heavy-radiogenic/fissiogenic xenon isotopes, whose ratios are typical of plume-derived reservoirs. The fissiogenic Pu-Xe contribution is 2.26±0.28 %, the UXe contribution is negligible, the remainder being atmospheric plus primordial. Our

  18. The origin of volatiles in the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Hier-Majumder, Saswata; Hirschmann, Marc M.


    The Earth's deep interior contains significant reservoirs of volatiles such as H, C, and N. Due to the incompatible nature of these volatile species, it has been difficult to reconcile their storage in the residual mantle immediately following crystallization of the terrestrial magma ocean (MO). As the magma ocean freezes, it is commonly assumed that very small amounts of melt are retained in the residual mantle, limiting the trapped volatile concentration in the primordial mantle. In this article, we show that inefficient melt drainage out of the freezing front can retain large amounts of volatiles hosted in the trapped melt in the residual mantle while creating a thick early atmosphere. Using a two-phase flow model, we demonstrate that compaction within the moving freezing front is inefficient over time scales characteristic of magma ocean solidification. We employ a scaling relation between the trapped melt fraction, the rate of compaction, and the rate of freezing in our magma ocean evolution model. For cosmochemically plausible fractions of volatiles delivered during the later stages of accretion, our calculations suggest that up to 77% of total H2O and 12% of CO2 could have been trapped in the mantle during magma ocean crystallization. The assumption of a constant trapped melt fraction underestimates the mass of volatiles in the residual mantle by more than an order of magnitude.Plain Language SummaryThe Earth's deep interior contains substantial amounts of volatile elements like C, H, and N. How these elements got sequestered in the Earth's interior has long been a topic of debate. It is generally assumed that most of these elements escaped the interior of the Earth during the first few hundred thousand years to create a primitive atmosphere, leaving the mantle reservoir nearly empty. In this work, we show that the key to this paradox involves the very early stages of crystallization of the mantle from a global magma ocean. Using numerical models, we show

  19. Magnesium stable isotope composition of Earth's upper mantle (United States)

    Handler, Monica R.; Baker, Joel A.; Schiller, Martin; Bennett, Vickie C.; Yaxley, Gregory M.


    The mantle is Earth's largest reservoir of Mg containing > 99% of Earth's Mg inventory. However, no consensus exists on the stable Mg isotope composition of the Earth's mantle or how variable it is and, in particular, whether the mantle has the same stable Mg isotope composition as chondrite meteorites. We have determined the Mg isotope composition of olivine from 22 mantle peridotites from eastern Australia, west Antarctica, Jordan, Yemen and southwest Greenland by pseudo-high-resolution MC-ICP-MS on Mg purified to > 99%. The samples include fertile lherzolites, depleted harzburgites and dunites, cryptically metasomatised ('dry') peridotites and modally metasomatised apatite ± amphibole-bearing harzburgites and wehrlites. Olivine from these samples of early Archaean through to Permian lithospheric mantle have δ25Mg DSM-3 = - 0.22 to - 0.08‰. These data indicate the bulk upper mantle as represented by peridotite olivine is homogeneous within current analytical uncertainties (external reproducibility ≤ ± 0.07‰ [2 sd]). We find no systematic δ25Mg variations with location, lithospheric age, peridotite fertility, or degree or nature of mantle metasomatism. Although pyroxene may have slightly heavier δ25Mg than coexisting olivine, any fractionation between mantle pyroxene and olivine is also within current analytical uncertainties with a mean Δ25Mg pyr-ol = +0.06 ± 0.10‰ (2 sd; n = 5). Our average mantle olivine δ25Mg DSM-3 = - 0.14 ± 0.07‰ and δ26Mg DSM-3 = - 0.27 ± 0.14‰ (2 sd) are indistinguishable from the average of data previously reported for terrestrial basalts, confirming that basalts have stable Mg isotope compositions representative of the mantle. Olivine from five pallasite meteorites have δ25Mg DSM-3 = - 0.16 to - 0.11‰ that are identical to terrestrial olivine and indistinguishable from the average δ25Mg previously reported for chondrites. These data provide no evidence for measurable heterogeneity in the stable Mg isotope

  20. Properties of the Plasma Mantle in the Earth's Magnetotail (United States)

    Shodhan-Shah, Sheela


    The plasma mantle is the site where the solar wind enters the Earth's magnetosphere. As yet, the mantle in the magnetotail (downstream part of the magnetosphere) has remained an enigma, for this region is remote and inaccessible. However, new results from the GEOTAIL spacecraft have yielded data on the mantle, making its study possible. The research reported in this dissertation uses the measurements made by the GEOTAIL spacecraft when it was beyond 100 Re (1 Re = Earth radius) in the magnetotail to determine the global geometrical and dynamical properties of the mantle. The model and the data together provide a cross-sectional picture of the mantle, as well as its extent into the tail and along the circumference of the tail. The model assesses the mass and momentum flux flowing through the mantle and merging with the plasma sheet (a relatively dense region that separates the oppositely directed fields of the tail lobes). In this way, the thesis examines the importance of the mantle as a source that replenishes and moves the plasma sheet. Moreover, it addresses the relative importance of the global dynamical modes of the tail. The analysis finds that the tail's 'breathing' mode, of shape change, occurs on a timescale of tens of minutes while a windsock-type motion, responding to changes in the solar wind direction, occurs on a scale of hours. The mantle extends about 140o around the circumference of the tail rather than 90o as previously thought and is about 20 ± 9 Re thick. It is capable of feeding the plasma sheet with sufficient particles to make up for those lost and can drag it away with a force that compares with the Earthward force on it. The rate at which the energy flows through the tail at 100 Re is about 10% of that in the solar wind and is a factor of 10 higher than the energy dissipated.

  1. Large gem diamonds from metallic liquid in Earth's deep mantle. (United States)

    Smith, Evan M; Shirey, Steven B; Nestola, Fabrizio; Bullock, Emma S; Wang, Jianhua; Richardson, Stephen H; Wang, Wuyi


    The redox state of Earth's convecting mantle, masked by the lithospheric plates and basaltic magmatism of plate tectonics, is a key unknown in the evolutionary history of our planet. Here we report that large, exceptional gem diamonds like the Cullinan, Constellation, and Koh-i-Noor carry direct evidence of crystallization from a redox-sensitive metallic liquid phase in the deep mantle. These sublithospheric diamonds contain inclusions of solidified iron-nickel-carbon-sulfur melt, accompanied by a thin fluid layer of methane ± hydrogen, and sometimes majoritic garnet or former calcium silicate perovskite. The metal-dominated mineral assemblages and reduced volatiles in large gem diamonds indicate formation under metal-saturated conditions. We verify previous predictions that Earth has highly reducing deep mantle regions capable of precipitating a metallic iron phase that contains dissolved carbon and hydrogen.

  2. Subduction History and the Evolution of Earth's Lower Mantle (United States)

    Bull, Abigail; Shephard, Grace; Torsvik, Trond


    Understanding the complex structure, dynamics and evolution of the deep mantle is a fundamental goal in solid Earth geophysics. Close to the core-mantle boundary, seismic images reveal a mantle characterised by (1) higher than average shear wave speeds beneath Asia and encircling the Pacific, consistent with sub ducting lithosphere beneath regions of ancient subduction, and (2) large regions of anomalously low seismic wavespeeds beneath Africa and the Central Pacific. The anomalously slow areas are often referred to as Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) due to the reduced velocity of seismic waves passing through them. The origin, composition and long-term evolution of the LLSVPs remain enigmatic. Geochemical inferences of multiple chemical reservoirs at depth, strong seismic contrasts, increased density, and an anticorrelation of shear wave velocity to bulk sound velocity in the anomalous regions imply that heterogeneities in both temperature and composition may be required to explain the seismic observations. Consequently, heterogeneous mantle models place the anomalies into the context of thermochemical piles, characterised by an anomalous component whose intrinsic density is a few percent higher relative to that of the surrounding mantle. Several hypotheses have arisen to explain the LLSVPs in the context of large-scale mantle convection. One end member scenario suggests that the LLSVPs are relatively mobile features over short timescales and thus are strongly affected by supercontinent cycles and Earth's plate motion history. In this scenario, the African LLSVP formed as a result of return flow in the mantle due to circum-Pangean subduction (~240 Ma), contrasting a much older Pacific LLSVP, which may be linked to the Rodinia supercontinent and is implied to have remained largely unchanged since Rodinian breakup (~750-700 Ma). This propounds that Earth's plate motion history plays a controlling role in LLSVP development, suggesting that the location

  3. Evolution of the Oxidation State of the Earth's Mantle (United States)

    Danielson, L. R.; Righter, K.; Keller, L.; Christoffersen, E.; Rahman, Z.


    The oxidation state of the Earth's mantle during formation remains an unresolved question, whether it was constant throughout planetary accretion, transitioned from reduced to oxidized, or from oxidized to reduced. We investigate the stability of Fe3(+) at depth, in order to constrain processes (water, late accretion, dissociation of FeO) which may reduce or oxidize the Earth's mantle. In our previous experiments on shergottite compositions, variable fO2, T, and P less than 4 GPa, Fe3(+)/sigma Fe decreased slightly with increasing P, similar to terrestrial basalt. For oxidizing experiments less than 7GPa, Fe3(+)/sigma Fe decreased as well, but it's unclear from previous modelling whether the deeper mantle could retain significant Fe3(+). Our current experiments expand our pressure range deeper into the Earth's mantle and focus on compositions and conditions relevant to the early Earth. Preliminary multi-anvil experiments with Knippa basalt as the starting composition were conducted at 5-7 GPa and 1800 C, using a molybdenum capsule to set the fO2 near IW, by buffering with Mo-MoO3. TEM and EELS analyses revealed the run products quenched to polycrystalline phases, with the major phase pyroxene containing approximately equal to Fe3(+)/2(+). Experiments are underway to produce glassy samples that can be measured by EELS and XANES, and are conducted at higher pressures.

  4. Iron carbonates in the Earth's lower mantle: reality or imagination? (United States)

    Cerantola, V.; McCammon, C. A.; Merlini, M.; Bykova, E.; Kupenko, I.; Ismailova, L.; Chumakov, A. I.; Kantor, I.; Dubrovinsky, L. S.; Prescher, C.


    Carbonates play a fundamental role in the recycling of carbon inside our planet due to their presence in oceanic slabs that sink through the Earth's interior. Through this process, iron carbonates are potential stable carbon-bearing minerals in the deep mantle in part due to spin crossover of ferrous iron. Our goal is to identify which minerals may be the dominant carriers of carbon into the deep mantle at the relevant conditions of fO2, P and T. All experiments were performed using synthetic FeCO3 and MgFeCO3 single crystals in laser heated diamond anvil cells up to 100 GPa and 3000 K in order to simulate the conditions prevailing in the Earth's lower mantle. Transformation and decomposition products of the original carbonates were characterized at different synchrotron facilities by means of single-crystal XRD, synchrotron Mössbauer source spectroscopy and XANES techniques. At deep lower mantle conditions, we observed the transformation of FeCO3 to two new HP-carbonate structures, monoclinic Fe22+Fe23+C4O13 and trigonal Fe43+(CO4)3, both characterized by the presence of CO4 tetrahedra with different degrees of polymerization. At shallower depths in the lower mantle where temperatures are lower following the geotherm, Fe-carbonates decompose to different Fe-oxides instead of new HP-carbonates. However, at slab temperatures several hundred degrees lower than the surrounding mantle, carbonates could be stabilized until reaching conditions that trigger their transformation to HP-structures. We postulate that Fe-rich carbonates could exist in regions down to the core-mantle boundary in the proximity of subducting slabs, i.e., a "cold" environment with relatively high fO2.

  5. A New Carbonate Chemistry in the Earth's Lower Mantle (United States)

    Boulard, E.; Gloter, A.; Corgne, A.; Antonangeli, D.; Auzende, A.; Perrillat, J.; Guyot, F. J.; Fiquet, G.


    explanation for the coexistence of oxidized and reduced C species observed on natural samples [4, 5], but also a new diamond formation mechanism at lower mantle conditions. [1] Sleep, N. H., and K. Zahnle (2001) J. Geophys. Res.-Planets 106(E1), 1373-1399. [2] Javoy, M. (1997) Geophys. Res. Lett. 24(2), 177-180. [3] Lecuyer et al. (2000) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 181(1-2), 33-40. [4] Brenker et al. (2007) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 260(1-2), 1-9. [5] Stachel et al. (2000) Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 140(1), 16-27.

  6. Core cooling by subsolidus mantle convection. [thermal evolution model of earth (United States)

    Schubert, G.; Cassen, P.; Young, R. E.


    Although vigorous mantle convection early in the thermal history of the earth is shown to be capable of removing several times the latent heat content of the core, a thermal evolution model of the earth in which the core does not solidify can be constructed. The large amount of energy removed from the model earth's core by mantle convection is supplied by the internal energy of the core which is assumed to cool from an initial high temperature given by the silicate melting temperature at the core-mantle boundary. For the smaller terrestrial planets, the iron and silicate melting temperatures at the core-mantle boundaries are more comparable than for the earth; the models incorporate temperature-dependent mantle viscosity and radiogenic heat sources in the mantle. The earth models are constrained by the present surface heat flux and mantle viscosity and internal heat sources produce only about 55% of the earth model's present surface heat flow.

  7. Olivine crystals align during diffusion creep of Earth's upper mantle. (United States)

    Miyazaki, Tomonori; Sueyoshi, Kenta; Hiraga, Takehiko


    The crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) of olivine produced during dislocation creep is considered to be the primary cause of elastic anisotropy in Earth's upper mantle and is often used to determine the direction of mantle flow. A fundamental question remains, however, as to whether the alignment of olivine crystals is uniquely produced by dislocation creep. Here we report the development of CPO in iron-free olivine (that is, forsterite) during diffusion creep; the intensity and pattern of CPO depend on temperature and the presence of melt, which control the appearance of crystallographic planes on grain boundaries. Grain boundary sliding on these crystallography-controlled boundaries accommodated by diffusion contributes to grain rotation, resulting in a CPO. We show that strong radial anisotropy is anticipated at temperatures corresponding to depths where melting initiates to depths where strongly anisotropic and low seismic velocities are detected. Conversely, weak anisotropy is anticipated at temperatures corresponding to depths where almost isotropic mantle is found. We propose diffusion creep to be the primary means of mantle flow.

  8. Intermediate-spin ferrous iron in the Earth's lower mantle? (United States)

    Hsu, H.; Wentzcovitch, R. M.


    Intermediate-spin (IS) ferrous iron (Fe2+) has been a controversy in mineral physics. Its existence can change the detailed spin map of the Earth interior and may significantly affect mantle properties. IS Fe2+ is also a topic of interdisciplinary interest. Its existence in coordination complexes enables potential molecular devices to process more information; its connection with the superconductivity of iron chalcogenides has also been discussed. Here, we use the density functional theory + self-consistent Hubbard U (DFT+Usc) method to investigate IS Fe2+ in lower-mantle minerals. In ferropericlase, we found two different types of IS (t2g5eg1) states. Their distinct orbital occupancies lead to distinct Jahn-Teller (J-T) distortions, nuclear quadrupole splittings (QS), and on-site Coulomb interactions. Consequently, one IS state is much more favorable than the other, making it the most possible IS state in ferropericlase. In light of these new findings, we re-examine the previously reported IS Fe2+ in magnesium silicate (MgSiO3) perovskite [Hsu et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 294, 19 (2010)] and post-perovskite [Yu et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 331-332, 1 (2011)]. While these two minerals are much more complicated, the reported IS states are highly similar to the most favorable IS state in ferropericlase, suggesting that they are indeed the most possible IS states in these two minerals. However, these most possible IS Fe2+ are still not energetically favorable. Therefore, IS Fe2+ is highly unlikely in the Earth's lower mantle. *This project is supported by NSC Grant 102-2112-M-008-001-MY3 (H.H.) and NSF Awards EAR-1319361, -1019853, and -0810272 (R.M.W).

  9. Electronic Spin Crossover of Iron in Ferroperclase in Earth?s Lower Mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, J F; Vanko, G; Jacobsen, S D; Iota, V; Struzhkin, V V; Prakapenka, V B; Kuznetsov, A; Yoo, C S


    Pressure-induced electronic spin-pairing transitions of iron and associated effects on the physical properties have been reported to occur in the lower-mantle ferropericlase, silicate perosvkite, and perhaps in post silicate perovskite at high pressures and room temperature. These recent results are motivating geophysicists and geodynamicists to reevaluate the implications of spin transitions on the seismic heterogeneity, composition, as well as the stability of the thermal upwellings of the Earth's lower mantle. Here we have measured the spin states of iron in ferropericlase and its crystal structure up to 95 GPa and 2000 K using a newly constructed X-ray emission spectroscopy and diffraction with the laser-heated diamond cell. Our results show that an isosymmetric spin crossover occurs over a pressure-temperature range extending from the upper part to the lower part of the lower mantle, and low-spin ferropericlase likely exists in the lowermost mantle. Although continuous changes in physical and chemical properties are expected to occur across the spin crossover, the spin crossover results in peculiar behavior in the thermal compression and sound velocities. Therefore, knowledge of the fraction of the spin states in the lower-mantle phases is thus essential to correctly evaluate the composition, geophysics, and dynamics of the Earth's lower mantle.

  10. Imaging earth`s interior: Tomographic inversions for mantle P-wave velocity structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pulliam, R.J.


    A formalism is developed for the tomographic inversion of seismic travel time residuals. The travel time equations are solved both simultaneously, for velocity model terms and corrections to the source locations, and progressively, for each set of terms in succession. The methods differ primarily in their treatment of source mislocation terms. Additionally, the system of equations is solved directly, neglecting source terms. The efficacy of the algorithms is explored with synthetic data as we perform simulations of the general procedure used to produce tomographic images of Earth`s mantle from global earthquake data. The patterns of seismic heterogeneity in the mantle that would be returned reliably by a tomographic inversion are investigated. We construct synthetic data sets based on real ray sampling of the mantle by introducing spherical harmonic patterns of velocity heterogeneity and perform inversions of the synthetic data.

  11. Mantle convection and plate tectonics on Earth-like exoplanets (United States)

    Sotin, C.; Schubert, G.


    The likelihood of plate tectonics on exoplanets larger than Earth can be assessed using either scaling laws or numerical models describing mantle thermal convection. We investigate the parameters which control the ratio of convective driving forces to lithosphere resisting forces. Two papers, Valencia et al. (AstroPhys. J., 670, L45-L48, 2007) and O’Neill and Lenardic (Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L19204, 2007), came to opposite conclusions based on scaling laws and numerical calculations, respectively. The different assumptions and parameters used in each study are compared. The definition of thermal boundary layer and lithosphere and the use of their characteristics in the scaling laws are clarified. We show that Valencia et al. (2007) overestimate the ratio of driving forces to resistive forces because they infer too large values for both the thickness of the thermal boundary layer and the length of the plate and too small a value for the yield strength. We show that this ratio is so weakly dependent on the size of an Earth-like planet that other parameters such as presence of water, heating per unit mass, upper mantle thickness, etc., may actually determine the occurrence or not of plate tectonics. The numerical calculations of O’Neill and Lenardic (2007) show the importance of 2D simulations for determining the values of the velocity below the lithosphere, the convective stresses, and the plate dimensions. It demonstrates the need for 3D spherical numerical simulations. Their conclusion that super-Earths would not have plate tectonics depends on a number of assumptions including the constancy of heat-flux as a function of planetary size. We present a 3D spherical scaling including the increase of heat flux with the size of a planet showing that larger Earth-like planets would be marginally in the mobile lid convection regime reinforcing our caution that other factors may tip the balance. The present study points out the importance of the distance between

  12. High-pressure phase of brucite stable at Earth's mantle transition zone and lower mantle conditions (United States)

    Hermann, Andreas; Mookherjee, Mainak


    We investigate the high-pressure phase diagram of the hydrous mineral brucite, Mg(OH)2, using structure search algorithms and ab initio simulations. We predict a high-pressure phase stable at pressure and temperature conditions found in cold subducting slabs in Earth’s mantle transition zone and lower mantle. This prediction implies that brucite can play a much more important role in water transport and storage in Earth’s interior than hitherto thought. The predicted high-pressure phase, stable in calculations between 20 and 35 GPa and up to 800 K, features MgO6 octahedral units arranged in the anatase–TiO2 structure. Our findings suggest that brucite will transform from a layered to a compact 3D network structure before eventual decomposition into periclase and ice. We show that the high-pressure phase has unique spectroscopic fingerprints that should allow for straightforward detection in experiments. The phase also has distinct elastic properties that might make its direct detection in the deep Earth possible with geophysical methods.

  13. Archimedean Proof of the Physical Impossibility of Earth Mantle Convection

    CERN Document Server

    Herndon, J Marvin


    Eight decades ago, Arthur Holmes introducted the idea of mantle convection as a mechanism for continental drift. Five decades ago, continental drift was modified to become plate tectonics theory, which included mantle convection as an absolutely critical component. Using the submarine design and operation concept of "neutral buoyancy", which follows from Archimedes' discoveries, the concept of mantle convection is proven to be incorrect, concomitantly refuting plate tectonics, refuting all mantle convection models, and refuting all models that depend upon mantle convection.

  14. Mantle Dynamics in Super-Earths: Post-Perovskite Rheology and Self-Regulation of Viscosity

    CERN Document Server

    Tackley, Paul J; Brodholt, John P; Dobson, David P; Valencia, Diana


    Simple scalings suggest that super-Earths are more likely than an equivalent Earth-sized planet to be undergoing plate tectonics. Generally, viscosity and thermal conductivity increase with pressure while thermal expansivity decreases, resulting in lower convective vigor in the deep mantle. According to conventional thinking, this might result in no convection in a super-Earth's deep mantle. Here we evaluate this. First, we here extend the density functional theory (DFT) calculations of post-perovskite activation enthalpy of to a pressure of 1 TPa. The activation volume for diffusion creep becomes very low at very high pressure, but nevertheless for the largest super-Earths the viscosity along an adiabat may approach 1030 Pa s in the deep mantle. Second, we use these calculated values in numerical simulations of mantle convection and lithosphere dynamics of planets with up to ten Earth masses. The models assume a compressible mantle including depth-dependence of material properties and plastic yielding induce...

  15. Mixing properties of thermal convection in the earth's mantle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmalzl, J.T.


    The structure of mantle convection will greatly influence the generation and the survival of compositional heterogeneities. Conversely, geochemical observations can be used to obtain information about heterogeneities in the mantle and then, with certain model assumptions, information about the patte

  16. Melting and Mixing States of the Earth's Mantle after the Moon-Forming Impact

    CERN Document Server

    Nakajima, Miki


    The Earth's Moon is thought to have formed by an impact between the Earth and an impactor around 4.5 billion years ago. This impact could have been so energetic that it could have mixed and homogenized the Earth's mantle. However, this view appears to be inconsistent with geochemical studies that suggest that the Earth's mantle was not mixed by the impact. Another plausible outcome is that this energetic impact melted the whole mantle, but the extent of mantle melting is not well understood even though it must have had a significant effect on the subsequent evolution of the Earth's interior and atmosphere. To understand the initial state of the Earth's mantle, we perform giant impact simulations using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) for three different models: (a) standard: a Mars-sized impactor hits the proto-Earth, (b) fast-spinning Earth: a small impactor hits a rapidly rotating proto-Earth, and (c) sub-Earths: two half Earth-sized planets collide. We use two types of equations of state (MgSiO3 liqui...

  17. Archimedean Proof of the Physical Impossibility of Earth Mantle Convection


    Herndon, J. Marvin


    Eight decades ago, Arthur Holmes introducted the idea of mantle convection as a mechanism for continental drift. Five decades ago, continental drift was modified to become plate tectonics theory, which included mantle convection as an absolutely critical component. Using the submarine design and operation concept of "neutral buoyancy", which follows from Archimedes' discoveries, the concept of mantle convection is proven to be incorrect, concomitantly refuting plate tectonics, refuting all ma...

  18. Simultaneous inversion for the Earth's mantle viscosity and ice mass imbalance in Antarctica and Greenland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tosi, N.; Sabadini, R.; Marotta, A.M.; Vermeersen, L.L.A.


    Redistribution of mass in the Earth due to Pleistocene deglaciation and to present-day glacial melting induces secular changes in the Earth's gravitational field. The Earth is affected today by the former mechanism because of the viscous memory of the mantle and by the latter because of ongoing surf

  19. Isotopic evidence for internal oxidation of the Earth's mantle during accretion (United States)

    Williams, Helen M.; Wood, Bernard J.; Wade, Jon; Frost, Daniel J.; Tuff, James


    The Earth's mantle is currently oxidised and out of chemical equilibrium with the core. The reasons for this and for the relatively oxidised state of Earth's mantle relative to the mantles of other terrestrial planets are unclear. It has been proposed that the oxidised nature and high ferric iron (Fe3 +) content of Earth's mantle was produced internally by disproportionation of ferrous iron (Fe2 +) into Fe3 + and metallic iron by perovskite crystallisation during accretion. Here we show that there is substantial Fe isotope fractionation between experimentally equilibrated metal and Fe3 +-bearing perovskite (≥ 0.45‰/amu), which can account for the heavy Fe isotope compositions of terrestrial basalts relative to equivalent samples derived from Mars and Vesta as the latter bodies are too small to stabilise significant perovskite. Mass balance calculations indicate that all of the mantle's Fe3 + could readily have been generated from a single disproportionation event, consistent with dissolution of perovskite in the lower mantle during a process such as the Moon-forming giant impact. The similar Fe isotope compositions of primitive terrestrial and low-titanium lunar basalts is consistent with models of equilibration between the mantles of the Earth and Moon in the aftermath of the giant impact and suggests that the heavy Fe isotope composition of the Earth's mantle was established prior to, or during the giant impact. The oxidation state and ferric iron content of the Earth's mantle was therefore plausibly set by the end of accretion, and may be decoupled from later volatile additions and the rise of oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere at 2.45 Ga.

  20. Global-scale modelling of melting and isotopic evolution of Earth's mantle: Melting modules for TERRA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Heck, H.J.; Huw Davies, J.; Elliott, T.; Porcelli, D.


    Many outstanding problems in solid-Earth science relate to the geodynamical explanation of geochemical observations. Currently, extensive geochemical databases of surface observations exist, but satisfying explanations of underlying mantle processes are lacking. One way to address these problems is

  1. Mapping the mass distribution of Earth's mantle using satellite-derived gravity gradients (United States)

    Panet, Isabelle; Pajot-Métivier, Gwendoline; Greff-Lefftz, Marianne; Métivier, Laurent; Diament, Michel; Mandea, Mioara


    The dynamics of Earth's mantle are not well known. Deciphering mantle flow patterns requires an understanding of the global distribution of mantle density. Seismic tomography has been used to derive mantle density distributions, but converting seismic velocities into densities is not straightforward. Here we show that data from the GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) mission can be used to probe our planet's deep mass structure. We construct global anomaly maps of the Earth's gravitational gradients at satellite altitude and use a sensitivity analysis to show that these gravitational gradients image the geometry of mantle mass down to mid-mantle depths. Our maps highlight north-south-elongated gravity gradient anomalies over Asia and America that follow a belt of ancient subduction boundaries, as well as gravity gradient anomalies over the central Pacific Ocean and south of Africa that coincide with the locations of deep mantle plumes. We interpret these anomalies as sinking tectonic plates and convective instabilities between 1,000 and 2,500km depth, consistent with seismic tomography results. Along the former Tethyan Margin, our data also identify an east-west-oriented mass anomaly likely in the upper mantle. We suggest that by combining gravity gradients with seismic and geodynamic data, an integrated dynamic model for Earth can be achieved.

  2. Rare earth elements in CO2-fluid inclusions in mantle lherzolite

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiuhua Xu; Yuling Xie; Lijun Wang; Heping Zhu; Liquan Wang


    Trace elements including REE (Rare Earth Elements) in fluid inclusions in lherzolite, olivine, orthopyroxene, and clinopy-roxene have been determined by heating-decrepitation and ICP-MS (Element Type Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry)method. Normalized CO2 fluid/chondrite data show that mantle fluids are rich in REEs, especially LREEs (Light Rare Earth Ele-ments), several times or dozen times higher than mantle rocks and mantle mininerals. There are close relationships among the REEdata of olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene and lherzolite. Compared to the data of chemical dissolution method, it is believed thatREE data obtained from heating-decrepitation and ICP-MS technique are contributed by CO2 fluid inclusions. About 60% (massfraction) of tiny inclusions are observed not to be decrepitated above 1000℃, so REE data obtained are only contributed by decrepi-tated inclusions. Mantle fluids rich in LREE play an important role in mantle metasomatism, partial melting and mineralization.

  3. The source of the Earth's long wavelength geoid anomalies: Implications for mantle and core dynamics (United States)

    Hager, B. H.; Richards, M. A.; Oconnell, R. J.


    The long wavelength components of the Earth's gravity field result mainly from density contrasts associated with convection in the mantle. Direct interpretation of the geoid for mantle convection is complicated by the fact that convective flow results in dynamically maintained deformation of the surface of the Earth, the core mantle boundary (CMB), and any interior chemical boundaries which might exist. These boundary deformations effect the geoid opposite in sign and are comparable in magnitude to those of the interior density contrasts driving the flow. The total difference of two relatively large quantities.

  4. Deep mantle heat flow and thermal evolution of the Earth's core based on thermo-chemical mantle convection (United States)

    Nakagawa, T.; Tackley, P.; Buffett, B.


    A coupled core-mantle evolution model that combines the global heat balance in the core with a fully-dynamical thermo-chemical mantle convection [Nakagawa and Tackley, 2004 published in EPSL] is used to investigate the deep mantle heat flow that is required to sustain the magnetic field generated by the geodynamo process. Effects of a radioactive heat source due to potassium in the core are also included in the global heat balance in the Earth??s core. Two important parameters are checked in this study; (1) density variation between depleted hartzbergite and basaltic material (0 to 3 percent) and (2) concentration of radioactive potassium in the core alloy (0ppm to 400ppm). The parameter set that most closely satisfies the criteria of size of the inner core (1220km at present time) is around 2 percent of density difference in a convecting mantle and 200ppm of radioactive heat source in the core. The concentration of potassium in the core is consistent with the geochemical approach [Murthy et al., 2003] but smaller than other successful thermal evolution models [Labrosse, 2003; Nimmo et al., 2004]. Heat flow through the core-mantle boundary and the contribution of radioactive heat sources in the core are consistent with theoretical estimates [e.g. Buffett, 2002] and geochemical constraints [Gessmann and Wood, 2002]. The power available to the geodynamo, based on the predicted heat flow through the core-mantle boundary, is approximately four times greater than the value predicted by numerical models of the geodynamo [Christensen and Kutzner, 2004] but closer to theoretical estimates [e.g. Buffett, 2002].

  5. Continent-sized anomalous zones with low seismic velocity at the base of Earth's mantle (United States)

    Garnero, Edward J.; McNamara, Allen K.; Shim, Sang-Heon


    Seismic images of Earth's interior reveal two massive anomalous zones at the base of the mantle, above the core, where seismic waves travel slowly. The mantle materials that surround these anomalous regions are thought to be composed of cooler rocks associated with downward advection of former oceanic tectonic plates. However, the origin and composition of the anomalous provinces is uncertain. These zones have long been depicted as warmer-than-average mantle materials related to convective upwelling. Yet, they may also be chemically distinct from the surrounding mantle, and potentially partly composed of subducted or primordial material, and have therefore been termed thermochemical piles. From seismic, geochemical and mineral physics data, the emerging view is that these thermochemical piles appear denser than the surrounding mantle materials, are dynamically stable and long-lived, and are shaped by larger-scale mantle flow. Whether remnants of a primordial layer or later accumulations of more-dense materials, the composition of the piles is modified over time by stirring and by chemical reactions with material from the surrounding mantle, underlying core and potentially from volatile elements transported into the deep Earth by subducted plates. Upwelling mantle plumes may originate from the thermochemical piles, so the unusual chemical composition of the piles could be the source of distinct trace-element signatures observed in hotspot lavas.

  6. The survival of early Earth mantle reservoirs: Evidence from flood basalts (United States)

    Jackson, M. G.


    Over geologic time, large quantities of oceanic crust and sediment have been injected into the mantle at subduction zones, thereby generating heterogeneities in the mantle. The mantle has been further modified by melt extraction at mid-ocean ridges, a process that has generated large depleted reservoirs throughout the mantle. Owing to the fact that the Earth's mantle mixes and stirs chaotically on geologic timescales, it has long been thought that any evidence of an early terrestrial primitive mantle reservoir has either been erased by melt extraction, or has been overprinted by mixing with recycled materials. This hypothesis was supported by a lack of evidence for chondritic primitive mantle material in the mantle sources of oceanic hotspots, which are thought to yield material from the Earth's deep mantle. Instead, ocean island basalts (OIB) exhibit median 143Nd/144Nd isotopic ratios near 0.5130, suggesting that plume fed hotspots sample a largely-depleted mantle. However, the discovery of Boyet and Carlson (2005, Science) presented evidence that the Earth's primitive mantle may not be chondritic in composition. Boyet and Carlson (2005) found that modern terrestrial lavas have 142Nd/144Nd ratios ~18 ppm higher than chondrites. This result implies that all modern crustal and mantle reservoirs derive from a reservoir with Sm/Nd ratios ~5% higher than chondritic. Today, the 143Nd/144Nd of the primitive (albeit non-chondritic) reservoir would be ~0.5130. Critically, this value is similar to the median 143Nd/144Nd ratio identified in OIB lavas, suggesting that the OIB mantle may in fact be a largely primitive reservoir. However, most OIB lavas fail to exhibit the elevated 3He/4He ratios associated with primitive mantle reservoirs. Similarly, OIB lavas generally lack primitive Pb-isotopic compositions that plot on the geochron, a requirement for all early-Earth reservoirs. To date, no terrestrial OIB lavas have been found that exhibit the required He, Nd and Pb

  7. Toward a coherent model for the melting behavior of the deep Earth's mantle (United States)

    Andrault, D.; Bolfan-Casanova, N.; Bouhifd, M. A.; Boujibar, A.; Garbarino, G.; Manthilake, G.; Mezouar, M.; Monteux, J.; Parisiades, P.; Pesce, G.


    Knowledge of melting properties is critical to predict the nature and the fate of melts produced in the deep mantle. Early in the Earth's history, melting properties controlled the magma ocean crystallization, which potentially induced chemical segregation in distinct reservoirs. Today, partial melting most probably occurs in the lowermost mantle as well as at mid upper-mantle depths, which control important aspects of mantle dynamics, including some types of volcanism. Unfortunately, despite major experimental and theoretical efforts, major controversies remain about several aspects of mantle melting. For example, the liquidus of the mantle was reported (for peridotitic or chondritic-type composition) with a temperature difference of ∼1000 K at high mantle depths. Also, the Fe partitioning coefficient (DFeBg/melt) between bridgmanite (Bg, the major lower mantle mineral) and a melt was reported between ∼0.1 and ∼0.5, for a mantle depth of ∼2000 km. Until now, these uncertainties had prevented the construction of a coherent picture of the melting behavior of the deep mantle. In this article, we perform a critical review of previous works and develop a coherent, semi-quantitative, model. We first address the melting curve of Bg with the help of original experimental measurements, which yields a constraint on the volume change upon melting (ΔVm). Secondly, we apply a basic thermodynamical approach to discuss the melting behavior of mineralogical assemblages made of fractions of Bg, CaSiO3-perovskite and (Mg,Fe)O-ferropericlase. Our analysis yields quantitative constraints on the SiO2-content in the pseudo-eutectic melt and the degree of partial melting (F) as a function of pressure, temperature and mantle composition; For examples, we find that F could be more than 40% at the solidus temperature, except if the presence of volatile elements induces incipient melting. We then discuss the melt buoyancy in a partial molten lower mantle as a function of pressure

  8. Mixing in the Earth's Mantle after the Moon-forming Impact (United States)

    Korycansky, Donald


    The giant-impact hypothesis has provided a satisfactory explanation for the most salient characteristics of the Earth-Moon system. Recently, however, the discovery that many isotope patterns of the Earth and Moon are nearly identical have cast serious doubt on the most-accepted scenario of the Moon-forming impact and have forced the consideration of significantly different kinds of impacts.The original scenario pictured the grazing impact of a Mars-mass body on the proto-Earth. However, in this scenario the Moon is formed largely from impactor material which is extremely unlikely to share the isotopic patterning of the proto-Earth. Hence, two other ideas have been put forth: in one, the proto-Earth is extremely rapidly rotating, and the impactor is small: the Moon-forming disk is largely Earth material "spun-out" by the impact. In the other picture, the proto-Earth and impactor are roughly the same mass and both Earth and Moon are amalgams of the combined proto-Earth and the impactor.As found by Nakajima and Stevenson (2015) in their calculations of all three scenarios, each idea has significantly different consequences for the degree of mixing of the mantle. I will focus in detail on the stability and mixing of a stratified and shearing mantle. The approach will be from a fluid-dynamic standpoint, for which the starting point is the well-known Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, and from shear instabilities in general. The situations will be systematically investigated for relevant profiles of shear and entropy, with the aim of producing a more rigorous assessment of mixing in a post-Moon-forming terrestrial mantle. I will present results from CTH hydrocode simulations of calculations of the mantle under various conditions and velocity profiles to help determine which if any of the competing hypotheses for lunar formation are consistent with inferences of the state of the Earth's mantle in this early period.

  9. Zinc isotope fractionation during mantle melting and constraints on the Zn isotope composition of Earth's upper mantle (United States)

    Wang, Ze-Zhou; Liu, Sheng-Ao; Liu, Jingao; Huang, Jian; Xiao, Yan; Chu, Zhu-Yin; Zhao, Xin-Miao; Tang, Limei


    The zinc (Zn) stable isotope system has great potential for tracing planetary formation and differentiation processes due to its chalcophile, lithophile and moderately volatile character. As an initial approach, the terrestrial mantle, and by inference, the bulk silicate Earth (BSE), have previously been suggested to have an average δ66Zn value of ∼+0.28‰ (relative to JMC 3-0749L) primarily based on oceanic basalts. Nevertheless, data for mantle peridotites are relatively scarce and it remains unclear whether Zn isotopes are fractionated during mantle melting. To address this issue, we report high-precision (±0.04‰; 2SD) Zn isotope data for well-characterized peridotites (n = 47) from cratonic and orogenic settings, as well as their mineral separates. Basalts including mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) and ocean island basalts (OIB) were also measured to avoid inter-laboratory bias. The MORB analyzed have homogeneous δ66Zn values of +0.28 ± 0.03‰ (here and throughout the text, errors are given as 2SD), similar to those of OIB obtained in this study and in the literature (+0.31 ± 0.09‰). Excluding the metasomatized peridotites that exhibit a wide δ66Zn range of -0.44‰ to +0.42‰, the non-metasomatized peridotites have relatively uniform δ66Zn value of +0.18 ± 0.06‰, which is lighter than both MORB and OIB. This difference suggests a small but detectable Zn isotope fractionation (∼0.1‰) during mantle partial melting. The magnitude of inter-mineral fractionation between olivine and pyroxene is, on average, close to zero, but spinels are always isotopically heavier than coexisting olivines (Δ66ZnSpl-Ol = +0.12 ± 0.07‰) due to the stiffer Zn-O bonds in spinel than silicate minerals (Ol, Opx and Cpx). Zinc concentrations in spinels are 11-88 times higher than those in silicate minerals, and our modelling suggests that spinel consumption during mantle melting plays a key role in generating high Zn concentrations and heavy Zn isotopic

  10. Revealing the Earth's mantle from the tallest mountains using the Jinping Neutrino Experiment. (United States)

    Šrámek, Ondřej; Roskovec, Bedřich; Wipperfurth, Scott A; Xi, Yufei; McDonough, William F


    The Earth's engine is driven by unknown proportions of primordial energy and heat produced in radioactive decay. Unfortunately, competing models of Earth's composition reveal an order of magnitude uncertainty in the amount of radiogenic power driving mantle dynamics. Recent measurements of the Earth's flux of geoneutrinos, electron antineutrinos from terrestrial natural radioactivity, reveal the amount of uranium and thorium in the Earth and set limits on the residual proportion of primordial energy. Comparison of the flux measured at large underground neutrino experiments with geologically informed predictions of geoneutrino emission from the crust provide the critical test needed to define the mantle's radiogenic power. Measurement at an oceanic location, distant from nuclear reactors and continental crust, would best reveal the mantle flux, however, no such experiment is anticipated. We predict the geoneutrino flux at the site of the Jinping Neutrino Experiment (Sichuan, China). Within 8 years, the combination of existing data and measurements from soon to come experiments, including Jinping, will exclude end-member models at the 1σ level, define the mantle's radiogenic contribution to the surface heat loss, set limits on the composition of the silicate Earth, and provide significant parameter bounds for models defining the mode of mantle convection.

  11. Gravitational Core-Mantle Coupling and the Acceleration of the Earth (United States)

    Rubincam, David Parry; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)


    Gravitational core-mantle coupling may be the cause of the observed variable acceleration of the Earth's rotation on the 1000 year timescale. The idea is that density inhomogeneities which randomly come and go in the liquid outer core gravitationally attract density inhomogeneities in the mantle and crust, torquing the mantle and changing its rotation state. The corresponding torque by the mantle on the core may also explain the westward drift of the magnetic field of 0.2 deg per year. Gravitational core-mantle coupling would stochastically affect the rate of change of the Earth's obliquity by just a few per cent. Its contribution to polar wander would only be about 0.5% the presently observed rate. Tidal friction is slowing down the rotation of the Earth, overwhelming a smaller positive acceleration from postglacial rebound. Coupling between the liquid outer core of the Earth and the mantle has long been a suspected reason for changes in the length-of-day. The present investigation focuses on the gravitational coupling between the density anomalies in the convecting liquid outer core and those in the mantle and crust as a possible cause for the observed nonsecular acceleration on the millenial timescale. The basic idea is as follows. There are density inhomogeneities caused by blobs circulating in the outer core like the blobs in a lava lamp; thus the outer core's gravitational field is not featureless. Moreover, these blobs will form and dissipate somewhat randomly. Thus there will be a time variability to the fields. These density inhomogeneities will gravitationally attract the density anomalies in the mantle.

  12. Modeling Continental Growth and Mantle Hydration in Earth's Evolution and the Impact of Life (United States)

    Höning, Dennis; Spohn, Tilman


    The evolution of planets with plate tectonics is significantly affected by several intertwined feedback cycles. On Earth, interactions between atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, crust, and interior determine its present day state. We here focus on the feedback cycles including the evolutions of mantle water budget and continental crust, and investigate possible effects of the Earth's biosphere. The first feedback loop includes cycling of water into the mantle at subduction zones and outgassing at volcanic chains and mid-ocean ridges. Water is known to reduce the viscosity of mantle rock, and therefore the speed of mantle convection and plate subduction will increase with the water concentration, eventually enhancing the rates of mantle water regassing and outgassing. A second feedback loop includes the production and erosion of continental crust. Continents are formed above subduction zones, whose total length is determined by the total size of the continents. Furthermore, the total surface area of continental crust determines the amount of eroded sediments per unit time. Subducted sediments affect processes in subduction zones, eventually enhancing the production rate of new continental crust. Both feedback loops affect each other: As a wet mantle increases the speed of subduction, continental production also speeds up. On the other hand, the total length of subduction zones and the rate at which sediments are subducted (both being functions of continental coverage) affect the rate of mantle water regassing. We here present a model that includes both cycles and show how the system develops stable and unstable fixed points in a plane defined by mantle water concentration and surface of continents. We couple these feedback cycles to a parameterized thermal evolution model that reproduces present day observations. We show how Earth has been affected by these feedback cycles during its evolution, and argue that Earth's present day state regarding its mantle water

  13. Earth's core-mantle boundary - Results of experiments at high pressures and temperatures (United States)

    Knittle, Elise; Jeanloz, Raymond


    Laboratory experiments document that liquid iron reacts chemically with silicates at high pressures (above 2.4 x 10 to the 10th Pa) and temperatures. In particular, (Mg,Fe)SiO3 perovskite, the most abundant mineral of earth's lower mantle, is expected to react with liquid iron to produce metallic alloys (FeO and FeSi) and nonmetallic silicates (SiO2 stishovite and MgSiO3 perovskite) at the pressures of the core-mantle boundary, 14 x 10 to the 10th Pa. The experimental observations, in conjunction with seismological data, suggest that the lowermost 200 to 300 km of earth's mantle, the D-double-prime layer, may be an extremely heterogeneous region as a result of chemical reactions between the silicate mantle and the liquid iron alloy of earth's core. The combined thermal-chemical-electrical boundary layer resulting from such reactions offers a plausible explanation for the complex behavior of seismic waves near the core-mantle boundary and could influence earth's magnetic field observed at the surface.

  14. Tracking Silica in the Earth's Subduction Zone and Upper Mantle (United States)

    Chen, T.; Wang, X.; Zou, Y.; Gwanmesia, G. D.; Liebermann, R. C.; Li, B.


    The X-discontinuity (~300 km) in the upper mantle has been revealed under some continental or oceanic region by a number of seismic studies, at which depth the P and S wave velocities increase by about 2%. One possible cause for this discontinuity is the coesite-stishovite phase transition. In this study, we conducted ultrasonic interferometry measurements on polycrystalline coesite and stishovite up to 12.6 GPa at ambient temperature and 14GPa 1073K, respectively. While the P wave velocities of coesite continuously increase with pressure, the S wave velocities exhibit a monotonic decrease to the peak pressure of the current experiment followed by a reversible recovery upon release of pressure. As a result, within the pressure range of 8-12 GPa (corresponding to ~250-350 km depths), the velocity contrasts between coesite and stishovite reach as high as ~38% for P wave and 48%-50% for S wave together with impedance contrasts of 71-69% and ~78% for P and S waves, respectively, the highest among all known phase transitions in mantle minerals. With such extreme contrasts, the coesite-stishovite phase transition in the MORB composition with 4-10wt% of SiO2 is sufficient to generate velocity and impedance contrasts comparable to those reported for the X-discontinuity. The current data, together with the seismic X-discontinuity, may provide a geophysical approach to track the ancient subducted oceanic slabs, and place constraints on the amount of silica in the upper mantle.

  15. Storage and recycling of water in the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Bolfan-Casanova, N.


    Most natural samples originating from the mantle contain traces of water. It can be observed that water content varies laterally as a function of the geodynamic context, but also with depth in cratons. Basalts from mid-ocean ridges, which sample the convecting upper mantle, contain generally below 0.6 wt% H2O leading to 50-330 parts per million by weight in the source. Oceanic Islands Basalts are more hydrated with contents ranging from 0.6 to 1.1 wt%, leading to 350-1100 ppm wt H2O in the source. Arc basalts are even more hydrated with water contents ranging from 0.2 to 5-6 wt% H2O testifying of the recycling of water by subduction. Kimberlite magmas are also the proof that local saturation in volatiles is possible. Among xenoliths, the samples from cratons are very interesting because they may provide a depth profile of water. However, the variation of water content in olivine with depth differs from craton to craton, and is the result of a complex geological history. Also, olivine inclusions in diamond and olivine from peridotite xenoliths do not give the same message regarding to water activity. The water storage capacity of the mantle is defined as the maximum water or hydroxyl that can be incorporated in its constitutive minerals before a free fluid phase appears. It can be determined experimentally and confronted to geophysical observations, such as low seismic velocities, and electrical conductivity. In this talk we will review our current knowledge of water incorporation in NAMs as determined experimentally and compare it with available observations. New data concerning clinopyroxenes will be shown. The aim being to understand the deep water cycle.

  16. Density structure of Earth's lowermost mantle from Stoneley mode splitting observations (United States)

    Koelemeijer, Paula; Deuss, Arwen; Ritsema, Jeroen


    Advances in our understanding of Earth's thermal evolution and the style of mantle convection rely on robust seismological constraints on lateral variations of density. The large-low-shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) atop the core-mantle boundary beneath Africa and the Pacific are the largest structures in the lower mantle, and hence severely affect the convective flow. Here, we show that anomalous splitting of Stoneley modes, a unique class of free oscillations that are perturbed primarily by velocity and density variations at the core-mantle boundary, is explained best when the overall density of the LLSVPs is lower than the surrounding mantle. The resolved density variations can be explained by the presence of post-perovskite, chemical heterogeneity or a combination of the two. Although we cannot rule out the presence of a ~100-km-thick denser-than-average basal structure, our results support the hypothesis that LLSVPs signify large-scale mantle upwelling in two antipodal regions of the mantle.

  17. Spin Transition of Iron in the Earth's Lower Mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, J; Tsuchiya, T


    Electronic spin-pairing transitions of iron and associated effects on the physical properties of host phases have been reported in lower-mantle minerals including ferropericlase, silicate perovskite, and possibly in post-perovskite at lower-mantle pressures. Here we evaluate current understanding of the spin and valence states of iron in the lower-mantle phases, emphasizing the effects of the spin transitions on the density, sound velocities, chemical behavior, and transport properties of the lower-mantle phases. The spin transition of iron in ferropericlase occurs at approximately 50 GPa but likely turns into a wide spin crossover under lower-mantle temperatures. Current experimental results indicate a continuous nature of the spin crossover in silicate perovskite at high pressures, but which valence state of iron undergoes the spin crossover and what is its associated crystallographic site remain uncertain. The spin transition of iron results in enhanced density, incompressibility, and sound velocities, and reduced radiative thermal conductivity in the low-spin ferropericlase, which should be considered in future geophysical and geodynamic modeling of the Earth's lower mantle. Our evaluation of the experimental and theoretical pressure-volume results shows that the spin crossover of iron results in a density increase of 3-4% in ferropericlase containing 17-19% FeO. Here we have modeled the density and bulk modulus profiles of ferropericlase across the spin crossover under lower-mantle pressure-temperature conditions and showed how the ratio of the spin states of iron affects our understanding of the state of the Earth's lower mantle.

  18. Sensitivities of Earth's core and mantle compositions to accretion and differentiation processes (United States)

    Fischer, Rebecca A.; Campbell, Andrew J.; Ciesla, Fred J.


    The Earth and other terrestrial planets formed through the accretion of smaller bodies, with their core and mantle compositions primarily set by metal-silicate interactions during accretion. The conditions of these interactions are poorly understood, but could provide insight into the mechanisms of planetary core formation and the composition of Earth's core. Here we present modeling of Earth's core formation, combining results of 100 N-body accretion simulations with high pressure-temperature metal-silicate partitioning experiments. We explored how various aspects of accretion and core formation influence the resulting core and mantle chemistry: depth of equilibration, amounts of metal and silicate that equilibrate, initial distribution of oxidation states in the disk, temperature distribution in the planet, and target:impactor ratio of equilibrating silicate. Virtually all sets of model parameters that are able to reproduce the Earth's mantle composition result in at least several weight percent of both silicon and oxygen in the core, with more silicon than oxygen. This implies that the core's light element budget may be dominated by these elements, and is consistent with ≤1-2 wt% of other light elements. Reproducing geochemical and geophysical constraints requires that Earth formed from reduced materials that equilibrated at temperatures near or slightly above the mantle liquidus during accretion. The results indicate a strong tradeoff between the compositional effects of the depth of equilibration and the amounts of metal and silicate that equilibrate, so these aspects should be targeted in future studies aiming to better understand core formation conditions. Over the range of allowed parameter space, core and mantle compositions are most sensitive to these factors as well as stochastic variations in what the planet accreted as a function of time, so tighter constraints on these parameters will lead to an improved understanding of Earth's core composition.

  19. A crystallizing dense magma ocean at the base of the Earth's mantle. (United States)

    Labrosse, S; Hernlund, J W; Coltice, N


    The distribution of geochemical species in the Earth's interior is largely controlled by fractional melting and crystallization processes that are intimately linked to the thermal state and evolution of the mantle. The existence of patches of dense partial melt at the base of the Earth's mantle, together with estimates of melting temperatures for deep mantle phases and the amount of cooling of the underlying core required to maintain a geodynamo throughout much of the Earth's history, suggest that more extensive deep melting occurred in the past. Here we show that a stable layer of dense melt formed at the base of the mantle early in the Earth's history would have undergone slow fractional crystallization, and would be an ideal candidate for an unsampled geochemical reservoir hosting a variety of incompatible species (most notably the missing budget of heat-producing elements) for an initial basal magma ocean thickness of about 1,000 km. Differences in 142Nd/144Nd ratios between chondrites and terrestrial rocks can be explained by fractional crystallization with a decay timescale of the order of 1 Gyr. These combined constraints yield thermal evolution models in which radiogenic heat production and latent heat exchange prevent early cooling of the core and possibly delay the onset of the geodynamo to 3.4-4 Gyr ago.

  20. The earth's geoid and the large-scale structure of mantle convection (United States)

    Richards, Mark A.; Hager, Bradford H.


    It is shown that most of the earth's low-degree geoid power is derived from density heterogeneity in the lower mantle. Much of the remaining geoid power is due to high-density slabs in active subduction zones. The compensated topography and lithospheric or crustal thickness variations contribute significantly to the observed geoid only for harmonic degrees greater than or equal to 6.

  1. Using geoneutrinos to constrain the radiogenic power in the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Šrámek, Ondřej; Roskovec, Bedřich; Wipperfurth, Scott A.; Xi, Yufei; McDonough, William F.


    The Earth's engine is driven by unknown proportions of primordial energy and heat produced in radioactive decay. Unfortunately, competing models of Earth's composition reveal an order of magnitude uncertainty in the amount of radiogenic power driving mantle dynamics. Together with established geoscientific disciplines (seismology, geodynamics, petrology, mineral physics), experimental particle physics now brings additional constraints to our understanding of mantle energetics. Measurements of the Earth's flux of geoneutrinos, electron antineutrinos emitted in β- decays of naturally occurring radionuclides, reveal the amount of uranium and thorium in the Earth and set limits on the amount of radiogenic power in the planet. Comparison of the flux measured at large underground neutrino experiments with geologically informed predictions of geoneutrino emission from the crust provide the critical test needed to define the mantle's radiogenic power. Measuring geoneutrinos at oceanic locations, distant from nuclear reactors and continental crust, would best reveal the mantle flux and by performing a coarse scale geoneutrino tomography could even test the hypothesis of large heterogeneous structures in deep mantle enriched in heat-producing elements. The current geoneutrino detecting experiments, KamLAND in Japan and Borexino in Italy, will by year ˜ 2020 be supplemented with three more experiments: SNO+ in Canada, and JUNO and Jinping in China. We predict the geoneutrino flux at all experimental sites. Within ˜ 8 years from today, the combination of data from all experiments will exclude end-member compositional models of the silicate Earth at the 1σ level, reveal the radiogenic contribution to the global surface heat loss, and provide tight limits on radiogenic power in the Earth's mantle. Additionally, we discuss how the geoneutrino measurements at the three relatively near-lying (≤ 3000 km) detectors KamLAND, JUNO, and Jinping may be harnessed to improve the

  2. Continental growth and mantle hydration as intertwined feedback cycles in the thermal evolution of Earth (United States)

    Höning, Dennis; Spohn, Tilman


    A model of Earth's continental coverage and mantle water budget is discussed along with its thermal evolution. The model links a thermal evolution model based on parameterized mantle convection with a model of a generic subduction zone that includes the oceanic crust and a sedimentary layer as carriers of water. Part of the subducted water is used to produce continental crust while the remainder is subducted into the mantle. The total length of the subduction zones is calculated from the total surface area of continental crust assuming randomly distributed continents. The mantle viscosity is dependent of temperature and the water concentration. Sediments are generated by continental crust erosion, and water outgassing at mid-oceanic ridges closes the water cycle. We discuss the strongly coupled, non-linear model using a phase plane defined by the continental coverage and mantle water concentration. Fixed points are found in the phase plane at which the rates of change of both variables are zero. These fixed points evolve with time, but in many cases, three fixed points emerge of which two are stable and an intermediate point is unstable with respect to continental coverage. With initial conditions from a Monte-Carlo scheme we calculate evolution paths in the phase plane and find a large spread of final states that all have a mostly balanced water budget. The present day observed 40% continental surface coverage is found near the unstable fixed point. Our evolution model suggests that Earth's continental coverage formed early and has been stable for at least 1.5 Gyr. The effect of mantle water regassing (and mantle viscosity depending on water concentration) is found to lower the present day mantle temperature by about 120 K, but the present day mantle viscosity is affected little. The water cycle thus complements the well-known thermostat effect of viscosity and mantle temperature. Our results further suggest that the biosphere could impact the feedback cycles by

  3. The Origin of Non-chondritic HSE Ratios in the Earth's Mantle (United States)

    Laurenz, V.; Rubie, D. C.; Frost, D. J.; Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.; Palme, H.; Vogel, A. K.


    It is generally thought that Earth's mantle abundances of highly siderophile elements (HSE) were established by the addition of a chondritic late veneer to a mantle that was stripped of HSEs by core formation. A long-standing problem with this hypothesis is that the mantle's suprachondritic Pd/Ir and Ru/Ir ratios cannot be reconciled with any known meteorite group. To address this issue, we modelled the effect of metal-silicate segregation on abundances of the HSE and S in the Earth's mantle by including these elements in a combined accretion/core-formation model. Because in our model only a small fraction of the mantle equilibrates with core-forming metal, the bulk mantle HSE abundances are too large by the end of accretion. Sulfur abundances also greatly exceed S-saturation levels at magma ocean crystallisation temperatures, leading to the formation of a global immiscible sulfide melt that segregated to the core, thus removing HSEs from the mantle [1]. To better constrain the role of sulfide segregation on the HSE budget of the mantle, we experimentally determined the sulfide-silicate partitioning of Pt, Pd, Ru and Ir under high P-T conditions. Results show that Pd and Ru are less chalcophile at pressures above ~20 GPa compared to Pt and Ir, as opposed to the metal-silicate system where Ru is more siderophile than Pt [2]. These results are included in our model, which now involves localized segregation of core-forming metal followed by widespread exsolution and segregation of immiscible sulfide liquids. Platinum and Ir are efficiently extracted from the mantle whereas significant concentrations of Ru and Pd remain. Late veneer addition occurs after sulfide segregation has ceased due to magma ocean solidification. This model reproduces perfectly the non-chondritic Ru/Ir and Pd/Ir ratios of the mantle, reflecting incomplete removal of Ru and Pd from the mantle with core-forming sulfide melts. [1] O'Neill (1991) GCA 55, 1159-1172. [2] Mann et al. (2012) GCA 84, 593-613.

  4. Effect of Rheology on Mantle Dynamics and Plate Tectonics in Super-Earths (United States)

    Tackley, P. J.; Ammann, M. W.; Brodholt, J. P.; Dobson, D. P.; Valencia, D. C.


    The discovery of extra-solar "super-Earth" planets with sizes up to twice that of Earth has prompted interest in their possible lithosphere and mantle dynamics and evolution. Simple scalings [1,2] suggest that super-Earths are more likely than an equivalent Earth-sized planet to be undergoing plate tectonics. Generally, viscosity and thermal conductivity increase with pressure while thermal expansivity decreases, resulting in lower convective vigor in the deep mantle, which, if extralopated to the largest super-Earths might, according to conventional thinking, result a very low effective Rayleigh number in their deep mantles and possibly no convection there. Here we evaluate this. (i) As the mantle of a super-Earth is made mostly of post-perovskite we here extend the density functional theory (DFT) calculations of post-perovskite activation enthalpy of [3] to a pressure of 1 TPa. The activation volume for diffusion creep becomes very low at very high pressure, but nevertheless for the largest super-Earths the viscosity along an adiabat may approach 10^30 Pa s in the deep mantle, which would be too high for convection. (ii) We use these DFT-calculated values in numerical simulations of mantle convection and lithosphere dynamics of planets with up to ten Earth masses. The models assume a compressible mantle including depth-dependence of material properties and plastic yielding induced plate-like lithospheric behavior, solved using StagYY [4]. Results confirm the likelihood of plate tectonics and show a novel self-regulation of deep mantle temperature. The deep mantle is not adiabatic; instead internal heating raises the temperature until the viscosity is low enough to facilitate convective loss of the radiogenic heat, which results in a super-adiabatic temperature profile and a viscosity increase with depth of no more than ~3 orders of magnitude, regardless of what is calculated for an adiabat. It has recently been argued [5] that at very high pressures, deformation

  5. An early geodynamo driven by exsolution of mantle components from Earth's core. (United States)

    Badro, James; Siebert, Julien; Nimmo, Francis


    Recent palaeomagnetic observations report the existence of a magnetic field on Earth that is at least 3.45 billion years old. Compositional buoyancy caused by inner-core growth is the primary driver of Earth's present-day geodynamo, but the inner core is too young to explain the existence of a magnetic field before about one billion years ago. Theoretical models propose that the exsolution of magnesium oxide--the major constituent of Earth's mantle--from the core provided a major source of the energy required to drive an early dynamo, but experimental evidence for the incorporation of mantle components into the core has been lacking. Indeed, terrestrial core formation occurred in the early molten Earth by gravitational segregation of immiscible metal and silicate melts, transporting iron-loving (siderophile) elements from the silicate mantle to the metallic core and leaving rock-loving (lithophile) mantle components behind. Here we present experiments showing that magnesium oxide dissolves in core-forming iron melt at very high temperatures. Using core-formation models, we show that extreme events during Earth's accretion (such as the Moon-forming giant impact) could have contributed large amounts of magnesium to the early core. As the core subsequently cooled, exsolution of buoyant magnesium oxide would have taken place at the core–mantle boundary, generating a substantial amount of gravitational energy as a result of compositional buoyancy. This amount of energy is comparable to, if not more than, that produced by inner-core growth, resolving the conundrum posed by the existence of an ancient magnetic field prior to the formation of the inner core.

  6. Mantle dynamics in super-Earths: Post-perovskite rheology and self-regulation of viscosity (United States)

    Tackley, P. J.; Ammann, M.; Brodholt, J. P.; Dobson, D. P.; Valencia, D.


    The discovery of extra-solar "super-Earth" planets with sizes up to twice that of Earth has prompted interest in their possible lithosphere and mantle dynamics and evolution. Simple scalings suggest that super-Earths are more likely than an equivalent Earth-sized planet to be undergoing plate tectonics. Generally, viscosity and thermal conductivity increase with pressure while thermal expansivity decreases, resulting in lower convective vigour in the deep mantle, which, if extralopated to the largest super-Earths might, according to conventional thinking, result in no convection in their deep mantles due to the very low effective Rayleigh number. Here we evaluate this. First, as the mantle of a super-Earth is made mostly of post-perovskite we here extend the density functional theory (DFT) calculations of post-perovskite activation enthalpy of to a pressure of 1 TPa, for both slowest diffusion (upper-bound rheology) and fastest diffusion (lower-bound rheology) directions. Along a 1600 K adiabat the upper-bound rheology would lead to a post-perovskite layer of a very high (˜1030 Pa s) but relatively uniform viscosity, whereas the lower-bound rheology leads to a post-perovskite viscosity increase of ˜7 orders of magnitude with depth; in both cases the deep mantle viscosity would be too high for convection. Second, we use these DFT-calculated values in statistically steady-state numerical simulations of mantle convection and lithosphere dynamics of planets with up to ten Earth masses. The models assume a compressible mantle including depth-dependence of material properties and plastic yielding induced plate-like lithospheric behaviour. Results confirm the likelihood of plate tectonics for planets with Earth-like surface conditions (temperature and water) and show a self-regulation of deep mantle temperature. The deep mantle is not adiabatic; instead feedback between internal heating, temperature and viscosity regulates the temperature such that the viscosity has the

  7. Influence of mantle anelasticity on the phase and amplitude of earth tides (United States)

    Bodri, B.; Pedersen, G. P. H.


    The effect of the anelasticity of the mantle on the phase and amplitude of earth tides is calculated for recent models of the internal structure of the earth and its rheological characteristics. The anelastic properties of the mantle are modeled by the Maxwell and Knopoff-Lomnitz rheological bodies. For numerical calculations two different methods of solution are used. Results indicate that the effect of mantle anelasticity on tidal amplitudes is practically zero. For both types of rheological models the phase shifts of the functions characterizing solid tides are small, none of them exceeding values of some minutes of arc. These phase shifts have a very weak dependence on the variation of attenuation and viscosity within the mantle. The present study is closely related to an important problem: what proportion of the observed tidal friction arises not in the ocean but is due to the anelasticity of the mantle. The results suggest that dissipation by solid friction at present is an insignificant, almost negligible component of tidal energy sink.

  8. Atmospheric Ar and Ne returned from mantle depths to the Earth's surface by forearc recycling. (United States)

    Baldwin, Suzanne L; Das, J P


    In subduction zones, sediments, hydrothermally altered lithosphere, fluids, and atmospheric gases are transported into the mantle, where ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphism takes place. However, the extent to which atmospheric noble gases are trapped in minerals crystallized during UHP metamorphism is unknown. We measured Ar and Ne trapped in phengite and omphacite from the youngest known UHP terrane on Earth to determine the composition of Ar and Ne returned from mantle depths to the surface by forearc recycling. An (40)Ar/(39)Ar age [7.93 ± 0.10 My (1σ)] for phengite is interpreted as the timing of crystallization at mantle depths and indicates that (40)Ar/(39)Ar phengite ages reliably record the timing of UHP metamorphism. Both phengite and omphacite yielded atmospheric (38)Ar/(36)Ar and (20)Ne/(22)Ne. Our study provides the first documentation, to our knowledge, of entrapment of atmospheric Ar and Ne in phengite and omphacite. Results indicate that a subduction barrier for atmospheric-derived noble gases does not exist at mantle depths associated with UHP metamorphism. We show that the crystallization age together with the isotopic composition of nonradiogenic noble gases trapped in minerals formed during subsolidus crystallization at mantle depths can be used to unambiguously assess forearc recycling of atmospheric noble gases. The flux of atmospheric noble gas entering the deep Earth through subduction and returning to the surface cannot be fully realized until the abundances of atmospheric noble gases trapped in exhumed UHP rocks are known.

  9. Seismic evidence for a chemically distinct thermochemical reservoir in Earth's deep mantle beneath Hawaii (United States)

    Zhao, Chunpeng; Garnero, Edward J.; McNamara, Allen K.; Schmerr, Nicholas; Carlson, Richard W.


    Nearly antipodal continent-sized zones of reduced seismic shear wave velocities exist at the base of Earth's mantle, one beneath the Pacific Ocean, the other beneath the South Atlantic Ocean and Africa. Geophysicists have attributed the low velocity zones to elevated temperatures associated with large-scale mantle convection processes, specifically, hot mantle upwelling in response to cooler subduction-related downwelling currents. Hypotheses have included superplumes, isochemical heterogeneity, and stable as well as metastable basal thermochemical piles. Here we analyze waveform broadening and travel times of S waves from 11 deep focus earthquakes in the southwest Pacific recorded in North America, resulting in 8500 seismograms studied that sample the deep mantle beneath the Pacific. Waveform broadening is referenced to a mean S-wave shape constructed for each event, to define a relative "misfit". Large misfits are consistent with multipathing that can broaden wave pulses. Misfits of deep mantle sampling S-waves infer that the structure in the northeast part of the low velocity province beneath the Pacific has a sharp side as well as a sloping sharp top to the feature. This sharp boundary morphology is consistent with geodynamic predictions for a stable thermochemical reservoir. The peak of the imaged pile is below Hawaii, supporting the hypothesis of a whole mantle plume beneath the hotspot.

  10. Steady state toroidal magnetic field at earth's core-mantle boundary (United States)

    Levy, Eugene H.; Pearce, Steven J.


    Measurements of the dc electrical potential near the top of earth's mantle have been extrapolated into the deep mantle in order to estimate the strength of the toroidal magnetic field component at the core-mantle interface. Recent measurements have been interpreted as indicating that at the core-mantle interface, the magnetic toroidal and poloidal field components are approximately equal in magnitude. A motivation for such measurements is to obtain an estimate of the strength of the toroidal magnetic field in the core, a quantity important to our understanding of the geomagnetic field's dynamo generation. Through the use of several simple and idealized calculation, this paper discusses the theoretical relationship between the amplitude of the toroidal magnetic field at the core-mantle boundary and the actual amplitude within the core. Even with a very low inferred value of the toroidal field amplitude at the core-mantle boundary, (a few gauss), the toroidal field amplitude within the core could be consistent with a magnetohydrodynamic dynamo dominated by nonuniform rotation and having a strong toroidal magnetic field.

  11. Variation of thermal conductivity and heat flux at the Earth's core mantle boundary (United States)

    Ammann, Michael W.; Walker, Andrew M.; Stackhouse, Stephen; Wookey, James; Forte, Alessandro M.; Brodholt, John P.; Dobson, David P.


    The two convective systems that dominate Earth's internal dynamics meet at the boundary between the rocky mantle and metallic liquid core. Energy transfer between processes driving plate tectonics and the geodynamo is controlled by thermal conduction in the lowermost mantle (D″). We use atomic scale simulations to determine the thermal conductivity of MgSiO3 perovskite and post-perovskite under D″ conditions and probe how these two convective systems interact. We show that the thermal conductivity of post-perovskite (∼12 W/mK) is 50% larger than that of perovskite under the same conditions (∼8.5 W/mK) and is anisotropic, with conductivity along the a-axis being 40% higher than conductivity along the c-axis. This enhances the high heat flux into cold regions of D″ where post-perovskite is stable, strengthening the feedback between convection in the core and mantle. Reminiscent of the situation in the lithosphere, there is potential for deformation induced texturing associated with mantle convection to modify how the mantle is heated from below. We test this by coupling our atomic scale results to models of texture in D″ and suggest that anisotropic thermal conductivity may help to stabilise the roots of mantle plumes over their protracted lifetime.

  12. Steady state toroidal magnetic field at earth's core-mantle boundary (United States)

    Levy, Eugene H.; Pearce, Steven J.


    Measurements of the dc electrical potential near the top of earth's mantle have been extrapolated into the deep mantle in order to estimate the strength of the toroidal magnetic field component at the core-mantle interface. Recent measurements have been interpreted as indicating that at the core-mantle interface, the magnetic toroidal and poloidal field components are approximately equal in magnitude. A motivation for such measurements is to obtain an estimate of the strength of the toroidal magnetic field in the core, a quantity important to our understanding of the geomagnetic field's dynamo generation. Through the use of several simple and idealized calculation, this paper discusses the theoretical relationship between the amplitude of the toroidal magnetic field at the core-mantle boundary and the actual amplitude within the core. Even with a very low inferred value of the toroidal field amplitude at the core-mantle boundary, (a few gauss), the toroidal field amplitude within the core could be consistent with a magnetohydrodynamic dynamo dominated by nonuniform rotation and having a strong toroidal magnetic field.

  13. On the importance of lowermost mantle melt in the long term evolution of the Earth (United States)

    Labrosse, S.; Hernlund, J. W.; Coltice, N.


    The thermal evolution of the Earth is usually modeled using its global energy balance and a scaling law for the heat transfer by mantle convection where the heat flow q depends on the mantle potential temperature T and its viscosity η as q=AT1+βη-β, with typical fluid dynamics models giving β≈1/3. The present small ratio of heat production to heat loss (Urey ratio) implies a large secular cooling rate and, because of the feedback from temperature dependent viscosity, backward calculations from the present time lead to a completely molten Earth about 1 Gyr ago. Starting with Christensen (1985), values of β smaller than 1/3 have been proposed to solve this problem by reducing the strength of the feedback loop between core temperature and surface heat flow. However, a self-consistent theory of mantle convection is still lacking to justify unconventional β values. We propose an entirely different approach recognizing that the lowermost mantle, which presently shows evidence of partial melting (ULVZs), was likely largely molten in its hotter past. Coupling a parameterized model of mantle convection using standard scalings for the solid upper part to a crystallizing basal magma ocean (BMO) enriched in radioactive elements and the core cuts the feedback loop very efficiently by introducing two independent potential temperatures. Backward integration of the model makes the core and the BMO hotter in the past while keeping the solid mantle temperature reasonable. A thermal catastrophe may in fact have happened, but only deep in the Earth!

  14. Highly siderophile elements were stripped from Earth's mantle by iron sulfide segregation

    CERN Document Server

    Rubie, David C; Jacobson, Seth A; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Palme, Herbert; Vogel, Antje K; Frost, Daniel J


    Highly siderophile elements (HSEs) are strongly depleted in the bulk silicate Earth (BSE) but are present in near-chondritic relative abundances. The conventional explanation is that the HSEs were stripped from the mantle by the segregation of metal during core formation but were added back in near-chondritic proportions by late accretion, after core formation had ceased. Here we show that metal-silicate equilibration and segregation during Earth's core formation actually increased HSE mantle concentrations because HSE partition coefficients are relatively low at the high pressures of core formation within Earth. The pervasive exsolution and segregation of iron sulfide liquid from silicate liquid (the "Hadean matte") stripped magma oceans of HSEs during cooling and crystallization, before late accretion, and resulted in slightly suprachondritic palladium/iridium and ruthenium/iridium ratios.

  15. Past Plate Motions and The Evolution of Earth's Lower Mantle: Relating LLSVPs and Plume Distribution (United States)

    Bull, A. L.; Torsvik, T. H.; Shephard, G. E.


    Seismic tomography elucidates broad, low shear-wave velocity structures in the lower mantle beneath Africa and the central Pacific with uncertain physical and compositional origins. The anomalously slow areas, which cover nearly 50% of the core-mantle boundary, are often referred to as Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) due to the reduced velocity of seismic waves passing through them. Several hypotheses have arisen to explain the LLSVPs in the context of large-scale mantle convection. One end-member scenario infers a spatial correlation between LLSVP margins at depth and the reconstructed surface eruption sites of hotspots, kimberlites, and Large Igneous Provinces. Such a correlation has been explained by the preferential triggering of plumes at LLSVP margins by impingement of the subducting lithosphere upon the lower thermal boundary layer at the interface between ambient mantle and the higher density structures. This scenario propounds that Earth's plate motion history plays a controlling role in plume development, and that the location, geometry and morphology of plumes may be influenced by the movement of subducting slabs. Here, we investigate what is necessary to create such a pattern of plume distribution in relation to LLSVPs. We consider what effect past plate motions may have had on the evolution of Earth's lower mantle, and discuss the development of mantle plumes in terms of subduction dynamics. We integrate plate tectonic histories and numerical models of mantle convection to investigate the role that subduction history plays in the development and evolution of plumes in the presence of LLSVPs. To test whether an interaction exists between the surface location of subduction and plume eruption sites, and if so, to what degree over time, we apply varying shifts to the absolute reference frame of the plate reconstruction. With this method, we are able to change the location of subduction at the surface and thus the global flow field. This in turn

  16. Composition and Structure of Earth's Lower Mantle from Elasticity and Rheology Measurements (United States)

    Marquardt, Hauke; Kurnosov, Alexander; Frost, Daniel; Boffa Ballaran, Tiziana; Ziberna, Luca; Miyagi, Lowell; Liermann, Hanns-Peter; Speziale, Sergio; Immoor, Julia


    In this contribution, we present results of two novel experimental data sets on the elasticity and rheology of lower mantle minerals and discuss how the results contribute to our understanding of the composition, structure and dynamics of the shallow lower mantle. (1) We report first high-pressure single-crystal elasticity data on Al-Fe-bearing bridgmanite (Mg0.88Fe0.12Si0.89Al0.11)O3, the dominant phase in Earth's lower mantle, using high-pressure Brillouin spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction on focused ion beam (FIB) cut samples in a novel self-consistent approach. We combine our elasticity data with previous experimental measurements of the phase assemblages and element partitioning in a pyrolitic mantle and present a mineral-physics based seismic profile of the uppermost lower mantle. Within the resolution of our model, we find excellent agreement of our mineral physics prediction with the seismic Preliminary Reference Earth Model up to at least 1000 km depth, indicating chemical homogeneity of upper and shallow lower mantle. (2) We present results from synchrotron radial x-ray diffraction measurements on the deformation behavior of (Mg0.8Fe0.2)O ferropericlase, the second most abundant mineral in the lower mantle, at high-pressures and temperatures of up to 1400 K. From our data, we calculate the flow strength of ferropericlase, which we find to increase at pressures >20 GPa. Modelling based on our experimental data indicates a strong increase of viscosity around subducting slabs in the upper 900 km of a lower mantle with a pyrolitic composition. This viscosity increase takes place in the shallow lower mantle without the need for a compositional change with depth or a phase transition. It can therefore provide a plausible mechanism to explain the stagnation of sinking slabs in the shallow lower mantle as observed by seismic tomography that is consistent with the compositional constraints from our elasticity measurements on bridgmanite.

  17. Magnetodynamo Lifetimes for Rocky, Earth-Mass Exoplanets with Contrasting Mantle Convection Regimes

    CERN Document Server

    van Summeren, Joost; Conrad, Clinton P


    We used a thermal model of an iron core to calculate magnetodynamo evolution in Earth-mass rocky planets to determine the sensitivity of dynamo lifetime and intensity to planets with different mantle tectonic regimes, surface temperatures, and core properties. The heat flow at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) is derived from numerical models of mantle convection with a viscous/pseudo-plastic rheology that captures the phenomenology of plate-like tectonics. Our thermal evolution models predict a long-lived (~8 Gyr) field for Earth and similar dynamo evolution for Earth-mass exoplanets with plate tectonics. Both elevated surface temperature and pressure-dependent mantle viscosity reduce the CMB heat flow but produce only slightly longer-lived dynamos (~8-9.5 Gyr). Single-plate ("stagnant lid") planets with relatively low CMB heat flow produce long-lived (~10.5 Gyr) dynamos. These weaker dynamos can cease for several billions of years and subsequently reactivate due to the additional entropy production associated ...

  18. Geodynamo and mantle convection simulations on the Earth Simulator using the Yin-Yang grid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kageyama, Akira; Yoshida, Masaki [Earth Simulator Center, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Showa-machi 3173-25, Yokohama (Japan)


    We have developed finite difference codes based on the Yin-Yang grid for the geodynamo simulation and the mantle convection simulation. The Yin-Yang grid is a kind of spherical overset grid that is composed of two identical component grids. The intrinsic simplicity of the mesh configuration of the Yin-Yang grid enables us to develop highly optimized simulation codes on massively parallel supercomputers. The Yin-Yang geodynamo code has achieved 15.2 Tflops with 4096 processors on the Earth Simulator. This represents 46% of the theoretical peak performance. The Yin-Yang mantle code has enabled us to carry out mantle convection simulations in realistic regimes with a Rayleigh number of 10{sup 7} including strongly temperature dependent viscosity with spatial contrast up to 10{sup 6}.

  19. Mantle Convection, Plate Tectonics, and Volcanism on Hot Exo-Earths

    CERN Document Server

    van Summeren, Joost; Gaidos, Eric


    Recently discovered exoplanets on close-in orbits should have surface temperatures of 100's to 1000's of K. They are likely tidally locked and synchronously rotating around their parent stars and, if an atmosphere is absent, have surface temperature contrasts of many 100's to 1000's K between permanent day and night sides. We investigated the effect of elevated surface temperature and strong surface temperature contrasts for Earth-mass planets on the (i) pattern of mantle convection, (ii) tectonic regime, and (iii) rate and distribution of partial melting, using numerical simulations of mantle convection with a composite viscous/pseudo-plastic rheology. Our simulations indicate that, if a close-in rocky exoplanet lacks an atmosphere to redistribute heat, a >~ 400 K surface temperature contrast can maintain an asymmetric degree 1 pattern of mantle convection in which the surface of the planet moves preferentially toward subduction zones on the cold night side. The planetary surface features a hemispheric dicho...

  20. Imaging earth's interior: Tomographic inversions for mantle P-wave velocity structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pulliam, R.J.


    A formalism is developed for the tomographic inversion of seismic travel time residuals. The travel time equations are solved both simultaneously, for velocity model terms and corrections to the source locations, and progressively, for each set of terms in succession. The methods differ primarily in their treatment of source mislocation terms. Additionally, the system of equations is solved directly, neglecting source terms. The efficacy of the algorithms is explored with synthetic data as we perform simulations of the general procedure used to produce tomographic images of Earth's mantle from global earthquake data. The patterns of seismic heterogeneity in the mantle that would be returned reliably by a tomographic inversion are investigated. We construct synthetic data sets based on real ray sampling of the mantle by introducing spherical harmonic patterns of velocity heterogeneity and perform inversions of the synthetic data.

  1. A model for the evolution of the Earth's mantle structure since the Early Paleozoic (United States)

    Zhang, Nan; Zhong, Shijie; Leng, Wei; Li, Zheng-Xiang


    Seismic tomography studies indicate that the Earth's mantle structure is characterized by African and Pacific seismically slow velocity anomalies (i.e., superplumes) and circum-Pacific seismically fast anomalies (i.e., a globally spherical harmonic degree 2 structure). However, the cause for and time evolution of the African and Pacific superplumes and the degree 2 mantle structure remain poorly understood with two competing proposals. First, the African and Pacific superplumes have remained largely unchanged for at least the last 300 Myr and possibly much longer. Second, the African superplume is formed sometime after the formation of Pangea (i.e., at 330 Ma) and the mantle in the African hemisphere is predominated by cold downwelling structures before and during the assembly of Pangea, while the Pacific superplume has been stable for the Pangea supercontinent cycle (i.e., globally a degree 1 structure before the Pangea formation). Here, we construct a proxy model of plate motions for the African hemisphere for the last 450 Myr since the Early Paleozoic using the paleogeographic reconstruction of continents constrained by paleomagnetic and geological observations. Coupled with assumed oceanic plate motions for the Pacific hemisphere, this proxy model for the plate motion history is used as time-dependent surface boundary condition in three-dimensional spherical models of thermochemical mantle convection to study the evolution of mantle structure, particularly the African mantle structure, since the Early Paleozoic. Our model calculations reproduce well the present-day mantle structure including the African and Pacific superplumes and generally support the second proposal with a dynamic cause for the superplume structure. Our results suggest that while the mantle in the African hemisphere before the assembly of Pangea is predominated by the cold downwelling structure resulting from plate convergence between Gondwana and Laurussia, it is unlikely that the bulk of

  2. Thermochemical flows couple the Earth's inner core growth to mantle heterogeneity. (United States)

    Aubert, Julien; Amit, Hagay; Hulot, Gauthier; Olson, Peter


    Seismic waves sampling the top 100 km of the Earth's inner core reveal that the eastern hemisphere (40 degrees E-180 degrees E) is seismically faster, more isotropic and more attenuating than the western hemisphere. The origin of this hemispherical dichotomy is a challenging problem for our understanding of the Earth as a system of dynamically coupled layers. Previously, laboratory experiments have established that thermal control from the lower mantle can drastically affect fluid flow in the outer core, which in turn can induce textural heterogeneity on the inner core solidification front. The resulting texture should be consistent with other expected manifestations of thermal mantle control on the geodynamo, specifically magnetic flux concentrations in the time-average palaeomagnetic field over the past 5 Myr, and preferred eddy locations in flows imaged below the core-mantle boundary by the analysis of historical geomagnetic secular variation. Here we show that a single model of thermochemical convection and dynamo action can account for all these effects by producing a large-scale, long-term outer core flow that couples the heterogeneity of the inner core with that of the lower mantle. The main feature of this thermochemical 'wind' is a cyclonic circulation below Asia, which concentrates magnetic field on the core-mantle boundary at the observed location and locally agrees with core flow images. This wind also causes anomalously high rates of light element release in the eastern hemisphere of the inner core boundary, suggesting that lateral seismic anomalies at the top of the inner core result from mantle-induced variations in its freezing rate.

  3. Highly siderophile elements in Earth's mantle as a clock for the Moon-forming impact. (United States)

    Jacobson, Seth A; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N; O'Brien, David P; Walsh, Kevin J; Rubie, David C


    According to the generally accepted scenario, the last giant impact on Earth formed the Moon and initiated the final phase of core formation by melting Earth's mantle. A key goal of geochemistry is to date this event, but different ages have been proposed. Some argue for an early Moon-forming event, approximately 30 million years (Myr) after the condensation of the first solids in the Solar System, whereas others claim a date later than 50 Myr (and possibly as late as around 100 Myr) after condensation. Here we show that a Moon-forming event at 40 Myr after condensation, or earlier, is ruled out at a 99.9 per cent confidence level. We use a large number of N-body simulations to demonstrate a relationship between the time of the last giant impact on an Earth-like planet and the amount of mass subsequently added during the era known as Late Accretion. As the last giant impact is delayed, the late-accreted mass decreases in a predictable fashion. This relationship exists within both the classical scenario and the Grand Tack scenario of terrestrial planet formation, and holds across a wide range of disk conditions. The concentration of highly siderophile elements (HSEs) in Earth's mantle constrains the mass of chondritic material added to Earth during Late Accretion. Using HSE abundance measurements, we determine a Moon-formation age of 95 ± 32 Myr after condensation. The possibility exists that some late projectiles were differentiated and left an incomplete HSE record in Earth's mantle. Even in this case, various isotopic constraints strongly suggest that the late-accreted mass did not exceed 1 per cent of Earth's mass, and so the HSE clock still robustly limits the timing of the Moon-forming event to significantly later than 40 Myr after condensation.

  4. Evolution of the Oxidation State of the Earth's Mantle: Challenges of High Pressure Quenching (United States)

    Danielson, L. R.; Righter, K.; Keller, L.; Christoffersen, R.; Rahman, Z.


    The oxidation state of the Earth's mantle during formation remains an unresolved question, whether it was constant throughout planetary accretion, transitioned from reduced to oxidized, or from oxidized to reduced. We investigate the stability of Fe3+ at depth, in order to constrain processes (water, late accretion, dissociation of FeO) which may reduce or oxidize the Earth's mantle. Experiments of more mafic compositions and at higher pressures commonly form a polyphase quench intergrowth composed primarily of pyroxenes, with interstitial glass which hosts nearly all of the more volatile minor elements. In our previous experiments on shergottite compositions, variable fO2, T, and P is less than 4 GPa, Fe3+/TotFe decreased slightly with increasing P, similar to terrestrial basalt. For oxidizing experiments less than 7GPa, Fe3+/TotFe decreased as well, but it's unclear from previous modelling whether the deeper mantle could retain significant Fe3+. Our current experiments expand our pressure range deeper into the Earth's mantle and focus on compositions and conditions relevant to the early Earth. Experiments with Knippa basalt as the starting composition were conducted at 1-8 GPa and 1800 C, using a molybdenum capsule to set the fO2 near IW, by buffering with Mo-MoO3. TEM and EELS analyses revealed the run products from 7-8 GPa quenched to polycrystalline phases, with the major phase pyroxene containing approximately equal Fe3+/2+. A number of different approaches have been employed to produce glassy samples that can be measured by EELS and XANES. A more intermediate andesite was used in one experiment, and decompression during quenching was attempted after, but both resulted in a finer grained polyphase texture. Experiments are currently underway to test different capsule materials may affect quench texture. A preliminary experiment using liquid nitrogen to greatly enhance the rate of cooling of the assembly has also been attempted and this technique will be

  5. Investigating the effect of lateral viscosity variations in the Earth's mantle (United States)

    O'Farrell, K. A.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.


    Seismic tomography can be used to investigate radial viscosity variations on instantaneous flow models by predicting the global geoid and comparing with the observed geoid. This method is one of many that has been used to constrain viscosity structure in the Earth's mantle in the last few decades. Using the 3D mantle convection model, Stag-YY (e.g., Hernlund and Tackley, 2008), we are further able to explore the effect of lateral variations in viscosity in addition to the radial variations. Examining over 50 tomographic models we found notable differences by comparing a synthetically produced geoid with the observed geoid. Comparing S- and P-wave tomographic models, the S-wave models provided a better fit to the observed geoid. Using this large suite of 50 tomographic models, we have been able to constrain the radial viscosity structure of the Earth. We found that two types of viscosity profiles yielded equally good fits. A viscosity profile with a low transition zone viscosity and a lower mantle viscosity equal to the upper mantle, or a profile with a large lower mantle viscosity and a transition zone viscosity similar to the upper mantle. Using the set of radial viscosity profiles that gave the best fit to the observed geoid, we can explore a range of lateral viscosity variations and see how they affect the different types of tomographic models. Improving on previous studies of lateral viscosity variations (e.g. Ghosh, Becker and Zhong, 2010), we systematically explore a large range of tomographic models and density-velocity conversion factors. We explore which type of tomographic model (S- or P- wave) is more strongly affected by lateral viscosity variations, as well as the effect on isotropic and anisotropic models. We constrain the strength of lateral viscosity variations necessary to produce a high correlation between observed and predicted geoid anomalies. We will discuss the wavelength of flow that is most affected by the lateral viscosity variations

  6. Water in the Earth's Mantle: Mineral-specific IR Absorption Coefficients and Radiative Thermal Conductivities (United States)

    Thomas, S. M.


    Minor and trace element chemistry, phase relations, rheology, thermal structure and the role of volatiles and their abundance in the deep Earth mantle are still far from fully explored, but fundamental to understanding the processes involved in Earth formation and evolution. Theory and high pressure experiments imply a significant water storage capacity of nominally anhydrous minerals, such as majoritic garnet, olivine, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, composing the Earth's upper mantle and transition zone to a depth of 660 km. Studying the effect of water incorporation on chemical and physical mineral properties is of importance, because the presence of trace amounts of water, incorporated as OH through charge-coupled chemical substitutions into such nominally anhydrous high-pressure silicates, notably influences phase relations, melting behavior, conductivity, elasticity, viscosity and rheology. Knowledge of absolute water contents in nominally anhydrous minerals is essential for modeling the Earth's interior water cycle. One of the most common and sensitive tools for water quantification is IR spectroscopy for which mineral-specific absorption coefficients are required. Such calibration constants can be derived from hydrogen concentrations determined by independent techniques, such as secondary ion mass spectrometry, Raman spectroscopy or proton-proton(pp)-scattering. Here, analytical advances and mineral-specific IR absorption coefficients for the quantification of H2O in major phases of the Earth's mantle will be discussed. Furthermore, new data from optical absorption measurements in resistively heated diamond-anvil cells at high pressures and temperatures up to 1000 K will be presented. Experiments were performed on synthetic single-crystals of olivine, ringwoodite, majoritic garnet, and Al-bearing phase D with varying iron, aluminum and OH contents to calculate radiative thermal conductivities and study their contribution to heat transfer in the Earth's interior

  7. Water cycling between ocean and mantle: Super-earths need not be waterworlds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowan, Nicolas B. [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)


    Large terrestrial planets are expected to have muted topography and deep oceans, implying that most super-Earths should be entirely covered in water, so-called waterworlds. This is important because waterworlds lack a silicate weathering thermostat so their climate is predicted to be less stable than that of planets with exposed continents. In other words, the continuously habitable zone for waterworlds is much narrower than for Earth-like planets. A planet's water is partitioned, however, between a surface reservoir, the ocean, and an interior reservoir, the mantle. Plate tectonics transports water between these reservoirs on geological timescales. Degassing of melt at mid-ocean ridges and serpentinization of oceanic crust depend negatively and positively on seafloor pressure, respectively, providing a stabilizing feedback on long-term ocean volume. Motivated by Earth's approximately steady-state deep water cycle, we develop a two-box model of the hydrosphere and derive steady-state solutions to the water partitioning on terrestrial planets. Critically, hydrostatic seafloor pressure is proportional to surface gravity, so super-Earths with a deep water cycle will tend to store more water in the mantle. We conclude that a tectonically active terrestrial planet of any mass can maintain exposed continents if its water mass fraction is less than ∼0.2%, dramatically increasing the odds that super-Earths are habitable. The greatest source of uncertainty in our study is Earth's current mantle water inventory: the greater its value, the more robust planets are to inundation. Lastly, we discuss how future missions can test our hypothesis by mapping the oceans and continents of massive terrestrial planets.

  8. Assessing the feasibility and consequences of nuclear georeactors in the Earths core mantle boundary

    CERN Document Server

    De Meijer, R J


    We assess the likelihood and geochemical consequences of the presence of nuclear georeactors in the core mantle boundary region (CMB) between Earths silicate mantle and metallic core. Current geochemical models for the Earths interior predict that U and Th in the CMB are concentrated exclusively in the mineral calcium silicate perovskite (CaPv), leading to predicted concentration levels of approximately 12 ppm combined U and Th, 4.5 Ga ago if CaPv is distributed evenly throughout the CMB. Assuming a similar behaviour for primordial 244Pu provides a considerable flux of neutrons from spontaneous fission. We show that an additional concentration factor of only an order of magnitude is required to both ignite and maintain self sustaining georeactors based on fast fission. Continuously operating georeactors with a power of 5 TW can explain the observed isotopic compositions of helium and xenon in the Earths mantle. Our hypothesis requires the presence of elevated concentrations of U and Th in the CMB, and is amen...

  9. On the Modes of Mantle Convection in Super-Earths (Invited) (United States)

    Bercovici, D.


    The relatively recent discovery of larger-than-Earth extra-solar terrestrial planets has opened up many possibilities for different modes of interior dynamics, including mantle convection. A great deal of basic mineral physics is still needed to understand the state of matter and rheology of these super terrestrials, even assuming similar compositions to Earth (which is itself unlikely given the effect of singular events such as giant impacts and lunar formation). There has been speculation and debate as to whether the larger Rayleigh numbers of super-Earth's would promote plate tectonic style recycling, which is considered a crucial negative feedback for buffering atmospheric CO2 and stabilizing climate through weathering and mineral carbonation. However, models of plate generation through grainsize-reducing damage (see Foley & Bercovici this session) show that the effect of larger Rayleigh numbers is offset by an increase in the lithosphere-mantle viscosity contrast (due to a hotter mantle). Super-Earth's are therefore probably no more (or less) prone to plate tectonics than "normal" Earths; other conditions like surface temperature (and thus orbital position) are more important than size for facilitating plate tectonic cycling, which is of course more in keeping with observations in our own solar system (i.e., the disparity between Earth and Venus). Regardless, two major questions remain. First, what are the other modes of convective recycling that would possibly buffer CO2 and allow for a negative feedback that stabilizes climate? For example, subarial basaltic volcanism associated with plume or diapiric convection could potentially draw down CO2 because of the reactibility of mafic minerals; this mechanism possibly helped trigger Snow Ball events in the Proterozoic Earth during break-up of near-equatorial super-continents. Second, what observations of exo-planets provide tests for theories of tectonics or convective cycling? Spectroscopic techniques are most

  10. The EarthChem Deep Lithosphere Dataset: Digital Access to Mantle Xenolith Petrological Data (United States)

    Block, K. A.; Lehnert, K. A.; Walker, J. D.; Fishman, A.; McDonough, W. F.


    Establishment of a geologic framework for the USArray mission of EarthScope largely depends on community efforts that facilitate the integration of seismic data with petrologic, gravity, structural, and other geologic data. The EarthChem federation of interoperable databases ( provides cyberinfrastructure in which large geochemical data collections are assembled and curated to maximize data usability and accessibility. In an effort to address the needs of the GeoFrame/USArray community, EarthChem is developing the Deep Lithosphere Petrological Dataset to provide easy access to an integrated, comprehensive, global set of petrological data from upper mantle and lower crustal rocks. The initial focus for EarthChem's Deep Lithosphere dataset is xenolith data from geographic locations identified by GeoFrame as relevant to the USArray mission. Data are compiled in a relational database that complements the data collections of NAVDAT, GEOROC, and PetDB, and which together can be accessed and downloaded through the EarthChem Portal. The web interface permits the user to query by sample location, rock type, mineral, inclusion, author, major oxide, trace element and isotopic composition to build customized datasets. Additionally, radiometric age, host rock information, and model data such as pressure and temperature, including information about the geobarometer/geothermometer used by authors in their calculations, are included in the dataset to provide the perspective of geochemical modeling on the nature of the sub-continental mantle and lower crust for correlation with seismic imaging and geodynamic modeling.

  11. Motion of the Mantle in the Translational Modes of the Earth and Mercury (United States)

    Grinfeld, Pavel; Wisdom, Jack


    Slichter modes refer to the translational motion of the inner core with respect to the outer core and the mantle. The polar Slichter mode is the motion of the inner core along the axis of rotation. Busse presented an analysis of the polar mode which yielded an expression for its period. Busse's analysis included the assumption that the mantle was stationary. This approximation is valid for planets with small inner cores, such as the Earth whose inner core is about 1/60 of the total planet mass. On the other hand, many believe that Mercury's core may be enormous. If so, the motion of the mantle should be expected to produce a significant effect. We present a formal framework for including the motion of the mantle in the analysis of the translational motion of the inner core. We analyze the effect of the motion of the mantle on the Slichter modes for a non-rotating planet with an inner core of arbitrary size. We omit the effects of viscosity in the outer core, magnetic effects, and solid tides. Our approach is perturbative and is based on a linearization of Euler's equations for the motion of the fluid and Newton's second law for the motion of the inner core. We find an analytical expression for the period of the Slichter mode. Our result agrees with Busse's in the limiting case of small inner core. We present the unexpected result that even for Mercury the motion of the mantle does not significantly change the period of oscillation.

  12. Sulfide Composition and Melt Stability Field in the Earth's Upper Mantle (United States)

    Zhang, Z.; Hirschmann, M. M.


    In the Earth's upper mantle, sulfur occurs chiefly as (Fe, Ni)xS minerals and melts with near-monosulfide stoichiometries. These could have substantial influence on geochemical and geophysical properties of the Earth's interior. For example, sulfide mineral and melts are the major carriers of chalcophile and platinum group elements (PGEs) and sulfide melts are potentially responsible for mantle geophysical anomalies, as their physical properties (higher density, surface tension, electrical conductivity and lower melting points) differ greatly from those of silicates. Sulfide melts are a potential sink for reduced mantle carbon and perhaps be associated with carbon transport, including diamond precipitation. Sulfides may be molten in large parts of the mantle, but this is determined in part by sulfide composition, which is in turn a product of Fe-Ni exchange with olivine and of the effect of sulfur, oxygen, and carbon fugacities on metal/anion ratios of melts. Melting experiments define the monosulfide (Fe0.35Ni0.12Cu0.01S0.52) solidus from 1-8 GPa at carbon-free and graphite saturated conditions. The resulting carbon-free solidus is below the mantle adiabat to depths of at least 300 km, but does not indicate sulfide melting in continental lithosphere. In contrast, the graphite saturated solidus indicates melting in the lithosphere at 6-7 GPa (~200 km), close to the source conditions typical of diamond formation. To determine the composition of sulfide equilibrated with olivine, we performed experiments on monosulfide-olivine (crushed powders from San Carlos single crystal) under 2 GPa, 1400 ◦C. Our preliminary results suggests that Fe-Ni distribution coefficients KD, defined by (Ni/Fe)sulfide/(Ni/Fe)olivine, have significantly lower values than those determined previously at one atmosphere (Doyle and Naldrett 1987; Fleet and MacRae 1987; Gaetani and Grove 1997). This indicates that sulfide equilibrated with olivine in the mantle is richer in Fe than former

  13. Volatile-rich Melts in the Earth's Upper Mantle (AGU Kuno Medal) (United States)

    Dasgupta, Rajdeep


    The onset of silicate magma generation in the Earth's upper mantle influences the thermal evolution of the planet, fluxes of key volatiles to the exosphere, and geochemical and geophysical properties of the mantle. Although carbonatitic fluid with variable water content could be stable ≤250 km beneath mid oceanic ridges [1-3], owing to the small fraction (oxygen fugacity of the mantle in the garnet peridotite field [2, 3], we suggest that on a global scale, carbonated silicate melt generation at ~250-180 km deep redox solidus, with destabilization of metal and majorite in the upwelling mantle, explains oceanic low-velocity zone and electrical conductivity structure of the mantle. In locally oxidized domains (i.e., higher than average Fe3+/Fetotal), deeper carbonated silicate melt may contribute to the X-discontinuity. Furthermore, the new experimental results along with the electrical conductivity of molten carbonated peridotite [8] and that of the oceanic upper mantle [6] suggest that if CO2-rich melt is the only possible agent to explain the high electrical conductivity of the asthenospheric mantle then the mantle at depth is CO2-rich but H2O-poor; higher H2O content in the mantle enhances melting, lowers the CO2 content and likely the conductivity of such melts. Finally, carbonated silicate melts restrict the stability of carbonatite in the Earth's deep oceanic upper mantle and the inventory of carbon, water, and other highly incompatible elements at ridges becomes controlled by flux of the former [7]. Although the stability of carbonatitic melt may be eliminated beneath oceanic ridges at all depths, beneath continents stability of carbonatitic melt is expected. Archean cratonic mantle (geotherms corresponding to surface heat flux of 40-50 mW m-2) crosses the carbonated peridotite solidus, at a depth of ~100-220 km [9]; thus considering the oxygen fugacity profile for cratons [3], carbonatitic melt is expected to be stable at 100-180 km depths, at a narrow

  14. Mantle convection and the distribution of geochemical reservoirs in the silicate shell of the Earth (United States)

    Walzer, Uwe; Hendel, Roland


    We present a dynamic 3-D spherical-shell model of mantle convection and the evolution of the chemical reservoirs of the Earth`s silicate shell. Chemical differentiation, convection, stirring and thermal evolution constitute an inseparable dynamic system. Our model is based on the solution of the balance equations of mass, momentum, energy, angular momentum, and four sums of the number of atoms of the pairs 238U-206Pb, 235U-207Pb, 232Th-208Pb, and 40K-40Ar. Similar to the present model, the continental crust of the real Earth was not produced entirely at the start of the evolution but developed episodically in batches [1-7]. The details of the continental distribution of the model are largely stochastic, but the spectral properties are quite similar to the present real Earth. The calculated Figures reveal that the modeled present-day mantle has no chemical stratification but we find a marble-cake structure. If we compare the observational results of the present-day proportion of depleted MORB mantle with the model then we find a similar order of magnitude. The MORB source dominates under the lithosphere. In our model, there are nowhere pure unblended reservoirs in the mantle. It is, however, remarkable that, in spite of 4500 Ma of solid-state mantle convection, certain strong concentrations of distributed chemical reservoirs continue to persist in certain volumes, although without sharp abundance boundaries. We deal with the question of predictable and stochastic portions of the phenomena. Although the convective flow patterns and the chemical differentiation of oceanic plateaus are coupled, the evolution of time-dependent Rayleigh number, Rat , is relatively well predictable and the stochastic parts of the Rat(t)-curves are small. Regarding the juvenile growth rates of the total mass of the continents, predictions are possible only in the first epoch of the evolution. Later on, the distribution of the continental-growth episodes is increasingly stochastic

  15. Early history of Earth's crust-mantle system inferred from hafnium isotopes in chondrites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bizzarro, Martin; Haack, Henning; Rosing, M.;


    depleted mantle reservoir. Here we report Lu-Hf isotope measurements of different Solar System objects including chondrites and basaltic eucrites. The chondrites define a Lu-Hf isochron with an initial Hf/Hf ratio of 0.279628 ± 0.000047, corresponding to ¿176 = 1.983 ± 0.033 x 10yr using an age of 4.56 Gyr...... for the chondrite-forming event. This ¿176 value indicates that Earth's oldest minerals were derived from melts of a mantle source with a time-integrated history of depletion rather than enrichment. The depletion event must have occurred no later than 320 Myr after planetary accretion, consistent with timing...

  16. Water Cycling Between Ocean and Mantle: Super-Earths Need Not be Waterworlds

    CERN Document Server

    Cowan, Nicolas B


    Large terrestrial planets are expected to have muted topography and deep oceans, implying that most super-Earths should be entirely covered in water, so-called waterworlds. This is important because waterworlds lack a silicate weathering thermostat so their climate is predicted to be less stable than that of planets with exposed continents. In other words, the continuously habitable zone for waterworlds is much narrower than for Earth-like planets. A planet's water is partitioned, however, between a surface reservoir, the ocean, and an interior reservoir, the mantle. Plate tectonics transports water between these reservoirs on geological timescales. Degassing of melt at mid-ocean ridges and serpentinization of oceanic crust depend negatively and positively on seafloor pressure, respectively, providing a stabilizing feedback on long-term ocean volume. Motivated by Earth's approximately steady-state deep water cycle, we develop a two-box model of the hydrosphere and derive steady-state solutions to the water pa...

  17. Heat Loss of the Earth and Energy Budget of the Mantle (United States)

    Mareschal, J.; Jaupart, C.


    Determination of the rate of Earth's energy loss is based a very large number of heat flux measurements in a variety of geological settings. Difficulties in integrating the flux over the Earth surface stem from two facts. One is that heat flux varies on a wide range of spatial scales and, in continents, is not a function of a single variable such as geological age, for example. The other difficulty is that the data exhibit large scatter. Advances in the interpretation of oceanic heat flux data are due to a thorough understanding of hydrothermal circulation through oceanic crust and sediments. In continents, the total heat loss has been constrained by sampling of old cratons is now adequate and systematic studies of heat flux and heat production have provided robust constraints on the crustal contribution to the surface heat flux. Heat loss through the ocean floor cannot be determined from the raw data because they are affected by hydrothermal circulation and irregularities in sediment cover. Predictions of the "half-space" model for the conductive cooling of oceanic lithosphere are consistent with heat flux measurements in selected "noise-free" environments as well as with the bathymetry of the sea floor. They are also consistent with values of the mantle temperature beneath oceanic ridges derived from petrology. This cooling model is also consistent with numerical calculations of mantle convection with plates. Using an accurate determination of the area extent of oceanic sea floor including marginal basins and accounting for enhanced heat flux over hot spots, we estimated the rate of heat loss through the oceans to be 32±2 TW (1012 Watts). This result is valid only for the present-day age distribution of sea floor and heat loss may have been different in the past when the distribution of sea floor ages was different from the present. For continents, bias due to the very uneven sampling of the surface heat flux is removed by area- weighting the average. The

  18. Evolution of the Oxidation State of the Earth's Mantle: Challenges of High Pressure Quenching (United States)

    Danielson, L. R.; Righter, K.; Keller, L. P.; Rahman, Z.


    The oxidation state of the Earth's mantle during formation remains an unresolved question, whether it was constant throughout planetary accretion [1], transitioned from reduced to oxidized [2,3,4], or from oxidized to reduced [1,5]. We investigate the stability of Fe3+ at depth, in order to constrain processes (water, late accretion, dissociation of FeO) which may reduce or oxidize the Earth's mantle. Experiments of more mafic compositions and at higher pressures commonly form a polyphase quench intergrowth composed primarily of pyroxenes, with interstitial glass which hosts nearly all of the more volatile minor elements. In our previous experiments on shergottite compositions, variable fO2, T, and P <4 GPa, Fe3+/ΣFe decreased slightly with increasing P, similar to terrestrial basalt [6,7,8]. For oxidizing experiments < 7GPa, Fe3+/ΣFe decreased as well [9], but it's unclear from previous modelling whether the deeper mantle could retain significant Fe3+ [1,10]. Our current experiments expand our pressure range deeper into the Earth's mantle and focus on compositions and conditions relevant to the early Earth. Experiments with Knippa basalt as the starting composition were conducted at 1-8 GPa and 1800 °C, using a molybdenum capsule to set the fO2 near IW, by buffering with Mo-MoO3. TEM and EELS analyses revealed the run products from 7-8 GPa quenched to polycrystalline phases, with the major phase pyroxene containing approximately equal Fe3+/2+. A number of different approaches have been employed to produce glassy samples that can be measured by EELS and XANES. A more intermediate andesite was used in one experiment, and decompression during quenching was attempted after [11], but both resulted in a finer grained polyphase texture. Experiments are currently underway to test how different capsule materials may affect quench texture. A preliminary experiment using liquid nitrogen to greatly enhance the rate of cooling of the assembly has also been attempted and

  19. Deep-focus earthquakes and recycling of water into the earth's mantle (United States)

    Meade, Charles; Jeanloz, Raymond


    For more than 50 years, observations of earthquakes to depths of 100 to 650 kilometers inside earth have been enigmatic: at these depths, rocks are expected to deform by ductile flow rather than brittle fracturing or frictional sliding on fault surfaces. Laboratory experiments and detailed calculations of the pressures and temperatures in seismically active subduction zones indicate that this deep-focus seismicity could originate from dehydration and high-pressure structural instabilities occurring in the hydrated part of the lithosphere that sinks into the upper mantle. Thus, seismologists may be mapping the recirculation of water from the oceans back into the deep interior of the planet.

  20. Springtide-induced magnification of Earth mantle resonance causes tectonics and conceals universality of physics at all scales

    CERN Document Server

    Omerbashich, M


    I demonstrate two fundamental contributions. First, the Earth tectonics is generally a consequence of the springtide-induced magnification of mechanical resonance in the Earth mantle. The same mechanism that causes bridges to collapse under the soldiers step-marching makes also the Earth lithosphere fail under the springtide-induced magnification of the mantle resonance resulting in strong earthquakes. Secondly, by generalizing the above finding onto any body anywhere in all the Universes and at all times, I find that there is no distinction between physics at intergalactic, Newtonian, quantum, and smaller scales. Thus, the so-called constant of proportionality of physics, G, is not a constant but a parameter of a most general form: G = s e^2, nonlinearly varying amongst different scales s. Any scale-related variations of physics, erroneously recognized as such by Einstein and Planck, are only apparent and arise as a consequence of the Earth mantle springtide-induced extreme resonance, which is also criticall...

  1. The Earth's Mantle Is Solid: Teachers' Misconceptions About the Earth and Plate Tectonics. (United States)

    King, Chris


    Discusses the misconceptions revealed by the teachers' answers and outlines more accurate answers and explanations based on established evidence and uses these to provide a more complete understanding of plate tectonic process and the structure of Earth. (Author/YDS)

  2. The Earth's Mantle Is Solid: Teachers' Misconceptions About the Earth and Plate Tectonics. (United States)

    King, Chris


    Discusses the misconceptions revealed by the teachers' answers and outlines more accurate answers and explanations based on established evidence and uses these to provide a more complete understanding of plate tectonic process and the structure of Earth. (Author/YDS)

  3. Thermal evolution of Earth's mantle and core: Influence of reference viscosity and concentration of radioactive elements in the mantle (United States)

    Nakagawa, T.; Tackley, P. J.


    In a series of studies on the thermal evolution of Earth’s mantle and core [Nakagawa and Tackley, 2004; 2005; 2010], we have assumed a reference viscosity (at T=1600 K and P=0) of 1022 Pa.s and a concentration of radioactive elements based on the surface heat flux of the Earth’s mantle (6x10-12 W/kg). In addition, the initial mantle temperature in these studies was also based on the mantle adiabat estimated from present potential temperature (1600 K). Problems with these models are that (1) the average mantle temperature increases in the initial phase of the calculation and (2) the final (present-day) surface heat flux is a factor of two lower than expected from observational constraints (46 TW [Jaupart et al., 2007]), which means the Urey ratio is higher than the expected value (~0.3) [Jaupert et al., 2007; Korenaga, 2007]. Here we present results of a coupled model of thermo-chemical mantle convection in a 2-D spherical annulus and parameterized core heat balance, in which we vary (i) the reference viscosity down to 1020 Pa.s, giving a "surface" Rayleigh number of 109, (ii) the concentration of radioactive heat-producing elements in the mantle are tried (either a theoretical estimate [Schubert et al., 2001; 25 TW], geochemical estimate [McDonough and Sun, 1995; 20 TW] and modified geochemical estimate [Lyubetskaya and Korenaga, 2006; 16 TW]) and (iii) the initial mantle adiabat (up to 2500 K at the surface). Preliminary results indicate a preference for an initial mantle adiabat of more than 2500 K and the modified geochemical estimate of radioactive element concentration, in order to understand the current thermal state of Earth’s mantle when the reference viscosity is 1022 Pa s. Results with lower reference viscosity will be presented.

  4. Mapping the Earth's mantle in 4D using the proton microprobe (United States)

    Griffin, W. L.; Ryan, C. G.; Win, T. T.


    The CSIRO proton microprobe is used to study the trace element chemistry of garnet and chromite grains recovered from kimberlites and other volcanic rocks, both to develop new diamond exploration methods and to further understanding of the makeup and evolution of the earth's upper mantle. Analysis of the partitioning of trace and major elements between garnet and chromite and their coexisting phases in mantle rocks has led to the development of two single-mineral thermometers and a barometer. Trace Ni in Cr-pyrope garnet is used to determine the equilibration temperature ( TNi) of each garnet grain. This is the temperature of the garnet in its source rock before it was entrained in the erupting magma. Similarly, trace Zn in chromite yields an estimate ( TZn) of its equilibration temperature. To relate these temperature to depth in the lithosphere a measure of pressure ( PCr) has been developed that estimates pressure directly from Cr-pyrope garnet composition and TNi. This breakthrough enables the information on rock composition and metasomatic processes held in the trace and major element chemistry of each garnet to be located in P and T and thus placed in its stratigraphic context. Y, Ga and Cr provide information on mantle depletion by partial melting. Zr, Y and Ti provide clues to metasomatic processes such as infiltration of asthenospheric melts. Together the result is both an improved diamond exploration tool and a method of mapping the 3D structure, lithology and metasomatic processes in the lithosphere. With the added knowledge of the date of each intrusion, these methods permit the construction of 4D maps of the lithosphere, charting variation in mantle composition both laterally, with depth and through time.

  5. Redox-freezing and nucleation of diamond via magnetite formation in the Earth's mantle. (United States)

    Jacob, Dorrit E; Piazolo, Sandra; Schreiber, Anja; Trimby, Patrick


    Diamonds and their inclusions are unique probes into the deep Earth, tracking the deep carbon cycle to >800 km. Understanding the mechanisms of carbon mobilization and freezing is a prerequisite for quantifying the fluxes of carbon in the deep Earth. Here we show direct evidence for the formation of diamond by redox reactions involving FeNi sulfides. Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction identifies an arrested redox reaction from pyrrhotite to magnetite included in diamond. The magnetite corona shows coherent epitaxy with relict pyrrhotite and diamond, indicating that diamond nucleated on magnetite. Furthermore, structures inherited from h-Fe3O4 define a phase transformation at depths of 320-330 km, the base of the Kaapvaal lithosphere. The oxidation of pyrrhotite to magnetite is an important trigger of diamond precipitation in the upper mantle, explaining the presence of these phases in diamonds.

  6. Redox-freezing and nucleation of diamond via magnetite formation in the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Jacob, Dorrit E.; Piazolo, Sandra; Schreiber, Anja; Trimby, Patrick


    Diamonds and their inclusions are unique probes into the deep Earth, tracking the deep carbon cycle to >800 km. Understanding the mechanisms of carbon mobilization and freezing is a prerequisite for quantifying the fluxes of carbon in the deep Earth. Here we show direct evidence for the formation of diamond by redox reactions involving FeNi sulfides. Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction identifies an arrested redox reaction from pyrrhotite to magnetite included in diamond. The magnetite corona shows coherent epitaxy with relict pyrrhotite and diamond, indicating that diamond nucleated on magnetite. Furthermore, structures inherited from h-Fe3O4 define a phase transformation at depths of 320-330 km, the base of the Kaapvaal lithosphere. The oxidation of pyrrhotite to magnetite is an important trigger of diamond precipitation in the upper mantle, explaining the presence of these phases in diamonds.

  7. The relation of mantle heterogeneity to the bulk composition and origin of the earth (United States)

    Smith, J. V.


    The heterogeneity of the mantle can be viewed in the context of models for accretion of the terrestrial planets from the solar nebula. Oxygen isotope ratios and mineralogy indicate the existence of hot planetesimals of diverse compositions. Assuming that nebular condensates range from a reduced state near the sun to an oxidized state near Jupiter, a new model is proposed for heterogeneous accretion of the earth beginning with hot, reduced condensates and ending with cool, oxidized condensates. The Ganapathy-Anders cosmochemical model for the bulk composition of the earth was tested by summing measured compositions for the three outer zones and likely compositions for the inner zones. Revisions are suggested, including reduction of the content of the early condensate from that suggested by taking the U concentration as 30 ng/g, as suggested by the naive interpretation of the heat flow.

  8. Constraining the Composition of the Earth from Long-period Electromagnetic Sounding of the Lower Mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, A.; Connolly, J.; Olsen, Nils

    2O3-SiO2, rather than subsurface electrical conductivity structure, which is only an indirect means of estimating the former parameters. Using minimisation of Gibbs free energy, we calculate the stable mineral phases, their modes and densities. The mineral modes are combined with recent laboratory......We reexamine the problem of inverting global transfer functions to constrain the internal structure of the Earth. We go beyond the conventional approach of inverting electromagnetic induction data by inverting directly for chemical composition and thermal state, using the model system CaO-FeO-MgO-Al...... and experimental mineral electrical conductivity data are consistent with a silicate earth, with a composition close to the pyrolite model and additionally seem to require a low temperature mantle geotherm....

  9. Crustal decoupling and mantle dynamics on Venus: implications for Earth-like planets (United States)

    Ghail, Richard


    Venus is physically similar to Earth but with a hot dense atmosphere and no oceans; four-fifths of its surface is apparently volcanic in origin and likely basaltic in composition. Erosion and sedimentary processes are largely absent, preserving a near-random distribution of impact craters that led to the hypothesis of episodic global resurfacing, which proposes that the entire lithosphere was recycled in a short period (~50 Ma) about 750 Ma ago, and is currently in a stagnant-lid state, in which the crust and lithosphere are strongly coupled to a sluggishly convecting mantle. This hypothesis is at odds with the complex and diverse range of geological features on Venus that imply a continuum of activity, at a level at least similar to Earth's continental interiors, with little evidence for a sudden change in past rates of activity. An alternative hypothesis is presented here based on geological interpretation, topographic and gravitational data, and geomechanical inferences. The elevated surface temperature results in a weak lower crust, similar to certain terrestrial continental crust strength profiles, that is effectively decoupled from the mantle. The subcrustal lithosphere is therefore able to behave in a plate-like way, with boundary conditions defined by the base of the crust. Hypsographic data are used to infer the average plate thickness (100 ± 6 km), subcrustal plate creation rate (3·8 to 4·6 km² a-¹) and mean half-spreading rate (29 to 35 mm a-¹). The observed 55,000 to 65,000 km long network of rift systems observed on Venus are predicted to correspond to subcrustal spreading ridges; fits to their topography demonstrate that they are consistent with the model but with a range of subcrustal spreading rates from 11 to 97 mm a-¹. Geoid lows correspond well with predicted sites of subcrustal subduction. Since stress transmission is restricted by the weak lower crust, the surface is tectonically modified at only a modest rate, similar to terrestrial

  10. Temperature Dependent Mössbauer Spectra of Aluminous Perovskite and Implications for the Earth's Lower Mantle (United States)

    Liu, J.; Mysen, B. O.; Fei, Y.; Mao, H.; Hemley, R. J.; Li, J.


    Perovskite in the Earth's lower mantle contains 4.0~5.3 weight % Al (Wood and Rubie, Science. 1996). To date Mössbauer data on Al-PV under cryogenic conditions have not been reported. In this study, we measured Mössbauer spectra of an Al-PV sample at 65 to 300 K and 1 bar. The temperature dependence of the center shift, fitted by Debye model, gives recoil-free fractions of fFe2+ and fFe3+, which are critical for calculating Fe3+/⊙Fe ratio. The high relative concentration of Fe3+ of our Al-PV sample is consistent with previous studies on Al-PV samples containing a similar amount of aluminum (Lauterbach et al., Contrib Mineral Petrol. 2000). However, it cannot be attributed to disproportionation of Fe2+ (Frost et al., Nature. 2004), because neither metallic iron nor wüstite was observed in the Mössbauer spectra or electron probe analysis. In comparison to other capsule materials used in previous studies, such as graphite, iron, or rhenium, the gold capsule used in our synthesis is chemically inert, and does not influence the oxidation environment. A likely candidate to oxidize Fe2+ into Fe3+ in PV structure is H2O trapped as moisture. Earth's lower mantle may contain 2.5~5 times H2O of the present ocean's mass (Murakami et al., Science. 2002; Litasov et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 2003), a high Fe3+/⊙Fe ratio in lower mantle Al-PV can be achieved without disproportionation of Fe2+. Recent studies (McCammon et al., Nature Geosci. 2008; Lin et al., Nature Geosci. 2008) found a high quadrupole splitting (QS) (~4 mm s-1) component in Al-free PV at pressures above 30 GPa, and assigned it to intermediate-spin ferrous iron. The high QS component in our Al-PV sample has similar hyperfine parameters. Its relative concentration changes with temperature, possibly due to a temperature-induced change in the degree of lattice distortion (Bengtson et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 2009).

  11. Iron-silica interaction at extreme conditions and the electrically conducting layer at the base of Earth's mantle. (United States)

    Dubrovinsky, L; Dubrovinskaia, N; Langenhorst, F; Dobson, D; Rubie, D; Gessmann, C; Abrikosov, I A; Johansson, B; Baykov, V I; Vitos, L; Le Bihan, T; Crichton, W A; Dmitriev, V; Weber, H-P


    The boundary between the Earth's metallic core and its silicate mantle is characterized by strong lateral heterogeneity and sharp changes in density, seismic wave velocities, electrical conductivity and chemical composition. To investigate the composition and properties of the lowermost mantle, an understanding of the chemical reactions that take place between liquid iron and the complex Mg-Fe-Si-Al-oxides of the Earth's lower mantle is first required. Here we present a study of the interaction between iron and silica (SiO2) in electrically and laser-heated diamond anvil cells. In a multianvil apparatus at pressures up to 140 GPa and temperatures over 3,800 K we simulate conditions down to the core-mantle boundary. At high temperature and pressures below 40 GPa, iron and silica react to form iron oxide and an iron-silicon alloy, with up to 5 wt% silicon. At pressures of 85-140 GPa, however, iron and SiO2 do not react and iron-silicon alloys dissociate into almost pure iron and a CsCl-structured (B2) FeSi compound. Our experiments suggest that a metallic silicon-rich B2 phase, produced at the core-mantle boundary (owing to reactions between iron and silicate), could accumulate at the boundary between the mantle and core and explain the anomalously high electrical conductivity of this region.

  12. Regionalized temperature variations in the upper 400 km of the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Tralli, David M.; Ita, Joel J.

    Tectonically regionalized variations in the temperature of the upper 400 km of the Earth's mantle are estimated from analysis of global seismic travel-time data cataloged by the International Seismological Centre (ISC). Seismic parameter profiles are determined from estimates of P and S velocities obtained by tau inversion. Summary phase diagrams for the olivine and pyroxene-garnet subsystems are constructed in conjunction with a thermodynamic potential formulation that allows self-consistent determination of density, bulk modulus and adiabats throughout the pressure and temperature regimes of the mantle. Perturbations in estimated seismic parameters are expressed in terms of variations in temperature using the model temperature derivatives of the bulk modulus and density at a given temperature and pressure. Confidence bounds on the velocity estimates are used to place corresponding bounds on the constructed seismic parameters. A simple differential relationship is solved iteratively to obtain a temperature variation for a given variation in seismic parameter. This approach allows the estimation of a range of seismically determined temperature variations by employing a given compositional model. Results indicate that whereas the P and S velocity variations in the upper mantle are consistent with the tectonic regionalization, variations in V p/V s ratios are irregular. This leads to unstable estimates of the seismic parameters and thus estimates of mean temperature anomalies, typically within 600°C of the weighted mean, that are inconsistent with the regionalized seismic data. A comparison of two compositional models is used to show the trade-off with estimated temperature variations. A refined regionalization and analysis of a larger ISC data set are suggested to stabilize the S velocity inversion, reduce statistical uncertainties on the seismic parameters, and thus improve constraints on estimated temperature variations.

  13. Core-Mantle Partitioning of Volatile Elements and the Origin of Volatile Elements in Earth and Moon (United States)

    Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Danielson, L.; Nickodem, K.


    Depletions of siderophile elements in mantles have placed constraints on the conditions on core segregation and differentiation in bodies such as Earth, Earth's Moon, Mars, and asteroid 4 Vesta. Among the siderophile elements there are a sub-set that are also volatile (volatile siderophile elements or VSE; Ga, Ge, In, As, Sb, Sn, Bi, Zn, Cu, Cd), and thus can help to constrain the origin of volatile elements in these bodies, and in particular the Earth and Moon. One of the fundamental observations of the geochemistry of the Moon is the overall depletion of volatile elements relative to the Earth, but a satisfactory explanation has remained elusive. Hypotheses for Earth include addition during accretion and core formation and mobilized into the metallic core, multiple stage origin, or addition after the core formed. Any explanation for volatile elements in the Earth's mantle must also be linked to an explanation of these elements in the lunar mantle. New metal-silicate partitioning data will be applied to the origin of volatile elements in both the Earth and Moon, and will evaluate theories for exogenous versus endogenous origin of volatile elements.

  14. Seismological mapping of fine structure near the base of the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Vidale, J.E.; Benz, H.M.


    THE Earth's core-mantle boundary (CMB) juxtaposes liquid iron and crystalline silicates, and is a region of large vertical thermal gradients. The D??? region, which extends up to 200-300 km above the CMB, often has elevated shear-wave velocity and suggestions of lateral variations in structure1. Recent improvements in our ability to assemble and analyse records from regional seismic networks have allowed us to examine long profiles of travel times, amplitudes and waveforms from more than a thousand short-period seismometers2. We observe, across Canada and the United States, P waves that have grazed the CMB from the powerful nuclear test in Lop Nor, China, on 21 May 1992. First-arrival travel times and large secondary arrivals are consistent with a 1.5% compressional velocity increase with depth ???130 km above the CMB - about half the thickness of D??? in this locality3. Our observations, together with evidence for the absence of such a thin, fast layer in neighbouring regions, suggest the presence of lateral heterogeneity in composition or phase at the base of the mantle.

  15. A new model for early differentiation and chemical stratification of the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Rubie, D. C.; Gessmann, C. K.; Frost, D. J.


    New experimental data on the solubility of oxygen in liquid Fe-rich alloy enable the geochemical consequences of core formation and the early geochemical evolution of the Earth's mantle to be better constrained. We have studied oxygen solubility in liquid Fe-alloy at 5-23 GPa, 2100--2700 K and variable oxygen fugacities using a multianvil apparatus. At constant oxygen fugacity, O solubility increases with increasing temperature but decreases with increasing pressure. Thus, along a high temperature adiabat (e.g. after formation of a deep magma ocean), oxygen solubility is high at relatively shallow depths (e.g. 3000 K) in a magma ocean result in significant Si being dissolved in liquid Fe-alloy whereas at depths >800--1000 km the solubility starts to decrease again and becomes close to zero at the CMB (Gessmann et al. 2001, EPSL 184, 367). Thus migration of liquid metal during core formation provides a mechanism for enriching the lower part of the mantle in the FeO component, and possibly also in SiO_2, relative to the upper part.

  16. Highly Siderophile Elements in the Earth's Mantle as a Clock for the Moon-forming Impact

    CERN Document Server

    Jacobson, Seth A; Raymond, Sean N; O'Brien, David P; Walsh, Kevin J; Rubie, David C


    According to the generally accepted scenario, the last giant impact on the Earth formed the Moon and initiated the final phase of core formation by melting the Earth's mantle. A key goal of geochemistry is to date this event, but different ages have been proposed. Some argue for an early Moon-forming event, approximately 30 million years (Myr) after the condensation of the first solids in the Solar System, whereas others claim a date later than 50 Myr (and possibly as late as around 100 My) after condensation. Here we show that a Moon-forming event at 40 Myr after condensation, or earlier, is ruled out at a 99.9 per cent confidence level. We use a large number of N-body simulations to demonstrate a relationship between the time of the last giant impact on an Earth-like planet and the amount of mass subsequently added during the era known as Late Accretion. As the last giant impact is delayed, the late-accreted mass decreases in a predictable fashion. This relationship exists within both the classical scenario...

  17. Interaction of mantle plume heads with the earth's surface and onset of small-scale convection (United States)

    Griffiths, R. W.; Campbell, I. H.


    The interaction of a mantle plume head with the earth's surface was examined by studying the behavior of a spherical blob of a buoyant fluid under the effect of gravity which forces it toward either a rigid horizontal boundary or a free surface. In the experiments, buoyant spheres of diapir fluid having no surface tension and extremely small Reynolds numbers but diameters as large as are practical in the laboratory were injected into wide cylindrical tanks filled with viscous (nu = 149 sq cm/sec) glucose syrup. Experimental results are presented for the thinning and lateral spreading of the bouyant fluid and for the thinning of the squeeze layer for both the case of a rigid, nonslip boundary (a rigid Perspex lid) and that of a free surface. These are compared with similarity scaling laws based on a balance between the buoyancy of the diapir and the viscous stresses in the diapir's surroundings.

  18. Global variations in azimuthal anisotropy of the Earth's upper mantle and crust (United States)

    Schaeffer, A. J.; Lebedev, S.


    Deformation within the Earth's crust and mantle often results in crystallographic preferred orientations that produce measurable seismic anisotropy. Shear wave splitting measurements have the benefit of excellent lateral resolution and are an unambiguous indicator of the presence of seismic anisotropy; however, they suffer from poor depth resolution (integrated measurement from CMB to surface), in addition to being geographically limited (measurements only made at seismometer locations). The analysis of surface wave propagation also provides insight into the azimuthal variations in wave-speed, but with significantly better depth resolution. Thanks to the rapid increase in the number of seismic stations around the world, increasingly accurate, high-resolution 3D models of azimuthal anisotropy can be calculated using surface-wave tomography. We present our new global, azimuthally anisotropic model of the upper mantle and the crust. Compared to its recent predecessor, SL2013sv (Schaeffer and Lebedev, 2013), it is constrained by an even larger waveform fit dataset (>900,000 versus 712,000 vertical-component seismograms, respectively) and was computed using a more precise regularization of anisotropy, tuned to honour the amplitude and orientation of the anisotropic terms uniformly, including near the poles. Automated, multimode waveform inversion was used to extract structural information from surface and S wave forms, yielding resolving power from the crust down to the transition zone. Our unprecedentedly large waveform dataset, with complementary high-resolution regional arrays (including USArray) and global network sub-sets within it, produces improved resolution of global azimuthal anisotropy patterns. The model also reveals smaller scale patterns of 3D anisotropy variations related to regional lithospheric deformation and mantle flow, in particular in densely sampled regions. In oceanic regions, we examine the strength of azimuthal anisotropy, as a function of

  19. A thermodynamic recipe for baking the Earth's lower mantle and core as a whole (United States)

    Tirone, Max; Faak, Kathi


    A rigorous understanding of the thermal and dynamic evolution of the core and the interaction with the silicate mantle cannot preclude a non-empirical petrological description of the problem which takes the form of a thermodynamic model. Because the Earth's core is predominantly made of iron such model may seem relatively straightforward, simply delivering a representation of the phase transformations in the P,T space. However due to well known geophysical considerations, a certain amount of light elements should be added. With the Occam's razor principle in mind, potential candidates could be the most abundant and easily accessible elements in the mantle, O, Si and Mg. Given these premises, the challenging problems on developing this type of model are: - a thermodynamic formulation should not simply describe phase equilibrium relations at least in the Fe-Si-O system (a formidable task itself) but should be also consistently applicable to evaluate thermophysical properties of liquid components and solids phases at extreme conditions (P=500-2000 kbar, T=1000-5000 K). Presently these properties are unknown for certain mineral and liquid components or partially available from scattered sources. - experimental data on the phase relations for iron rich liquid are extremely difficult to obtain and could not cover the entire P,T,X spectrum. - interaction of the outer core with the silicate mantle requires a melt model that is capable of describing a vast range of compositions ranging from metal-rich liquids to silicate liquids. The compound energy formalism for liquids with variable tendency to ionization developed by Hillert and coworkers is a sublattice model with varying stoichiometry that includes vacancies and neutral species in one site. It represents the ideal candidate for the task in hand. The thermodynamic model unfortunately is rather complex and a detailed description of the formulation for practical applications like chemical equilibrium calculations is

  20. Magma redox and structural controls on iron isotope variations in Earth's mantle and crust (United States)

    Dauphas, N.; Roskosz, M.; Alp, E. E.; Neuville, D. R.; Hu, M. Y.; Sio, C. K.; Tissot, F. L. H.; Zhao, J.; Tissandier, L.; Médard, E.; Cordier, C.


    The heavy iron isotopic composition of Earth's crust relative to chondrites has been explained by vaporization during the Moon-forming impact, equilibrium partitioning between metal and silicate at core-mantle-boundary conditions, or partial melting and magma differentiation. The latter view is supported by the observed difference in the iron isotopic compositions of MORBS and peridotites. However, the precise controls on iron isotope variations in igneous rocks remain unknown. Here, we show that equilibrium iron isotope fractionation is mainly controlled by redox (Fe3+/Fetot ratio) and structural (e.g., polymerization) conditions in magmas. We measured, for the first time, the mean force constants of iron bonds in silicate glasses by synchrotron Nuclear Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (NRIXS, also known as Nuclear Resonance Vibrational Spectroscopy - NRVS, or Nuclear Inelastic Scattering - NIS). The same samples were studied by conventional Mössbauer and X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) spectroscopy. The NRIXS results reveal a +0.2 to +0.4‰ equilibrium fractionation on 56Fe/54Fe ratio between Fe2+ and Fe3+ end-members in basalt, andesite, and dacite glasses at magmatic temperatures. These first measurements can already explain ∼1/3 of the iron isotopic shift measured in MORBs relative to their source. Further work will be required to investigate how pressure, temperature, and structural differences between melts and glasses affect equilibrium fractionation factors. In addition, large fractionation is also found between rhyolitic glass and commonly occurring oxide and silicate minerals. This fractionation reflects mainly changes in the coordination environment of Fe2+ in rhyolites relative to less silicic magmas and mantle minerals, as also seen by XANES. We provide a new calibration of XANES features vs. Fe3+/Fetot ratio determinations by Mössbauer to estimate Fe3+/Fetot ratio in situ in glasses of basaltic, andesitic, dacitic, and rhyolitic

  1. What does Earth's electromagnetic field from ground and space measurements tell us about conductivity of the mantle? (United States)

    Grayver, Alexander; Morschhauser, Achim; Kuvshinov, Alexey


    This contribution presents an overview of new models of Earth's mantle conductivity that have been derived using new methodologies and data from magnetic observatories and satellite missions such as CHAMP and Swarm. The electrical conductivity of the mantle provides a wealth of information on composition and temperature of the mantle material at depths. Lateral and vertical variations of this physical property allow us to constrain rheological and dynamic states of the tectonic processes in the subsurface. Electromagnetic (EM) induction methods is the only tool that can be used to study electrical conductivity at depth. They exploit natural electromagnetic field variations to derive frequency-dependent responses that are used to conduct Earth sounding. These variations originate from electric current systems in magnetosphere, ionosphere and even oceans. Over the last 17 years, almost continuous operation of low-orbit satellites measuring Earth's magnetic field, installation of new magnetic observatories in remote locations as well as substantial improvements in processing and modeling have enabled us to study mantle electrical conductivity using a variety of EM methods either globally or/and at different locations on Earth.

  2. Numerical modelling of the plasticity of Ringwoodite under transition zone conditions in the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Ritterbex, S.; Carrez, P.; Gouriet, K.; Cordier, P.


    (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 ringwoodite spinel, a high-pressure polymorph of the main upper mantle constituent olivine, is considered to be the weakest phase in the lower half of the transition zone, generally a confined region between 410-660 km depth in the Earth's mantle which couples the upper and lower mantle. It is therefore believed to be an important phase in subducting slabs from 510-660 km depth. Knowledge of ductile deformation mechanisms of ringwoodite may therefore provide a framework for a better understanding of solid-state flow within the transition zone over which the viscosity is thought to increase rapidly. The glide of linear defects or dislocations in a crystal is one of the effective mechanisms responsible for creep of mantle minerals such as ringwoodite. A description of the core structures of the active dislocations is essentiel to obtain information about the dislocation mobility and hence the rate of deformation controlled by glide. Computer simulations at the atomic-scale are used to investigate the structure and properties of dislocation cores of Mg2SiO4 ringwoodite at a pressure of 20 GPa1. This approach is a good alternative to study intracrystalline plasticity since experimental study is more than challanging at the pressure and temperature conditions of the Earth's transition zone. The Peierls2-Nabarro3-Galerkin approach is used to understand and predict the plastic properties of Mg2SiO4 ringwoodite at 20 GPa4. In this semi-continuum model, the dislocation is described as a distribution of infinitesimal mismatches across the assumed glide planes. Ballancing the elastic forces within the crystal with the non-elastic interaction forces across the glide plane provide information about the localization of the planar core. The non-elastic forces across the glide plane can be deduced from atomic scale density functional theory based calculations of generalized stacking fault surfaces, which are energy landscapes due to the general stacking of one half of

  3. The tungsten isotopic composition of Eoarchean rocks: Implications for early silicate differentiation and core-mantle interaction on Earth (United States)

    Iizuka, Tsuyoshi; Nakai, Shun'ichi; Sahoo, Yu Vin; Takamasa, Asako; Hirata, Takafumi; Maruyama, Shigenori


    We have measured 182W/ 184W for Eoarchean rocks from the Itsaq Gneiss Complex (3.8-3.7 Ga pillow meta-basalts, a meta-tonalite, and meta-sediments) and Acasta Gneiss Complex (4.0-3.6 Ga felsic orthogneisses) to assess possible W isotopic heterogeneity within the silicate Earth and to constrain W isotopic evolution of the mantle. The data reveal that 182W/ 184W values in the Eoarchean samples are uniform within the analytical error and indistinguishable from the modern accessible mantle signature, suggesting that the W isotopic composition of the upper mantle has not changed significantly since the Eoarchean era. The results imply either that chemical communication between the mantle and core has been insignificant in post-Hadean times, or that a lowermost mantle with a distinctive W isotope signature has been isolated from mantle convective cycling. Most terrestrial rock samples have a 0.2 ɛ142Nd/ 144Nd higher than the chondrite average. This requires either the presence of a hidden enriched reservoir formed within the first 30 Ma of the Solar System, or the bulk Earth having a ˜ 5% higher Sm/Nd than the chondrite average. We explored the relevance of the 182Hf- 182W isotope system to the 146Sm- 142Nd isotope system during early silicate differentiation events on Earth. In this context, we demonstrate that the lack of resolvable 182W excesses in the Itsaq rocks, despite 142Nd excesses compared to the modern accessible mantle, is more consistent with the view that the bulk Earth has a non-chondritic Sm/Nd. In the non-chondritic Sm/Nd Earth model, the 182W- 142Nd chronometry constrains the age of the source mantle depletion for the Itsaq samples to more than ˜ 40 Ma after the Solar System origin. Our results cannot confirm the previous report of 182W anomalies in the Eoarchean Itsaq meta-sediments, which were interpreted as reflecting an impact-derived meteoritic component.

  4. Duration of the hydrocarbon fluid formation under thermobaric conditions of the Earth's upper mantle (United States)

    Mukhina, Elena; Kolesnikov, Anton; Kutcherov, Vladimir


    Deep abiogenic formation of hydrocarbons is an inherent part of the Earth's global carbon cycle. It was experimentally confirmed that natural gas could be formed from inorganic carbon and hydrogen containing minerals at pressure and temperature corresponding to the Earth's upper mantle conditions. Reaction between calcite, wustite and water in the large volume device was studied in several works. It was previously proposed that reaction is possible only after 40 minutes of exposure at high pressure and temperature. In this work similar experiment at P = 60 kbar and T = 1200 K were carried out in "Toroid" type chamber with the 5 seconds duration of thermobaric exposure. Gas chromatographic analysis of the reaction products has shown the presence of hydrocarbon mixture comparable to 5 minutes and 6 hours exposure experiments. Based on this fact it is possible to conclude that the reaction of natural gas formation is instant at least at given thermobaric conditions. This experiment will help to better understand the process of deep hydrocarbon generation, particularly its kinetics.

  5. How Irreversible Heat Transport Processes Drive Earth's Interdependent Thermal, Structural, and Chemical Evolution Providing a Strongly Heterogeneous, Layered Mantle (United States)

    Hofmeister, A.; Criss, R. E.


    Because magmatism conveys radioactive isotopes plus latent heat rapidly upwards while advecting heat, this process links and controls the thermal and chemical evolution of Earth. We present evidence that the lower mantle-upper mantle boundary is a profound chemical discontinuity, leading to observed heterogeneities in the outermost layers that can be directly sampled, and construct an alternative view of Earth's internal workings. Earth's beginning involved cooling via explosive outgassing of substantial ice (mainly CO) buried with dust during accretion. High carbon content is expected from Solar abundances and ice in comets. Reaction of CO with metal provided a carbide-rich core while converting MgSiO3 to olivine via oxidizing reactions. Because thermodynamic law (and buoyancy of hot particles) indicates that primordial heat from gravitational segregation is neither large nor carried downwards, whereas differentiation forced radioactive elements upwards, formation of the core and lower mantle greatly cooled the Earth. Reference conductive geotherms, calculated using accurate and new thermal diffusivity data, require that heat-producing elements are sequestered above 670 km which limits convection to the upper mantle. These irreversible beginnings limit secular cooling to radioactive wind-down, permiting deduction of Earth's inventory of heat-producing elements from today's heat flux. Coupling our estimate for heat producing elements with meteoritic data indicates that Earth's oxide content has been underestimated. Density sorting segregated a Si-rich, peridotitic upper mantle from a refractory, oxide lower mantle with high Ca, Al and Ti contents, consistent with diamond inclusion mineralogy. Early and rapid differentiation means that internal temperatures have long been buffered by freezing of the inner core, allowing survival of crust as old as ca.4 Ga. Magmatism remains important. Melt escaping though stress-induced fractures in the rigid lithosphere imparts a

  6. Azimuthal seismic anisotropy in the Earth's upper mantle and the thickness of tectonic plates (United States)

    Schaeffer, A. J.; Lebedev, S.; Becker, T. W.


    Azimuthal seismic anisotropy, the dependence of seismic wave speeds on propagation azimuth, is largely due to fabrics within the Earth's crust and mantle, produced by deformation. It thus provides constraints on the distribution and evolution of deformation within the upper mantle. Here, we present a new global, azimuthally anisotropic model of the crust, upper mantle and transition zone. Two versions of this new model are computed: the rough SL2016svAr and the smooth SL2016svA. Both are constrained by a very large data set of waveform fits (˜750 000 vertical component seismogram fits). Automated, multimode waveform inversion was used to extract structural information from surface and S wave forms in broad period ranges (dominantly from 11 to 450 s, with the best global sampling in the 20-350 s range), yielding resolving power from the crust down to the transition zone. In our global tomographic inversion, regularization of anisotropy is implemented to more uniformly recover the amplitude and orientation of anisotropy, including near the poles. Our massive waveform data set, with complementary large global networks and high-density regional array data, produces improved resolution of global azimuthal anisotropy patterns. We show that regional scale variations, related to regional lithospheric deformation and mantle flow, can now be resolved by the global models, in particular in densely sampled regions. For oceanic regions, we compare quantitatively the directions of past and present plate motions and the fast-propagation orientations of anisotropy. By doing so, we infer the depth of the boundary between the rigid, high-viscosity lithosphere (preserving ancient, frozen fabric) and the rheologically weak asthenosphere (characterized by fabric developed recently). The average depth of thus inferred rheological lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath the world's oceans is ˜115 km. The LAB depth displays a clear dependence on the age of the oceanic

  7. Core-Mantle Partitioning of Volatile Siderophile Elements and the Origin of Volatile Elements in the Earth (United States)

    Nickodem, K.; Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Pando, K.; Lee, C.


    There are currently several hypotheses on the origin of volatile siderophile elements in the Earth. One hypothesis is that they were added during Earth s accretion and core formation and mobilized into the metallic core [1], others claim multiple stage origin [2], while some hypothesize that volatiles were added after the core already formed [3]. Several volatile siderophile elements are depleted in Earth s mantle relative to the chondrites, something which continues to puzzle many scientists. This depletion is likely due to a combination of volatility and core formation. The Earth s core is composed of Fe and some lighter constituents, although the abundances of these lighter elements are unknown [4]. Si is one of these potential light elements [5] although few studies have analyzed the effect of Si on metal-silicate partitioning, in particular the volatile elements. As, In, Ge, and Sb are trace volatile siderophile elements which are depleted in the mantle but have yet to be extensively studied. The metal-silicate partition coefficients of these elements will be measured to determine the effect of Si. Partition coefficients depend on temperature, pressure, oxygen fugacity, and metal and silicate composition and can constrain the concentrations of volatile, siderophile elements found in the mantle. Reported here are the results from 13 experiments examining the partitioning of As, In, Ge, and Sb between metallic and silicate liquid. These experiments will examine the effect of temperature, and metal-composition (i.e., Si content) on these elements in or-der to gain a greater understanding of the core-mantle separation which occurred during the Earth s early stages. The data can then be applied to the origin of volatile elements in the Earth.

  8. Assessment of the effect of three-dimensional mantle density heterogeneity on Earth rotation in tidal frequencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lanbo Liu


    Full Text Available In this paper, we report the assessment of the effect of the three-dimensional (3D density heterogeneity in the mantle on Earth orientation parameters (EOP (i.e., the polar motion, or PM, and the length of day, or LOD in the tidal frequencies. The 3D mantle density model is estimated based upon a global S-wave velocity tomography model (S16U6L8 and the mineralogical knowledge derived from laboratory experiment. The lateral density variation is referenced against the preliminary reference earth model (PREM. Using this approach the effects of the heterogeneous mantle density variation in all three tidal frequencies (zonal long periods, tesseral diurnal, and sectorial semidiurnal are estimated in both PM and LOD. When compared with mass or density perturbations originated on the Earth's surface such as the oceanic and barometric changes, the heterogeneous mantle contributes less than 10% of the total variation in PM and LOD in tidal frequencies. However, this is the gap that has not been explained to close the gap of the observation and modeling in PM and LOD. By computing the PM and LOD caused by 3D heterogeneity of the mantle during the period of continuous space geodetic measurement campaigns (e.g., CONT94 and the contribution from ocean tides as predicted by tide models derived from satellite altimetry observations (e.g., TOPEX/Poseidon in the same period, we got the lump-sum values of PM and LOD. The computed total effects and the observed PM and LOD are generally agree with each other. In another word, the difference of the observed PM and LOD and the model only considering ocean tides, at all tidal frequencies (long periods, diurnals, and semidiurnals contains the contributions of the lateral density heterogeneity of the mantle. Study of the effect of mantle density heterogeneity effect on torque-free Earth rotation may provide useful constraints to construct the reference earth model (REM, which is the next major objective in global

  9. Open system models of isotopic evolution in Earth's silicate reservoirs: Implications for crustal growth and mantle heterogeneity (United States)

    Kumari, Seema; Paul, Debajyoti; Stracke, Andreas


    An open system evolutionary model of the Earth, comprising continental crust (CC), upper and lower mantle (UM, LM), and an additional isolated reservoir (IR) has been developed to study the isotopic evolution of the silicate Earth. The model is solved numerically at 1 Myr time steps over 4.55 Gyr of Earth history to reproduce both the present-day concentrations and isotope ratios of key radioactive decay systems (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and U-Th-Pb) in these terrestrial reservoirs. Various crustal growth scenarios - continuous versus episodic and early versus late crustal growth - and their effect on the evolution of Sr-Nd-Pb isotope systematics in the silicate reservoirs have been evaluated. Modeling results where the present-day UM is ∼60% of the total mantle mass and a lower mantle that is non-primitive reproduce the estimated geochemical composition and isotope ratios in Earth's silicate reservoirs. The isotopic evolution of the silicate Earth is strongly affected by the mode of crustal growth; only an exponential crustal growth pattern with crustal growth since the early Archean satisfactorily explains the chemical and isotopic evolution of the crust-mantle system and accounts for the so-called Pb paradoxes. Assuming that the OIB source is located in the deeper mantle, our model could, however, not reproduce its target ɛNd of +4.6 for the UM, which has been estimated from the average isotope ratios of 32 individual ocean island localities. Hence, either mantle plumes sample the LM in a non-representative way, or the simplified model set-up does not capture the full complexity of Earth's lower mantle (Nd isotope) evolution. Compared to the results obtained for a 4.55 Ga Earth, a model assuming a protracted U-Pb evolution of silicate Earth by ca. 100 Myr reproduces a slightly better fit for the Pb isotope ratios in Earth's silicate reservoirs. One notable feature of successful models is the early depletion of incompatible elements (as well as rapid decrease in Th/U) in

  10. The Earth's palaeorotation, postglacial rebound and lower mantle viscosity from analysis of ancient Chinese eclipse records (United States)

    Pang, Kevin D.; Yau, Kevin; Chou, Hung-Hsiang


    160,000 oracle bones unearthed from the Shang dynasty capital Anyang (36.1°N, 114.3°E). Four of the 12th-century-B.C. inscriptions have cyclic days of 18, 42, 17 and 25. The chinese 60-day cycle is like our week in design, and has been in continuous use from time immemorial. These records have been uniquely matched to the sunrise eclipses of June 7, 1172 B.C. and October 31, 1161 B.C., and sunset eclipses of October 21, 1198 B.C. and June 27, 1163 B.C., respectively. Using visibility constraints on the rising and setting eclipsed Sun from Anyang we have derived upper or lower limits on Δ T. Three of them cluster around 7 hr 10 min, consistent with a Δ T of 7 hr 20 min, from the analysis of a record of the June 5, 1302 B.C. total solar eclipse, which states that “three flames ate the Sun, big stars were seen”. Analysis of our data gave an equation of best-fit of Δ T=(30±2.5) t 2, for the secular lunar acceleration ratedot n_{moon} = - 26''/cen^2 ( Williams et al., 1992). From this we derived andot ω /ω of -(19±1.6)×10-11/yr, where ω is the angular velocity of the Earth's rotation. Subtracting a tidaldot ω /ω of -27.8×10-11/yr ( Lambeck, 1980) gave a nontidaldot ω /ω of (9±1.6)×10-11/yr, which is equivalent to adot J_2 of -(4.5±0.8)×10-11/yr. The averagedot J_2 for the past 3,300 yr is larger than the presentdot J_2 from satellite laser ranging, -3×10-11/yr ( Cheng et al., 1989), as expected. Bothdot J_2 values are consistent with postglacial rebound from an upper mantle of viscosity 1021 Pa s, and a lower mantle of viscosity (2 4)×1021 Pa s, deformed by Pleistocene ice sheet loading ( Peltier, 1985). Our mantle viscosity values are consistent with those from the analyses of free air gravity anomalies and relative sea-level variations ( Mitrovica and Peltier, 1991, 1992). Accurate values of the mantle viscosity are critical to our understanding of thermal convection patterns, that are responsible for plate tectonics ( Peltier, 1986). Finally

  11. Theoretical prediction of new mineral phases in Earth's mantle and core (Invited) (United States)

    Oganov, A. R.


    After theoretical-experimental discovery of MgSiO3 post-perovskite [1,2], many other important mineral phases have been proposed in the deep Earth’s interior. We have developed [3] and further enhanced [4] an evolutionary method for predicting the most stable crystal structure at given thermodynamic conditions. Here, I will illustrate several examples from our recent works. For example, we have predicted new phases of CaCO3, MgCO3 and CO2 at Earth’s mantle pressures, and many of these phases have already found experimental support [5-7]. These results shed new light on the behavior of carbon in the Earth’s mantle [7]. More recently, we have studied the behavior of methane at high pressures and temperatures [8], and we confirm that indeed CH4 should break down under pressure - first, into hydrocarbons (ethane, butane) and hydrogen, and then into diamond and hydrogen. Crucial role here is played by lattice vibrations (zero-point vibrations and entropic factor). These vibrational effects are frequently neglected, but we have demonstrated that without them the decomposition into diamond and hydrogen would not be possible. Considering variable-composition systems, we have demonstrated [9] that FeSi with the CsCl-type structure is the only iron silicide stable at pressures of the Earth’s inner core. Similar studies can be performed also for Fe-O, Fe-S, Fe-O and Fe-H systems, addressing the common assumptions on their behavior at ultrahigh pressures of the inner core. REFERENCES: [1] Murakami M., et al., Science 304, 855-858 (2004). [2] Oganov A.R., Ono S., Nature 430, 445-448 (2004). [3] Oganov A.R., Glass C.W., J. Chem. Phys. 124, 244704 (2006). [4] Lyakhov A.O., Oganov A.R., Valle M. Comp. Phys. Comm. 181, 1623-1632 (2010). [5] Oganov A.R., Glass C.W., Ono S., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 241, 95-103 (2006). [6] Ono S., Kikegawa T., Ohishi Y. Am. Mineral. 92, 1246-1249 (2007). [7] Oganov A.R., et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 273, 38-47 (2008). [8] Gao G., Oganov A

  12. Dislocation-accommodated grain boundary sliding as the major deformation mechanism of olivine in the Earth's upper mantle. (United States)

    Ohuchi, Tomohiro; Kawazoe, Takaaki; Higo, Yuji; Funakoshi, Ken-Ichi; Suzuki, Akio; Kikegawa, Takumi; Irifune, Tetsuo


    Understanding the deformation mechanisms of olivine is important for addressing the dynamic processes in Earth's upper mantle. It has been thought that dislocation creep is the dominant mechanism because of extrapolated laboratory data on the plasticity of olivine at pressures below 0.5 GPa. However, we found that dislocation-accommodated grain boundary sliding (DisGBS), rather than dislocation creep, dominates the deformation of olivine under middle and deep upper mantle conditions. We used a deformation-DIA apparatus combined with synchrotron in situ x-ray observations to study the plasticity of olivine aggregates at pressures up to 6.7 GPa (that is, ~200-km depth) and at temperatures between 1273 and 1473 K, which is equivalent to the conditions in the middle region of the upper mantle. The creep strength of olivine deforming by DisGBS is apparently less sensitive to pressure because of the competing pressure-hardening effect of the activation volume and pressure-softening effect of water fugacity. The estimated viscosity of olivine controlled by DisGBS is independent of depth and ranges from 10(19.6) to 10(20.7) Pa·s throughout the asthenospheric upper mantle with a representative water content (50 to 1000 parts per million H/Si), which is consistent with geophysical viscosity profiles. Because DisGBS is a grain size-sensitive creep mechanism, the evolution of the grain size of olivine is an important process controlling the dynamics of the upper mantle.

  13. Reduced radiative conductivity of high and low spin FeO6 octahedra in the Earth's lower mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Lobanov, Sergey S; Goncharov, Alexander F


    The ability of Earths mantle to conduct heat by radiation is determined by optical properties of mantle phases. Optical properties of mantle minerals at high pressure are accessible through diamond anvil cell experiments, but because of the extensive thermal radiation at T above 1000 K such studies are limited to lower temperatures. Particularly uncertain is the temperature-dependence of optical properties of lower mantle minerals across the spin transition as the spin state itself is a strong function of temperature. Here we use laser-heated DACs combined with a pulsed bright supercontinuum laser probe and a synchronized time-gated detector to examine optical properties of high and low spin ferrous iron at 45-73 GPa and to 1600 K in FeO6, one of the most abundant building blocks in the mantle. Siderite (FeCO3) is used as a model for FeO6-octahedra as it contains no ferric iron and exhibits a sharp optically apparent spin transition at 44 GPa, simplifying data interpretation. We find that the optical absorban...

  14. Viscoplastic behavior of multiphase Earth mantle polycrystals inferred from micromechanical modeling (United States)

    Castelnau, O.; Detrez, F.; Bollinger, C.; Cordier, P.; Hilairet, N.; Merkel, S.; Raterron, P. C.


    The strongly anisotropic rheology of olivine and pyroxene single grains, associated to polycrystal microstructures, constitutes a key feature affecting the dynamics of the Earth's upper mantle. High pressure deformation experiments carried out on olivine single crystals under synchrotron radiation, together with estimations of lattice friction based on first-principle calculations, show a transition from easy [100] to easy [001] slips in olivine as pressure and temperature (thus depth) increases. Besides dislocation glide, diffusion related deformation mechanisms such as dislocation climb, diffusion creep, and grain boundary sliding cannot be completely ruled out. Since their behavior is poorly known, they are grouped into a single isotropic viscous component. We input these elementary deformation mechanisms into a mean-field homogenization scheme (second-order self-consistent scheme of Ponte-Castaneda). This model presents the advantage of accurately predicting the mechanical interaction between deforming grains, as attested by many comparisons with full-field modeling on various polycrystals and 2-phases composites. The model has been adapted for predicting the viscoplastic behavior of olivine and olivine-pyroxene polycrystalline aggregates. Results illustrating the respective activation of elementary deformation mechanisms, but also the effect on texture evolution along several flow paths representative for in situ conditions, will be presented. It is shown that results strongly depart from intuitive models sometimes used in the literature. In particular, the polycrystal rheology is highly influenced by the poorly known hard slip systems and/or diffusion related processes.

  15. Micromechanical modeling of the viscoplastic behavior of multiphase Earth mantle polycrystals (United States)

    Detrez, F.; Castelnau, O.; Bollinger, C.; Cordier, P.; Hilairet, N.; Merkel, S.; Raterron, P. C.


    The strongly anisotropic rheology of olivine and pyroxene single grains, associated to polycrystal microstructures, constitutes a key feature affecting the dynamics of the Earth's upper mantle. High pressure deformation experiments carried out on olivine single crystals under synchrotron radiation, together with estimations of lattice friction based on first-principle calculations, show a transition from easy [100] to easy [001] slips in olivine as pressure and temperature (thus depth) increases. Besides dislocation glide, diffusion related deformation mechanisms such as dislocation climb, diffusional creep, and grain boundary sliding cannot be completely ruled out. Since their behavior is poorly known, they are grouped into a single isotropic viscous component. We input these elementary deformation mechanisms into a mean-field homogenization scheme (second-order self-consistent scheme of Ponte-Castaneda). This model presents the advantage of accurately predicting the mechanical interaction between deforming grains, as attested by many comparisons with full-field modeling on various polycrystals and 2-phases composites. The model has been adapted for predicting the viscoplastic behavior of olivine and olivine-pyroxene polycrystalline aggregates. Results illustrating the respective activation of elementary deformation mechanisms, but also the effect on texture evolution along several flow paths representative for in situ conditions, will be presented. It is shown that results strongly depart from intuitive models sometimes used in the literature. In particular, the polycrystal rheology is highly influenced by the poorly known hard slip systems and/or diffusion related processes.

  16. A Mercury-like component of early Earth yields uranium in the core and high mantle (142)Nd. (United States)

    Wohlers, Anke; Wood, Bernard J


    Recent (142)Nd isotope data indicate that the silicate Earth (its crust plus the mantle) has a samarium to neodymium elemental ratio (Sm/Nd) that is greater than that of the supposed chondritic building blocks of the planet. This elevated Sm/Nd has been ascribed either to a 'hidden' reservoir in the Earth or to loss of an early-formed terrestrial crust by impact ablation. Since removal of crust by ablation would also remove the heat-producing elements--potassium, uranium and thorium--such removal would make it extremely difficult to balance terrestrial heat production with the observed heat flow. In the 'hidden' reservoir alternative, a complementary low-Sm/Nd layer is usually considered to reside unobserved in the silicate lower mantle. We have previously shown, however, that the core is a likely reservoir for some lithophile elements such as niobium. We therefore address the question of whether core formation could have fractionated Nd from Sm and also acted as a sink for heat-producing elements. We show here that addition of a reduced Mercury-like body (or, alternatively, an enstatite-chondrite-like body) rich in sulfur to the early Earth would generate a superchondritic Sm/Nd in the mantle and an (142)Nd/(144)Nd anomaly of approximately +14 parts per million relative to chondrite. In addition, the sulfur-rich core would partition uranium strongly and thorium slightly, supplying a substantial part of the 'missing' heat source for the geodynamo.

  17. Partitioning of Phosphorus and Molybdenum between the Earth's Mantle and Core and the Conditions of Core Formation (United States)

    Acuff, K. M.; Danielson, L.; Righter, K.; Lee, C. T.


    There are several hypotheses on the specific processes that might have occurred during the formation of the Earth. One hypothesis that has been proposed is that early in the Earth's formation, there was a magma ocean present, and within this body, siderophile elements separated out of the silicate liquid to form the metal core. This study addresses this hypothesis. P and Mo are moderately siderophile elements that are present in both the mantle and the core. The concentrations of P and Mo in silicate vs. metal can be measured and in turn used to determine the temperatures, pressures, oxygen fugacity and melt composition required to achieve the same concentrations as observed in the mantle. The data here include eight experiments examining the partitioning of P and Mo between metallic liquid and silicate liquid. The purpose of the experiments has been to gain a greater understanding of core-mantle separation during the Earth formation process and examines temperature effect on P and Mo, which has not been systematically studied before.

  18. Investigation of geomagnetic field forecasting and fluid dynamics of the core. [determination of the bundary between the core and mantle of the Earth (United States)

    Benton, E. R. (Principal Investigator)


    Progress in the use of MAGSAT data to confirm that the radius of the Earth's core-mantle boundary can be accurately determined magnetically is reported. The MAGSAT data was used in conjunction with a high quality manfield model for epoch 1965. The unsigned flux linking the core and mantle of the Earth is considered to be a legitimate invariant for a span of time. The value from MAGSAT of this constant is 16.056 GWb (gigawebers).

  19. Novel Techniques for High Pressure Falling Sphere Viscosimetry under Simulated Earth's Mantle Conditions (United States)

    Mueller, H. J.; Beckmann, F.; Dobson, D. P.; Hunt, S. A.; Secco, R.; Lauterjung, J.; Lathe, C.


    Viscosity data of melts measured under in situ high pressure conditions are crucial for the understanding of Earth's lower mantle and the interior of terrestrial and extrasolar Super-Earth planets. We report recent technical advances and techniques enabling falling sphere viscosity measurements in single- and double-stage DIA-type multi-anvil apparatus. For the experiments we used presses with a maximum load of 250 tons and 1750 tons. We anticipate that our system will enable viscosity measurements up to the maximum pressure for non-diamond anvils, i.e. pressures up to some 30 GPa. For the development of the new set ups the deformation of the cell assemblies were analyzed by X-ray absorption tomography at beamline W II at DESY/HASYLAB after the high pressure runs. These analysis gave considerable insights into strategies for improving the cell assembly with the result that the optimized assemblies could be used at much higher pressures without blow-outs. We think this approach is much faster and more beneficial than the classical way of trial and error. Additionally to prevent high pressure blow outs the task was to make the whole melting chamber accessible for the high pressure X-radiography system up to the maximum pressures. This way the accuracy and reliability of the measurements can be improved. For this goal we used X-ray transparent cBN-anvils at the single-stage DIA large volume press. Because this material is recently not available for the cube size of 32 mm this aproach did not work for the double-stage DIA. As a very useful and economical alternative we used slotted carbide anvils filled with fired pyrophyllite bars. To improve the frame quality of the platinum spheres taken by the CCD-camera the energy of the monochromatic X-rays had to be increased to 100 keV. The resulting ascent of scattered radiation required a new design of the X-radiography unit. Our results are demonstrated with viscosity measurements following Stokes law by evaluation of X

  20. Evidence from Sardinian basalt geochemistry for recycling of plume heads into the Earth's mantle. (United States)

    Gasperini, D; Blichert-Toft, J; Bosch, D; Del Moro, A; Macera, P; Télouk, P; Albarède, F


    Up to 10 per cent of the ocean floor consists of plateaux--regions of unusually thick oceanic crust thought to be formed by the heads of mantle plumes. Given the ubiquitous presence of recycled oceanic crust in the mantle source of hotspot basalts, it follows that plateau material should also be an important mantle constituent. Here we show that the geochemistry of the Pleistocene basalts from Logudoro, Sardinia, is compatible with the remelting of ancient ocean plateau material that has been recycled into the mantle. The Sr, Nd and Hf isotope compositions of these basalts do not show the signature of pelagic sediments. The basalts' low CaO/Al2O3 and Ce/Pb ratios, their unradiogenic 206Pb and 208Pb, and their Sr, Ba, Eu and Pb excesses indicate that their mantle source contains ancient gabbros formed initially by plagioclase accumulation, typical of plateau material. Also, the high Th/U ratios of the mantle source resemble those of plume magmas. Geochemically, the Logudoro basalts resemble those from Pitcairn Island, which contain the controversial EM-1 component that has been interpreted as arising from a mantle source sprinkled with remains of pelagic sediments. We argue, instead, that the EM-1 source from these two localities is essentially free of sedimentary material, the geochemical characteristics of these lavas being better explained by the presence of recycled oceanic plateaux. The storage of plume heads in the deep mantle through time offers a convenient explanation for the persistence of chemical and mineralogical layering in the mantle.

  1. Mixing in mantle convection models with self-consistent plate tectonics and melting and crustal production: Application to mixing in the early Earth (United States)

    Tackley, Paul


    It is generally thought that the early Earth's mantle was hotter than today, which using conventional convective scalings should have led to vigorous convection and mixing. Geochemical observations, however, suggest that mixing was not as rapid as would be expected, leading to the suggestion that early Earth had stagnant lid convection (Debaille et al., EPSL 2013). Additionally, the mantle's thermal evolution is difficult to explain using conventional scalings because early heat loss would have been too rapid, which has led to the hypothesis that plate tectonics convection does not follow the conventional convective scalings (Korenaga, GRL 2003). One physical process that could be important in this context is partial melting leading to crustal production, which has been shown to have the major effects of buffering mantle temperature and carrying a significant fraction of the heat from hot mantle (Nakagawa and Tackley, EPSL 2012), making plate tectonics easier (Lourenco et al., submitted), and causing compositional differentiation of the mantle that can buffer core heat loss (Nakagawa and Tackley, GCubed 2010). Here, the influence of this process on mantle mixing is examined, using secular thermo-chemical models that simulate Earth's evolution over 4.5 billion years. Mixing is quantified both in terms of how rapidly stretching occurs, and in terms of dispersion: how rapidly initially close heterogeneities are dispersed horizontally and vertically through the mantle. These measures are quantified as a function of time through Earth's evolution. The results will then be related to geochemically-inferred mixing rates.

  2. Fine scale heterogeneity in the Earth's upper mantle - observation and interpretation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thybo, Hans


    can be correlated to main plate tectonic features, such as oceanic spreading centres, continental rift zones and subducting slabs. Much seismological mantle research is now concentrated on imaging fine scale heterogeneity, which may be detected and imaged with high-resolution seismic data with dense......High resolution seismic data has over the last decade provided significant evidence for pronounced fine scale heterogeneity in the Earth’s mantle at an unprecedented detail. Seismic tomography developed tremendously during the last 20-30 years. The results show overall structure in the mantle which...... station spacing and at high frequency, e.g. from the Russian Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) data set and array recordings of waves from natural seismic sources. Mantle body waves indicate pronounced heterogeneity at three depth levels whereas other depth intervals appear transparent, at least...

  3. Elasticity of ferropericlase and seismic heterogeneity in the Earth's lower mantle: Ferropericlase High Pressure-Temperature Elasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jing [Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin Texas USA; Lin, Jung-Fu [Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin Texas USA; Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research (HPSTAR), Shanghai China; Jacobsen, Steven D. [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois USA; Seymour, Nikki M. [Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin Texas USA; Tkachev, Sergey N. [Center for Advanced Radiation Sources, University of Chicago, Chicago Illinois USA; Prakapenka, Vitali B. [Center for Advanced Radiation Sources, University of Chicago, Chicago Illinois USA


    Deciphering the origin of seismic heterogeneity has been one of the major challenges in understanding the geochemistry and geodynamics of the deep mantle. Fully anisotropic elastic properties of constituent minerals at relevant pressure-temperature conditions of the lower mantle can be used to calculate seismic heterogeneity parameters in order to better understand chemically and thermally induced seismic heterogeneities. In this study, the single-crystal elastic properties of ferropericlase (Mg0.94Fe0.06)O were measured using Brillouin spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction at conditions up to 50 GPa and 900 K. The velocity-density results were modeled using third-order finite-strain theory and thermoelastic equations along a representative geotherm to investigate high pressure-temperature and compositional effects on the seismic heterogeneity parameters. Our results demonstrate that from 660 to 2000 km, compressional wave anisotropy of ferropericlase increased from 4% to 9.7%, while shear wave anisotropy increased from 9% to as high as 22.5%. The thermally induced lateral heterogeneity ratio (RS/P = ∂lnVS/∂lnVP) of ferropericlase was calculated to be 1.48 at ambient pressure but decreased to 1.43 at 40 GPa along a representative geotherm. The RS/P of a simplified pyrolite model consisting of 80% bridgmanite and 20% ferropericlase was approximately 1.5, consistent with seismic models at depths from 670 to 1500 km, but showed an increased mismatch at lower mantle depths below ~1500 km. This discrepancy below mid-lower mantle could be due to either a contribution from chemically induced heterogeneity or the effects of the Fe spin transition in the deeper parts of the Earth's lower mantle.

  4. FeO2 and FeOOH under deep lower-mantle conditions and Earth's oxygen-hydrogen cycles. (United States)

    Hu, Qingyang; Kim, Duck Young; Yang, Wenge; Yang, Liuxiang; Meng, Yue; Zhang, Li; Mao, Ho-Kwang


    The distribution, accumulation and circulation of oxygen and hydrogen in Earth's interior dictate the geochemical evolution of the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. The oxygen-rich atmosphere and iron-rich core represent two end-members of the oxygen-iron (O-Fe) system, overlapping with the entire pressure-temperature-composition range of the planet. The extreme pressure and temperature conditions of the deep interior alter the oxidation states, spin states and phase stabilities of iron oxides, creating new stoichiometries, such as Fe4O5 (ref. 5) and Fe5O6 (ref. 6). Such interactions between O and Fe dictate Earth's formation, the separation of the core and mantle, and the evolution of the atmosphere. Iron, in its multiple oxidation states, controls the oxygen fugacity and oxygen budget, with hydrogen having a key role in the reaction of Fe and O (causing iron to rust in humid air). Here we use first-principles calculations and experiments to identify a highly stable, pyrite-structured iron oxide (FeO2) at 76 gigapascals and 1,800 kelvin that holds an excessive amount of oxygen. We show that the mineral goethite, FeOOH, which exists ubiquitously as 'rust' and is concentrated in bog iron ore, decomposes under the deep lower-mantle conditions to form FeO2 and release H2. The reaction could cause accumulation of the heavy FeO2-bearing patches in the deep lower mantle, upward migration of hydrogen, and separation of the oxygen and hydrogen cycles. This process provides an alternative interpretation for the origin of seismic and geochemical anomalies in the deep lower mantle, as well as a sporadic O2 source for the Great Oxidation Event over two billion years ago that created the present oxygen-rich atmosphere.

  5. Origin of Ultra-Deep Diamonds: Chemical Interaction of Ca-CARBONATE and the Earth's Lower Mantle Minerals (United States)

    Spivak, A. V.; Dubrovinsky, L. S.; Litvin, Yu. A.


    The main goal of the work is experimental study of physicochemical conditions of origin of ultra-deep diamonds in the substance of the Earth's lower mantle (LM) based on the experimental criterium of syngenesis of diamond and primary inclusions of LM mineral. Magnesiowustite (Mg,Fe)O, Mg-Fe perovskite (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O3 and Ca-perovskite CaSiO3 mainly present the LM substance and are frequently disclosed as primary inclusions in ultra-deep diamonds together with Ca-, (Ca, Mg, Fe)-, Na-Ca-carbonates. For the upper mantle conditions, the mantle-carbonatite conception of diamond genesis was developed based on the effects of congruent melting of carbonates and complete liquid miscibility of carbonate-silicate melts. Melting of Ca-carbonate and CaCO3 - (Mg,Fe)O, CaCO3 - (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O3 systems, stability of the melts and their decomposition were studied in static high pressure experiments at pressures of 16 to 55 GPa and temperatures of 1600 to 3900 K using diamond anvil cell technique with laser heating. It was determined that melting of Ca-carbonate is congruent at the PT-conditions of the lower mantle and characterized by an expanded field of liquid Ca-carbonate phase. We observed formation of graphite (below 16 GPa) and diamond (between 16 and 43 GPa) on decomposition of the CaCO3 melt at temperatures above 3400 K. At temperatures below 3400 K congruent melting of calcium carbonate was confirmed. Also it was shown that CaCO3 - (Mg,Fe)O - (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O3 system is capable to form diamonds together with Ca-carbonate, magnesiowustite and perovskite as syngenesis minerals at PT-conditions of the lower mantle. We observed formation diamond (between 40 and 55 GPa) on decomposition of the CaCO3 from CaCO3 - (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O3 melt at temperatures above 2000 K. The experimental data on phase relations at the melting and decomposition of CaCO3 and CaCO3-(Mg,Fe)O-(Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O3 system as well as diamond crystallization are applied to the problem of formation of natural ultra

  6. Oxidation state of the Earth's upper mantle during the last 3800 million years: Implications for the origin of life (United States)

    Delano, J. W.


    A popular, as well as scientifically rigorous, scenario for the origin of life on Earth involves the production of organic molecules by interaction of lightning (or other forms of energy) with a chemically reducing atmosphere in the early history of Earth. Experiments since the 1950's have convincingly demonstrated that the yield of organic molecules is high when the atmosphere contains molecular hydrogen, methane, ammonia, and water vapor. Additional work has also shown that such a highly reducing atmosphere might not, however, have been sufficiently long-lived in the presence of intense solar ultraviolet radiation for life to have formed from it. One way of maintaining such an atmosphere would be to have a continual replenishment of the reduced gases by prolonged volcanic outgassing from a reducing of Earth's interior. The length of time that this replenishment might need to continue is in part constrained by the flux of asteroids onto the Earth's surface containing sufficient energy to destroy most, if not all, life that had developed up to that point in time. If a reducing atmosphere is a key ingredient for the origin of life on Earth, the time of the last environmental sterilization due to large impacts would be an important constraint. In a deep marine setting (e.g., hydrothermal vent), the last global sterilization might have occurred at 4200-4000 Ma. On the Earth's surface, the last global sterilization event might have occurred at 4000-3700 Ma. If these are meaningful constraints, how likely is it that a reducing atmosphere could have survived on the Earth until about 3800 Ma ago? Due to the importance of replenishing this atmosphere with reducing components by volcanic outgassing from the mantle, geochemical information on the history of the mantle's oxidation state would be useful for addressing this question. Geochemical and experimental data discussed in this abstract suggest that extrusive mafic volcanics derived from the upper mantle have had

  7. Attenuation of seismic waves and the universal rheological model of the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Birger, B. I.


    Analysis of results of laboratory studies on creep of mantle rocks, data on seismic wave attenuation in the mantle, and rheological micromechanisms shows that the universal, i.e., relevant to all time scales, rheological model of the mantle can be represented as four rheological elements connected in series. These elements account for elasticity, diffusion rheology, high temperature dislocation rheology, and low temperature dislocation rheology. The diffusion rheology element is described in terms of a Newtonian viscous fluid. The high temperature dislocation rheology element is described by the rheological model previously proposed by the author. This model is a combination of a power-law non-Newtonian fluid model for stationary flows and the linear hereditary Andrade model for flows associated with small strains. The low temperature dislocation rheology element is described by the linear hereditary Lomnitz model.

  8. The effect of iron and aluminum incorporation on lattice thermal conductivity of bridgmanite at the Earth's lower mantle (United States)

    Okuda, Yoshiyuki; Ohta, Kenji; Yagi, Takashi; Sinmyo, Ryosuke; Wakamatsu, Tatsuya; Hirose, Kei; Ohishi, Yasuo


    Bridgmanite (Bdg), iron (Fe)- and aluminum (Al)-bearing magnesium silicate perovskite is the most abundant mineral in the Earth's lower mantle. Thus, its thermal conductivity governs the lower mantle thermal conductivity that critically controls the thermo-chemical evolution of both the core and the lower mantle. While there is extensive research for the lattice thermal conductivity of MgSiO3 Bdg, the effects of Fe and Al incorporation on its lattice thermal conduction are still controversial. Here we report the lattice thermal conductivity of Mg0.832Fe0.209Al0.060Si0.916O3 Bdg measured up to 142 GPa at 300 K using the pulsed light heating thermoreflectance technique in a diamond anvil cell. The results show that the lattice thermal conductivity of Bdg is 25.5 ± 2.2 W/m/K at 135 GPa and 300 K, which is 19% lower than that of Fe and Al-free Bdg at identical conditions. Considering the temperature effect on the lattice conductivity and the contribution of radiative thermal conductivity, the total thermal conductivity of Fe and Al-bearing Bdg does not change very much with temperature at 135 GPa, and could be higher than that of post-perovskite with identical chemical composition.

  9. Two-Body Convection in the Mantle of the Earth: E/W Asymmetry, Under Astronomically Determined Tilt in g (United States)

    Bostrom, R. C.


    Under purely geocentric gravity, over time displacement under mantle convection is globally symmetrical, resulting in zero net lithosphere rotation. The effect is here explored of substituting the asymmetric Earth-Moon field, gconv, prevalent in actuality. The gravity responsible for mantle convection is defined as the vector sum of a vertical component and the day-averaged attraction of masses lagging tidal equilibrium. The increasingly accurately measured lunar recession may then be used to delimit the internal field in terms of the secular luni-tidal interval of the Earth as a whole, some 600 seconds [1], without having to identify tidal components i.e. separate marine from body tides. In context the astronomic phase-lag may be viewed as a global isostatic anomaly, in which the longitude circles marking Earth's gravimetric figure are located east of those describing its perpetually unattained equilibrium figure by some 89 km at the Equator. Reference the hydrostatic ellipsoid gconv is tilted by the astronomically delimited amount, albeit that the phase lag is attributable in part to the convection itself. As with the convection, the tectonic significance of its asymmetry is determinable geodetically. Using present art-state a strategically located GPS grid [2] would provide continuously more precise separation of the asymmetric component of surface displacement. In developing plate-motion models including members of the Nuvel series, it would be logical to follow up rather than discard the set permitting minor asymmetrical convection sans net torque, such as an element of net-lithosphere-rotation relative to plumes. To conserve system angular-momentum, this may be the only valid set. Characteristics of the convection to be expected accord with 'paradoxical' features of plate tectonics under purely radial gravity, including: difficulty in closing plate-motion circuits; net-lithosphere-rotation refce. hot-spots, sans net torque; geotectonic maps ranging from

  10. Mantle Convection, Plate Tectonics, and the Asthenosphere: A Bootstrap Model of the Earth's Internal Dynamics (United States)

    Lenardic, A.; Hoink, T.


    Several studies have highlighted the role of a low viscosity asthenosphere in promoting plate-like behavior in mantle convection models. It has also been argued that the asthenosphere is fed by mantle plumes (Phipps- Morgan et al. 1993; Deffeyes 1972) and that the existence of the specific plume types required for this depends on plate subduction (Lenardic and Kaula 1995; Jellinek et al. 2002). Independent of plumes, plate subduction can generate a non-adiabatic temperature gradient which, together with temperature dependent mantle viscosity, leads to a low viscosity near surface region. The above suggests a conceptual model in which the asthenosphere can not be defined solely in terms of material properties but must also be defined in terms of an active process, plate tectonics, which both maintains it and is maintained by it. The bootstrap aspect of the model is its circular causality between plates and the asthenosphere, neither being more fundamental than the other and the existence of each depending on the other. Several of the feedbacks key to the conceptual model will be quantified. The implications for modeling mantle convection in a plate-tectonic mode will also be discussed: 1) A key is to get numerical simulations into the bootstrap mode of operation and this is dependent on assumed initial conditions; 2) The model implies potentially strong hysteresis effects (e.g., transition between convection states, associated with variable yield stress, will occur at different values depending on whether the yield stress is systematically lowered or raised between successive models).

  11. A generalized equation of state with an application to the Earth's mantle


    J. A. Robles-Gutiérrez; J. M. A. Robles-Domínguez; C. Lomnitz


    This study analizes the pertinency of including in the state equation of Kamerlingh-Onnes, non additive, potentials of multiple-interactiions of particles. These forces are indeed real and of a electrodinamic character. From the state equation no gerenalized, we obtained the isotherms in the vecinity of the critical point, and of the triple point for polar (or no polar) systems. We developed the example of water. We generalized the state equation for the mantle developed by Birch, and in part...

  12. Semantic Network Analysis on Terms related Mantle in Earth Science 2 Textbooks of Korea (United States)

    Chung, Duk Ho; reum Cho, Ah; Park, Seon Ok


    The purpose of this study is to demonstrate if freshmen's cognitive frame about 'Crisis of the Earth' upon taking the Earth science 1 in high school reflects the school curriculum. The data was collected from 67 freshmen who'd graduated high school in formal education. They expressed 'Crisis of the Earth' as a painting with explanation and then we extracted units of meaning from paintings, respectively. We analyzed the words and frame using the Semantic Network Analysis. The result is as follows; First, as every participant forms the cognitive frame for the crisis of the Earth, it is shown that they connect each part which that composes the global environment and realize it as the changing relation with interaction. Secondly, forming a cognitive frame regarding crisis of the Earth, both groups connect it with human endeavor. Especially, it seems that the group of participants who finished Earth Science I fully reflects the course of the formal education. It is necessary to make the students recognize it from a universal point of view, not only from the Earth. Also, much effort is required in order to enlighten about the appropriateness regarding problem-solving of the Earth and expand their mind as time changes. Keywords : Earth ScienceⅠ, cognitive frame, crisis of the earth, semantic network analysis

  13. Hot Spots and Mantle Plumes: A Window Into the Deep Earth and a Lesson on How Science Really Works (United States)

    Caplan-Auerbach, J.


    tomography to image deep plumes, the use of magnetic data to determine plume paleolatitude, and the search for heat flow anomalies near hot spots. On the final day of the class students revisit the three questions presented above and discuss whether their thoughts on the topic have changed as a result of studying the geophysics. Finally, the class discusses the issue in terms of Thomas Kuhn’s phases of scientific study, considering whether or not the mantle plumes paradigm is in crisis. As evidenced by comments in student course evaluations, the project is very popular and students appreciate the opportunity to investigate a modern scientific controversy. The project not only helps students learn how geophysics may be used to study the deep earth, it familiarizes them with current scientific literature, and perhaps most importantly, it allows them to learn about and engage in a critical scientific debate.

  14. Time variability in Cenozoic reconstructions of mantle heat flow: plate tectonic cycles and implications for Earth's thermal evolution. (United States)

    Loyd, S J; Becker, T W; Conrad, C P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C; Corsetti, F A


    The thermal evolution of Earth is governed by the rate of secular cooling and the amount of radiogenic heating. If mantle heat sources are known, surface heat flow at different times may be used to deduce the efficiency of convective cooling and ultimately the temporal character of plate tectonics. We estimate global heat flow from 65 Ma to the present using seafloor age reconstructions and a modified half-space cooling model, and we find that heat flow has decreased by approximately 0.15% every million years during the Cenozoic. By examining geometric trends in plate reconstructions since 120 Ma, we show that the reduction in heat flow is due to a decrease in the area of ridge-proximal oceanic crust. Even accounting for uncertainties in plate reconstructions, the rate of heat flow decrease is an order of magnitude faster than estimates based on smooth, parameterized cooling models. This implies that heat flow experiences short-term fluctuations associated with plate tectonic cyclicity. Continental separation does not appear to directly control convective wavelengths, but rather indirectly affects how oceanic plate systems adjust to accommodate global heat transport. Given that today's heat flow may be unusually low, secular cooling rates estimated from present-day values will tend to underestimate the average cooling rate. Thus, a mechanism that causes less efficient tectonic heat transport at higher temperatures may be required to prevent an unreasonably hot mantle in the recent past.

  15. Shock Compression and Phase Transitions of Magnesiowüstite (Mg,Fe)O up to Earth's Lowermost Mantle Conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Li; GONG Zi-Zheng


    @@ We report new shock-compression data for polycrystalline (Mg, Fe)O up to 130 Gpa shock pressures corresponding to Earth's lowermost mantle conditions. Our data together with the existing shock-wave data of (Mg,Fe)O and its end-members MgO and FeO reveal that the Hugoniot curves of (Mg, Fe)O does not change with varying FeO content for their B1 phase (NaCl-structure) in the pressure-relative-volume plane. The evidence of the volume change within 3% at around 120 Gpa along the Hugoniot of (Mg0.6, Fe0.4)O is consistent with a structural transition from B1 phase (NaCl cubic) to B8 phase (NiAs-type hexagonal). Such a structural transition of (Mg, Fe)O, if indeed occurs, may in part contribute to the scattering of seismic waves and change in velocity gradient found in the lowermost mantle.

  16. From mantle to critical zone: A review of large and giant sized deposits of the rare earth elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.P. Smith


    Full Text Available The rare earth elements are unusual when defining giant-sized ore deposits, as resources are often quoted as total rare earth oxide, but the importance of a deposit may be related to the grade for individual, or a limited group of the elements. Taking the total REE resource, only one currently known deposit (Bayan Obo would class as giant (>1.7 × 107 tonnes contained metal, but a range of others classify as large (>1.7 × 106 tonnes. With the exception of unclassified resource estimates from the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit, all of these deposits are related to alkaline igneous activity – either carbonatites or agpaitic nepheline syenites. The total resource in these deposits must relate to the scale of the primary igneous source, but the grade is a complex function of igneous source, magmatic crystallisation, hydrothermal modification and supergene enrichment during weathering. Isotopic data suggest that the sources conducive to the formation of large REE deposits are developed in subcontinental lithospheric mantle, enriched in trace elements either by plume activity, or by previous subduction. The reactivation of such enriched mantle domains in relatively restricted geographical areas may have played a role in the formation of some of the largest deposits (e.g. Bayan Obo. Hydrothermal activity involving fluids from magmatic to meteoric sources may result in the redistribution of the REE and increases in grade, depending on primary mineralogy and the availability of ligands. Weathering and supergene enrichment of carbonatite has played a role in the formation of the highest grade deposits at Mount Weld (Australia and Tomtor (Russia. For the individual REE with the current highest economic value (Nd and the HREE, the boundaries for the large and giant size classes are two orders of magnitude lower, and deposits enriched in these metals (agpaitic systems, ion absorption deposits may have significant economic impact in the near future.

  17. From mantle to critical zone:A review of large and giant sized deposits of the rare earth elements

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    M.P. Smith; K. Moore; D. Kavecsánszki; A.A. Finch; J. Kynicky; F. Wall


    The rare earth elements are unusual when defining giant-sized ore deposits, as resources are often quoted as total rare earth oxide, but the importance of a deposit may be related to the grade for indi-vidual, or a limited group of the elements. Taking the total REE resource, only one currently known deposit (Bayan Obo) would class as giant (>1.7 ? 107 tonnes contained metal), but a range of others classify as large (>1.7 ? 106 tonnes). With the exception of unclassified resource estimates from the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit, all of these deposits are related to alkaline igneous activity e either car-bonatites or agpaitic nepheline syenites. The total resource in these deposits must relate to the scale of the primary igneous source, but the grade is a complex function of igneous source, magmatic crystal-lisation, hydrothermal modification and supergene enrichment during weathering. Isotopic data suggest that the sources conducive to the formation of large REE deposits are developed in subcontinental lithospheric mantle, enriched in trace elements either by plume activity, or by previous subduction. The reactivation of such enriched mantle domains in relatively restricted geographical areas may have played a role in the formation of some of the largest deposits (e.g. Bayan Obo). Hydrothermal activity involving fluids from magmatic to meteoric sources may result in the redistribution of the REE and increases in grade, depending on primary mineralogy and the availability of ligands. Weathering and supergene enrichment of carbonatite has played a role in the formation of the highest grade deposits at Mount Weld (Australia) and Tomtor (Russia). For the individual REE with the current highest economic value (Nd and the HREE), the boundaries for the large and giant size classes are two orders of magnitude lower, and deposits enriched in these metals (agpaitic systems, ion absorption deposits) may have significant economic impact in the near future.

  18. Earth's evolving subcontinental lithospheric mantle: inferences from LIP continental flood basalt geochemistry (United States)

    Greenough, John D.; McDivitt, Jordan A.


    Archean and Proterozoic subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SLM) is compared using 83 similarly incompatible element ratios (SIER; minimally affected by % melting or differentiation, e.g., Rb/Ba, Nb/Pb, Ti/Y) for >3700 basalts from ten continental flood basalt (CFB) provinces representing nine large igneous provinces (LIPs). Nine transition metals (TM; Fe, Mn, Sc, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn) in 102 primitive basalts (Mg# = 0.69-0.72) from nine provinces yield additional SLM information. An iterative evaluation of SIER values indicates that, regardless of age, CFB transecting Archean lithosphere are enriched in Rb, K, Pb, Th and heavy REE(?); whereas P, Ti, Nb, Ta and light REE(?) are higher in Proterozoic-and-younger SLM sources. This suggests efficient transfer of alkali metals and Pb to the continental lithosphere perhaps in association with melting of subducted ocean floor to form Archean tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite terranes. Titanium, Nb and Ta were not efficiently transferred, perhaps due to the stabilization of oxide phases (e.g., rutile or ilmenite) in down-going Archean slabs. CFB transecting Archean lithosphere have EM1-like SIER that are more extreme than seen in oceanic island basalts (OIB) suggesting an Archean SLM origin for OIB-enriched mantle 1 (EM1). In contrast, OIB high U/Pb (HIMU) sources have more extreme SIER than seen in CFB provinces. HIMU may represent subduction-processed ocean floor recycled directly to the convecting mantle, but to avoid convective homogenization and produce its unique Pb isotopic signature may require long-term isolation and incubation in SLM. Based on all TM, CFB transecting Proterozoic lithosphere are distinct from those cutting Archean lithosphere. There is a tendency for lower Sc, Cr, Ni and Cu, and higher Zn, in the sources for Archean-cutting CFB and EM1 OIB, than Proterozoic-cutting CFB and HIMU OIB. All CFB have SiO2 (pressure proxy)-Nb/Y (% melting proxy) relationships supporting low pressure, high % melting

  19. Seismic anisotropy; a window on how the Earth works: multiple mechanisms and sites, from shallow mantle to inner core (United States)

    Osmaston, Miles


    Since the seismic anisotropy (SA) in the uppermost oceanic mantle was discovered [1] and attributed to the shearing of olivine by an MOR-divergent flow velocity gradient, rheological mobility interpretations of this type have dominated studies of SA there and elsewhere in the Earth. Here I describe two other SA-generating mechanisms. I will reason that one of these, the anisotropic crystallization from melt, bids fair largely to replace the shearing one and be present in even larger volumes of the Earth, both within its outer 100km and in the Inner Core. The other, the layered deposition of disparate substances, offers to explain the ULVZs and SA in D''. We start with the Upper Mantle. New constraints on its rheological properties and dynamical behaviour have come from two directions. Firstly, contrary to the seismologists' rule-book, the oceanic LVZ is no longer to be thought of as mobile because the presence of interstitial melt strips out the water-weakening of the mineral structure [2, 3]. So we require a substitute for the divergent-flow model for MORs. In fact it also has three other, apparently unrecognized, dynamical inconsistencies. One of these [4] is that there are in the record many rapid changes of spreading rate and direction, and ridge jumps. This cannot happen with a process driven by slow-to-change body forces. Secondly, during the past decade, my work on the global dynamics for the past 150Ma (I will show examples) has shown [4 - 7] that the tectospheres of cratons must extend to very close to the bottom of the upper mantle. And that East Antarctica's 'keel' must actually reach it, because its CW rotation [7] suggests it has been picking up an electromagnetic torque from the CMB via the lower mantle. Xenoliths suggest that the reason for this downwards extent of 'keels' is the same as [3]. To meet these two sets of constraints I will demonstrate my now not-so-new MOR model, which has a narrow, wall-accreting subaxial crack. Among its many features

  20. 3-D electromagnetic induction studies using the Swarm constellation: Mapping conductivity anomalies in the Earth's mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuvshinov, A.; Sabaka, T.; Olsen, Nils


    satellite data that contain contributions from the core and lithosphere, from the rnagnetosphere and ionosphere (and their Earth-induced counterparts), as well as payload noise has been investigated. The model Studies have shown that C-responses obtained oil a regular grid might be used to map regional deep......An approach is presented to detect deep-seated regional conductivity anomalies by analysis of magnetic observations taken by low-Earth-orbiting satellites. The approach deals with recovery of C-responses on a regular grid and starts with a determination of time series of external and internal....... For validation of the approach, 3 years of realistic synthetic data at Simulated orbits of the forthcoming Swarm constellation of 3 satellites have been used. To obtain the synthetic data for a given 3-D conductivity Earth's model a time-domain scheme has been applied which relies oil a Fourier transformation...

  1. Lunisolar tidal and tidal load elastic stress tensor components within the Earth's mantle and their influence on earthquake occurrences (United States)

    Varga, Peter; Grafarend, Erik


    The relationship of earthquakes with the tidal phenomenon since long is a subject of scientific debates and it cannot be regarded as clarified even today. For the purpose of theoretical investigation of this problem a set of second order spheroidal Love-Shida numbers (h(r), k(r), l(r)) and their radial derivatives were determined for the case of a symmetric, non-rotating, elastic, isotropic (SNREI) Earth with a liquid core. By these means, the stress tensor components from the surface to the core-mantle boundary (CMB) were calculated for the case of zonal, tesseral and sectorial tides. Since the tidal potential and its derivatives are coordinate dependent and the zonal, tesseral and sectorial tides have different distributions on and within the Earth, the lunisolar stress cannot influence the break-out of every seismological event in the same degree. A correlation between earthquake energy release and the lunisolar effect can exist in some cases where the seismic area is well determined and has either one seismic source or severe similar ones. Particularly in volcanic areas, where the seismic activity is connected to the volcano's activity, or in the case of some aftershock swarms, significant correlation was found by different authors.

  2. Complete synthetic seismograms based on a spherical self-gravitating Earth model with an atmosphere-ocean-mantle-core structure (United States)

    Wang, Rongjiang; Heimann, Sebastian; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Hansheng; Dahm, Torsten


    A hybrid method is proposed to calculate complete synthetic seismograms based on a spherically symmetric and self-gravitating Earth with a multilayered structure of atmosphere, ocean, mantle, liquid core and solid core. For large wavelengths, a numerical scheme is used to solve the geodynamic boundary-value problem without any approximation on the deformation and gravity coupling. With decreasing wavelength, the gravity effect on the deformation becomes negligible and the analytical propagator scheme can be used. Many useful approaches are used to overcome the numerical problems that may arise in both analytical and numerical schemes. Some of these approaches have been established in the seismological community and the others are developed for the first time. Based on the stable and efficient hybrid algorithm, an all-in-one code QSSP is implemented to cover the complete spectrum of seismological interests. The performance of the code is demonstrated by various tests including the curvature effect on teleseismic body and surface waves, the appearance of multiple reflected, teleseismic core phases, the gravity effect on long period surface waves and free oscillations, the simulation of near-field displacement seismograms with the static offset, the coupling of tsunami and infrasound waves, and free oscillations of the solid Earth, the atmosphere and the ocean. QSSP is open source software that can be used as a stand-alone FORTRAN code or may be applied in combination with a Python toolbox to calculate and handle Green's function databases for efficient coding of source inversion problems.

  3. The Earth's mantle in a microwave oven: thermal convection driven by a heterogeneous distribution of heat sources (United States)

    Fourel, Loïc; Limare, Angela; Jaupart, Claude; Surducan, Emanoil; Farnetani, Cinzia G.; Kaminski, Edouard C.; Neamtu, Camelia; Surducan, Vasile


    Convective motions in silicate planets are largely driven by internal heat sources and secular cooling. The exact amount and distribution of heat sources in the Earth are poorly constrained and the latter is likely to change with time due to mixing and to the deformation of boundaries that separate different reservoirs. To improve our understanding of planetary-scale convection in these conditions, we have designed a new laboratory setup allowing a large range of heat source distributions. We illustrate the potential of our new technique with a study of an initially stratified fluid involving two layers with different physical properties and internal heat production rates. A modified microwave oven is used to generate a uniform radiation propagating through the fluids. Experimental fluids are solutions of hydroxyethyl cellulose and salt in water, such that salt increases both the density and the volumetric heating rate. We determine temperature and composition fields in 3D with non-invasive techniques. Two fluorescent dyes are used to determine temperature. A Nd:YAG planar laser beam excites fluorescence, and an optical system, involving a beam splitter and a set of colour filters, captures the fluorescence intensity distribution on two separate spectral bands. The ratio between the two intensities provides an instantaneous determination of temperature with an uncertainty of 5% (typically 1K). We quantify mixing processes by precisely tracking the interfaces separating the two fluids. These novel techniques allow new insights on the generation, morphology and evolution of large-scale heterogeneities in the Earth's lower mantle.

  4. Reduced lattice thermal conductivity of Fe-bearing bridgmanite in Earth's deep mantle: Reduced Conductivity of Fe-Bridgmanite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hsieh, Wen-Pin [Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei Taiwan; Deschamps, Frédéric [Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei Taiwan; Okuchi, Takuo [Institute for Planetary Materials, Okayama University, Misasa Japan; Lin, Jung-Fu [Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin Texas USA


    Complex seismic, thermal, and chemical features have been reported in Earth's lowermost mantle. In particular, possible iron enrichments in the large low shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) could influence thermal transport properties of the constituting minerals in this region, altering the lower mantle dynamics and heat flux across core-mantle boundary (CMB). Thermal conductivity of bridgmanite is expected to partially control the thermal evolution and dynamics of Earth's lower mantle. Importantly, the pressure-induced lattice distortion and iron spin and valence states in bridgmanite could affect its lattice thermal conductivity, but these effects remain largely unknown. Here we precisely measured the lattice thermal conductivity of Fe-bearing bridgmanite to 120 GPa using optical pump-probe spectroscopy. The conductivity of Fe-bearing bridgmanite increases monotonically with pressure but drops significantly around 45 GPa due to pressure-induced lattice distortion on iron sites. Our findings indicate that lattice thermal conductivity at lowermost mantle conditions is twice smaller than previously thought. The decrease in the thermal conductivity of bridgmanite in mid-lower mantle and below would promote mantle flow against a potential viscosity barrier, facilitating slabs crossing over the 1000 km depth. Modeling of our results applied to LLSVPs shows that variations in iron and bridgmanite fractions induce a significant thermal conductivity decrease, which would enhance internal convective flow. Our CMB heat flux modeling indicates that while heat flux variations are dominated by thermal effects, variations in thermal conductivity also play a significant role. The CMB heat flux map we obtained is substantially different from those assumed so far, which may influence our understanding of the geodynamo.

  5. Widespread tungsten isotope anomalies and W mobility in crustal and mantle rocks of the Eoarchean Saglek Block, northern Labrador, Canada: Implications for early Earth processes and W recycling (United States)

    Liu, Jingao; Touboul, Mathieu; Ishikawa, Akira; Walker, Richard J.; Graham Pearson, D.


    Well-resolved 182W isotope anomalies, relative to the present mantle, in Hadean-Archean terrestrial rocks have been interpreted to reflect the effects of variable late accretion and early mantle differentiation processes. To further explore these early Earth processes, we have carried out W concentration and isotopic measurements of Eoarchean ultramafic rocks, including lithospheric mantle rocks, meta-komatiites, a layered ultramafic body and associated crustal gneisses and amphibolites from the Uivak gneiss terrane of the Saglek Block, northern Labrador, Canada. These analyses are augmented by in situ W concentration measurements of individual phases in order to examine the major hosts of W in these rocks. Although the W budget in some rocks can be largely explained by a combination of their major phases, W in other rocks is hosted mainly in secondary grain-boundary assemblages, as well as in cryptic, unidentified W-bearing 'nugget' minerals. Whole rock W concentrations in the ultramafic rocks show unexpected enrichments relative, to elements with similar incompatibilities. By contrast, W concentrations are low in the Uivak gneisses. These data, along with the in situ W concentration data, suggest metamorphic transport/re-distribution of W from the regional felsic rocks, the Uivak gneiss precursors, to the spatially associated ultramafic rocks. All but one sample from the lithologically varied Eoarchean Saglek suite is characterized by generally uniform ∼ + 11 ppm enrichments in 182W relative to Earth's modern mantle. Modeling shows that the W isotopic enrichments in the ultramafic rocks were primarily inherited from the surrounding 182W-rich felsic precursor rocks, and that the W isotopic composition of the original ultramafic rocks cannot be determined. The observed W isotopic composition of mafic to ultramafic rocks in intimate contact with ancient crust should be viewed with caution in order to plate constraints on the early Hf-W isotopic evolution of the

  6. Titanium-hydroxyl defect-controlled rheology of the Earth's upper mantle (United States)

    Faul, Ulrich H.; Cline, Christopher J.; David, Emmanuel C.; Berry, Andrew J.; Jackson, Ian


    Experiments were conducted with hydrous olivine to investigate the defect responsible for the influence of water (hydrogen structurally incorporated as hydroxyl) on the olivine rheology. Solution-gelation derived Fo90 olivine doped with nominally 0.04-0.1 wt.% TiO2 was first hot-pressed and then deformed in platinum capsules at 300 MPa confining pressure and temperatures from 1200- 1350°C. The water content was not buffered so that deformation occurred at water-undersaturated conditions. Due to the enhanced grain growth under hydrous conditions, the samples were at least a factor of three more coarse-grained than their dry counterparts and deformed in powerlaw creep at differential stresses as low as a few tens of MPa. Since all experiments were conducted at the same confining pressure, the essentially linear relationship between strain rate and water content was for the first time determined independently of an activation volume. Infrared spectra are dominated by absorption bands at 3572 and 3525 cm-1. These bands also predominate in infrared spectra of natural olivine, and can only be reproduced experimentally in the presence of titanium. In contrast to the previous interpretation of the hydrous rheology in terms of intrinsic point defects, the experiments show that extrinsic defects (impurities) in natural olivine play the dominant role for water weakening at the water contents expected for most of the upper mantle.

  7. The capacity of hydrous fluids to transport and fractionate incompatible elements and metals within the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Adam, John; Locmelis, Marek; Afonso, Juan Carlos; Rushmer, Tracy; Fiorentini, Marco L.


    silicate melts and aqueous fluids are thought to play critical roles in the chemical differentiation of the Earth's crust and mantle. Yet their relative effects are poorly constrained. We have addressed this issue by measuring partition coefficients for 50 trace and minor elements in experimentally produced aqueous fluids, coexisting basanite melts, and peridotite minerals. The experiments were conducted at 1.0-4.0 GPa and 950-1200°C in single capsules containing (either 40 or 50 wt %) H2O and trace element-enriched basanite glass. This allowed run products to be easily identified and analyzed by a combination of electron microprobe and LAM-ICP-MS. Fluid and melt compositions were reconstructed from mass balances and published solubility data for H2O in silicate melts. Relative to the basanite melt, the solutes from H2O-fluids are enriched in SiO2, alkalis, Ba, and Pb, but depleted in FeO, MgO, CaO, and REE. With increasing pressure, the mutual solubility of fluids and melts increases rapidly with complete miscibility between H2O and basanitic melts occurring between 3.0 and 4.0 GPa at 1100°C. Although LREE are favored over HREE in the fluid phase, they are less soluble than the HFSE (Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf, and Ti). Thus, the relative depletions of HFSE that are characteristic of arc magmas must be due to a residual phase that concentrates HFSE (e.g., rutile). Otherwise, H2O-fluids have the capacity to impart many of the geochemical characteristics that distinguish some rocks and melts from the deep mantle lithosphere (e.g., MARID and lamproites).

  8. The Gassmann-Burgers Model to Simulate Seismic Waves at the Earth Crust And Mantle (United States)

    Carcione, José M.; Poletto, Flavio; Farina, Biancamaria; Craglietto, Aronne


    The upper part of the crust shows generally brittle behaviour while deeper zones, including the mantle, may present ductile behaviour, depending on the pressure-temperature conditions; moreover, some parts are melted. Seismic waves can be used to detect these conditions on the basis of reflection and transmission events. Basically, from the elastic-plastic point of view the seismic properties (seismic velocity and density) depend on effective pressure and temperature. Confining and pore pressures have opposite effects on these properties, such that very small effective pressures (the presence of overpressured fluids) may substantially decrease the P- and S-wave velocities, mainly the latter, by opening of cracks and weakening of grain contacts. Similarly, high temperatures induce the same effect by partial melting. To model these effects, we consider a poro-viscoelastic model based on Gassmann equations and Burgers mechanical model to represent the properties of the rock frame and describe ductility in which deformation takes place by shear plastic flow. The Burgers elements allow us to model the effects of seismic attenuation, velocity dispersion and steady-state creep flow, respectively. The stiffness components of the brittle and ductile media depend on stress and temperature through the shear viscosity, which is obtained by the Arrhenius equation and the octahedral stress criterion. Effective pressure effects are taken into account in the dry-rock moduli using exponential functions whose parameters are obtained by fitting experimental data as a function of confining pressure. Since fluid effects are important, the density and bulk modulus of the saturating fluids (water and steam) are modeled using the equations provided by the NIST website, including supercritical behaviour. The theory allows us to obtain the phase velocity and quality factor as a function of depth and geological pressure and temperature as well as time frequency. We then obtain the PS and SH

  9. The Gassmann-Burgers Model to Simulate Seismic Waves at the Earth Crust And Mantle (United States)

    Carcione, José M.; Poletto, Flavio; Farina, Biancamaria; Craglietto, Aronne


    The upper part of the crust shows generally brittle behaviour while deeper zones, including the mantle, may present ductile behaviour, depending on the pressure-temperature conditions; moreover, some parts are melted. Seismic waves can be used to detect these conditions on the basis of reflection and transmission events. Basically, from the elastic-plastic point of view the seismic properties (seismic velocity and density) depend on effective pressure and temperature. Confining and pore pressures have opposite effects on these properties, such that very small effective pressures (the presence of overpressured fluids) may substantially decrease the P- and S-wave velocities, mainly the latter, by opening of cracks and weakening of grain contacts. Similarly, high temperatures induce the same effect by partial melting. To model these effects, we consider a poro-viscoelastic model based on Gassmann equations and Burgers mechanical model to represent the properties of the rock frame and describe ductility in which deformation takes place by shear plastic flow. The Burgers elements allow us to model the effects of seismic attenuation, velocity dispersion and steady-state creep flow, respectively. The stiffness components of the brittle and ductile media depend on stress and temperature through the shear viscosity, which is obtained by the Arrhenius equation and the octahedral stress criterion. Effective pressure effects are taken into account in the dry-rock moduli using exponential functions whose parameters are obtained by fitting experimental data as a function of confining pressure. Since fluid effects are important, the density and bulk modulus of the saturating fluids (water and steam) are modeled using the equations provided by the NIST website, including supercritical behaviour. The theory allows us to obtain the phase velocity and quality factor as a function of depth and geological pressure and temperature as well as time frequency. We then obtain the PS and SH

  10. The post-stishovite phase transition in hydrous alumina-bearing SiO2 in the lower mantle of the earth. (United States)

    Lakshtanov, Dmitry L; Sinogeikin, Stanislav V; Litasov, Konstantin D; Prakapenka, Vitali B; Hellwig, Holger; Wang, Jingyun; Sanches-Valle, Carmen; Perrillat, Jean-Philippe; Chen, Bin; Somayazulu, Maddury; Li, Jie; Ohtani, Eiji; Bass, Jay D


    Silica is the most abundant oxide component in the Earth mantle by weight, and stishovite, the rutile-structured (P4(2)/mnm) high-pressure phase with silica in six coordination by oxygen, is one of the main constituents of the basaltic layer of subducting slabs. It may also be present as a free phase in the lower mantle and at the core-mantle boundary. Pure stishovite undergoes a displacive phase transition to the CaCl(2) structure (Pnnm) at approximately 55 GPa. Theory suggests that this transition is associated with softening of the shear modulus that could provide a significant seismic signature, but none has ever been observed in the Earth. However, stishovite in natural rocks is expected to contain up to 5 wt % Al(2)O(3) and possibly water. Here we report the acoustic velocities, densities, and Raman frequencies of aluminum- and hydrogen-bearing stishovite with a composition close to that expected in the Earth mantle at pressures up to 43.8(3) GPa [where (3) indicates an uncertainty of 0.3 GPa]. The post-stishovite phase transition occurs at 24.3(5) GPa (at 298 K), far lower than for pure silica at 50-60 GPa. Our results suggest that the rutile-CaCl(2) transition in natural stishovite (with 5 wt % Al(2)O(3)) should occur at approximately 30 GPa or approximately 1,000-km depth at mantle temperatures. The major changes in elastic properties across this transition could make it visible in seismic profiles and may be responsible for seismic reflectors observed at 1,000- to 1,400-km depth.

  11. Thermal conductivity of MgO, MgSiO3 perovskite and post-perovskite in the Earth's deep mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Haigis, Volker; Jahn, Sandro; 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.09.002


    We report lattice thermal conductivities of MgO and MgSiO3 in the perovskite and post-perovskite structures at conditions of the Earth's lower mantle, obtained from equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. Using an advanced ionic interaction potential, the full conductivity tensor was calculated by means of the Green-Kubo method, and the conductivity of MgSiO3 post-perovskite was found to be significantly anisotropic. The thermal conductivities of all three phases were parameterized as a function of density and temperature. Assuming a Fe-free lower-mantle composition with mole fractions xMgSiO3 = 0.66 and xMgO = 0.34, the conductivity of the two-phase aggregate was calculated along a model geotherm. It was found to vary considerably with depth, rising from 9.5 W/(mK) at the top of the lower mantle to 20.5 W/(mK) at the top of the thermal boundary layer above the core-mantle boundary. Extrapolation of experimental data suggests that at deep-mantle conditions, the presence of a realistic amount of iron impur...

  12. Seismic wave velocities of rare gas solids through elastic properties in Earth's lower mantle

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Seema GUPTA; Suresh C. GOYAL


    The expressions for second (SOE) and third order elastic (TOE) constants for rare gas solids are de-rived for comparative study of elastic behavior within the framework of many body potentials including the effect of pressure. The derived expressions are used to obtain the relations for pressure derivatives of bulk and shear moduli of RGS solids. The values of SOE, TOE constants and pressure derivative of bulk and shear modulus for Ne up to 100 GPa, Ar up to 75 GPa, for Kr up to 136 GPa and Xe up to 53.4 GPa pressure are computed. The results are in agreement with available experimental results. The computed results are then used to analyze the pressure up to high compression and the elastic and seismic wave velocities (P & S) in Earth's deep interior.

  13. A Model for Earth's Mantle Dynamic History for The Last 500 Ma and Its Implications for Continental Vertical Motions and Geomagnetism (United States)

    Zhong, S.; Olson, P.; Zhang, N.


    Seismic tomography studies indicate that the Earth's mantle structure is characterized by African and Pacific seismically slow velocity anomalies (i.e., thermochemical piles) and circum Pacific seismically fast anomalies (i.e., degree 2) in the lower mantle. Mantle convection calculations including plate motion history for the last 120 Ma suggest that these degree 2 thermochemical structures result from plate subduction history (e.g., McNamara and Zhong, 2005). Given the important controls of mantle structure and dynamics on surface tectonics and volcanism and geodynamo in the core, an important question is the long-term evolution of mantle structures, for example, was the mantle structure in the past similar to the present-day's degree 2 structure, or significantly different from the present day? To address this question, we constructed a proxy model of plate motions for the African hemisphere for the last 450 Ma using the paleogeographic reconstruction of continents constrained by paleomagnetic and geological observations (e.g., Pangea assembly and breakup). Coupled with assumed oceanic plate motions for the Pacific hemisphere before 120 Ma, this proxy model for the plate motion history is used in three dimensional spherical models of mantle convection to study the evolution of mantle structure since the Early Paleozoic. Our model calculations reproduce well the present day degree 2 mantle structure including the African and Pacific thermochemical piles, and present-day surface heat flux, bathymetry and dynamic topography. Our results suggest that while the mantle in the African hemisphere before the assembly of Pangea is dominated by the cold downwelling structure resulting from plate convergence between Gondwana and Laurussia, it is unlikely that the bulk of the African superplume structure can be formed before ˜230 Ma. Particularly, the last 120 Ma plate motion plays an important role in generating the African thermochemical pile. We reconstruct temporal

  14. Hollandite II phase in KAlSi 3O 8 as a potential host mineral of potassium in the Earth's lower mantle (United States)

    Hirao, Naohisa; Ohtani, Eiji; Kondo, Tadashi; Sakai, Takeshi; Kikegawa, Takumi


    High-pressure and high-temperature experiments on the KAlSi 3O 8 composition were conducted in a laser-heated diamond-anvil cell at pressures up to 128 GPa, which correspond to the lowermost mantle conditions. In situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that the hollandite II phase in KAlSi 3O 8 with a monoclinic symmetry of I2/ m was stable over the entire range of mantle conditions, and the tunnel structure formed by the double chains of edge-sharing (Si,Al)O 6 octahedra, which could accommodate a larger cation such as potassium, was sustained. The (Si,Al)O 6 octahedra in the KAlSi 3O 8 hollandite II phase showed a similar compression behavior to those in high-pressure silicate structures, such as rutile-type and perovskite-type phases, and were found to be less compressible than the KO 8 polyhedra. The KAlSi 3O 8 hollandite II phase is a potential host mineral for potassium under lower mantle conditions and, therefore, may have a significant influence on geochemistry if potassium feldspar KAlSi 3O 8 in the Earth's crust is transported into the Earth's mantle through subduction.

  15. The South India Precambrian crust and shallow lithospheric mantle: Initial results from the India Deep Earth Imaging Experiment (INDEX)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S S Rai; Kajaljyoti Borah; Ritima Das; Sandeep Gupta; Shalivahan Srivastava; K S Prakasam; K Sivaram; Sudesh Kumar; Rishikesh Meena


    We present here the most comprehensive study of the thickness and composition (/ ratio) of the South India Precambrian crust and the nature of shallower mantle inferred from analysis of teleseismic receiver functions from 70 broad-band seismic stations operated as a part of the India Deep Earth Imaging Experiment (INDEX). South India could be broadly divided into regions with thin crust (32–38 km) and thick crust (38–54 km). Thin crust domains include the East Dharwar Craton (EDC), Cuddapah basin and Madurai/Kerala Khondalite Block. The thicker crust domain includes the Western Dharwar Craton (WDC) and northern part of Southern Granulite Terrain. The WDC shows progressive increase in thickness from 38 km in north to 46–54 km in south, compared to an almost flat Moho beneath the EDC. Compositionally, most of the crustal domains are felsic to intermediate (/ ∼ 1.69–1.75) except the mid Archean block in the southern WDC where it is mafic (/ < 1.81). Considering erosion depth in the WDC, we argue for Himalaya like ∼70 km thick crust beneath it during the Archean. Variation in crustal thickness does not have a first-order influence on regional topography in South India and suggests significant role for the crustal composition. We also present evidence of mid-lithospheric low velocity at ∼85–100 km beneath South India.

  16. Radial profiles of temperature and viscosity in the Earth's mantle inferred from the geoid and lateral seismic structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cadek, O.; Berg, A.P. van den


    In the framework of dynamical modelling of the geoid, we have estimated basic features of the radial profile of temperature in the mantle. The applied parameterization of the geotherm directly characterizes thermal boundary layers and values of the thermal gradient in the upper and lower mantle.

  17. 186Os and 187Os enrichments and high-3He/4He sources in the Earth's mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandon, A.D.; Graham, D.W.; Waight, Tod Earle


    . These Os isotope systematics are best explained by ancient recycled crust or melt enrichment in the mantle source region. If so, then the coupled enrichments displayed in 186Os/188Os and 187Os/188Os from lavas of other plume systems must result from an independent process, the most viable candidate...... picrites is best modeled as mixtures of 1 Ga or older ancient recycled crust mixed with primitive mantle or incompletely degassed depleted mantle isolated since 1-1.5 Ga, which preserves the high 3He/4He of the depleted mantle at the time. These mixtures create a hybrid source region that subsequently...... be interpreted as an increase in the proportion of ancient recycled crust in the upwelling plume over this time period. The positive correlation between 187Os/188Os and 3He/4He demonstrates that the Iceland lava He isotopic compositions do not result from simple melt depletion histories and consequent removal...

  18. Effects of post-perovskite phase transition properties on the stability and structure of primordial reservoirs in the lower mantle of the Earth (United States)

    Tackley, P.; Li, Y.; Deschamps, F.; Manatschal, G.


    Two key features of the lowermost Earth's mantle are the presence of the large low shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs), which may be reservoirs of primordial, chemically distinct material, and the phase change from perovskite (pv) to post-perovskite (ppv), which may occur at lowermost mantle conditions. However, the influence of this phase change on the shape, dynamics, and stability of chemically distinct reservoirs are not well constrained. Here we performed numerical experiments of thermo-chemical convection in 2-D spherical annulus geometry to investigate the effects on thermo-chemical structure in the lower mantle of three parameters affecting the pPv phase change: the core-mantle (CMB) temperature, the viscosity ratio between pv and pPv, and the Clapeyron slope of the pPv phase transition. Our results indicate that increasing CMB temperature increases the wavelength of the primordial reservoirs by preventing the phase transition from pv to pPv to occur. Furthermore, a high CMB temperature promotes the development of plumes outside the reservoirs of primordial material. High CMB temperature and large Clapeyron slope both favor the formation of pPv patches and of a double-crossing of the phase boundary, thus preventing the formation of continuous layer of pPv above the CMB. Combined with a low CMB temperature and/or a low Clapeyron slope of the pPv phase transition, a full layer of weak pPv above CMB strongly enhances the mixing efficiency of primordial material with ambient regular mantle material, which may not allow the generation of large reservoirs. Based on our experiments, we conclude that the models of convection best describing the Earth's mantle dynamics include a large pPv Clapeyron slope (typically in the range of 13-16 MPa/K), and a moderate CMB temperature (around 3750 K). We also find that the phase change from pv to pPv may occur within the large reservoirs in the form of small discontinuous patches at the base when using critical values of

  19. Secular variations in zonal harmonics of Earth's geopotential and their implications for mantle viscosity and Antarctic melting history due to the last deglaciation (United States)

    Nakada, Masao; Okuno, Jun'ichi


    Secular variations in zonal harmonics of Earth's geopotential based on the satellite laser ranging observations, {\\dot{J}_n}, contain important information about the Earth's deformation due to the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and recent melting of glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Here, we examine the GIA-induced {\\dot{J}_n}, \\dot{J}_n^{{{GIA}}} (2 ≤ n ≤ 6), derived from the available geopotential zonal secular rate and recent melting taken from the IPCC 2013 Report (AR5) to explore the possibility of additional information on the depth-dependent lower-mantle viscosity and GIA ice model inferred from the analyses of the \\dot{J}_2^{{{GIA}}} and relative sea level changes. The sensitivities of the \\dot{J}_n^{{{GIA}}} to lower-mantle viscosity and GIA ice model with a global averaged eustatic sea level (ESL) of ∼130 m indicate that the secular rates for n = 3 and 4 are mainly caused by the viscous response of the lower mantle to the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet regardless of GIA ice models adopted in this study. Also, the analyses of the \\dot{J}_n^{{{GIA}}} based on the available geopotential zonal secular rates indicate that permissible lower-mantle viscosity structure satisfying even zonal secular rates of n = 2, 4 and 6 is obtained for the GIA ice model with an Antarctic ESL component of ∼20 or ∼30 m, but there is no viscosity solution satisfying \\dot{J}_3^{{{GIA}}} and \\dot{J}_5^{{{GIA}}} values. Moreover, the inference model for the lower-mantle viscosity and GIA ice model from each odd zonal secular rate is distinctly different from that satisfying GIA-induced even zonal secular rate. The discrepancy between the inference models for the even and odd zonal secular rates may partly be attributed to uncertainties of the geopotential zonal secular rates for n > 2 and particularly those for odd zonal secular rates due to weakness in the orbital geometry. If this problem is overcome at least for the secular rates of n

  20. Diffusion of hydrogen in olivine grain boundaries and implications for the survival of water-rich zones in the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Demouchy, Sylvie


    Nominally anhydrous minerals (NAMs) of Earth's mantle can contain hydrogen as atomic impurity in their crystal structures. This hydrogen substantially modifies many physical properties of Earth's mantle rocks. Also, the Earth's deep interior is made of rocks where minerals are separated by nanometer-scale interfaces call grain boundaries and interphase boundaries. These grain boundaries should carefully be considered as a potential hydrogen reservoir as well. I report here an experimental investigation of hydrogen diffusion through grain boundaries in olivine polycrystalline aggregates. Hot-press and diffusion experiments were performed using a gas-medium high-pressure vessel at a confining pressure of 300 MPa, over a temperature range of 1000-1200 °C. The diffusion assembly consisted of a dense polycrystalline cylinder of natural olivine from San Carlos (Arizona) mixed with olivine singles crystals of millimeter size. This mixture was couple with a talc cylinder. Ni capsule were used to buffer the oxygen fugacity at Ni-NiO level. Experiment durations varied from 3 min to 4 h. The presence of hydrogen in the sample was quantified using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The calculation of the diffusion coefficients was based on the estimation of the length of polycrystalline solid affected by the diffusion of hydrogen. The absence or presence of hydrogen was recorded by the large olivines behaving here as “hydrogen sensor”, which are implanted in the aggregate. The results indicate that effective hydrogen diffusivity which includes grain boundaries effect in olivine aggregate is barely one order of magnitude faster than hydrogen diffusion in an olivine single crystal with a diffusivity ∼ 8.5 × 10- 10 m2 s- 1 at 1000 °C and only twice faster ∼ 2.1 × 10- 9 m2 s- 1 at 1200 °C. Calculations of the diffusion data in relation to the Arrhenius Law, yield an activation energy of ∼ 70 ± 10 kJ mol- 1. From these effective diffusivities and combined with

  1. Magnesite formation from MgO and CO2 at the pressures and temperatures of Earth's mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, Henry P.; Doczy, Vincent M.; Frank, Mark R.; Hasan, Maggie; Lin, Jung-Fu; Yang, Jing [NIU; (Indiana); (Texas)


    Magnesite (MgCO3) is an important phase for the carbon cycle in and out of the Earth’s mantle. Its comparably large P-T stability has been inferred for several years based on the absence of its decomposition in experiments. Here we report the first experimental evidence for synthesis of magnesite out of its oxide components (MgO and CO2) at P-T conditions relevant to the Earth’s mantle. Magnesite formation was observed in situ using synchrotron X-ray diffraction, coupled with laser-heated diamond-anvil cells (DACs), at pressures and temperatures of Earth’s mantle. Despite the existence of multiple high-pressure CO2 polymorphs, the magnesite-forming reaction was observed to proceed at pressures ranging from 5 to 40 GPa and temperatures between 1400 and 1800 K. No other pressure-quenchable materials were observed to form via the MgO + CO2 = MgCO3 reaction. This work further strengthens the notion that magnesite may indeed be the primary host phase for oxidized carbon in the deep Earth.

  2. Geodynamic models of plumes from the margins of large thermo-chemical piles in the Earth's lowermost mantle (United States)

    Steinberger, B. M.; Gassmoeller, R.; Mulyukova, E.


    We present geodynamic models featuring mantle plumes that are almost exclusively created at the margins of large thermo-chemical piles in the lowermost mantle. The models are based on global plate reconstructions since 300 Ma. Sinking subducted slabs not only push a heavy chemical layer ahead, such that dome-shaped structures form, but also push the thermal boundary layer (TBL) toward the chemical domes. At the steep edges it is forced upwards and begins to rise — in the lower part of the mantle as sheets, which then split into individual plumes higher in the mantle. The models explain why Large Igneous Provinces - commonly assumed to be caused by plumes forming in the TBL above the core-mantle boundary (CMB) - and kimberlites during the last few hundred Myr erupted mostly above the margins of the African and Pacific Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) of the lowermost mantle, which are probably chemically distinct from and heavier than the overlying mantle. Computations are done with two different codes, one based on spherical harmonic expansion, and CITCOM-S. The latter is combined with a self-consistent thermodynamic material model for basalt, harzburgite, and peridotite, which is used to derive a temperature- and presssure dependent database for parameters like density, thermal expansivity and specific heat. In terms of number and distribution of plumes, results are similar in both cases, but in the latter model, plume conduits are narrower, due to consideration of realistic lateral - in addition to radial - viscosity variations. For the latter case, we quantitatively compare the computed plume locations with actual hotspots and find that the good agreement is very unlikely (probability geometry, we also show results obtained with a 2-D finite element code. These results allow us to assess how much the computed long-term stability of the piles is affected by numerical diffusion. We have also conducted a systematic investigation, which configurations

  3. Investigating the presence of post-perovskite and large-scale chemical variations in Earth's lower mantle using tomographic-geodynamic model comparisons. (United States)

    Koelemeijer, Paula; Ritsema, Jeroen; Deuss, Arwen; Davies, Rhodri; Schuberth, Bernhard


    Tomographic models of the Earth's mantle consistently image two large provinces of low shear-wave velocities (LLSVPs) in the lowermost mantle beneath Africa and the Pacific. Seismic studies also find an increase in the ratio of shear-wave velocity (Vs) to compressional-wave velocity (Vp) variations, accompanied by a significant negative correlation between shear-wave and bulk-sound velocity (Vc) variations, both of which are also observed in the recent SP12RTS model. The LLSVPs have consequently been suggested to represent intrinsically dense piles of thermochemical material. Alternatively, they have been interpreted as poorly imaged clusters of thermal plumes, with the deep mantle post-perovskite (pPv) phase invoked as explanation for the high Vs/Vp ratios and Vs-Vc anti-correlation. Geodynamical calculations of thermal plumes and thermochemical piles predict a fundamentally different style of mantle convection, interface topographies and CMB heat flow. However, to interpret tomographic images using these high-resolution models, the limited resolving power of seismic tomography has to be accounted for. Here, we interpret the observed seismic characteristics of SP12RTS by comparing the velocity structures to synthetic tomography images derived from 3D mantle convection models. As in previous studies, geodynamic models are converted to seismic velocities using mineral physics constraints and subsequently convolved with the tomographic resolution operator. In contrast to these studies, where generally only the shear-wave velocity structure has been compared, we use both the Vs and Vp resolution operator of SP12RTS to allow direct comparisons of the resulting velocity ratios and correlations. We use geodynamic models with and without pPv and/or chemical variations to investigate the cause of the high Vs/Vp ratio and Vs-Vs anti-correlation. Although the tomographic filtering significantly affects the synthetic tomography images, we demonstrate that the patterns

  4. Rare earth element characteristics of pyrope garnets from the Kaavi-Kuopio kimberlites – implications for mantle metasomatism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjaleena Lehtonen


    Full Text Available Peridotitic garnet xenocrysts from five kimberlite pipes in the Kaavi-Kuopio area of eastern Finland have been studied using major and trace element geochemistry to obtain information on the stratigraphy, compositional variability and evolutionary history of the underlyinglithospheric mantle. Ni thermometry on garnet xenocrysts gives 650–1350°C and, when extrapolated to the geotherm determined using mantle xenoliths, indicates a sampling interval of c. 80–230 km. Three distinct mantle layers are recognized based on the xenolith/xenocryst record: (1 A shallow, 180 km, composed largely of fertile material. The chondrite-normalized REE profiles of subcalcic harzburgitic garnet xenocrysts originating from layer 2 bear evidence of an extensive ancient melt extraction event, similar to that observed in lithosphere underlying Archean cratons elsewhere. Memory of this eventhas possibly also been preserved in the REEN signatures of rare depleted garnets from layer 3 and in the CCGE pyropes from layer 1 despite their saturation in Ca. The lherzolitic and megacryst garnet varieties exhibit LREEN depletion relative to MREEN and HREEN, withthe steady enrichment from SmN to YbN typical of Ca-saturated mantle garnets. The enrichment of MREE and HREE probably derives from a metasomatic event caused by silicate melts close in composition to megacryst magma, which also imprinted a Ti-metasomatic overprint on many pyrope garnets. Harzburgitic and rare lherzolitic garnets, however, appear to have escaped this metasomatism.

  5. Understanding the interplays between Earth's shallow- and deep- rooted processes through global, quantitative model of the coupled brittle-lithosphere/viscous mantle system (United States)

    Stotz, Ingo; Iaffaldano, Giampiero; Rhodri Davies, D.


    The volume of geophysical datasets has grown substantially, over recent decades. Our knowledge of continental evolution has increased due to advances in interpreting the records of orogeny and sedimentation. Ocean-floor observations now allow one to resolve past plate motions (e.g. in the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean over the past 20 Myr) at temporal resolutions of about 1 Myr. Altogether, these ever-growing datasets permit reconstructing the past evolution of Earth's lithospheric plates in greater detail. This is key to unravelling the dynamics of geological processes, because plate motions and their temporal changes are a powerful probe into the evolving force balance between shallow- and deep-rooted processes. However, such a progress is not yet matched by the ability to quantitatively model past plate-motion changes and, therefore, to test hypotheses on the dominant controls. The main technical challenge is simulating the rheological behaviour of the lithosphere/mantle system, which varies significantly from viscous to brittle. Traditionally computer models for viscous mantle flow and on the one hand, and for the motions of the brittle lithosphere on the other hand, have been developed separately. Coupling of these two independent classes of models has been accomplished only for neo-tectonic scenarios and with some limitations as to accounting for the impact of time-evolving mantle-flow and lithospheric slabs. Here we present results in this direction that permit simulating the coupled plates/mantle system through geological time. We build on previous work aimed at coupling two sophisticated codes for mantle flow and lithosphere dynamics: TERRA and SHELLS. TERRA is a global spherical finite-element code for mantle convection. It has been developed by Baumgardner (1985) and Bunge et al. (1996), and further advanced by Yang (1997; 2000) and Davies et al. (2013), among others. SHELLS is a thin-sheet finite-element code for lithosphere dynamics, developed by

  6. Phonon Density of States and Sound Velocities of Magnesiow?stite in Earth's Lower Mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, J; Jacosben, S D; Sturhahn, W; Jackson, J; Zhao, J; Yoo, C


    The partial phonon densities of states of iron in magnesiowuestite [(Mg{sub 0.75},Fe{sub 0.25})O] have been measured by nuclear inelastic X-ray scattering up to 109 GPa. Compressional and shear wave velocities, shear moduli, and their pressure derivatives increase significantly across the spin-pairing transition of iron in (Mg{sub 0.75},Fe{sub 0.25})O at approximately 50 GPa. The effects of the transition on the elastic properties of (Mg,Fe)O at lower-mantle pressures are in contrast to what was predicted by studying MgO and high-spin magnesiowuestite, and need to be considered in future geophysical modeling of the lower mantle. The transition also affects other thermodynamic properties of magnesiowuestite under high pressures.

  7. Geoid anomalies and dynamic topography from convection in cylindrical geometry - Applications to mantle plumes on earth and Venus (United States)

    Kiefer, Walter S.; Hager, Bradford H.


    A variety of evidence suggests that at least some hotspots are formed by quasi-cylindrical mantle plumes upwelling from deep in the mantle. Such plumes are modeled in cylindrical, axisymmetric geometry with depth-dependent, Newtonian viscosity. Cylindrical and sheet-like, Cartesian upwellings have significantly different geoid and topography signatures. However, Rayleigh number-Nusselt number systematics in the two geometries are quite similar. The geoid anomaly and topographic uplift over a plume are insensitive to the viscosity of the surface layer, provided that it is at least 1000 times the interior viscosity. Increasing the Rayleigh number or including a low-viscosity asthenosphere decreases the geoid anomaly and the topographic uplift associated with an upwelling plume.

  8. Total meltwater volume since the Last Glacial Maximum and viscosity structure of Earth's mantle inferred from relative sea level changes at Barbados and Bonaparte Gulf and GIA-induced J˙2 (United States)

    Nakada, Masao; Okuno, Jun'ichi; Yokoyama, Yusuke


    Inference of globally averaged eustatic sea level (ESL) rise since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) highly depends on the interpretation of relative sea level (RSL) observations at Barbados and Bonaparte Gulf, Australia, which are sensitive to the viscosity structure of Earth's mantle. Here we examine the RSL changes at the LGM for Barbados and Bonaparte Gulf ({{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}}} and {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bon}}}), differential RSL for both sites (Δ {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}},{{Bon}}}) and rate of change of degree-two harmonics of Earth's geopotential due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) process (GIA-induced J˙2) to infer the ESL component and viscosity structure of Earth's mantle. Differential RSL, Δ {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}},{{Bon}}} and GIA-induced J˙2 are dominantly sensitive to the lower-mantle viscosity, and nearly insensitive to the upper-mantle rheological structure and GIA ice models with an ESL component of about (120-130) m. The comparison between the predicted and observationally derived Δ {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}},{{Bon}}} indicates the lower-mantle viscosity higher than ˜2 × 1022 Pa s, and the observationally derived GIA-induced J˙2 of -(6.0-6.5) × 10-11 yr-1 indicates two permissible solutions for the lower mantle, ˜1022 and (5-10) × 1022 Pa s. That is, the effective lower-mantle viscosity inferred from these two observational constraints is (5-10) × 1022 Pa s. The LGM RSL changes at both sites, {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}}} and {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bon}}}, are also sensitive to the ESL component and upper-mantle viscosity as well as the lower-mantle viscosity. The permissible upper-mantle viscosity increases with decreasing ESL component due to the sensitivity of the LGM sea level at Bonaparte Gulf ({{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bon}}}) to the upper-mantle viscosity, and inferred upper-mantle viscosity for adopted lithospheric thicknesses of 65 and 100 km is (1-3) × 1020 Pa s for ESL˜130 m and (4-10) × 1020 Pa s for ESL˜125 m. The former solution of (1-3) × 1020

  9. The CaCO3-Fe interaction: Kinetic approach for carbonate subduction to the deep Earth's mantle (United States)

    Martirosyan, N. S.; Yoshino, T.; Shatskiy, A.; Chanyshev, A. D.; Litasov, K. D.


    The CaCO3-Fe0 system, as a model for redox reactions between carbonates and reduced lithologies at the slab-mantle interface during subduction or at core-mantle boundary, was investigated systematically at temperatures from 650 to 1400 °C and pressures from 4 to 16 GPa using multianvil apparatus. CaCO3 reduction via reaction: 3 CaCO3 (aragonite) + 13 Fe0 (metal) = Fe7C3 (carbide) + 3 CaFe2O3 (Ca-wüstite) was observed. The thickness of the reaction-product layer (Δx) increases linearly with the square root of time in the time-series experiments (t), indicating diffusion-controlled process. The reaction rate constant (k = Δx2/2t) is log-linear relative to 1/T. Its temperature dependences was determined to be k [m2/s] = 2.1 × 10-7exp(-162[kJ/mol]/RT) at 4-6 GPa and k [m2/s] = 2.6 × 10-11exp(-65[kJ/mol]/RT) at 16 GPa. The sluggish kinetics of established CaCO3-Fe0 interaction suggests that significant amount of carbonates could survive during subduction from metal saturation boundary near 250 km depth down to the transition zone and presumably to the lower mantle if melting of carbonates is not involved.

  10. Geochemical and Fluid Dynamic Investigations into the Nature of Chemical Heterogeneity in the Earth’s Mantle (United States)


    depleted mantle. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 52, 2177-2182. 3 Salters, V.J.M. and Hart, S.R. (1989) The hafnium paradox and the role of garnet in the MORB...manganese nodules. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 52, 1197-1202. Patchett, P. J. (1983) Hafnium isotope results from Mid-ocean ridges and Kerguelen.3...conductivity of MgSiO3N perovskite at high pressures, and propose that thenrial conductivity i,•, with depth by I at least a factor of four througzh

  11. Lu Hf systematics of the ultra-high temperature Napier Metamorphic Complex in Antarctica: Evidence for the early Archean differentiation of Earth's mantle (United States)

    Choi, Sung Hi; Mukasa, Samuel B.; Andronikov, Alexandre V.; Osanai, Yasuhito; Harley, Simon L.; Kelly, Nigel M.


    The Napier Complex of the East Antarctic Craton comprises some of the oldest rocks on Earth (˜ 3.8 billion years old), overprinted by an ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphic event near the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. Garnet, orthopyroxene, sapphirine, osumilite, rutile and a whole rock representing a fully equilibrated assemblage from this UHT granulite belt have yielded a Lu-Hf isochron age of 2403 ± 43 Ma, the first ever determined on a UHT mineral assemblage. Preservation of the UHT mineral assemblage in the rock analyzed, without any significant retrogression, suggests rapid cooling with closure likely to have occurred for the Lu-Hf system at post-peak UHT conditions near a temperature of ˜ 800 °C. This mineral-whole rock isochron yields an initial 176Hf/ 177Hf ratio corresponding to an ɛHf value of - 14 ± 1, acquired during UHT metamorphism. Such a low value demonstrates that overall UHT granulites evolved in a low Lu/Hf environment, probably formed when the rocks were first extracted from a highly depleted mantle. Zircon ɛHf values we have measured "see through" the UHT metamorphism and show that the source materials for the magmas that formed the Napier Complex were extremely depleted (> + 5.6 ɛHf at 3.85 Ga) relative to the chondritic uniform reservoir (CHUR). These results also suggest significant depletion of the early Archean mantle, in agreement with the early differentiation of the Earth that the latest core formation models require.

  12. Chemical and Isotopic Heterogeneities in the Deep Earth:Importance of Lower Mantle Carbonate-rich Melts (United States)

    Collerson, K. D.; Williams, Q.; Murphy, D.


    Evolution of mantle chemical heterogeneity reflects a spectrum of processes. Nature of reservoirs has been inferred from radiogenic isotope and trace element systematics of mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) and ocean island basalts (OIB) [1]. Carbonatites, kimberlites and lamproites [2-4] also sample depleted and enriched reservoirs, however, their origin remains equivocal. Secular decrease in Th/U ratio in MORB mantle (DMM), homogeneity of Th/U inferred from Pb-isotopic data, and systematic variation in Nb/Th and Nb/U ratios in MORBs [5], show that recycled components in DMM are well mixed. Thus isotopically hererogeneous domains in DMM must be transient features and are unlikely to yield HIMU and EM chemistries. Explanations for HIMU and EM OIB chemistries include involvement of: (1) subcontinental lithospheric mantle; (2) subducted oceanic lithosphere; (3) subducted sediment; or (4) an enigmatic lower mantle (LM) "plume component". Elevated 3He/4He in OIBs and kimberlites [6] and excess 129Xe and high 40Ar/39Ar [e.g., 7-8] and solar 20Ne/22Ne [9] in carbonatites indicate that they were derived from a primitive, isolated, and less degassed source than MORB. Primordial compositions show that this reservoir escaped atmospheric contamination by Ar, Xe, and Ne and pollution by 4He-rich material (from recycled 238U) during subduction. This primitive reservoir likely exists below the depth subducted slabs obviously penetrate (ca. 1700 km) e.g., [10]. That kimberlites are deeply sourced is also shown by lower mantle inclusions in diamond, e.g., [11]. Importantly, Gp. 1 and 2 kimberlites are isotopically similar to HIMU and EM-1 OIBs [4]. We interpret Gp 1 kimberlites as mixtures of HIMU and EM sources, while Gp. 2 kimberlites (close to EM-1) are interpreted as melts of a Ca perovskite-rich reservoir, possibly from slabs in the LM. We model melting of LM phases to simulate evolution of EM1 and HIMU 87Sr/86Sr, 143Nd/144Nd, 176Hf/177Hf, 207Pb/204Pb, 206Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204

  13. Where is mantle's carbon? (United States)

    Oganov, A. R.; Ono, S.; Ma, Y.


    Due to the strongly reducing conditions (the presence of metallic iron was suggested both by experiments [1] and theory [2]), diamond was believed to be the main host of carbon through most of the lower mantle [3]. We showed [4] that cementite Fe3C is another good candidate to be the main host of "reduced" carbon in the mantle, reinforcing an earlier hypothesis [5]. The fate of "oxidised" carbon (in subducted slabs) is of particular importance - if carbonates decompose producing fluid CO2, this would have important implications for the chemistry and rheology of the mantle. Knowledge of crystal structures and phase diagrams of carbonates is crucial here. The high-pressure structures of CaCO3 were predicted [6] and subsequently verified by experiments. For MgCO3, Isshiki et al. [7] found a new phase above 110 GPa, and several attempts were made to solve it [8,9]. Here [4], using an evolutionary algorithm for crystal structure prediction [10], we show that there are two post-magnesite phases at mantle-relevant pressure range, one stable at 82-138 GPa, and the other from 138 GPa to ~160 GPa. Both are based on threefold rings of CO4-tetrahedra and are more favourable than all previously proposed structures. We show that through most of the P-T conditions of the mantle, MgCO3 is the major host of oxidized carbon in the Earth. We predict the possibility of CO2 release at the very bottom of the mantle (in SiO2-rich basaltic part of subducted slabs), which could enhance partial melting of rocks and be related to the geodynamical differences between the Earth and Venus. 1.Frost D.J., Liebske C., Langenhorst F., McCammon C.A., Tronnes R.G., Rubie D.C. (2004). Experimental evidence for the existence of iron-rich metal in the Earth's lower mantle. Nature 428, 409-412. 2.Zhang F., Oganov A.R. (2006). Valence and spin states of iron impurities in mantle-forming silicates. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 249, 436-443. 3.Luth R.W. (1999). Carbon and carbonates in the mantle. In: Mantle

  14. Temperature Coefficient of Sound Velocity of Perovskite-Enstatite and Lateral Thermal Heterogeneity in Earth's Lower Mantle

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GONG Zi-Zheng; XIE Hong-Sen; JING Fu-Qian; LIU Yong-Gang; GUO Jie; XU Jian


    Using the differences of sound velocity and temperature on the Hugoniot and isoentropic state, the temperature coefficients of sound velocity of perovskite-enstatite under high pressure were obtained. For compressional, shear and bulk wave velocities, their temperature coefficients decrease from 0.386, 0.251, 0.255m/(s.K) at 40GPa to 0.197, 0.131, 0. 162m/(s.K) at 140GPa, respectively. Extrapolating these to zero pressure results in ( K/ T)0 =-0.0279 GPa. K-1, which is consistent very well with the value got by hydrostatic pressure experiment. On the basis of our data, we conclude that the compressional wave velocity anomaly of 0.1-0.2% in the deep lower mantle and 2% in the D" region would imply lateral thermal heterogeneity with amplitude of 53-106 K and 1066 K in these regions, respectively.

  15. Zoned mantle convection. (United States)

    Albarède, Francis; Van Der Hilst, Rob D


    We review the present state of our understanding of mantle convection with respect to geochemical and geophysical evidence and we suggest a model for mantle convection and its evolution over the Earth's history that can reconcile this evidence. Whole-mantle convection, even with material segregated within the D" region just above the core-mantle boundary, is incompatible with the budget of argon and helium and with the inventory of heat sources required by the thermal evolution of the Earth. We show that the deep-mantle composition in lithophilic incompatible elements is inconsistent with the storage of old plates of ordinary oceanic lithosphere, i.e. with the concept of a plate graveyard. Isotopic inventories indicate that the deep-mantle composition is not correctly accounted for by continental debris, primitive material or subducted slabs containing normal oceanic crust. Seismological observations have begun to hint at compositional heterogeneity in the bottom 1000 km or so of the mantle, but there is no compelling evidence in support of an interface between deep and shallow mantle at mid-depth. We suggest that in a system of thermochemical convection, lithospheric plates subduct to a depth that depends - in a complicated fashion - on their composition and thermal structure. The thermal structure of the sinking plates is primarily determined by the direction and rate of convergence, the age of the lithosphere at the trench, the sinking rate and the variation of these parameters over time (i.e. plate-tectonic history) and is not the same for all subduction systems. The sinking rate in the mantle is determined by a combination of thermal (negative) and compositional buoyancy and as regards the latter we consider in particular the effect of the loading of plates with basaltic plateaux produced by plume heads. Barren oceanic plates are relatively buoyant and may be recycled preferentially in the shallow mantle. Oceanic plateau-laden plates have a more pronounced

  16. ISS COLUMBUS laboratory experiment `GeoFlow I and II' -fluid physics research in microgravity environment to study convection phenomena inside deep Earth and mantle (United States)

    Futterer, Birgit; Egbers, Christoph; Chossat, Pascal; Hollerbach, Rainer; Breuer, Doris; Feudel, Fred; Mutabazi, Innocent; Tuckerman, Laurette

    Overall driving mechanism of flow in inner Earth is convection in its gravitational buoyancy field. A lot of effort has been involved in theoretical prediction and numerical simulation of both the geodynamo, which is maintained by convection, and mantle convection, which is the main cause for plate tectonics. Especially resolution of convective patterns and heat transfer mechanisms has been in focus to reach the real, highly turbulent conditions inside Earth. To study specific phenomena experimentally different approaches has been observed, against the background of magneto-hydrodynamic but also on the pure hydrodynamic physics of fluids. With the experiment `GeoFlow' (Geophysical Flow Simulation) instability and transition of convection in spherical shells under the influence of central-symmetry buoyancy force field are traced for a wide range of rotation regimes within the limits between non-rotating and rapid rotating spheres. The special set-up of high voltage potential between inner and outer sphere and use of a dielectric fluid as working fluid induce an electro-hydrodynamic force, which is comparable to gravitational buoyancy force inside Earth. To reduce overall gravity in a laboratory this technique requires microgravity conditions. The `GeoFlow I' experiment was accomplished on International Space Station's module COLUM-BUS inside Fluid Science Laboratory FSL und supported by EADS Astrium, Friedrichshafen, User Support und Operations Centre E-USOC in Madrid, Microgravity Advanced Research and Support Centre MARS in Naples, as well as COLUMBUS Control Center COL-CC Munich. Running from August 2008 until January 2009 it delivered 100.000 images from FSL's optical diagnostics module; here more precisely the Wollaston shearing interferometry was used. Here we present the experimental alignment with numerical prediction for the non-rotating and rapid rotation case. The non-rotating case is characterized by a co-existence of several stationary supercritical

  17. Atomistic and Ab initio modeling of CaAl2O4 high-pressure polymorphs under Earth's mantle conditions (United States)

    Eremin, N. N.; Grechanovsky, A. E.; Marchenko, E. I.


    Semi-empirical and ab initio theoretical investigation of crystal structure geometry, interatomic distances, phase densities and elastic properties for some CaAl2O4 phases under pressures up to 200 GPa was performed. Two independent simulation methods predicted the appearance of a still unknown super-dense CaAl2O4 modification. In this structure, the Al coordination polyhedron might be described as distorted one with seven vertices. Ca atoms were situated inside polyhedra with ten vertices and Ca-O distances from 1.96 to 2.49 Å. It became the densest modification under pressures of 170 GPa (density functional theory prediction) or 150 GPa (semi-empirical prediction). Both approaches indicated that this super-dense CaAl2O4 modification with a "stuffed α-PbO2" type structure could be a probable candidate for mutual accumulation of Ca and Al in the lower mantle. The existence of this phase can be verified experimentally using high pressure techniques.

  18. Lithophile and siderophile element systematics of Earth's mantle at the Archean-Proterozoic boundary: Evidence from 2.4 Ga komatiites (United States)

    Puchtel, I. S.; Touboul, M.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Walker, R. J.; Brandon, A. D.; Nicklas, R. W.; Kulikov, V. S.; Samsonov, A. V.


    likely ancient mafic crust. The large positive 182W anomaly present in the tonalites requires that the precursor crust incorporated a primordial component with Hf/W that became fractionated, relative to the bulk mantle, within the first 50 Ma of Solar System history. The absolute HSE abundances in the mantle source of the Vetreny komatiite system are estimated to be 66 ± 7% of those in the present-day Bulk Silicate Earth. This observation, coupled with the normal 182W/184W composition of the komatiitic basalts, when corrected for crustal contamination (μ182W = -0.5 ± 4.5 ppm), indicates that the W-HSE systematics of the Vetreny komatiite system most likely were established as a result of late accretion of chondritic material to Earth. Our present results, combined with isotopic and chemical data available for other early and late Archean komatiite systems, are inconsistent with the model of increasing HSE abundances in komatiitic sources as a result of slow downward mixing into the mantle of chondritic material accreted to Earth throughout the Archean. The observed HSE concentration variations rather reflect sluggish mixing of diverse post-magma ocean domains characterized by variably-fractionated lithophile and siderophile element abundances.

  19. Modeling of thermo-chemical properties of the sub-solidus MgO-FeO binary, under Earth's lower mantle conditions (United States)

    Sciascia, Luciana; Merli, Marcello; Pavese, Alessandro; Diella, Valeria


    The stability field of the Mg-wüstite solid solution, (Mg,Fe)O, under high PT conditions, has been investigated by performing quantum mechanical calculations combined with statistical thermodynamics. The interest in this field comes from the consideration that the Mg-wüstite is the second most abundant phase in the Earth's lower mantle. A thoughtful understanding of the thermodynamic stability of this phase under deep mantle conditions is thus crucial for developing accurate models of the Earth's interior and the importance of drawing a complete picture of the stability fields of the Mg-wustite solid solution, especially at high pressure/temperature regimes, is straightforward. The experimental research in this field can be conveniently integrated by computational methods that allow not only to explore the extreme conditions that cannot be realized in a laboratory but also to express the mixing energies of the system as a function of the different factors affecting it. In the light of the above considerations, the present work has been undertaken where the thermo-chemical properties of the (Mg,Fe)O solid solution, over a wide PT range, have been modelled. Calculations have been performed by means of quantum mechanical and semi-empirical techniques by applying different external hydrostatic pressures in the range 0-140 GPa. The effect of the different spin configurations have been taken into account by exploring both the diamagnetic (low spin, S=0, NM) and antiferromagnetic (high spin, S=2, AFM) cases. The obtained energies have been then employed for the parameterization of the excess energy by the interaction parameters determined via Cluster Expansion (CE) method. The critical values of Pressure and Temperature beyond which the AFM-model, which is energetically more convenient in the low pressure regime, ends up promoting decomposition into MgO-FeO end members, have been determined for each investigated composition over the MgO-FeO binary. The proposed approach

  20. Linear analysis on the onset of thermal convection of highly compressible fluids: implications for the mantle convection of super-Earths (United States)

    Kameyama, Masanori; Miyagoshi, Takehiro; Ogawa, Masaki


    A series of linear analysis was performed on the onset of thermal convection of highly compressible fluids, in order to deepen the fundamental insights into the mantle convection of massive super-Earths in the presence of strong adiabatic compression. We consider the temporal evolution (growth or decay) of an infinitesimal perturbation superimposed to a highly compressible fluid which is in a hydrostatic (motionless) and conductive state in a basally heated horizontal layer. As a model of pressure-dependence in material properties, we employed an exponential decrease in thermal expansivity α and exponential increase in (reference) density ρ with depth. The linearized equations for conservation of mass, momentum and internal (thermal) energy are numerically solved for the critical Rayleigh number as well as the vertical profiles of eigenfunctions for infinitesimal perturbations. The above calculations are repeatedly carried out by systematically varying (i) the dissipation number (Di), (ii) the temperature at the top surface and (iii) the magnitude of pressure-dependence in α and ρ. Our analysis demonstrated that the onset of thermal convection is strongly affected by the adiabatic compression, in response to the changes in the static stability of thermal stratification in the fluid layer. For sufficiently large Di where a thick sublayer of stable stratification develops in the layer, for example, the critical Rayleigh number explosively increases with Di, together with drastic decreases in the length scales of perturbations both in vertical and horizontal directions. In particular, for very large Di, a thick `stratosphere' occurs in the fluid layer where the vertical motion is significantly suppressed, resulting in a shrink of the incipient convection in a thin sublayer of unstable thermal stratification. In addition, when Di exceeds a threshold value above which a thermal stratification becomes stable in the entire layer, no perturbation is allowed to grow

  1. The electrical conductivity of the Earth's upper mantle as estimated from satellite measured magnetic field variations. Ph.D. Thesis (United States)

    Didwall, E. M.


    Low latitude magnetic field variations (magnetic storms) caused by large fluctuations in the equatorial ring current were derived from magnetic field magnitude data obtained by OGO 2, 4, and 6 satellites over an almost 5 year period. Analysis procedures consisted of (1) separating the disturbance field into internal and external parts relative to the surface of the Earth; (2) estimating the response function which related to the internally generated magnetic field variations to the external variations due to the ring current; and (3) interpreting the estimated response function using theoretical response functions for known conductivity profiles. Special consideration is given to possible ocean effects. A temperature profile is proposed using conductivity temperature data for single crystal olivine. The resulting temperature profile is reasonable for depths below 150-200 km, but is too high for shallower depths. Apparently, conductivity is not controlled solely by olivine at shallow depths.

  2. Siderophile elements in the upper mantle of the Earth: New clues from metal-silicate partition coefficients (United States)

    Holzheid, A.; Borisov, A.; Palme, H.


    New, precise data on the solubilities of Ni, Co, and Mo in silicate melts at 1400 C and fO2 from IW to IW-2 are presented. The results suggest NiO, CoO as stable species in the melt. No evidence for metallic Ni or Co was found. Equilibrium was ensured by reversals with initially high Ni and Co in the glass. Mo appears to change oxidation state at IW-1, from MoO3 to MoO2. Metal-silicate partition coefficients calculated from these data and recent data on Pd indicate similar partition coefficients for Pd and Mo at the conditions of core formation. This unexpected result constrains models of core formation in the Earth.

  3. Evidence for back scattering of near-podal seismic P'P' waves from the 150-220 km zone in Earth's upper mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tkalcic, H; Flanagan, M P; Cormier, V F


    The deepest and most inaccessible parts of Earth's interior--the core and core-mantle boundary regions can be studied from compressional waves that turn in the core and are routinely observed following large earthquakes at epicentral distances between 145{sup o} and 180{sup o} (also called P', PKIKP or PKP waves). P'P' (PKPPKP) are P' waves that travel from a hypocenter through the Earth's core, reflect from the free surface and travel back through the core to a recording station on the surface. P'P' waves are sometimes accompanied by precursors, which were reported first in the 1960s as small-amplitude arrivals on seismograms at epicentral distances of about 50{sup o}-70{sup o}. Most prominent of these observed precursors were explained by P'P' waves generated by earthquakes or explosions that did not reach the Earth's surface but were reflected from the underside of first order velocity discontinuities at 410 and 660 km in the upper mantle mantle. Here we report the discovery of hitherto unobserved near-podal P'P' waves (at epicentral distance less than 10{sup o}) and very prominent precursors preceding the main energy by as much as 55 seconds. We interpret these precursors as a back scattered energy from undocumented structure in the upper mantle, in a zone between 150 and 220 km depth beneath Earth's surface. From these observations, we identify a frequency dependence of Q (attenuation quality factor) in the lithosphere that can be modeled by a flat relaxation spectrum below about 0.05-0.1 Hz and increasing with as the first power of frequency above this value, confirming pioneering work by B. Gutenberg.

  4. Evidence for back scattering of near-podal seismic P'P' waves from the 150-220 km zone in Earth's upper mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tkalcic, H; Flanagan, M P; Cormier, V F


    The deepest and most inaccessible parts of Earth's interior--the core and core-mantle boundary regions can be studied from compressional waves that turn in the core and are routinely observed following large earthquakes at epicentral distances between 145{sup o} and 180{sup o} (also called P', PKIKP or PKP waves). P'P' (PKPPKP) are P' waves that travel from a hypocenter through the Earth's core, reflect from the free surface and travel back through the core to a recording station on the surface. P'P' waves are sometimes accompanied by precursors, which were reported first in the 1960s as small-amplitude arrivals on seismograms at epicentral distances of about 50{sup o}-70{sup o}. Most prominent of these observed precursors were explained by P'P' waves generated by earthquakes or explosions that did not reach the Earth's surface but were reflected from the underside of first order velocity discontinuities at 410 and 660 km in the upper mantle mantle. Here we report the discovery of hitherto unobserved near-podal P'P' waves (at epicentral distance less than 10{sup o}) and very prominent precursors preceding the main energy by as much as 55 seconds. We interpret these precursors as a back scattered energy from undocumented structure in the upper mantle, in a zone between 150 and 220 km depth beneath Earth's surface. From these observations, we identify a frequency dependence of Q (attenuation quality factor) in the lithosphere that can be modeled by a flat relaxation spectrum below about 0.05-0.1 Hz and increasing with as the first power of frequency above this value, confirming pioneering work by B. Gutenberg.

  5. Compositional Evolution of the Mantle (United States)

    Bennett, V. C.


    The mantle is the Earth's largest chemical reservoir comprising 82% of its total volume and 65% of its mass. The mantle constitutes almost all of the silicate Earth, extending from the base of the crust (which comprises only 0.6% of the silicate mass) to the top of the metallic core at 2,900 km depth. The chemical compositions of direct mantle samples such as abyssal peridotites (Chapter 2.04) and peridotite xenoliths (Chapter 2.05), and of indirect probes of the mantle such as basalts from mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs) and ocean island basalts (OIBs) (Chapter 2.03), and some types of primitive granites, tell us about the compositional state of the modern mantle, with ever increasingly detailed information providing strong evidence for chemical complexity and heterogeneity at all scales (Chapter 2.03). This chemical heterogeneity must reflect the complex physical interplay of a number of distinct long-lived geochemical reservoirs that are identified primarily by their radiogenic isotopic compositions.Many of the chapters in this volume provide detailed images of the current chemical and physical state of the Earth's mantle, whereas other contributions examine the starting composition for the Earth (Chapter 2.01). This chapter attempts to link these two areas by tracking the composition of the mantle through time. The first part of this chapter is a summary of the empirical evidence for secular change in the chemical composition of the mantle from the formation of the Earth at 4.56 Ga throughto the present day. The emphasis is on results from the long-lived radiogenic isotopic systems, in particular 147Sm-143Nd, 176Lu-176Hf, 87Rb-87Sr, and 187Re-187Os systems as these isotopic data provide some of the best constraints on the composition of the mantle in the first half of Earth history, and the timing and extent of chemical differentiation that has affected the mantle over geologic time. Selected trace element data and the "short-lived" 146Sm-142Nd isotopic systems

  6. Experience melting through the Earth's lower mantle via LH-DAC experiments on MgO-SiO2 and CaO-MgO-SiO2 systems (United States)

    Baron, Marzena A.; Lord, Oliver T.; Walter, Michael J.; Trønnes, Reidar G.


    The large low shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) and ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZs) of the lowermost mantle [1] are likely characterized by distinct chemical compositions, combined with temperature anomalies. The heterogeneities may have originated by fractional crystallization of the magma ocean during the earliest history of the Earth [2,3] and/or the continued accretion at the CMB of subducted basaltic oceanic crust [4,5]. These structures and their properties control the distribution and magnitude of the heat flow at the CMB and therefore the convective dynamics and evolution of the whole Earth. To determine the properties of these structures and thus interpret the seismic results, a good understanding of the melting phase relations of relevant basaltic and peridotitic compositions are required throughout the mantle pressure range. The melting phase relations of lower mantle materials are only crudely known. Recent experiments on various natural peridotitic and basaltic compositions [6-8] have given wide ranges of solidus and liquidus temperatures at lower mantle pressures. The melting relations for MgO, MgSiO3 and compositions along the MgO-SiO2 join from ab initio theory [e.g. 9,10] is broadly consistent with a thermodynamic model for eutectic melt compositions through the lower mantle based on melting experiments in the MgO-SiO2 system at 16-26 GPa [3]. We have performed a systematic study of the melting phase relations of analogues for peridotitic mantle and subducted basaltic crust in simple binary and ternary systems that capture the major mineralogy of Earth's lower mantle, using the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LH-DAC) technique at 25-100 GPa. We determined the eutectic melting temperatures involving the following liquidus mineral assemblages: 1. bridgmanite (bm) + periclase (pc) and bm + silica in the system MgO-SiO2 (MS), corresponding to model peridotite and basalt compositions 2. bm + pc + Ca-perovskite (cpv) and bm + silica + cpv in the

  7. SALSA3D - A Global 3D P-Velocity Model of the Earth's Crust and Mantle for Improved Event Location (United States)

    Ballard, S.; Begnaud, M. L.; Young, C. J.; Hipp, J. R.; Chang, M.; Encarnacao, A. V.; Rowe, C. A.; Phillips, W. S.; Steck, L.


    To test the hypothesis that high quality 3D Earth models will produce seismic event locations which are more accurate and more precise, we are developing a global 3D P wave velocity model of the Earth’s crust and mantle using seismic tomography. In this paper, we present the most recent version of our model, SALSA3D version 1.5, and demonstrate its ability to reduce mislocations for a large set of realizations derived from a carefully chosen set of globally-distributed ground truth events. Our model is derived from the latest version of the Ground Truth (GT) catalog of P and Pn travel time picks assembled by Los Alamos National Laboratory. To prevent over-weighting due to ray path redundancy and to reduce the computational burden, we cluster rays to produce representative rays. Reduction in the total number of ray paths is ~50%. The model is represented using the triangular tessellation system described by Ballard et al. (2009), which incorporates variable resolution in both the geographic and radial dimensions.. For our starting model, we use a simplified two layer crustal model derived from the Crust 2.0 model over a uniform AK135 mantle. Sufficient damping is used to reduce velocity adjustments so that ray path changes between iterations are small. We obtain proper model smoothness by using progressive grid refinement, refining the grid only around areas with significant velocity changes from the starting model. At each grid refinement level except the last one we limit the number of iterations to prevent convergence thereby preserving aspects of broad features resolved at coarser resolutions. Our approach produces a smooth, multi-resolution model with node density appropriate to both ray coverage and the velocity gradients required by the data. This scheme is computationally expensive, so we use a distributed computing framework based on the Java Parallel Processing Framework, providing us with ~400 processors. Resolution of our model is assessed using a

  8. Mantle hydrocarbons: abiotic or biotic? (United States)

    Sugisaki, R; Mimura, K


    Analyses of 227 rocks from fifty localities throughout the world showed that mantle derived rocks such as tectonized peridotites in ophiolite sequences (tectonites) arid peridotite xenoliths in alkali basalts contain heavier hydrocarbons (n-alkanes), whereas igneous rocks produced by magmas such as gabbro arid granite lack them. The occurrence of hydrocarbons indicates that they were not derived either from laboratory contamination or from held contamination; these compounds found in the mantle-derived rocks are called here "mantle hydrocarbons." The existence of hydrocarbons correlates with petrogenesis. For example, peridotite cumulates produced by magmatic differentiation lack hydrocarbons whereas peridotite xenoliths derived from the mantle contain them. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric records of the mantle hydrocarbons resemble those of aliphatics in meteorites and in petroleum. Features of the hydrocarbons are that (a) the mantle hydrocarbons reside mainly along grain boundaries and in fluid inclusions of minerals; (b) heavier isoprenoids such as pristane and phytane are present; and (c) delta 13C of the mantle hydrocarbons is uniform (about -27%). Possible origins for the mantle hydrocarbons are as follows. (1) They were in organically synthesized by Fischer-Tropsch type reaction in the mantle. (2) They were delivered by meteorites and comets to the early Earth. (3) They were recycled by subduction. The mantle hydrocarbons in the cases of (1) and (2) are abiogenic and those in (3) are mainly biogenic. It appears that hydrocarbons may survive high pressures and temperatures in the mantle, but they are decomposed into lighter hydrocarbon gases such as CH4 at lower pressures when magmas intrude into the crust; consequently, peridotite cumulates do not contain heavier hydrocarbons but possess hydrocarbon gases up to C4H10.

  9. Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Carter, Jason


    This curriculum-based, easy-to-follow book teaches young readers about Earth as one of the eight planets in our solar system in astronomical terms. With accessible text, it provides the fundamental information any student needs to begin their studies in astronomy, such as how Earth spins and revolves around the Sun, why it's uniquely suitable for life, its physical features, atmosphere, biosphere, moon, its past, future, and more. To enhance the learning experience, many of the images come directly from NASA. This straightforward title offers the fundamental information any student needs to sp

  10. Importance of the Small-Scale Processes Melting, Plate Boundary Formation and Mineralogy on the Large-Scale, Long-Term Thermo-Chemical Evolution of Earth's Mantle-Plate System (United States)

    Tackley, P.


    Seismic observations of the deep Earth reveal the presence of two large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) that are typically inferred to be dense chemically-distinct material, as well as discontinuities that are typically linked to the post-perovskite (pPv) phase transition. Several possible origins of chemically-dense material have been proposed, including recycling of mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB), primordial differentiation events, crystallisation of a basal magma ocean, or some combination of these creating a basal melange (BAM; Tackley 2012 Earth Sci. Rev.). Each of these possibilities would result in a different composition hence different mineralogy. In order to constrain this we have been running calculations of thermo-chemical mantle evolution over 4.5 billion years that include melting-induced differentiation, plate tectonics induced by strongly temperature-dependent viscosity and plastic yielding, core cooling and compressibility with reasonable assumptions about the pressure-dependence of other material properties. Some of our simulations start from a magma ocean state so initial layering is developed self-consistently. Already-published results (Nakagawa et al., 2009 GCubed, 2010 PEPI, 2012 GCubed) already indicate the importance of exact MORB composition on the amount of MORB segregating above the CMB, which in turn influences mantle thermal structure and the evolution of the core and geodynamo. In more recent results we have been additionally including primordial material. We find that melting-induced differentiation has several first-order effects on the dynamics, including (i) making plate tectonics easier (through stresses associated with lateral variations in crustal thickness) and (ii) reducing heat flux through the CMB (due to the build-up of dense material above the CMB); also (iii) tectonic mode (continuous plate tectonics, episodic lid or stagnant lid) also makes a first-order difference to mantle structure and dynamics. This emphasises

  11. Titanium-bearing phases in the Earth's mantle (evidence from experiments in the MgO-SiO2-TiO2 ±Al2O3 system at 10-24 GPa) (United States)

    Sirotkina, Ekaterina; Bobrov, Andrey; Bindi, Luca; Irifune, Tetsuo


    Introduction Despite significant interest of experimentalists to the study of geophysically important phase equilibria in the Earth's mantle and a huge experimental database on a number of the model and multicomponent systems, incorporation of minor elements in mantle phases was mostly studied on a qualitative level. The influence of such elements on structural peculiarities of high-pressure phases is poorly investigated, although incorporation of even small portions of them may have a certain impact on the PT-parameters of phase transformations. Titanium is one of such elements with the low bulk concentrations in the Earth's mantle (0.2 wt % TiO2) [1]; however, Ti-rich lithologies may occur in the mantle as a result of oceanic crust subduction. Thus, the titanium content is 0.6 wt% in Global Oceanic Subducted Sediments (GLOSS) [2], and 1.5 wt% TiO2, in MORB [3]. In this regard, accumulation of titanium in the Earth's mantle is related to crust-mantle interaction during the subduction of crustal material at different depths of the mantle. Experimental methods At 10-24 GPa and 1600°C, we studied the full range of the starting materials in the MgSiO3 (En) - MgTiO3 (Gkl) system in increments of 10-20 mol% Gkl and 1-3 GPa, which allowed us to plot the phase PX diagram for the system MgSiO3-MgTiO3 and synthesize titanium-bearing phases with a wide compositional range. The experiments were performed using a 2000-t Kawai-type multi-anvil high-pressure apparatus at the Geodynamics Research Center, Ehime University (Japan). The quenched samples were examined by single-crystal X-ray diffractometer, and the composition of phases was analyzed using SEM-EDS. Results The main phases obtained in experiments were rutile, wadsleyite, MgSiO3-enstatite, MgTiO3-ilmenite, MgTiSi2O7 with the weberite structure type (Web), Mg(Si,Ti)O3 and MgSiO3 with perovskite-type structure. At a pressure of 13 GPa for Ti-poor bulk compositions, an association of En+Wad+Rt is replaced by the

  12. Iron geochemistry of the mantle (United States)

    Humayun, M.; Campbell, T. J.; Brandon, A. D.; Davis, F. A.; Hirschmann, M. M.


    The Fe/Mg ratio is an important constraint on the compositionally controlled density of the mantle. However, this ratio cannot be inferred from erupted lavas from OIB or MORB sources, but must be determined directly from mantle peridotites. Recently, the Fe/Mn ratio of erupted lavas has been used as an indicator of potential Fe variability in the mantle driven by core-mantle interaction, recycled oceanic crust, or even variations in the temperature of mantle melting. The classic compilation of McDonough & Sun (1995) provided the currently accepted Fe/Mn ratio of the upper mantle, 60±10. The uncertainty on this ratio allows for 15-30% variability in mantle iron abundances, which is equivalent to a density variation larger than observed by seismic tomography in the mantle. To better understand the relationship between mantle peridotites and erupted lavas, and to search for real variability in the Fe/Mn ratio of mantle peridotites, we report precise new ICP-MS measurements of the transition element geochemistry of suites of mantle xenoliths that have known Fe/Mg ratios. For 12 Kilbourne Hole xenoliths, we observe a clear correlation between Fe/Mn and MgO (or Fe/Mg) over an Fe/Mn range of 59-72. Extrapolation of this trend to a Primitive Mantle (PM) MgO content of 37.8 yields an Fe/Mn of 59±1 for the PM. Our new analyses of KLB-1 powder and fused glass beads yield an Fe/Mn of 61.4 for both samples, which plots on the Kilbourne Hole Fe/Mn vs. MgO trend. A set of ten xenoliths from San Carlos yield a wide range of Fe/Mn (56-65) not correlated with MgO content. The San Carlos xenoliths may have experienced a metasomatic effect that imprinted variable Fe/Mn. A clinopyroxene-rich lithology from San Carlos yields an Fe/Mn of 38, which plots on an extension of the Kilbourne Hole Fe/Mn vs. MgO trend. These new results, and those from other xenolith localities being measured in our lab, provide new constraints on the compositional variability of the Earth's upper mantle. Mc

  13. Shear wave speeds at the base of the mantle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castle, John C.; Hilst, R.D. van der; Creager, K.C.; Winchester, John P.


    We inverted 4864 ScS-S and 1671 S(diff)-SKS residual travel times for shear wave speed anomalies at the base of the Earth's mantle. We applied ellipticity corrections, accounted for mantle structure outside of the basal layer using mantle tomography models, and employed finite size sensitivity kerne

  14. Global correlation of lower mantle structure and past subduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Domeier, M.; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Torsvik, Trond H.; Spakman, W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074103164; Bull, A.L.


    Advances in global seismic tomography have increasingly motivated identification of subducted lithosphere in Earth's deep mantle, creating novel opportunities to link plate tectonics and mantle evolution. Chief among those is the quest for a robust subduction reference frame, wherein the mantle asse

  15. Shear wave speeds at the base of the mantle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castle, John C.; Hilst, R.D. van der; Creager, K.C.; Winchester, John P.


    We inverted 4864 ScS-S and 1671 S(diff)-SKS residual travel times for shear wave speed anomalies at the base of the Earth's mantle. We applied ellipticity corrections, accounted for mantle structure outside of the basal layer using mantle tomography models, and employed finite size sensitivity

  16. High-pressure, temperature elasticity of Fe- and Al-bearing MgSiO3: implications for the Earth's lower mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Shuai; Liu, Tao; Stackhouse, Stephen; Militzer, Burkhard


    Fe and Al are two of the most important rock-forming elements other than Mg, Si, and O. Their presence in the lower mantle's most abundant minerals, MgSiO_3 bridgmanite, MgSiO_3 post-perovskite and MgO periclase, alters their elastic properties. However, knowledge on the thermoelasticity of Fe- and Al-bearing MgSiO_3 bridgmanite, and post-perovskite is scarce. In this study, we perform ab initio molecular dynamics to calculate the elastic and seismic properties of pure, Fe^{3+}- and Fe^{2+}-, and Al^{3+}-bearing MgSiO_3 perovskite and post-perovskite, over a wide range of pressures, temperatures, and Fe/Al compositions. Our results show that a mineral assemblage resembling pyrolite fits a 1D seismological model well, down to, at least, a few hundred kilometers above the core-mantle boundary, i.e. the top of the D'' region. In D'', a similar composition is still an excellent fit to the average velocities and fairly approximate to the density. We also implement polycrystal plasticity with a geodynamic model to ...

  17. Earth materials and earth dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, K; Shankland, T. [and others


    In the project ''Earth Materials and Earth Dynamics'' we linked fundamental and exploratory, experimental, theoretical, and computational research programs to shed light on the current and past states of the dynamic Earth. Our objective was to combine different geological, geochemical, geophysical, and materials science analyses with numerical techniques to illuminate active processes in the Earth. These processes include fluid-rock interactions that form and modify the lithosphere, non-linear wave attenuations in rocks that drive plate tectonics and perturb the earth's surface, dynamic recrystallization of olivine that deforms the upper mantle, development of texture in high-pressure olivine polymorphs that create anisotropic velocity regions in the convecting upper mantle and transition zone, and the intense chemical reactions between the mantle and core. We measured physical properties such as texture and nonlinear elasticity, equation of states at simultaneous pressures and temperatures, magnetic spins and bonding, chemical permeability, and thermal-chemical feedback to better characterize earth materials. We artificially generated seismic waves, numerically modeled fluid flow and transport in rock systems and modified polycrystal plasticity theory to interpret measured physical properties and integrate them into our understanding of the Earth. This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

  18. Rogue mantle helium and neon. (United States)

    Albarède, Francis


    The canonical model of helium isotope geochemistry describes the lower mantle as undegassed, but this view conflicts with evidence of recycled material in the source of ocean island basalts. Because mantle helium is efficiently extracted by magmatic activity, it cannot remain in fertile mantle rocks for long periods of time. Here, I suggest that helium with high 3He/4He ratios, as well as neon rich in the solar component, diffused early in Earth's history from low-melting-point primordial material into residual refractory "reservoir" rocks, such as dunites. The difference in 3He/4He ratios of ocean-island and mid-ocean ridge basalts and the preservation of solar neon are ascribed to the reservoir rocks being stretched and tapped to different extents during melting.

  19. Stages of weathering mantle formation from carbonate rocks in the light of rare earth elements (REE) and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopes (United States)

    Hissler, Christophe; Stille, Peter


    Weathering mantles are widespread and include lateritic, sandy and kaolinite-rich saprolites and residuals of partially dissolved rocks. These old regolith systems have a complex history of formation and may present a polycyclic evolution due to successive geological and pedogenetic processes that affected the profile. Until now, only few studies highlighted the unusual high content of associated trace elements in weathering mantles originating from carbonate rocks, which have been poorly studied, compared to those developing on magmatic bedrocks. For instance, these enrichments can be up to five times the content of the underlying carbonate rocks. However, these studies also showed that the carbonate bedrock content only partially explains the soil enrichment for all the considered major and trace elements. Up to now, neither soil, nor saprolite formation has to our knowledge been geochemically elucidated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine more closely the soil forming dynamics and the relationship of the chemical soil composition to potential sources. REE distribution patterns and Sr-Nd-Pb isotope ratios have been used because they are particularly well suited to identify trace element migration, to recognize origin and mixing processes and, in addition, to decipher possible anthropogenic and/or "natural" atmosphere-derived contributions to the soil. Moreover, leaching experiments have been applied to identify mobile phases in the soil system and to yield information on the stability of trace elements and especially on their behaviour in these Fe-enriched carbonate systems. All these geochemical informations indicate that the cambisol developing on such a typical weathering mantle ("terra fusca") has been formed through weathering of a condensed Bajocian limestone-marl facies. This facies shows compared to average world carbonates important trace element enrichments. Their trace element distribution patterns are similar to those of the soil

  20. Melting of subducted basalt at the core-mantle boundary. (United States)

    Andrault, Denis; Pesce, Giacomo; Bouhifd, Mohamed Ali; Bolfan-Casanova, Nathalie; Hénot, Jean-Marc; Mezouar, Mohamed


    The geological materials in Earth's lowermost mantle control the characteristics and interpretation of seismic ultra-low velocity zones at the base of the core-mantle boundary. Partial melting of the bulk lower mantle is often advocated as the cause, but this does not explain the nonubiquitous character of these regional seismic features. We explored the melting properties of mid-oceanic ridge basalt (MORB), which can reach the lowermost mantle after subduction of oceanic crust. At a pressure representative of the core-mantle boundary (135 gigapascals), the onset of melting occurs at ~3800 kelvin, which is ~350 kelvin below the mantle solidus. The SiO2-rich liquid generated either remains trapped in the MORB material or solidifies after reacting with the surrounding MgO-rich mantle, remixing subducted MORB with the lowermost mantle.

  1. Can mantle convection be self-regulated? (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun


    The notion of self-regulating mantle convection, in which heat loss from the surface is constantly adjusted to follow internal radiogenic heat production, has been popular for the past six decades since Urey first advocated the idea. Thanks to its intuitive appeal, this notion has pervaded the solid earth sciences in various forms, but approach to a self-regulating state critically depends on the relation between the thermal adjustment rate and mantle temperature. I show that, if the effect of mantle melting on viscosity is taken into account, the adjustment rate cannot be sufficiently high to achieve self-regulation, regardless of the style of mantle convection. The evolution of terrestrial planets is thus likely to be far from thermal equilibrium and be sensitive to the peculiarities of their formation histories. Chance factors in planetary formation are suggested to become more important for the evolution of planets that are more massive than Earth.

  2. Upper and mid mantle fabric developing during subduction-induced mantle flow (United States)

    Faccenda, Manuele


    Subduction zones are convergent margins where the rigid lithosphere sinks into the Earth's mantle inducing complex 3D flow patterns. Seismic anisotropy generated by strain-induced lattice/crystal preferred orientation (LPO/CPO) of intrinsically anisotropic minerals is commonly used to study flow in the mantle and its relations with plate motions. We computed the seismic anisotropy of the upper and mid mantle due to strain-induced LPO in 3D mechanical models of dynamic subduction by using, respectively, D-Rex and Underworld. Subsequently, FSTRACK was used to compute seismogram synthetics and SKS splitting patterns. Strong anisotropy develops in the upper mantle, while weak or null seismic anisotropy is formed in the upper transition zone/lower mantle and lower transition zone, respectively. The distribution of the fabric in the mantle depends on the distribution and amount of the deformation, and not on the rate at which the slab subducts. The SKS splitting patterns are controlled by the anisotropy in the upper mantle because SKS waves are more sensitive to the anisotropy in the shallowest layers. Horizontally propagating shear waves in the mid mantle originating from local earthquakes are characterized by significant splitting that is mostly due to the fabric in the uppermost lower mantle. We discuss the implications of our results for real subduction settings like Tonga, where a discrete amount of observations have been collected in the past 10 years on the anisotropy in the upper and mid mantle.

  3. Ab initio MD simulations of Mg2SiO4 liquid at high pressures and temperatures relevant to the Earth's mantle (United States)

    Martin, G. B.; Kirtman, B.; Spera, F. J.


    Computational studies implementing Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods have become very popular in the Materials Sciences in recent years. DFT codes are now used routinely to simulate properties of geomaterials—mainly silicates and geochemically important metals such as Fe. These materials are ubiquitous in the Earth’s mantle and core and in terrestrial exoplanets. Because of computational limitations, most First Principles Molecular Dynamics (FPMD) calculations are done on systems of only 100 atoms for a few picoseconds. While this approach can be useful for calculating physical quantities related to crystal structure, vibrational frequency, and other lattice-scale properties (especially in crystals), it would be useful to be able to compute larger systems especially for extracting transport properties and coordination statistics. Previous studies have used codes such as VASP where CPU time increases as N2, making calculations on systems of more than 100 atoms computationally very taxing. SIESTA (Soler, et al. 2002) is a an order-N (linear-scaling) DFT code that enables electronic structure and MD computations on larger systems (N 1000) by making approximations such as localized numerical orbitals. Here we test the applicability of SIESTA to simulate geosilicates in the liquid and glass state. We have used SIESTA for MD simulations of liquid Mg2SiO4 at various state points pertinent to the Earth’s mantle and congruous with those calculated in a previous DFT study using the VASP code (DeKoker, et al. 2008). The core electronic wave functions of Mg, Si, and O were approximated using pseudopotentials with a core cutoff radius of 1.38, 1.0, and 0.61 Angstroms respectively. The Ceperly-Alder parameterization of the Local Density Approximation (LDA) was used as the exchange-correlation functional. Known systematic overbinding of LDA was corrected with the addition of a pressure term, P 1.6 GPa, which is the pressure calculated by SIESTA at the experimental

  4. Spin state and valence state of iron in Earth's lower mantle from synchrotron Mössbauer spectra of perovskite and post-perovskite up to 1.5 Mbar (United States)

    Li, J.; Chen, B.; Gao, L.; Alp, E. E.; Hirose, K.; Zhao, J.; Xiao, Y.; Bengston, A.; Morgan, D.


    The electronic spin state and valence state of iron are fundamental parameters that govern the physical properties and chemical behavior of iron-bearing phases in the Earth's interior, including their densities, sound velocities, thermal conductivities, and chemical potentials. Of particular importance are pressure- induced changes in the spin state and valence state of iron in the predominant lower mantle phase perovskite and its high-pressure polymorph post-perovskite. These issues remain controversial due to limited experimental data on highly compressed samples, and due to the lack of theoretical guidance for interpreting experimental results. Here we present new synchrotron Mössbauer spectra of perovskite and post-perovskite samples under pressures up to 145 GPa. Samples were synthesized and characterized in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell at SPring-8, from gel starting material with the composition (Mg0.9Fe0.1)SiO3. Synchrotron Mössbauer measurements were carried out at beamlines 3-ID and 16-ID at the Advanced Photon Source. Our spectra of perovskite can be fitted with two or three iron sites with quadruple splitting of 2.97 and 0.5 mm/sec, respectively. For post-perovskite, the spectrum can be fitted with a single component that has a small quadruple splitting. We interpret these results on the basis of calculated hyperfine parameters of iron with various crystallographic sites and spin/valence states, and discuss implications for the physics and chemistry of the lowermost mantle. This work is supported by NSF through a collaborative project EAR 07-38973.

  5. Mantle Volatiles - Distribution and Consequences (United States)

    Luth, R. W.


    Volatiles in the mantle have, for many years, been the subject of intensive study from a number of perspectives. They are of interest because of their potential effects on melting relationships, on transport of major and trace elements, and on the rheological and other physical properties of the mantle. By convention, "volatiles" in this context are constituents that are liquid or gaseous at normal Earth surface conditions. This review will look at the behavior of C-O-H-S-halogen volatiles, beginning with H2O and C-O volatiles.There have been tremendous strides made recently towards understanding how volatiles in general and water in particular is transported and stored in the mantle. This progress is based on research on a number of fronts: studies of mantle-derived samples have provided insight into the nature and occurrence of hydrous phases such as amphibole, mica, and chlorite, and have provided constraints on the capacity of nominally anhydrous minerals (NAMs) such as olivine, pyroxenes, and garnet to contain "water" by a variety of substitution mechanisms. Experimental studies on mantle-derived magmas have provided constraints on volatile contents in their source regions. Other studies have constrained the pressure, temperature, and composition conditions over which hydrous phases are stable in the mantle.Fundamental questions remain about the geochemical cycling of volatiles in the mantle, and between the mantle and the surface. Much attention has focused on the capability of hydrous phases such as amphibole, mica, serpentine, chlorite, and a family of "dense hydrous magnesian silicates" (DHMSs) to act as carriers of water in subducting slabs back into the mantle. It has been clear since the work of Ito et al. (1983) that there is a discrepancy between the amount of volatiles subducted into the mantle and those returned to the surface by arc magmatism. A recent overview of volatile cycling in subduction systems by Bebout (1996) suggests that 5-15% of the H2

  6. Constraints on the thermal and compositional nature of the Earth's mantle inferred from joint inversion of compressional and shear seismic waves and mineral physics data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tesoniero, Andrea

    the results of a combined interdisciplinary study that includes seismology and mineral physics. The purpose is to augment our knowledge on the thermal and chemical nature of the inner Earth. A large global seismic database has been gathered and analyzed during the project and a new global joint compressional......Seismology is by far the most powerful tool to explore the inner structure of our planet. However, the ability to retrieve the physical properties, i.e. density, temperature and composition, of the Earth’s constituent materials is limited by the inherent difficulty of separating each contribution...... and by uncertainties in the sensitivity of seismic velocities to these parameters. The combination of seismic observations and information from mineral physics can help overcoming the limited resolution of the seismic data and obtaining an insight into the physical state of the Earth. This Ph.D. project summarizes...

  7. Constraints on the thermal and compositional nature of the Earth's mantle inferred from joint inversion of compressional and shear seismic waves and mineral physics data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tesoniero, Andrea

    Seismology is by far the most powerful tool to explore the inner structure of our planet. However, the ability to retrieve the physical properties, i.e. density, temperature and composition, of the Earth’s constituent materials is limited by the inherent difficulty of separating each contribution...... and by uncertainties in the sensitivity of seismic velocities to these parameters. The combination of seismic observations and information from mineral physics can help overcoming the limited resolution of the seismic data and obtaining an insight into the physical state of the Earth. This Ph.D. project summarizes...... the results of a combined interdisciplinary study that includes seismology and mineral physics. The purpose is to augment our knowledge on the thermal and chemical nature of the inner Earth. A large global seismic database has been gathered and analyzed during the project and a new global joint compressional...

  8. Deep Mantle Seismic Modeling and Imaging (United States)

    Lay, Thorne; Garnero, Edward J.


    Detailed seismic modeling and imaging of Earth's deep interior is providing key information about lower-mantle structures and processes, including heat flow across the core-mantle boundary, the configuration of mantle upwellings and downwellings, phase equilibria and transport properties of deep mantle materials, and mechanisms of core-mantle coupling. Multichannel seismic wave analysis methods that provide the highest-resolution deep mantle structural information include network waveform modeling and stacking, array processing, and 3D migrations of P- and S-wave seismograms. These methods detect and identify weak signals from structures that cannot be resolved by global seismic tomography. Some methods are adapted from oil exploration seismology, but all are constrained by the source and receiver distributions, long travel paths, and strong attenuation experienced by seismic waves that penetrate to the deep mantle. Large- and small-scale structures, with velocity variations ranging from a fraction of a percent to tens of percent, have been detected and are guiding geophysicists to new perspectives of thermochemical mantle convection and evolution.

  9. Redox-induced lower mantle density contrast and effect on mantle structure and primitive oxygen (United States)

    Gu, Tingting; Li, Mingming; McCammon, Catherine; Lee, Kanani K. M.


    The mantle comprises nearly three-quarters of Earth's volume and through convection connects the deep interior with the lithosphere and atmosphere. The composition of the mantle determines volcanic emissions, which are intimately linked to evolution of the primitive atmosphere. Fundamental questions remain on how and when the proto-Earth mantle became oxidized, and whether redox state is homogeneous or developed large-scale structures. Here we present experiments in which we subjected two synthetic samples of nearly identical composition that are representative of the lower mantle (enstatite chondrite), but synthesized under different oxygen fugacities, to pressures and temperatures up to 90 GPa and 2,400 K. In addition to the mineral bridgmanite, compression of the more reduced material also produced Al2O3 as a separate phase, and the resulting assemblage is about 1 to 1.5% denser than in experiments with the more oxidized material. Our geodynamic simulations suggest that such a density difference can cause a rapid ascent and accumulation of oxidized material in the upper mantle, with descent of the denser reduced material to the core-mantle boundary. We suggest that the resulting heterogeneous redox conditions in Earth's interior can contribute to the large low-shear velocity provinces in the lower mantle and the evolution of atmospheric oxygen.

  10. Primary magmas and mantle temperatures through time (United States)

    Ganne, Jérôme; Feng, Xiaojun


    Chemical composition of mafic magmas is a critical indicator of physicochemical conditions, such as pressure, temperature, and fluid availability, accompanying melt production in the mantle and its evolution in the continental or oceanic lithosphere. Recovering this information has fundamental implications in constraining the thermal state of the mantle and the physics of mantle convection throughout the Earth's history. Here a statistical approach is applied to a geochemical database of about 22,000 samples from the mafic magma record. Potential temperatures (Tps) of the mantle derived from this database, assuming melting by adiabatic decompression and a Ti-dependent (Fe2O3/TiO2 = 0.5) or constant redox condition (Fe2+/∑Fe = 0.9 or 0.8) in the magmatic source, are thought to be representative of different thermal "horizons" (or thermal heterogeneities) in the ambient mantle, ranging in depth from a shallow sublithospheric mantle (Tp minima) to a lower thermal boundary layer (Tp maxima). The difference of temperature (ΔTp) observed between Tp maxima and minima did not change significantly with time (˜170°C). Conversely, a progressive but limited cooling of ˜150°C is proposed since ˜2.5 Gyr for the Earth's ambient mantle, which falls in the lower limit proposed by Herzberg et al. [2010] (˜150-250°C hotter than today). Cooling of the ambient mantle after 2.5 Ga is preceded by a high-temperature plateau evolution and a transition from dominant plumes to a plate tectonics geodynamic regime, suggesting that subductions stabilized temperatures in the Archaean mantle that was in warming mode at that time.abstract type="synopsis">Plain Language SummaryThe Earth's upper mantle constitutes a major interface between inner and outer envelops of the planet. We explore at high resolution its thermal state evolution (potential temperature of the ambient mantle, Tp) in depth and time using a multi-dimensional database of mafic lavas chemistry (>22,000 samples formed in

  11. Multiscale seismic tomography and mantle dynamics (United States)

    Zhao, Dapeng


    Multiscale (local, regional and global) tomographic studies are made to determine the 3-D structure of the Earth, particularly for imaging mantle plumes and subducting slabs. Plume-like slow anomalies are clearly visible under the major hotspot regions in most parts of the mantle, in particular, under Hawaii, Iceland, Kerguelen, South Pacific and Africa (Zhao, 2001, 2004, 2009). The slow anomalies under South Pacific and Africa have lateral extensions of over 1000 km and exist in the entire mantle, representing two superplumes. The Pacific superplume has a larger spatial extent and stronger slow anomalies than that of the Africa superplume. The Hawaiian plume is not part of the Pacific superplume but an independent whole-mantle plume (Zhao, 2004, 2009). The slow anomalies under hotspots usually do not show a straight pillar shape, but exhibit winding images, suggesting that plumes are not fixed in the mantle but can be deflected by the mantle flow. As a consequence, hotspots are not really fixed but can wander on the Earth's surface, as evidenced by the recent paleomagnetic and numeric modeling studies. Wider and more prominent slow anomalies are visible at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) than most of the lower mantle, and there is a good correlation between the distribution of slow anomalies at the CMB and that of hotspots on the surface, suggesting that most of the strong mantle plumes under the hotspots originate from the CMB. However, there are some small-scaled, weak plumes originating from the transition zone or mid mantle depths (Zhao et al., 2006; Zhao, 2009; Lei et al., 2009; Gupta et al., 2009). Clear images of subducting slabs and magma chambers in the upper-mantle wedge beneath active arc volcanoes are obtained, indicating that geodynamic systems associated with arc magmatism and back-arc spreading are related to deep processes, such as convective circulation in the mantle wedge and dehydration reactions of the subducting slab (Zhao et al., 2002, 2007

  12. Seismic anisotropy: tracing plate dynamics in the mantle. (United States)

    Park, Jeffrey; Levin, Vadim


    Elastic anisotropy is present where the speed of a seismic wave depends on its direction. In Earth's mantle, elastic anisotropy is induced by minerals that are preferentially oriented in a directional flow or deformation. Earthquakes generate two seismic wave types: compressional (P) and shear (S) waves, whose coupling in anisotropic rocks leads to scattering, birefringence, and waves with hybrid polarizations. This varied behavior is helping geophysicists explore rock textures within Earth's mantle and crust, map present-day upper-mantle convection, and study the formation of lithospheric plates and the accretion of continents in Earth history.

  13. Scales of Heterogeneities in the Continental Crust and Upper Mantle


    M. Tittgemeyer; F. Wenzel; Trond Ryberg; Fuchs, K


    A seismological characterization of crust and upper mantle can refer to large-scale averages of seismic velocities or to fluctuations of elastic parameters. Large is understood here relative to the wavelength used to probe the earth. In this paper we try to characterize crust and upper mantle by the fluctuations in media properties rather than by their average velocities. As such it becomes evident that different scales of heterogeneities prevail in different layers of crust mantle. Although ...

  14. Eight good reasons why the uppermost mantle could be magnetic (United States)

    Ferré, Eric C.; Friedman, Sarah A.; Martín-Hernández, Fatíma; Feinberg, Joshua M.; Till, Jessica L.; Ionov, Dmitri A.; Conder, James A.


    Wasilewski et al. (1979) concluded that no magnetic remanence existed in the uppermost mantle and that even if present, such sources would be at temperatures too high to contribute to long wavelength magnetic anomalies (LWMA). However, new collections of unaltered mantle xenoliths indicate that the uppermost mantle could contain ferromagnetic minerals. 1. The analysis of some LWMA over cratons and forearcs suggest magnetic sources in the uppermost mantle. 2. The most common ferromagnetic phase in the uppermost mantle is stoichiometric magnetite. Assuming a 30 km-thick crust, and crustal and mantle geotherms of 15 °C/km and 5 °C/km, respectively, the 600 °C Curie temperature implies a 30 km-thick layer of mantle. 3. The uppermost mantle is cooler than 600 °C in Archean and Proterozoic shields (> 350 °C), subduction zones (> 300 °C) and old oceanic basins (> 250 °C). 4. Recently investigated sets of unaltered mantle xenoliths contain pure magnetite inclusions in olivine and pyroxene formed in equilibrium with the host silicate. 5. The ascent of mantle xenoliths occurs in less than a day. Diffusion rates in olivine suggest that the growth of magnetite possible within this time frame cannot account for the size and distribution of magnetite particles in our samples. 6. Demagnetization of natural remanent magnetization (NRM) of unaltered mantle xenoliths unambiguously indicates only a single component acquired upon cooling at the Earth's surface. This is most easily explained as a thermoremanent magnetization acquired by pre-existing ferromagnetic minerals as xenoliths cool rapidly at the Earth's surface from magmatic temperatures, acquired during ascent. 7. Modern experimental data suggest that the wüstite-magnetite oxygen buffer and the fayalite-magnetite-quartz oxygen buffer extend several tens of km within the uppermost mantle. 8. The magnetic properties of mantle xenoliths vary consistently across tectonic settings. In conclusion, the model of a uniformly

  15. Waves in the core and mechanical core-mantle interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jault, D.; Finlay, Chris


    the motions in the direction parallel to the Earth'srotation axis. This property accounts for the signicance of the core-mantle topography.In addition, the stiening of the uid in the direction parallel to the rotation axis gives riseto a magnetic diusion layer attached to the core-mantle boundary, which would...

  16. Hf isotope evidence for a hidden mantle reservoir

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bizzarro, Martin; Simonetti, A.; Stevenson, R.K.


    High-precision Hf isotopic analyses and U-Pb ages of carbonatites and kimberlites from Greenland and eastern North America, including Earth's oldest known carbonatite (3 Ga), indicate derivation from an enriched mantle source. This previously unidentified mantle reservoir-marked by an unradiogeni...

  17. How mantle slabs drive plate tectonics. (United States)

    Conrad, Clinton P; Lithgow-Bertelloni, Carolina


    The gravitational pull of subducted slabs is thought to drive the motions of Earth's tectonic plates, but the coupling between slabs and plates is not well established. If a slab is mechanically attached to a subducting plate, it can exert a direct pull on the plate. Alternatively, a detached slab may drive a plate by exciting flow in the mantle that exerts a shear traction on the base of the plate. From the geologic history of subduction, we estimated the relative importance of "pull" versus "suction" for the present-day plates. Observed plate motions are best predicted if slabs in the upper mantle are attached to plates and generate slab pull forces that account for about half of the total driving force on plates. Slabs in the lower mantle are supported by viscous mantle forces and drive plates through slab suction.

  18. Can the mantle control the core?: Energetics and dynamics (United States)

    Nakagawa, T.


    The sustainability of magnetic field generation is discussed from a coupled model of numerical mantle convection simulation and core energetics theory. The pattern of geomagnetic field could be also controlled as a consequence of mantle convection [e.g. Amit and Choblet, 2009]. Our previous studies have suggested that the best-fit scenario for explaining both sustainability of magnetic field generation caused by dynamo actions and the size of inner core would be strongly controlled by the heat transfer of mantle convection with strongly compositional heterogeneities [Nakagawa and Tackley, 2004; Nakagawa and Tackley, 2010]. Here we investigate effects of initial mantle temperature and radioactive heat source in a convecting mantle with extremely high initial temperature at the core-mantle boundary that has been suggested from the hypothesis of early Earth [Labrosse et al., 2007] for checking how the mantle can control the thermal evolution of the core. Main consequence is that the amount of heat production rate and initial mantle temperature are not very sensitive to the thermal evolution of Earth's core but the convective vigor seems to be sensitive to the results. For the mantle side, the Urey ratio is not very good constraint for understanding thermal evolution of the whole Earth. In addition, we also show an example of numerical dynamo simulations with both a stably stratified layer and lateral variation of heat flux across the core-mantle boundary (CMB), which expands a paper by Nakagawa [2011], evaluated from numerical mantle convection simulations for checking how the mantle can control the dynamics of the core, which checks dead or alive for the magnetic field generated by dynamo actions with strongly lateral variation of CMB heat flux.

  19. Slab mantle dehydrates beneath Kamchatka—Yet recycles water into the deep mantle (United States)

    Konrad-Schmolke, Matthias; Halama, Ralf; Manea, Vlad C.


    The subduction of hydrated slab mantle is the most important and yet weakly constrained factor in the quantification of the Earth's deep geologic water cycle. The most critical unknowns are the initial hydration state and the dehydration behavior of the subducted oceanic mantle. Here we present a combined thermomechanical, thermodynamic, and geochemical model of the Kamchatka subduction zone that indicates significant dehydration of subducted slab mantle beneath Kamchatka. Evidence for the subduction of hydrated oceanic mantle comes from across-arc trends of boron concentrations and isotopic compositions in arc volcanic rocks. Our thermodynamic-geochemical models successfully predict the complex geochemical patterns and the spatial distribution of arc volcanoes in Kamchatka assuming the subduction of hydrated oceanic mantle. Our results show that water content and dehydration behavior of the slab mantle beneath Kamchatka can be directly linked to compositional features in arc volcanic rocks. Depending on hydration depth of the slab mantle, our models yield water recycling rates between 1.1 × 103 and 7.4 × 103 Tg/Ma/km corresponding to values between 0.75 × 106 and 5.2 × 106 Tg/Ma for the entire Kamchatkan subduction zone. These values are up to one order of magnitude lower than previous estimates for Kamchatka, but clearly show that subducted hydrated slab mantle significantly contributes to the water budget in the Kamchatkan subduction zone.

  20. Mantle plumes and continental tectonics. (United States)

    Hill, R I; Campbell, I H; Davies, G F; Griffiths, R W


    Mantle plumes and plate tectonics, the result of two distinct modes of convection within the Earth, operate largely independently. Although plumes are secondary in terms of heat transport, they have probably played an important role in continental geology. A new plume starts with a large spherical head that can cause uplift and flood basalt volcanism, and may be responsible for regional-scale metamorphism or crustal melting and varying amounts of crustal extension. Plume heads are followed by narrow tails that give rise to the familiar hot-spot tracks. The cumulative effect of processes associated with tail volcanism may also significantly affect continental crust.

  1. Global correlation of lower mantle structure and past subduction (United States)

    Domeier, Mathew; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Torsvik, Trond H.; Spakman, Wim; Bull, Abigail L.


    Advances in global seismic tomography have increasingly motivated identification of subducted lithosphere in Earth's deep mantle, creating novel opportunities to link plate tectonics and mantle evolution. Chief among those is the quest for a robust subduction reference frame, wherein the mantle assemblage of subducted lithosphere is used to reconstruct past surface tectonics in an absolute framework anchored in the deep Earth. However, the associations heretofore drawn between lower mantle structure and past subduction have been qualitative and conflicting, so the very assumption of a correlation has yet to be quantitatively corroborated. Here we show that a significant, time-depth progressive correlation can be drawn between reconstructed subduction zones of the last 130 Myr and positive S wave velocity anomalies at 600-2300 km depth, but that further correlation between greater times and depths is not presently demonstrable. This correlation suggests that lower mantle slab sinking rates average between 1.1 and 1.9 cm yr-1.

  2. How stratified is mantle convection? (United States)

    Puster, Peter; Jordan, Thomas H.


    We quantify the flow stratification in the Earth's mid-mantle (600-1500 km) in terms of a stratification index for the vertical mass flux, Sƒ (z) = 1 - ƒ(z) / ƒref (z), in which the reference value ƒref(z) approximates the local flux at depth z expected for unstratified convection (Sƒ=0). Although this flux stratification index cannot be directly constrained by observations, we show from a series of two-dimensional convection simulations that its value can be related to a thermal stratification index ST(Z) defined in terms of the radial correlation length of the temperature-perturbation field δT(z, Ω). ST is a good proxy for Sƒ at low stratifications (SƒUniformitarian Principle. The bound obtained here from global tomography is consistent with local seismological evidence for slab flux into the lower mantle; however, the total material flux has to be significantly greater (by a factor of 2-3) than that due to slabs alone. A stratification index, Sƒ≲0.2, is sufficient to exclude many stratified convection models still under active consideration, including most forms of chemical layering between the upper and lower mantle, as well as the more extreme versions of avalanching convection governed by a strong endothermic phase change.

  3. Geodynamo Modeling of Core-Mantle Interactions (United States)

    Kuang, Wei-Jia; Chao, Benjamin F.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)


    Angular momentum exchange between the Earth's mantle and core influences the Earth's rotation on time scales of decades and longer, in particular in the length of day (LOD) which have been measured with progressively increasing accuracy for the last two centuries. There are four possible coupling mechanisms for transferring the axial angular momentum across the core-mantle boundary (CMB): viscous, magnetic, topography, and gravitational torques. Here we use our scalable, modularized, fully dynamic geodynamo model for the core to assess the importance of these torques. This numerical model, as an extension of the Kuang-Bloxham model that has successfully simulated the generation of the Earth's magnetic field, is used to obtain numerical results in various physical conditions in terms of specific parameterization consistent with the dynamical processes in the fluid outer core. The results show that depending on the electrical conductivity of the lower mantle and the amplitude of the boundary topography at CMB, both magnetic and topographic couplings can contribute significantly to the angular momentum exchange. This implies that the core-mantle interactions are far more complex than has been assumed and that there is unlikely a single dominant coupling mechanism for the observed decadal LOD variation.

  4. Diamond growth in mantle fluids (United States)

    Bureau, Hélène; Frost, Daniel J.; Bolfan-Casanova, Nathalie; Leroy, Clémence; Esteve, Imène; Cordier, Patrick


    In the upper mantle, diamonds can potentially grow from various forms of media (solid, gas, fluid) with a range of compositions (e.g. graphite, C-O-H fluids, silicate or carbonate melts). Inclusions trapped in diamonds are one of the few diagnostic tools that can constrain diamond growth conditions in the Earth's mantle. In this study, inclusion-bearing diamonds have been synthesized to understand the growth conditions of natural diamonds in the upper mantle. Diamonds containing syngenetic inclusions were synthesized in multi-anvil presses employing starting mixtures of carbonates, and silicate compositions in the presence of pure water and saline fluids (H2O-NaCl). Experiments were performed at conditions compatible with the Earth's geotherm (7 GPa, 1300-1400 °C). Results show that within the timescale of the experiments (6 to 30 h) diamond growth occurs if water and carbonates are present in the fluid phase. Water promotes faster diamond growth (up to 14 mm/year at 1400 °C, 7 GPa, 10 g/l NaCl), which is favorable to the inclusion trapping process. At 7 GPa, temperature and fluid composition are the main factors controlling diamond growth. In these experiments, diamonds grew in the presence of two fluids: an aqueous fluid and a hydrous silicate melt. The carbon source for diamond growth must be carbonate (CO32) dissolved in the melt or carbon dioxide species in the aqueous fluid (CO2aq). The presence of NaCl affects the growth kinetics but is not a prerequisite for inclusion-bearing diamond formation. The presence of small discrete or isolated volumes of water-rich fluids is necessary to grow inclusion-bearing peridotitic, eclogitic, fibrous, cloudy and coated diamonds, and may also be involved in the growth of ultradeep, ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic diamonds.

  5. A case for mantle plumes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Geoffrey F. Davies


    The existence of at least several plumes in the Earth's mantle can be inferred with few assumptions from well-established observations. As well, thermal mantle plumes can be predicted from well-established and quantified fluid dynamics and a plausible assumption about the Earth's early thermal state. Some additional important observations, especially of flood basalts and rift-related magmatism, have been shown to be plausibly consistent with the physical theory. Recent claims to have detected plumes using seismic tomography may comprise the most direct evidence for plumes, but plume tails are likely to be difficult to resolve definitively and the claims need to be well tested. Although significant questions remain about its viability, the plume hypothesis thus seems to be well worth continued investigation. Nevertheless there are many non-plate-related magmatic phenomena whose association with plumes is unclear or unlikely. Compositional buoyancy has recently been shown potentially to substantially complicate the dynamics of plumes, and this may lead to explanations for a wider range of phenomena, including "headless" hotspot tracks, than purely thermal plumes.

  6. 3D models of slow motions in the Earth's crust and upper mantle in the source zones of seismically active regions and their comparison with highly accurate observational data: I. Main relationships (United States)

    Molodenskii, S. M.; Molodenskii, M. S.; Begitova, T. A.


    approach has the following advantages over the method of steepest descent which was used in our previous works: 1. Application of the perturbation method significantly reduces the volume of the computations in the real problems of coseismic and postseismic deformations (by three to four orders of magnitude when the data from a few dozens of observation points are used); 2. In contrast to the method of steepest descent, the suggested method always provides stable results. This means that adding the new satellite data does not alter the previously calculated coefficients in the low-order harmonics of the distributions of the sought parameters in the orthogonalized basis; this only changes the coefficients of the increasingly higher harmonics which determine the smallscale details in the sought distributions. 3. In contrast to the method of steepest descent, the suggested method is not only capable of constructing stable partial solutions of the inverse problem but also estimating the ambiguity of these solutions. The ambiguity is represented in terms of the superposition of the known functions contained in the orthogonal complement and, hence, with the growth of the amount of the analyzed data it is determined by the linear combination of the increasingly higher harmonics. In the second part of the paper, we present the results of the model numerical computations of Green's function for the elastic displacements of the ground surface, which correspond to the case of the arbitrary geometry of the dislocation surface and arbitrary orientation of the dislocation vector for the real model of the radially heterogeneous gravitating Earth with the hydrostatic distribution of the initial stresses. The numerical calculations of the creep function in the upper mantle for the coseismic deformations and the ambiguity of the models of postseismic deformations in the vicinity of the source of the Great Tohoku earthquake (Japan) of March 11, 2011 are illustrated by the examples.

  7. Pattern recognition constrains mantle properties, past and present (United States)

    Atkins, S.; Rozel, A. B.; Valentine, A. P.; Tackley, P.; Trampert, J.


    Understanding and modelling mantle convection requires knowledge of many mantle properties, such as viscosity, chemical structure and thermal proerties such as radiogenic heating rate. However, many of these parameters are only poorly constrained. We demonstrate a new method for inverting present day Earth observations for mantle properties. We use neural networks to represent the posterior probability density functions of many different mantle properties given the present structure of the mantle. We construct these probability density functions by sampling a wide range of possible mantle properties and running forward simulations, using the convection code StagYY. Our approach is particularly powerful because of its flexibility. Our samples are selected in the prior space, rather than being targeted towards a particular observation, as would normally be the case for probabilistic inversion. This means that the same suite of simulations can be used for inversions using a wide range of geophysical observations without the need to resample. Our method is probabilistic and non-linear and is therefore compatible with non-linear convection, avoiding some of the limitations associated with other methods for inverting mantle flow. This allows us to consider the entire history of the mantle. We also need relatively few samples for our inversion, making our approach computationally tractable when considering long periods of mantle history. Using the present thermal and density structure of the mantle, we can constrain rheological and compositional parameters such as viscosity and yield stress. We can also use the present day mantle structure to make inferences about the initial conditions for convection 4.5 Gyr ago. We can constrain initial mantle conditions including the initial concentration of heat producing elements in the mantle and the initial thickness of primordial material at the CMB. Currently we use density and temperature structure for our inversions, but we can

  8. Cascaded Evolution of Mantle Plumes and Metallogenesis of Core- and Mantle-derived Elements

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NIU Shuyin; HOU Quanlin; HOU Zengqian; SUN Aiqun; WANG Baode; LI Hongyang; XU Chuanshi


    Mineral deposits are unevenly distributed in the Earth's crust, which is closely related to the formation andevolution of the Earth. In the early history of the Earth, controlled by the gravitational contraction and thermal expansion,lighter elements, such as radioactive, halogen-family, rare and rare earth elements and alkali metals. migrated upwards;whereas heavier elements, such as iron-family and platinum-family elements, base metals and noble metals, had atendency of sinking to the Earth's core, so that the elements iron, nickel, gold and silver are mainly concentrated in theEarth's core. However, during the formation of the stratified structure of the Earth, the existence of temperature, pressureand viscosity differences inside and outside the Earth resulted in vertical material movement manifested mainly bycascaded evolution of mantle plumes in the Earth. The stratifications and vertical movement of the Earth wereinterdependent and constituted the motive force of the mantle-core movement. The cascaded evolution of mantle plumesopens the passageways for the migration of deep-seated ore-forming material, and thus elements such as gold and silverconcentrated in the core and on the core-mantle boundary migrate as the gaseous state together with the hot material flowof mantle plumes against the gravitational force through the passageways to the lithosphere, then migrate as the mixed gas-liquid state to the near-surface level and finally are concentrated in favorable structural expansion zones, forming mineraldeposits. This is possibly the important metallogenic mechanism for gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper and other manyelements. Take for example the NE-plunging crown of the Fuping mantle-branch structure, the paper analyzes ductile-brittle shear zone-type gold fields (Weijiayu) at the core of the magmatic-metamorphic complex, principal detachment-type gold fields (Shangmingyu) and hanging-wall cover fissure-vein-type lead-zinc polymetallic ore fields

  9. Tracing recycled volatiles in a heterogeneous mantle with boron isotopes (United States)

    Walowski, Kristina; Kirstein, Linda; de Hoog, Cees-Jan; Elliot, Tim; Savov, Ivan; Devey, Colin


    Recycling of oceanic lithosphere drives the chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle supplying both solids and volatiles to the Earth's interior. Yet, how subducted material influences mantle composition remains unclear. A perfect tracer for slab recycling should be only fractionated at the Earth's surface, have a strong influence on mantle compositions but be resistant to perturbations en route back to the surface. Current understanding suggests that boron concentrations linked to B isotope determinations fulfil all these requirements and should be an excellent tracer of heterogeneity in the deep mantle. Here, we present the trace element, volatile and the B isotope composition of basaltic glasses and melt inclusions in olivine from distinct end-member ocean island basalts (OIB) to track the fate of recycled lithosphere and ultimately document how recycling contributes to mantle heterogeneity. The chosen samples represent the different end member OIB compositions and include: EMI (Pitcairn), EMII (MacDonald), HIMU (St. Helena), and FOZO (Cape Verde & Reunion). The data is derived from both submarine and subaerial deposits, with B isotope determination of both basaltic glass and melt inclusions from each locality. Preliminary results suggest OIB have B isotopic compositions that overlap the MORB array (-7.5‰±0.7; Marschall et al., 2015) but extend to both lighter and heavier values. These results suggest that B isotopes will be useful for resolving mantle source heterogeneity at different ocean islands and contribute to our understanding of the volatile budget of the deep mantle.

  10. The ruthenium isotopic composition of the oceanic mantle (United States)

    Bermingham, K. R.; Walker, R. J.


    The approximately chondritic relative, and comparatively high absolute mantle abundances of the highly siderophile elements (HSE), suggest that their concentrations in the bulk silicate Earth were primarily established during a final ∼0.5 to 1% of ;late accretion; to the mantle, following the cessation of core segregation. Consequently, the isotopic composition of the HSE Ru in the mantle reflects an amalgamation of the isotopic compositions of late accretionary contributions to the silicate portion of the Earth. Among cosmochemical materials, Ru is characterized by considerable mass-independent isotopic variability, making it a powerful genetic tracer of Earth's late accretionary building blocks. To define the Ru isotopic composition of the oceanic mantle, the largest portion of the accessible mantle, we report Ru isotopic data for materials from one Archean and seven Phanerozoic oceanic mantle domains. A sample from a continental lithospheric mantle domain is also examined. All samples have identical Ru isotopic compositions, within analytical uncertainties, indicating that Ru isotopes are well mixed in the oceanic mantle, defining a μ100Ru value of 1.2 ± 7.2 (2SD). The only known meteorites with the same Ru isotopic composition are enstatite chondrites and, when corrected for the effects of cosmic ray exposure, members of the Main Group and sLL subgroup of the IAB iron meteorite complex which have a collective CRE corrected μ100Ru value of 0.9 ± 3.0. This suggests that materials from the region(s) of the solar nebula sampled by these meteorites likely contributed the dominant portion of late accreted materials to Earth's mantle.

  11. Sulfur Earth (United States)

    de Jong, B. H.


    Variations in surface tension affect the buoyancy of objects floating in a liquid. Thus an object floating in water will sink deeper in the presence of dishwater fluid. This is a very minor but measurable effect. It causes for instance ducks to drown in aqueous solutions with added surfactant. The surface tension of liquid iron is very strongly affected by the presence of sulfur which acts as a surfactant in this system varying between 1.9 and 0.4 N/m at 10 mass percent Sulfur (Lee & Morita (2002), This last value is inferred to be the maximum value for Sulfur inferred to be present in the liquid outer core. Venting of Sulfur from the liquid core manifests itself on the Earth surface by the 105 to 106 ton of sulfur vented into the atmosphere annually (Wedepohl, 1984). Inspection of surface Sulfur emission indicates that venting is non-homogeneously distributed over the Earth's surface. The implication of such large variation in surface tension in the liquid outer core are that at locally low Sulfur concentration, the liquid outer core does not wet the predominantly MgSiO3 matrix with which it is in contact. However at a local high in Sulfur, the liquid outer core wets this matrix which in the fluid state has a surface tension of 0.4 N/m (Bansal & Doremus, 1986), couples with it, and causes it to sink. This differential and diapiric movement is transmitted through the essentially brittle mantle (1024 Pa.s, Lambeck & Johnson, 1998; the maximum value for ice being about 1030 Pa.s at 0 K, in all likely hood representing an upper bound of viscosity for all materials) and manifests itself on the surface by the roughly 20 km differentiation, about 0.1 % of the total mantle thickness, between topographical heights and lows with concomitant lateral movement in the crust and upper mantle resulting in thin skin tectonics. The brittle nature of the medium though which this movement is transmitted suggests that the extremes in topography of the D" layer are similar in range to

  12. Seismic structure of the mantle ; from subduction zone to craton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kennett, B.L.N.; Hilst, R.D. van der


    Seismological techniques have provided much of the currently available information on the internal structure of the Earth, and in particular on the mantle. Early studies revealed the need for an increase in seismic velocity with depth in the Earth, and by 1915 Gutenberg was able to make a good estim

  13. Vertical velocity of mantle flow of East Asia and adjacent areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENG Xianqiong; ZHU Jieshou; CAI Xuelin


    Based on the high-resolution body wave tomo- graphic image and relevant geophysical data, we calculated the form and the vertical and tangential velocities of mantle flow. We obtained the pattern of mantle convection for East Asia and the West Pacific. Some important results and under- standings are gained from the images of the vertical velocity of mantle flow for East Asia and the West Pacific. There is an upwelling plume beneath East Asia and West Pacific, which is the earth's deep origin for the huge rift valley there. We have especially outlined the tectonic features of the South China Sea, which is of the "工" type in the upper mantle shield type in the middle and divergent in the lower; the Siberian clod downwelling dives from the surface to near Core and mantle bounary (CMB), which is convergent in the upper mantle and divergent in the lower mantle; the Tethyan subduction region, centered in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, is visible from 300 to 2 000 km, which is also convergent in the upper mantle and divergent in the lower mantle. The three regions of mantle convection beneath East Asia and the West Pacific are in accordance with the West Pacific, Ancient Asia and the Tethyan structure regions. The mantle upwelling orig- inates from the core-mantle boundary and mostly occurs in the middle mantle and the lower part of the upper mantle. The velocities of the vertical mantle flow are about 1-4 cm per year and the tangential velocities are 1-10 cm per year. The mantle flow has an effect on controlling the movement of plates and the distributions of ocean ridges, subduction zones and collision zones. The mantle upwelling regions are clearly related with the locations ofhotspots on the earth's surface.

  14. Oceanic crust recycling and the formation of lower mantle heterogeneity (United States)

    van Keken, Peter E.; Ritsema, Jeroen; Haugland, Sam; Goes, Saskia; Kaneshima, Satoshi


    The Earth's lower mantle is heterogeneous at multiple scales as demonstrated for example by the degree-2 distribution of LLSVPs seen in global tomography and widespread distribution of small scale heterogeneity as seen in seismic scattering. The origin of this heterogeneity is generally attributed to leftovers from Earth's formation, the recycling of oceanic crust, or a combination thereof. Here we will explore the consequences of long-term oceanic crust extraction and recycling by plate tectonics. We use geodynamical models of mantle convection that simulate plates in an energetically consistent manner. The recycling of oceanic crust over the age of the Earth produces persistent lower mantle heterogeneity while the upper mantle tends to be significantly more homogeneous. We quantitatively compare the predicted heterogeneity to that of the present day Earth by tomographic filtering of the geodynamical models and comparison with S40RTS. We also predict the scattering characteristics from S-P conversions and compare these to global scattering observations. The geophysical comparison shows that lower mantle heterogeneity is likely dominated by long-term oceanic crust recycling. The models also demonstrate reasonable agreement with the geochemically observed spread between HIMU-EM1-DMM in ocean island basalts as well as the long-term gradual depletion of the upper mantle as observed in Lu-Hf systematics.

  15. Lunar maria - result of mantle plume activity? (United States)

    Sharkov, E.

    It is generally accepted that lunar maria are the result of catastrophic impact events. However, comparative studying of the Earth's and the Moon's tectonomagmatic evolution could evidence about another way of these specific structures origin. Such studies showed that the both planetary bodies evolved on the close scenario: their geological development began after solidification of global magmatic oceans which led to appearance of their primordial crusts: granitic on the Earth and anorthositic - on the Moon. The further evolution of the both bodies occurred in two stages. For their first stages, lasted ˜2.5 mlrd. years on the Earth and ˜1.5 mlrd. years on the Moon, were typical melts, generated in depleted mantle (Bogatikov et al., 2000). However, at the boundary 2.2-2.0 Ga ago on the Earth and 3.9-3.8 Ga on the Moon another type of magmas appeared: geochemical enriched Fe-Ti picrites and basalts, characteristic for the terrestrial Phanerozoic plume-related situations, and basaltic mare magmatism with high-Ti varieties on the Moon. It suggests that evolution of the Earth's magmatism was linked with ascending of mantle plumes (superplumes) of two generation: (1) generated in the mantle, depleted during solidification of magmatic ocean and Archean magmatic activity, and (2) generated at the core-mantle boundary (CMB). The latter were enriched in the mantle fluid components (Fe, Ti, alkalies, etc); this lighter material could ascend to shallower depths, leading to change of tectonic processes, in particular, to appearance of plate tectonics as the major type of tectonomagmatic activity till now (Bogatikov et al., 2000). By analogy to the Earth, magmatism of the Moon was also linked with ascending of mantle plumes: (1) generated in the depleted mantle (magnesian suite) and (2) generated at the lunar CMB with liquid at that time metallic core (mare basalt and picrites with high-Ti varieties). Like on the Earth, these plumes were lighter than the older plumes, and

  16. Teaching machines to find mantle composition (United States)

    Atkins, Suzanne; Tackley, Paul; Trampert, Jeannot; Valentine, Andrew


    The composition of the mantle affects many geodynamical processes by altering factors such as the density, the location of phase changes, and melting temperature. The inferences we make about mantle composition also determine how we interpret the changes in velocity, reflections, attenuation and scattering seen by seismologists. However, the bulk composition of the mantle is very poorly constrained. Inferences are made from meteorite samples, rock samples from the Earth and inferences made from geophysical data. All of these approaches require significant assumptions and the inferences made are subject to large uncertainties. Here we present a new method for inferring mantle composition, based on pattern recognition machine learning, which uses large scale in situ observations of the mantle to make fully probabilistic inferences of composition for convection simulations. Our method has an advantage over other petrological approaches because we use large scale geophysical observations. This means that we average over much greater length scales and do not need to rely on extrapolating from localised samples of the mantle or planetary disk. Another major advantage of our method is that it is fully probabilistic. This allows us to include all of the uncertainties inherent in the inference process, giving us far more information about the reliability of the result than other methods. Finally our method includes the impact of composition on mantle convection. This allows us to make much more precise inferences from geophysical data than other geophysical approaches, which attempt to invert one observation with no consideration of the relationship between convection and composition. We use a sampling based inversion method, using hundreds of convection simulations run using StagYY with self consistent mineral physics properties calculated using the PerpleX package. The observations from these simulations are used to train a neural network to make a probabilistic inference

  17. Determining resolvability of mantle plumes with synthetic seismic modeling (United States)

    Maguire, R.; Van Keken, P. E.; Ritsema, J.; Fichtner, A.; Goes, S. D. B.


    Hotspot volcanism in locations such as Hawaii and Iceland is commonly thought to be associated with plumes rising from the deep mantle. In theory these dynamic upwellings should be visible in seismic data due to their reduced seismic velocity and their effect on mantle transition zone thickness. Numerous studies have attempted to image plumes [1,2,3], but their deep mantle origin remains unclear. In addition, a debate continues as to whether lower mantle plumes are visible in the form of body wave travel time delays, or whether such delays will be erased due to wavefront healing. Here we combine geodynamic modeling of mantle plumes with synthetic seismic waveform modeling in order to quantitatively determine under what conditions mantle plumes should be seismically visible. We model compressible plumes with phase changes at 410 km and 670 km, and a viscosity reduction in the upper mantle. These plumes thin from greater than 600 km in diameter in the lower mantle, to 200 - 400 km in the upper mantle. Plume excess potential temperature is 375 K, which maps to seismic velocity reductions of 4 - 12 % in the upper mantle, and 2 - 4 % in the lower mantle. Previous work that was limited to an axisymmetric spherical geometry suggested that these plumes would not be visible in the lower mantle [4]. Here we extend this approach to full 3D spherical wave propagation modeling. Initial results using a simplified cylindrical plume conduit suggest that mantle plumes with a diameter of 1000 km or greater will retain a deep mantle seismic signature. References[1] Wolfe, Cecily J., et al. "Seismic structure of the Iceland mantle plume." Nature 385.6613 (1997): 245-247. [2] Montelli, Raffaella, et al. "Finite-frequency tomography reveals a variety of plumes in the mantle." Science 303.5656 (2004): 338-343. [3] Schmandt, Brandon, et al. "Hot mantle upwelling across the 660 beneath Yellowstone." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 331 (2012): 224-236. [4] Hwang, Yong Keun, et al

  18. Mantle plumes: Why the current skepticism?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gillian R. Foulger


    The present reappraisal of the mantle plume hypothesis is perhaps the most exciting current debate in Earth science. Nevertheless, the fundamental reasons for why it has arisen are often not well understood. They are that 1) many observations do not agree with the predictions of the original model, 2) it is possible that convection of the sort required to generate thermal plumes in the Earth's mantle does not occur, 3) so many variants of the original model have been invoked to accommodate conflicting data that the plume hypthesis is in practice no longer testable, and 4) alternative models are viable, though these have been largely neglected by researchers. Regardless of the final outcome, the present vigorous debate is to be welcomed since it is likely to stimulate new discoveries in a way that unquestioning acceptance of the conventional plume model will not.

  19. Blending geological observations and convection models to reconstruct mantle dynamics (United States)

    Coltice, Nicolas; Bocher, Marie; Fournier, Alexandre; Tackley, Paul


    Knowledge of the state of the Earth mantle and its temporal evolution is fundamental to a variety of disciplines in Earth Sciences, from the internal dynamics to its many expressions in the geological record (postglacial rebound, sea level change, ore deposit, tectonics or geomagnetic reversals). Mantle convection theory is the centerpiece to unravel the present and past state of the mantle. For the past 40 years considerable efforts have been made to improve the quality of numerical models of mantle convection. However, they are still sparsely used to estimate the convective history of the solid Earth, in comparison to ocean or atmospheric models for weather and climate prediction. The main shortcoming is their inability to successfully produce Earth-like seafloor spreading and continental drift self-consistently. Recent convection models have begun to successfully predict these processes. Such breakthrough opens the opportunity to retrieve the recent dynamics of the Earth's mantle by blending convection models together with advanced geological datasets. A proof of concept will be presented, consisting in a synthetic test based on a sequential data assimilation methodology.

  20. The maximum water storage capacities in nominally anhydrous minerals in the mantle transition zone and lower mantle (United States)

    Inoue, T.; Yurimoto, H.


    Water is the most important volatile component in the Earth, and affects the physicochemical properties of mantle minerals, e.g. density, elastic property, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, rheological property, melting temperature, melt composition, element partitioning, etc. So many high pressure experiments have been conducted so far to determine the effect of water on mantle minerals. To clarify the maximum water storage capacity in nominally anhydrous mantle minerals in the mantle transition zone and lower mantle is an important issue to discuss the possibility of the existence of water reservoir in the Earth mantle. So we have been clarifying the maximum water storage capacity in mantle minerals using MA-8 type (KAWAI-type) high pressure apparatus and SIMS (secondary ion mass spectroscopy). Upper mantle mineral, olivine can contain ~0.9 wt% H2O in the condition just above 410 km discontinuity in maximum (e.g. Chen et al., 2002; Smyth et al., 2006). On the other hand, mantle transition zone mineral, wadsleyite and ringwoodite can contain significant amount (about 2-3 wt.%) of H2O (e.g. Inoue et al., 1995, 1998, 2010; Kawamoto et al., 1996; Ohtani et al., 2000). But the lower mantle mineral, perovskite can not contain significant amount of H2O, less than ~0.1 wt% (e.g. Murakami et al., 2002; Inoue et al., 2010). In addition, garnet and stishovite also can not contain significant amount of H2O (e.g. Katayama et al., 2003; Mookherjee and Karato, 2010; Litasov et al., 2007). On the other hand, the water storage capacities of mantle minerals are supposed to be significantly coupled with Al by a substitution with Mg2+, Si4+ or Mg2+ + Si4+, because Al3+ is the trivalent cation, and H+ is the monovalent cation. To clarify the degree of the substitution, the water contents and the chemical compositions of Al-bearing minerals in the mantle transition zone and the lower mantle were also determined in the Al-bearing systems with H2O. We will introduce the

  1. Mantle convection and plate tectonics: toward an integrated physical and chemical theory (United States)



    Plate tectonics and convection of the solid, rocky mantle are responsible for transporting heat out of Earth. However, the physics of plate tectonics is poorly understood; other planets do not exhibit it. Recent seismic evidence for convection and mixing throughout the mantle seems at odds with the chemical composition of erupted magmas requiring the presence of several chemically distinct reservoirs within the mantle. There has been rapid progress on these two problems, with the emergence of the first self-consistent models of plate tectonics and mantle convection, along with new geochemical models that may be consistent with seismic and dynamical constraints on mantle structure.

  2. Lower mantle heterogeneity, dynamic topography and the geoid (United States)

    Hager, B. H.; Clayton, R. W.; Richards, M. A.; Comer, R. P.; Dziewonski, A. M.


    Density contrasts in the lower mantle, recently imaged using seismic tomography, drive convective flow which results in kilometers of dynamically maintained topography at the core-mantle boundary and at the earth's surface. The total gravity field due to interior density constrasts and boundary topography predicts the largest wavelength components of the geoid remarkably well. Neglecting dynamic surface deformation leads to geoid anomalies of opposite sign than are observed.

  3. Rotation and magnetism of Earth`s inner core

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glatzmaier, G.A. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Roberts, P.H. [Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)


    Three-dimensional numerical simulations of the geodynamo suggest that a super-rotation of Earth`s solid inner core relative to the mantle is maintained by magnetic coupling between the inner core and an eastward thermal wind in the fluid outer core. This mechanism, which is analogous to a synchronous motor, also plays a fundamental role in the generation of Earth`s magnetic field. 18 refs., 6 figs.

  4. Accumulation of 'anti-continent' at the base of the mantle and its recycling in mantle plumes (United States)

    Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki; Suzuki, Toshihiro; Ozawa, Haruka; Hirose, Kei; Hanyu, Takeshi; Ohishi, Yasuo


    The continental crust is a unique reservoir of light elements in the solid Earth; it possesses an intermediate composition and is believed to have been created principally along volcanic arcs, which are major sites of terrestrial andesitic magmatism. Mantle-derived arc magmas are, however, generally mafic or basaltic. A simple mechanism to overcome this apparent dilemma and generate andesitic melts in such a setting is through the partial remelting of an initial mafic arc crust by heat supplied from underplating basaltic magmas. An antithesis to the formation of continental crust in this way should be the production of refractory melting residue, here referred to as 'anti-continent'. This anti-continent is likely to detach from arc crust as a result of a density inversion and descend into the upper mantle. High-pressure experiments demonstrate that sinking anti-continent is, in contrast to the subducting oceanic crust, always denser than the surrounding mantle, suggesting that it penetrates through the upper-lower mantle boundary, without stagnation, and accumulates at the base of the mantle to form a 200-400 km thick mass known as the D″ layer. Geochemical modeling provides further evidence that this accumulating anti-continent contributes to a deep-seated hotspot source. Therefore, through complementary processes, Earth creates buoyant continents and dense anti-continents at the top and the base of the mantle, respectively, and has recycled portions of anti-continent in mantle plumes.

  5. Finding the patterns in mantle convection (United States)

    Atkins, Suzanne; Rozel, Antoine; Valentine, Andrew; Tackley, Paul; Trampert, Jeannot


    Inverting mantle flow for past configurations is one of the great outstanding problems in geodynamics. We demonstrate a new method for probabilistic inversion of present-day Earth observations for mantle properties and history. Convection is a non-linear and chaotic, thwarting most standard inversion methods. Because of its chaotic and unpredictable nature, small errors in initial conditions, parameter selection, and computational precision can all significantly change the results produced by mantle convection simulations. However, some patterns and statistics of convection contain the signature of the parameters used in the simulations over long time-scales. Geodynamical studies often vary these parameters to investigate their effects on the patterns produced. We show that with a large enough set of simulations, we can investigate the relationship between input parameters and convection patterns in a more rigorous way. Probabilistic inversion is the only way to approach highly non-linear problems. We use neural networks to represent the probability density function linking convection simulation input parameters and the patterns they produce. This allows us to find input parameters, whilst taking into account all of the uncertainties that are inherent in the inversion of any Earth system: how well do we understand the physics of the process; what do we already know about the input parameters; and how certain are our observations? We show that the mantle structures produced by 4.5 Gyr of convection simulations contain enough information on yield stress, viscosity coefficients, mantle heating rate, and the initial state of primordial material that we can infer them directly without requiring any other information, such as plate velocity.

  6. Nickel isotopic composition of the mantle (United States)

    Gall, Louise; Williams, Helen M.; Halliday, Alex N.; Kerr, Andrew C.


    This paper presents a detailed high-precision study of Ni isotope variations in mantle peridotites and their minerals, komatiites as well as chondritic and iron meteorites. Ultramafic rocks display a relatively large range in δ60 Ni (permil deviation in 60 Ni /58 Ni relative to the NIST SRM 986 Ni isotope standard) for this environment, from 0.15 ± 0.07‰ to 0.36 ± 0.08‰, with olivine-rich rocks such as dunite and olivine cumulates showing lighter isotope compositions than komatiite, lherzolite and pyroxenite samples. The data for the mineral separates shed light on the origin of these variations. Olivine and orthopyroxene display light δ60 Ni whereas clinopyroxene and garnet are isotopically heavy. This indicates that peridotite whole-rock δ60 Ni may be controlled by variations in modal mineralogy, with the prediction that mantle melts will display variable δ60 Ni values due to variations in residual mantle and cumulate mineralogy. Based on fertile peridotite xenoliths and Phanerozoic komatiite samples it is concluded that the upper mantle has a relatively homogeneous Ni isotope composition, with the best estimate of δ60Nimantle being 0.23 ± 0.06‰ (2 s.d.). Given that >99% of the Ni in the silicate Earth is located in the mantle, this also defines the Ni isotope composition of the Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE). This value is nearly identical to the results obtained for a suite of chondrites and iron meteorites (mean δ60 Ni 0.26 ± 0.12‰ and 0.29 ± 0.10‰, respectively) showing that the BSE is chondritic with respect to its Ni isotope composition, with little to no Ni mass-dependent isotope fractionation resulting from core formation.

  7. The Earth's early evolution. (United States)

    Bowring, S A; Housh, T


    The Archean crust contains direct geochemical information of the Earth's early planetary differentiation. A major outstanding question in the Earth sciences is whether the volume of continental crust today represents nearly all that formed over Earth's history or whether its rates of creation and destruction have been approximately balanced since the Archean. Analysis of neodymium isotopic data from the oldest remnants of Archean crust suggests that crustal recycling is important and that preserved continental crust comprises fragments of crust that escaped recycling. Furthermore, the data suggest that the isotopic evolution of Earth's mantle reflects progressive eradication of primordial heterogeneities related to early differentiation.

  8. Whole-mantle convection with tectonic plates preserves long-term global patterns of upper mantle geochemistry. (United States)

    Barry, T L; Davies, J H; Wolstencroft, M; Millar, I L; Zhao, Z; Jian, P; Safonova, I; Price, M


    The evolution of the planetary interior during plate tectonics is controlled by slow convection within the mantle. Global-scale geochemical differences across the upper mantle are known, but how they are preserved during convection has not been adequately explained. We demonstrate that the geographic patterns of chemical variations around the Earth's mantle endure as a direct result of whole-mantle convection within largely isolated cells defined by subducting plates. New 3D spherical numerical models embedded with the latest geological paleo-tectonic reconstructions and ground-truthed with new Hf-Nd isotope data, suggest that uppermost mantle at one location (e.g. under Indian Ocean) circulates down to the core-mantle boundary (CMB), but returns within ≥100 Myrs via large-scale convection to its approximate starting location. Modelled tracers pool at the CMB but do not disperse ubiquitously around it. Similarly, mantle beneath the Pacific does not spread to surrounding regions of the planet. The models fit global patterns of isotope data and may explain features such as the DUPAL anomaly and long-standing differences between Indian and Pacific Ocean crust. Indeed, the geochemical data suggests this mode of convection could have influenced the evolution of mantle composition since 550 Ma and potentially since the onset of plate tectonics.

  9. Thermal and compositional structure of the upper mantle (United States)

    Gilbert, Hersh Joseph

    Constraints for models of the convective, thermal, and mineralogical structure within the mantle depend heavily on seismic observations of the deep, and otherwise inaccessible, Earth. Studies presented within this dissertation focus primarily on the upper mantle discontinuities that bound the transition zone between the upper and lower mantle at the nominal depths of 410 and 660 km. These discontinuities are attributed to phase transitions of the mantle mineral olivine to denser configurations. Additionally, they may demark compositional layers within the mantle. This region figures prominently in the convective style of the planet. I address the questions of whether the 660-km discontinuity in some way inhibits flow from crossing between the upper and lower mantle and, more specifically, if it coincides with a compositional barrier in the mantle. Thermal variations associated with warm-rising and cool-sinking material in the mantle produce observable variations in the depths of the discontinuities. If rising or sinking materials cross the entire extent of the mantle, then the transition zone should respond to its associated thermal perturbations in a correlated manner. If instead, convection were divided between the upper and lower mantle, then thermal perturbations in the transition zone need not be spatially correlated. Observations presented in this dissertation display regions in which both the 410- and 660-km discontinuities possess greater than 20 km of peak-to-peak topography that is not correlated between the two. Studying the upper mantle below the western United States, I find no correlation between the upper mantle and the surface tectonics of the region. The topography on both discontinuities in this region is nearly as pronounced as that found where the cold subducting Tonga slab interacts with the upper mantle, suggesting the presence of a similar thermal anomaly. Additionally, amplitudes of the velocity jumps associated with the discontinuities

  10. Radiative conductivity and abundance of post-perovskite in the lowermost mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Lobanov, Sergey S; Lin, Jung-Fu; Goncharov, Alexander F


    Thermal conductivity of the lowermost mantle governs the heat flow out of the core energizing planetary-scale geological processes. Yet, there are no direct experimental measurements of thermal conductivity at relevant pressure-temperature conditions of Earth's core-mantle boundary. Here we determine the radiative conductivity of post-perovskite at near core-mantle boundary conditions by optical absorption measurements in a laser-heated diamond anvil cell. Our results show that the radiative conductivity of Mg0.9Fe0.1SiO3 post-perovskite (< 1.2 W/m/K) is ~ 40% smaller than bridgmanite at the base of the mantle. By combining this result with the present-day core-mantle heat flow and available estimations on the lattice thermal conductivity we conclude that post-perovskite is as abundant as bridgmanite in the lowermost mantle which has profound implications for the dynamics of the deep Earth.

  11. Role of plate-driven mantle flow in distribution of the global heat flow

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    叶正仁; 安镇文


    Heat flow in the Earth, from its hot interior to its relatively cool exterior, is the primary energy flow responsible for the dynamic nature of our planet. The motion of the plates excites a forced convective motion in the mantle, and this plate-driven mantle flow will strongly modulate the temperature field in the mantle because of the relatively high Peeler number of the mantle dynamic system. Here the role of the plate-driven mantle flow in the observed global heat flow is examined. The result reveals that the main feature of the distribution of the observed heat flow at the surface of the Earth matches well with the prediction and nearly one half of the average heat flow can be attributed to the thermal effect of the plate-driven mantle flow.

  12. Importance of Mantle Viscosity in Interseismic Deformation (United States)

    Wang, K.; He, J.; Hu, Y.


    The role of mantle viscosity in subduction earthquake cycles was postulated when the plate tectonics theory had just gained wide acceptance. The process was described using Elsasser's 1-D model for diffusion of stress from the subduction boundary to the plate interior. Main features of interseismic surface deformation predicted by this elegantly simple model were later verified by GPS observations following giant subduction earthquakes. However, and intriguingly, the vast majority of interseismic deformation models developed in the era of space geodesy assume an elastic Earth, incorrectly regarding interseismic deformation as a subdued mirror image of coseismic deformation. The reason is four-fold. (1) The 1-D model and subsequent 2-D viscoelastic models failed to recognize the role of rupture length in the strike direction and could not self-consistently explain deformation following medium and small earthquakes. (2) Based on global mantle viscosity models derived from glacial isostatic adjustment studies, the viscoelastic mantle should indeed behave elastically in earthquake cycles of a few hundred years. (3) The effect of viscous mantle deformation can often be equivalently described by deep fault creep in a purely elastic Earth. (4) The use of an elastic model provides convenience in inverting geodetic data to determine fault locking and creep. Here we use 3D finite element models to show that the main characteristics of surface deformation following subduction earthquakes of all sizes can be explained with a viscoelastic Earth in which the mantle wedge is less viscous than global upper-mantle average of 1020 - 1021 Pa s by one to two orders of magnitude. Following giant earthquakes, such as 1700 Cascadia, 1960 Chile, 1964 Alaska, 2004 Sumatra, and 2011 Japan, upper-plate land deformation undergoes phases of wholesale seaward motion, opposing motion of coastal and inland areas, and wholesale landward motion. The "speed" of the evolution scales inversely with

  13. Fe-FeO and Fe-Fe3C melting relations at Earth's core-mantle boundary conditions: Implications for a volatile-rich or oxygen-rich core (United States)

    Morard, G.; Andrault, D.; Antonangeli, D.; Nakajima, Y.; Auzende, A. L.; Boulard, E.; Cervera, S.; Clark, A.; Lord, O. T.; Siebert, J.; Svitlyk, V.; Garbarino, G.; Mezouar, M.


    Eutectic melting temperatures in the Fe-FeO and Fe-Fe3C systems have been determined up to 150 GPa. Melting criteria include observation of a diffuse scattering signal by in situ X-Ray diffraction, and textural characterisation of recovered samples. In addition, compositions of eutectic liquids have been established by combining in situ Rietveld analyses with ex situ chemical analyses. Gathering these new results together with previous reports on Fe-S and Fe-Si systems allow us to discuss the specific effect of each light element (Si, S, O, C) on the melting properties of the outer core. Crystallization temperatures of Si-rich core compositional models are too high to be compatible with the absence of extensive mantle melting at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) and significant amounts of volatile elements such as S and/or C (>5 at%, corresponding to >2 wt%), or a large amount of O (>15 at% corresponding to ∼5 wt%) are required to reduce the crystallisation temperature of the core material below that of a peridotitic lower mantle.

  14. Mantle differentiation and chemical cycling in the Archean (Invited) (United States)

    Lee, C.


    Differentiation of Earth’s silicate mantle is largely controlled by solid-state convection. Today, upwelling mantle leads to decompression melting. Melts, being of low density, rise to form the continental and oceanic crusts. Because many trace elements, such as heat-producing U, Th and K, as well as the noble gases, preferentially partition into melts, melt extraction concentrates these elements into the crust or atmosphere. However, one by-product of whole-mantle convection is that melting during the Earth’s first billion years was likely deep and hot. Such high pressure melts may have been dense, allowing them to stall, crystallize and later founder back into the lower mantle. These sunken lithologies would have ‘primordial’ chemical signatures despite a non-primordial origin. As the Earth cools, the proportion of upwards melt segregation relative to downwards melt segregation increases, removing volatiles and other incompatible elements to the surface. Recycling of these elements back into the Earth’s interior occurs by subduction, but because of chemical weathering, hydrothermal alteration and photosynthetic reactions occurring in the Earth’s exosphere, these recycled materials may re-enter the mantle already chemically transformed. In particular, photosynthetic production of oxygen and, especially, the progressive oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere require removal of reduced carbon from the Earth’s surface. If such removal occurred by subduction, the mantle would have become progressively reduced. During the Archean and early Proterozoic, much of this material may have contributed to making cratonic mantle, and if so, cratonic mantle may have been assembled by reduced building blocks, perhaps explaining the origin of diamonds with organic carbon isotopic signatures. The origin of peridotitic diamonds in cratonic mantle could then be explained if the underlying convecting mantle was in fact more oxidizing such that carbonatitic liquids

  15. Preliminary reference Earth model (United States)

    Dziewonski, Adam M.; Anderson, Don L.


    A large data set consisting of about 1000 normal mode periods, 500 summary travel time observations, 100 normal mode Q values, mass and moment of inertia have been inverted to obtain the radial distribution of elastic properties, Q values and density in the Earth's interior. The data set was supplemented with a special study of 12 years of ISC phase data which yielded an additional 1.75 × 10 6 travel time observations for P and S waves. In order to obtain satisfactory agreement with the entire data set we were required to take into account anelastic dispersion. The introduction of transverse isotropy into the outer 220 km of the mantle was required in order to satisfy the shorter period fundamental toroidal and spheroidal modes. This anisotropy also improved the fit of the larger data set. The horizontal and vertical velocities in the upper mantle differ by 2-4%, both for P and S waves. The mantle below 220 km is not required to be anisotropic. Mantle Rayleigh waves are surprisingly sensitive to compressional velocity in the upper mantle. High S n velocities, low P n velocities and a pronounced low-velocity zone are features of most global inversion models that are suppressed when anisotropy is allowed for in the inversion. The Preliminary Reference Earth Model, PREM, and auxiliary tables showing fits to the data are presented.

  16. A perovskitic lower mantle inferred from high-pressure, high-temperature sound velocity data. (United States)

    Murakami, Motohiko; Ohishi, Yasuo; Hirao, Naohisa; Hirose, Kei


    The determination of the chemical composition of Earth's lower mantle is a long-standing challenge in earth science. Accurate knowledge of sound velocities in the lower-mantle minerals under relevant high-pressure, high-temperature conditions is essential in constraining the mineralogy and chemical composition using seismological observations, but previous acoustic measurements were limited to a range of low pressures and temperatures. Here we determine the shear-wave velocities for silicate perovskite and ferropericlase under the pressure and temperature conditions of the deep lower mantle using Brillouin scattering spectroscopy. The mineralogical model that provides the best fit to a global seismic velocity profile indicates that perovskite constitutes more than 93 per cent by volume of the lower mantle, which is a much higher proportion than that predicted by the conventional peridotitic mantle model. It suggests that the lower mantle is enriched in silicon relative to the upper mantle, which is consistent with the chondritic Earth model. Such chemical stratification implies layered-mantle convection with limited mass transport between the upper and the lower mantle.

  17. Mantle flow influence on the evolution of subduction systems. (United States)

    Chertova, Maria; Spakman, Wim; Steinberger, Bernhard


    Evolution of the subducting slab has been widely investigated in the past two decades be means of numerical and laboratory modeling, including analysis of the factors controlling its behavior. However, until present, relatively little attention has been paid to the influence of the mantle flow. While for large subduction zones, due to the high slab buoyancy force, this effect might be small, mantle flow might be a primary factor controlling the evolution of a regional subduction zone. Here we investigate the impact of prescribed mantle flow on the evolution of both generic and real-Earth subduction models by means of 3D thermo-mechanical numerical modeling. The generic setup consists of a laterally symmetric subduction model using a 3000×2000×1000 km modeling domain with a lateral slab width varying from 500 to 1500 km. Non-linear rheology is implemented including diffusion, dislocation creep and a viscosity-limiter. To satisfy mass conservation, while implementing mantle inflow on some side boundaries, we keep other sides open (Chertova et al. 2012). To test the mantle flow influence on the dynamics of real-Earth subduction zone we adopt the numerical model from Chertova et al. (2014) for the evolution of the western Mediterranean subduction since 35 Ma. First, this model was tested with the arbitrary mantle flow prescribed on one of the four side boundaries or for the combination of two boundaries. In the last set of experiments, for side boundary conditions we use time-dependent estimates of actual mantle flow in the region based on Steinberger (2015) given for every 1 My. We demonstrate that for the western-Mediterranean subduction, the surrounding mantle flow is of second-order compared to slab buoyancy in controlling the dynamics of the subducting slab. Introducing mantle flow on the side boundaries might, however, improve the fit between the modeled and real slab imaged by tomography, although this may also trade-off with varying rheological parameters of

  18. Mantle Temperature, Mantle Composition, Mantle Heterogeneity, and the Composition of the Upper Mantle: The View from a Global Synthesis of MORB (United States)

    Langmuir, C. H.; Gale, A.; Dalton, C. A.


    A new comprehensive review of global MORB can address outstanding issues such mantle temperature vs. mantle composition in controlling MORB compositions, the mean composition of ocean ridge basalts, the K/U ratio of the MORB reservoir, and the implications for silicate Earth mass balance of the composition of the upper mantle. We created a global catalogue of ridge segments to assign every sample to a segment. We carried out interlaboratory corrections for major elements, and examined data from each segment to ensure appropriate fractionation correction. We included large unpublished data sets from the Langmuir and Schilling laboratories, assembling the most comprehensive data set for MORB. Data averaged by segment permit calculation of averages that include weighting by segment length and spreading rate. The segment-based approach, comprehensive data set, individualized fractionation correction and interlaboratory corrections distinguish these results from earlier efforts. We also carried out bootstrapping statistical tests for meaningful errors on average compositions. The mean composition of the ocean crust is best determined by a segment length and spreading rate weighted arithmetic mean. As with other recent efforts, notably Su (2002) and also Arevalo and McDonough (2009), the mean composition is substantially more enriched than previous MORB estimates. Average MORB implies a MORB mantle Sm/Nd and Nd isotopic composition similar to the 'non-chondritic primitive mantle' composition based on 142Nd. Then continental crust/MORB mantle mass balance is not possible using a non-chondritic (depleted) bulk silicate earth composition, unless there is a large unsampled depleted reservoir. In contrast to Arevalo and McDonough, who suggested a K/U ratio for MORB of 19,000, we find K/U of 12,340±810, in line with earlier estimates. The discrepancy can be understood from contrasts in methodology, as we determine average K/ average U, while they determine average K/U. To

  19. Limited latitudinal mantle plume motion for the Louisville hotspot (United States)

    Koppers, Anthony A. P.; Yamazaki, Toshitsugu; Geldmacher, Jörg; Gee, Jeffrey S.; Pressling, Nicola; Koppers, Anthony A. P.; Yamazaki, Toshitsugu; Geldmacher, Jörg; Gee, Jeffrey S.; Pressling, Nicola; Hoshi, Hiroyuki; Anderson, L.; Beier, C.; Buchs, D. M.; Chen, L.-H.; Cohen, B. E.; Deschamps, F.; Dorais, M. J.; Ebuna, D.; Ehmann, S.; Fitton, J. G.; Fulton, P. M.; Ganbat, E.; Hamelin, C.; Hanyu, T.; Kalnins, L.; Kell, J.; Machida, S.; Mahoney, J. J.; Moriya, K.; Nichols, A. R. L.; Rausch, S.; Sano, S.-I.; Sylvan, J. B.; Williams, R.


    Hotspots that form above upwelling plumes of hot material from the deep mantle typically leave narrow trails of volcanic seamounts as a tectonic plate moves over their location. These seamount trails are excellent recorders of Earth's deep processes and allow us to untangle ancient mantle plume motions. During ascent it is likely that mantle plumes are pushed away from their vertical upwelling trajectories by mantle convection forces. It has been proposed that a large-scale lateral displacement, termed the mantle wind, existed in the Pacific between about 80 and 50 million years ago, and shifted the Hawaiian mantle plume southwards by about 15° of latitude. Here we use 40Ar/39Ar age dating and palaeomagnetic inclination data from four seamounts associated with the Louisville hotspot in the South Pacific Ocean to show that this hotspot has been relatively stable in terms of its location. Specifically, the Louisville hotspot--the southern hemisphere counterpart of Hawai'i--has remained within 3-5° of its present-day latitude of about 51°S between 70 and 50 million years ago. Although we cannot exclude a more significant southward motion before that time, we suggest that the Louisville and Hawaiian hotspots are moving independently, and not as part of a large-scale mantle wind in the Pacific.

  20. The core-mantle boundary region under the Gulf of Alaska : no ULVZ for shear waves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castle, John C.; Hilst, R.D. van der


    The Earth's core-mantle boundary (CMB) marks the boundary between the hot, molten iron core and the silicate mantle and is a thermal, chemical, and flow boundary. Previous observations of very slow compressional wavespeeds suggest that thin ultra-low-velocity zones (ULVZs), possibly composed of a mi

  1. The geobiological nitrogen cycle: From microbes to the mantle. (United States)

    Zerkle, A L; Mikhail, S


    Nitrogen forms an integral part of the main building blocks of life, including DNA, RNA, and proteins. N2 is the dominant gas in Earth's atmosphere, and nitrogen is stored in all of Earth's geological reservoirs, including the crust, the mantle, and the core. As such, nitrogen geochemistry is fundamental to the evolution of planet Earth and the life it supports. Despite the importance of nitrogen in the Earth system, large gaps remain in our knowledge of how the surface and deep nitrogen cycles have evolved over geologic time. Here, we discuss the current understanding (or lack thereof) for how the unique interaction of biological innovation, geodynamics, and mantle petrology has acted to regulate Earth's nitrogen cycle over geologic timescales. In particular, we explore how temporal variations in the external (biosphere and atmosphere) and internal (crust and mantle) nitrogen cycles could have regulated atmospheric pN2 . We consider three potential scenarios for the evolution of the geobiological nitrogen cycle over Earth's history: two in which atmospheric pN2 has changed unidirectionally (increased or decreased) over geologic time and one in which pN2 could have taken a dramatic deflection following the Great Oxidation Event. It is impossible to discriminate between these scenarios with the currently available models and datasets. However, we are optimistic that this problem can be solved, following a sustained, open-minded, and multidisciplinary effort between surface and deep Earth communities. © 2017 The Authors Geobiology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Coupling surface and mantle dynamics: A novel experimental approach (United States)

    Kiraly, Agnes; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca; Sembroni, Andrea


    Recent modeling shows that surface processes, such as erosion and deposition, may drive the deformation of the Earth's surface, interfering with deeper crustal and mantle signals. To investigate the coupling between the surface and deep process, we designed a three-dimensional laboratory apparatus, to analyze the role of erosion and sedimentation, triggered by deep mantle instability. The setup is constituted and scaled down to natural gravity field using a thin viscous sheet model, with mantle and lithosphere simulated by Newtonian viscous glucose syrup and silicon putty, respectively. The surface process is simulated assuming a simple erosion law producing the downhill flow of a thin viscous material away from high topography. The deep mantle upwelling is triggered by the rise of a buoyant sphere. The results of these models along with the parametric analysis show how surface processes influence uplift velocity and topography signals.

  3. The Electrical Conductivity of Post-Perovskite in Earth's D" Layer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kenji Ohta; Suzue Onoda; Kei Hirose; Ryosuke Sinmyo; Katsuya Shimizu; Nagayoshi Sata; Yasuo Ohishi; Akira Yasuhara


    Recent discovery of a phase transition from perovskite to post-perovskite suggests that the physical properties of Earth's lowermost mantle, called the D" layer, may be different from those of the overlying mantle...

  4. Nitrogen speciation in mantle and crustal fluids (United States)

    Li, Yuan; Keppler, Hans


    Seventy-nine experiments have been carried out at 600-1400 °C, 2-35 kbar, and oxygen fugacities ranging from the Fe-FeO to the Re-ReO2 buffer to investigate the nitrogen speciation in mantle and crustal N-H-O fluids. Laser Raman analyses of fluid inclusions trapped in situ in quartz and olivine crystals show that N2 and/or NH3 are the only detectable nitrogen species in the fluids at the conditions of the present study. The results further show that in the fluids of the oxidized shallow upper mantle, nitrogen is mostly present as N2, while in the deep reduced upper mantle, NH3 is the dominant nitrogen species. Nitrogen speciation in subduction zone fluids is also calculated from the experimental data to constrain the efficiency of nitrogen recycling. The data show that a hot, oxidized slab is an efficient barrier for deep nitrogen subduction, while a cold, reduced slab would favor recycling nitrogen into the deep mantle. The nitrogen species in magmatic fluids of mid-ocean ridge basalt and arc magmas are predominantly N2, but a significant fraction of nitrogen can be NH3 at certain conditions. The nitrogen species in fluids released from the solidifying magma ocean and the reduced young mantle may have been mostly NH3. The release of such fluids may have created a reduced atmosphere on the every early Earth, with an elevated concentration of NH3. This may not only resolve the faint young Sun paradox but may also have created favorable conditions for the formation of biomolecules through Miller-Urey type reactions.

  5. Water in the Cratonic Mantle Lithosphere (United States)

    Peslier, A. H.


    The fact that Archean and Proterozoic cratons are underlain by the thickest (>200 km) lithosphere on Earth has always puzzled scientists because the dynamic convection of the surrounding asthenosphere would be expected to delaminate and erode these mantle lithospheric "keels" over time. Although density and temperature of the cratonic lithosphere certainly play a role in its strength and longevity, the role of water has only been recently addressed with data on actual mantle samples. Water in mantle lithologies (primarily peridotites and pyroxenites) is mainly stored in nominally anhydrous minerals (olivine, pyroxene, garnet) where it is incorporated as hydrogen bonded to structural oxygen in lattice defects. The property of hydrolytic weakening of olivine [4] has generated the hypothesis that olivine, the main mineral of the upper mantle, may be dehydrated in cratonic mantle lithospheres, contributing to its strength. This presentation will review the distribution of water concentrations in four cratonic lithospheres. The distribution of water contents in olivine from peridotite xenoliths found in kimberlites is different in each craton (Figure 1). The range of water contents of olivine, pyroxene and garnet at each xenolith location appears linked to local metasomatic events, some of which occurred later then the Archean and Proterozoic when these peridotites initially formed via melting. Although the low olivine water contents ( 6 GPa at the base of the Kaapvaal cratonic lithosphere may contribute to its strength, and prevent its delamination, the wide range of those from Siberian xenoliths is not compatible with providing a high enough viscosity contrast with the asthenophere. The water content in olivine inclusions from Siberian diamonds, on the other hand, have systematically low water contents (water contents. The olivine inclusions, however, may have been protected from metasomatism by their host diamond and record the overall low olivine water content of

  6. Deformation and melt in natural mantle rocks: The Hilti Massif (Oman) and the Othris Massif (Greece)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkstra, A.H.


    For a full understanding of plate tectonics, one of the central paradigms in Earth Sciences, it is critical to know the mechanical properties of the material of which the earth's upper mantle consists, i.e., peridotite. The cold outer shell of the Earth, the lithosphere, is broken up into strong and

  7. The Active Solid Earth (United States)

    Ebinger, Cynthia


    Dynamic processes in Earth's crust, mantle and core shape Earth's surface and magnetic field over time scales of seconds to millennia, and even longer time scales as recorded in the ca. 4 Ga rock record. Our focus is the earthquake-volcano deformation cycles that occur over human time scales, and their comparison with time-averaged deformation studies, with emphasis on mantle plume provinces where magma and volatile release and vertical tectonics are readily detectable. Active deformation processes at continental and oceanic rift and back arc zones provide critical constraints on mantle dynamics, the role of fluids (volatiles, magma, water), and plate rheology. For example, recent studies of the East African rift zone, which formed above one of Earth's largest mantle upwellings reveal that magma production and volatile release rates are comparable to those of magmatic arcs, the archetypal zones of continental crustal creation. Finite-length faults achieve some plate deformation, but magma intrusion in the form of dikes accommodates extension in continental, back-arc, and oceanic rifts, and intrusion as sills causes permanent uplift that modulates the local time-space scales of earthquakes and volcanoes. Volatile release from magma intrusion may reduce fault friction and permeability, facilitating aseismic slip and creating magma pathways. We explore the implications of active deformation studies to models of the time-averaged structure of plume and extensional provinces in continental and oceanic plate settings.

  8. Water content in the Martian mantle: A Nakhla perspective (United States)

    Weis, Franz A.; Bellucci, Jeremy J.; Skogby, Henrik; Stalder, Roland; Nemchin, Alexander A.; Whitehouse, Martin J.


    Water contents of the Martian mantle have previously been investigated using Martian meteorites, with several comprehensive studies estimating the water content in the parental melts and mantle source regions of the shergottites and Chassigny. However, no detailed studies have been performed on the Nakhla meteorite. One possible way to determine the water content of a crystallizing melt is to use the water content in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAMs) such as clinopyroxene and olivine. During or after eruption on the surface of a planetary body and during residence in a degassing magma, these minerals may dehydrate. By reversing this process experimentally, original (pre-dehydration) water concentrations can be quantified. In this study, hydrothermal rehydration experiments were performed at 2 kbar and 700 °C on potentially dehydrated Nakhla clinopyroxene crystals. Rehydrated clinopyroxene crystals exhibit water contents of 130 ± 26 (2σ) ppm and are thus similar to values observed in similar phenocrysts from terrestrial basalts. Utilizing clinopyroxene/melt partition coefficients, both the water content of the Nakhla parent melt and mantle source region were estimated. Despite previous assumptions of a relatively dry melt, the basaltic magma crystallizing Nakhla may have had up to 1.42 ± 0.28 (2σ) wt.% H2O. Based on an assumed low degree of partial melting, this estimate can be used to calculate a minimum estimate of the water content for Nakhla's mantle source region of 72 ± 16 ppm. Combining this value with values determined for other SNC mantle sources, by alternative methods, gives an average mantle value of 102 ± 9 (2σ) ppm H2O for the Martian upper mantle throughout geologic time. This value is lower than the bulk water content of Earth's upper mantle (∼250 ppm H2O) but similar to Earth's MORB source (54-330 ppm, average ∼130 ppm H2O).

  9. The role of thermodynamics in mantle convection: is mantle-layering intermittent? (United States)

    Stixrude, L. P.; Cagney, N.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.


    We examine the thermal evolution of the Earth using a 1D model in which mixing length theory is used to characterise the role of thermal convection. Unlike previous work, our model accounts for the complex role of thermodynamics and phase changes through the use of HeFESTo (Stixrude & Lithgow-Bertelloni, Geophys. J. Int. 184, 2011), a comprehensive thermodynamic model that enables self-consistent computation of phase equilibria, physical properties (e.g. density, thermal expansivity etc.) and mantle isentropes. Our model also accounts for the freezing of the inner core, radiogenic heating and Arrhenius rheology, and is validated by comparing our results to observations, including the present-day size of the inner core and the heat flux at the surface.If phase changes and the various thermodynamic effects on mantle properties are neglected, the results are weakly dependent on the initial conditions, as has been observed in several previous studies. However, when these effects are accounted for, the initial temperature profile has a strong influence on the thermal evolution of the mantle, because small changes in the temperature and phase-assemblage can lead to large changes in the local physical properties and the adiabatic gradient.The inclusion of thermodynamic effects leads to some new and interesting insights. We demonstrate that the Clapeyron slope and the thermal gradient at the transition zone both vary significantly with time; this causes the mantle to switch between a layered state, in which convection across the transition zone is weak or negligible, and an un-layered state, in which there is no resistance to mass transfer between the upper and lower mantles.Various plume models describe plumes either rising directly from the CMB to the lithosphere, or stalling at the transition zone before spawning new plumes in the upper mantle. The observance of switching behaviour indicates that both models may be applicable depending on the state of the mantle: plumes

  10. Geoelectromagnetic investigation of the earth’s crust and mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Rokityansky, Igor I


    Electrical conductivity is a parameter which characterizes composition and physical state of the Earth's interior. Studies of the state equations of solids at high temperature and pressure indicate that there is a close relation be­ tween the electrical conductivity of rocks and temperature. Therefore, measurements of deep conductivity can provide knowledge of the present state and temperature of the Earth's crust and upper mantle matter. Infor­ mation about the temperature of the Earth's interior in the remote past is derived from heat flow data. Experimental investigation of water-containing rocks has revealed a pronounced increase of electrical conductivity in the temperature range D from 500 to 700 DC which may be attributed to the beginning of fractional melting. Hence, anomalies of electrical conductivity may be helpful in identitying zones of melting and dehydration. The studies of these zones are perspective in the scientific research of the mobile areas of the Earth's crust and upper mantle where t...

  11. Magnification of mantle resonance as a cause of tectonics

    CERN Document Server

    Omerbashich, M


    Variance spectral analysis of superconducting gravimeter (SG) decadal data (noise inclusive) suggests conceptually that the Earth tectonogenesis could in part be based on magnification of the mantle mechanical resonance, in addition to previously hypothesized causes. Aanalogously to the atmospheric tidal forcing of global high frequency free oscillation, I propose that the Moon synodically recurring pull could likewise drive the long-periodic (12 to 120 minutes) oscillation of the Earth. To demonstrate this, I show that the daily magnitudes of mass (gravity) oscillation, as a relative measure of the Earth kinetic energy, get synodically periodic while correlating up to 0.97 with seismic energies on the day of shallow and 3 days before deep earthquakes. The forced oscillator equations for the mantle usual viscosity and the Earth springtide and grave mode periods successfully model an identical 3 days phase. Finally, whereas reports on gravest earthquakes (of around M9.5) put the maximum coseismic displacement ...

  12. Finite-difference migration of the field of refracted waves in studies of the deep structure of the Earth's crust and the upper mantle based on the DSS (on the example of the DOBRE profile) (United States)

    Pilipenko, V. N.; Verpakhovskaya, A. O.; Starostenko, V. I.; Pavlenkova, N. I.


    The main results of deep seismic sounding (DSS) are usually presented in the form of high-velocity models of the medium. Some model examples and the international DOBRE profile have shown that the informativeness of the data obtained can be significantly enhanced by the construction of wave images of the Earth’s crust, based on the migration of refracted and wide-angle reflected waves. The Donets Basin Refraction/Reflection Experiment ( DOBRE) profile crosses the Dnieper-Donets paleorift zone in the Donbas region. Along the profile, refracted waves from the basement and the upper mantle and the reflections from the crust basement (the M boundary) are reliably traced. This wave migration has been used to construct a wave image of the structure of the Earth’s crust. As a result, a clear seismic image of the basement surface, whose depth changes along the profile from 0 to 20 km, was obtained. In near-slope parts of the basin, several major faults were identified that had not been identified previously during standard kinematic data processing. It is shown that the crust-upper mantle transition zone is a clearly reflective horizon only within the crystalline massifs; under a depression, it is represented by a lens-shaped highly-heterogeneous area. As shown in the model examples, the images obtained using such a migration accurately reflect the structural features of the medium, in spite of its complicated structure.

  13. Melting curve of the deep mantle applied to properties of early magma ocean and actual core-mantle boundary (United States)

    Andrault, Denis; Lo Nigro, Giacomo; Bolfan-Casanova, Nathalie; Bouhifd, Mohamed A.; Garbarino, Gaston; Mezouar, Mohamed


    Our planet experienced partial melting early in its history as a consequence of energy release due to accretion. Partial mantle melting could still happen today in the lowermost mantle. Occurrence of melting is primordial for the chemical segregation between the different Earth's reservoirs and for the dynamics of the whole planet. Melting of iron-alloys is relatively easy to achieve, but the silicated mantle happens to be more refractory. We investigated experimentally melting properties of two starting material, forsterite and chondritic-mantle, at pressures ranging from 25 to 140 GPa, using laser-heated diamond anvil cell coupled with synchrotron radiation. We show that partial melting in the lowermost mantle, as suggested by seismology on the basis of the ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZ), requires temperatures above 4200 K at the core-mantle boundary. At low pressures, our curve plots significantly lower than previous reports. Compared to recent estimates of mantle geotherm, while this temperature remains possible if the Earth's core is very hot, it is more likely that ULVZs correspond to high concentration of incompatible elements driven down to the D"-layer by subducting slabs or extracted out from the outer core. When our chondritic melting curve is coupled with recent isentropic temperature profiles for a magma ocean, we obtain a correlation between magma ocean depth and the potential temperature (Tp) at its surface; an ocean depth of 1000 km (equivalent to ~40 GPa) corresponds to Tp=2000 K, which happens to be significantly hotter than the estimated surface temperature of a sustained magma ocean. It emphasizes the importance of a lid at the magma ocean surface at an epoch as early as that of core-mantle segregation.

  14. The Evolution of the Earth's Magnetic Field. (United States)

    Bloxham, Jeremy; Gubbins, David


    Describes the change of earth's magnetic field at the boundary between the outer core and the mantle. Measurement techniques used during the last 300 years are considered. Discusses the theories and research for explaining the field change. (YP)

  15. Investigations of Eurasian Seismic Sources and Upper Mantle Structure (United States)


    in classical Earth models include the free surface, the Mohorovicic (M) discontinuity, the core-mantle boundary (CMB), and the inner core-outer core...rather to the superposition of first- and higher-order reverberations generated at the Mohorovicic (M) discontinuity. Figure 3.1 depicts the effect of

  16. Pitfalls in modeling mantle convection with internal heat production (United States)

    Korenaga, Jun


    The mantle of the Earth, and probably of other terrestrial planets as well, is heated from below and within. The heating mode of mantle convection is thus mixed heating, and it is also time dependent because the amount of heat-producing isotopes in the mantle is steadily decreasing by radioactive decay and because the basal heat flux originating in the cooling of the core can vary with time. This mode of transient mixed heating presents its own challenges to the study of mantle convection, but such difficulties are not always appreciated in the recent literature. The purpose of this tutorial is to clarify the issue of heating mode by explaining relevant concepts in a coherent manner, including the internal heating ratio, the Urey ratio, secular cooling, and the connection between the thermal budget of the Earth and the geochemical models of the Earth. The importance of such basic concepts will be explained with some illustrative examples in the context of the thermal evolution of the Earth, and a summary of common pitfalls will be provided, with a possible strategy for how to avoid them.

  17. P-V-T Equation of State of (Al,Fe)-bearing Mantle Perovskite and its Implications for Mantle Models (United States)

    Fei, Y.; Ricolleau, A.; Litasov, K.; Prakapenka, V.


    We have made significant progress on accurate measurements of P-V-T equations-of-state of mantle minerals that are of fundamental importance for developing compositional and mineralogical models of the Earth's mantle. In this study, we report new compression data on (Al,Fe)-bearing mantle perovskite up to simultaneous pressure and temperature of 113 GPa and 2120 K. The mantle perovskite was synthesized in the multi-anvil apparatus at 27 GPa and 2073 K, with chemical compositions expected in a peridotitic mantle. It contains 5.86 wt% FeO and 3.84 wt% Al2O3. The pre-synthesized perovsite mixed with Au powder was compressed in neon pressure medium in a symmetric diamond anvil cell. The sample was heated with a double-sided laser-heating system at the GSECARS 13-ID-D beamline (Advanced Photon Source). We performed 8 heating cycles in the pressure range of 30-113 GPa and temperatures up to 2560 K. In-situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction data were collected within a uniformly heated area, using a MAR-CCD area detector. The diffraction pattern contains peaks of orthorhombic perovskite, internal standard Au, and pressure medium Ne. The triplet (020, 112, and 200 diffraction peaks) of the orthorhombic perovskite is well resolve. The present dataset covers the entire P-T range of the lower mantle and requires no extrapolation to compare the mantle density profile derived from seismic observations. In light of the new P-V-T data on the (Al,Fe)-bearing mantle perovskite combined with our recent density data and spin transition of ferropericlase, we finally discuss the compositional and mineralogical models of the lower mantle.

  18. Geochemical Characterization of Endmember Mantle Components (United States)


    in Figs. 7 & 8). Production of the EM component by deep mantle fractionations involving high-pressure phases such as Ca or Mg perovskite likewise... Hafnium isotopes in basalts from the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge from 40°S to 55°S: Discovery and Shona plume-ridge interactions and the role of recycled...171 (1999) 49-61. Bowring, S. A. and T. Housh, The Earth’s Early Evolution, Science 269 (1995) 1535-1540. Chauvel, C. and J. Blichert-Toft, A hafnium

  19. Mantle Convection Models Constrained by Seismic Tomography (United States)

    Durbin, C. J.; Shahnas, M.; Peltier, W. R.; Woodhouse, J. H.


    Perovskite-post-Perovskite transition (Murakami et al., 2004, Science) that appears to define the D" layer at the base of the mantle. In this initial phase of what will be a longer term project we are assuming that the internal mantle viscosity structure is spherically symmetric and compatible with the recent inferences of Peltier and Drummond (2010, Geophys. Res. Lett.) based upon glacial isostatic adjustment and Earth rotation constraints. The internal density structure inferred from the tomography model is assimilated into the convection model by continuously "nudging" the modification to the input density structure predicted by the convection model back towards the tomographic constraint at the long wavelengths that the tomography specifically resolves, leaving the shorter wavelength structure free to evolve, essentially "slaved" to the large scale structure. We focus upon the ability of the nudged model to explain observed plate velocities, including both their poloidal (divergence related) and toroidal (strike slip fault related) components. The true plate velocity field is then used as an additional field towards which the tomographically constrained solution is nudged.

  20. Intraplate volcanism and mantle dynamics in East Asia: Big mantle wedge (BMW) model (Invited) (United States)

    Zhao, D.


    Asia. Our results also show that the active Tengchong volcano in SW China is related to the deep subduction of the Burma microplate down to the mantle transition zone and a BMW above the Burma slab. References: D. Zhao (2004) Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 146, 3-34. J. Huang, D. Zhao (2006) J. Geophys. Res. 111, B09305. D. Zhao et al. (2009) Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 173, 197-206.

  1. Effects of Fe spin transition on the elasticity of (Mg,Fe)O magnesiowüstites and implications for the seismological properties of the Earth's lower mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Speziale, S; Lee, V E; Clark, S M; Lin, J F; Pasternak, M P; Jeanloz, R


    High-pressure x-ray diffraction of (Mg{sub 0.8}Fe{sub 0.2})O at room temperature reveals a discontinuity in the bulk modulus at 40 ({+-}5) GPa, similar pressure at which an electronic spin-pairing transition of Fe{sup 2+} is also observed. In the x-ray diffraction experiments the transition is completed only at 80 GPa, possibly reflecting lack of equilibration. Combining recent measurements, we document anomalies in the compression curve of Mg-rich magnesiowuestites that are manifestations of the spin transition. The best fit to a third order Birch-Murnaghan equation for the low-spin phase of magnesiowuestite with 17-20 mol% FeO yields bulk modulus K{sub T0} = 190 ({+-}150) GPa, pressure derivative ({partial_derivative}K{sub T}/{partial_derivative}){sub T0} = 4.6 ({+-}2.7) and unit-cell volume V{sub 0} = 71 ({+-}5) {angstrom}{sup 3}, consistent with past estimates of the ionic radius of octahedrally-coordinated low-spin Fe{sup 2+} in oxides. A sharp spin transition at lower-mantle depths between 1100 and 1900 km (40-80 GPa) would cause a unit-cell volume decrease ({Delta}{nu}{sub {phi}}) of 3.7 ({+-}0.8) to 2.0 ({+-}0.2) percent and bulk sound velocity increase ({Delta}{nu}{sub {phi}}) of 8.1 ({+-}6-1.7) percent ({nu}{sub {phi}} = {radical}K{sub s}/{rho}). Even in the absence of a visible seismic discontinuity, we expect the Fe-spin transition to imply a correction to current compositional models of the lower mantle, with up to 10 mol percent increase of magnesiowuestite being required to match the seismological data.

  2. Numerical modelling of volatiles in the deep mantle (United States)

    Eichheimer, Philipp; Thielmann, Marcel; Golabek, Gregor J.


    The transport and storage of water in the mantle significantly affects several material properties of mantle rocks and thus water plays a key role in a variety of geodynamical processes (tectonics, magmatism etc.). The processes driving transport and circulation of H2O in subduction zones remain a debated topic. Geological and seismological observations suggest different inflow mechanisms of water e.g. slab bending, thermal cracking and serpentinization (Faccenda et al., 2009; Korenaga, 2017), followed by dehydration of the slab. On Earth both shallow and steep subduction can be observed (Li et al., 2011). However most previous models (van Keken et al., 2008; Wilson et al., 2014) did not take different dip angles and subduction velocities of slabs into account. To which extent these parameters and processes influence the inflow of water still remains unclear. We present 2D numerical models simulating the influence of the various water inflow mechanisms on the mantle with changing dip angle and subduction velocity of the slab over time. The results are used to make predictions regarding the rheological behavior of the mantle wedge, dehydration regimes and volcanism at the surface. References: van Keken, P. E., et al. A community benchmark for subduction zone modeling. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 171, 187-197 (2008). Faccenda, M., T.V. Gerya, and L. Burlini. Deep slab hydration induced by bending-related variations in tectonic pressure. Nat. Geosci. 2, 790-793 (2009). Korenaga, J. On the extent of mantle hydration caused by plate bending. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 457, 1-9 (2017). Wilson, C. R., et al. Fluid flow in subduction zones: The role of solid rheology and compaction pressure. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 401, 261-274 (2014). Li, Z. H., Z. Q. Xu, and T. V. Gerya. Flat versus steep subduction: Contrasting modes for the formation and exhumation of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental collision zones. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 301, 65-77 (2011).

  3. Mantle decarbonation and Archean high-Mg magmas (United States)

    Edwards, Garth R.


    Magnesium-rich mane to ultramafic extrusions were most common in the Archean and pose interesting petrological problems. The high Mg content of komatiites (>18 wt%, for example, is usually interpreted as indicating an origin at higher temperatures than exist in mantle melting zones in the modern Earth. Current contrasting models for the origin of komatiites in the mantle require either high degrees of melting or lower degrees of melting at great depth. A potential complementary mechanism for Mg enrichment in magmas involves the melting of magnesite-bearing garnet Iherxolite. In this model, the ascending primary mafic or ultramafic magma is enriched in MgO by the loss of some off the CO2 to the adjacent mantle at pressures of ˜2.2 GPa, where the magma becomes saturated with CO2. To generate komatiite in this way from a picritelike parent, for example, requires that the primary magma lose some of its major and trace element components to the adjacent mantle concurrently with the CO2. Production of magnesian magmas by magnesite breakdown may not have required the heat or depth of those produced by other means; this mechanism may help to explain some apparently low Archean geothermal gradients, as well as the contemporaneity of Archean diamonds and komatites. The mantle magnesite could have formed by direct reaction of primordial CO2 or CO with hot, protomantle material during Earth's accretionary period.

  4. Ensemble data assimilation for the reconstruction of mantle circulation (United States)

    Bocher, Marie; Coltice, Nicolas; Fournier, Alexandre; Tackley, Paul


    The surface tectonics of the Earth is the result of mantle dynamics. This link between internal and surface dynamics can be used to reconstruct the evolution of mantle circulation. This is classically done by imposing plate tectonics reconstructions as boundary conditions on numerical models of mantle convection. However, this technique does not account for uncertainties in plate tectonics reconstructions and does not allow any dynamical feedback of mantle dynamics on surface tectonics to develop. Mantle convection models are now able to produce surface tectonics comparable to that of the Earth to first order. We capitalize on these convection models to propose a more consistent integration of plate tectonics reconstructions into mantle convection models. For this purpose, we use the ensemble Kalman filter. This method has been developed and successfully applied to meteorology, oceanography and even more recently outer core dynamics. It consists in integrating sequentially a time series of data into a numerical model, starting from an ensemble of possible initial states. The initial ensemble of states is designed to represent an approximation of the probability density function (pdf) of the a priori state of the system. Whenever new observations are available, each member of the ensemble states is corrected considering both the approximated pdf of the state, and the pdf of the new data. Between two observation times, each ensemble member evolution is computed independently, using the convection model. This technique provides at each time an approximation of the pdf of the state of the system, in the form of a finite ensemble of states. We perform synthetic experiments to assess the efficiency of this method for the reconstruction of mantle circulation.

  5. High accuracy mantle convection simulation through modern numerical methods

    KAUST Repository

    Kronbichler, Martin


    Numerical simulation of the processes in the Earth\\'s mantle is a key piece in understanding its dynamics, composition, history and interaction with the lithosphere and the Earth\\'s core. However, doing so presents many practical difficulties related to the numerical methods that can accurately represent these processes at relevant scales. This paper presents an overview of the state of the art in algorithms for high-Rayleigh number flows such as those in the Earth\\'s mantle, and discusses their implementation in the Open Source code Aspect (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth\\'s ConvecTion). Specifically, we show how an interconnected set of methods for adaptive mesh refinement (AMR), higher order spatial and temporal discretizations, advection stabilization and efficient linear solvers can provide high accuracy at a numerical cost unachievable with traditional methods, and how these methods can be designed in a way so that they scale to large numbers of processors on compute clusters. Aspect relies on the numerical software packages deal.II and Trilinos, enabling us to focus on high level code and keeping our implementation compact. We present results from validation tests using widely used benchmarks for our code, as well as scaling results from parallel runs. © 2012 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2012 RAS.

  6. Thermal Conductivity Measurement of Synthesized Mantle Minerals (United States)

    Asimow, P. D.; Luo, S.; Mosenfelder, J. L.; Liu, W.; Staneff, G. D.; Ahrens, T. J.; Chen, G.


    Direct thermal conductivity (k) measurement of mantle minerals is crucial to constrain the thermal profile of the Earth as well as geodynamic studies of the mantle (e.g., to determine the Rayleigh number). We have embarked on systematic multi-anvil syntheses of dense polycrystalline specimens of mantle phases of adequate size and zero porosity for precise thermal conductivity measurements by the 3ω method (\\textit{Cahill and Pohl, Phys. Rev. B, 1987}) under elevated temperatures (T). Coesite and stishovite (see \\textit{Luo et al., GRL, 2002}) as well as majorite and wadsleyite have been synthesized; ringwoodite and perovskite are scheduled. Preliminary thermal conductivity measurements at ambient pressure on coesite (120 - 300 K, 9.53 Wm-1K-1 at 300 K) are consistent with prior room temperature data (\\textit{Yukutake & Shimada, PEPI, 1978}), while our stishovite data at 300 K appear to be low (1.96 Wm-1K-1). Efforts are being made to extend the measurement to higher temperatures (e.g., above Debye temperature Θ D), thus allowing determination of k(T) relationship (say, k~ T-n); success will depend on the decomposition kinetics of these metastable phases. The pressure dependence of k of these synthesized samples can also be measured (\\textit{e.g., Osako et al., HPMPS-6, 2002; Xu et al., EOS, 2001}). Recent thermal conductivity measurement on LiF and Al2O_3 from shock wave loading (\\textit{Holland & Ahrens, 1998}) is consistent with the modeling on MgO and Al2O_3 (\\textit{Manga & Jeanloz, JGR, 1997}) with classical theories. Thus, k values at modest pressures and T (say, above Θ D) would allow extrapolation of k to appropriate mantle conditions.

  7. Mercurian impact ejecta: Meterorites and mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Gladman, B


    We have examined the fate of impact ejecta liberated from the surface of Mercury due to impacts by comets or asteroids, in order to study (1) meteorite transfer to Earth, and (2) re-accumulation of an expelled mantle in giant-impact scenarios seeking to explain Mercury's large core. In the context of meteorite transfer, we note that Mercury's impact ejecta leave the planet's surface much faster (on average) than other planet's in the Solar System because it is the only planet where impact speeds routinely range from 5-20 times the planet's escape speed. Thus, a large fraction of mercurian ejecta may reach heliocentric orbit with speeds sufficiently high for Earth-crossing orbits to exist immediately after impact, resulting in larger fractions of the ejecta reaching Earth as meteorites. We calculate the delivery rate to Earth on a time scale of 30 Myr and show that several percent of the high-speed ejecta reach Earth (a factor of -3 less than typical launches from Mars); this is one to two orders of magnitude ...

  8. Origin of geochemical mantle components: Role of subduction filter (United States)

    Kimura, Jun-Ichi; Gill, James B.; Skora, Susanne; van Keken, Peter E.; Kawabata, Hiroshi


    We quantitatively explore element redistribution at subduction zones using numerical mass balance models to evaluate the roles of the subduction zone filter in the Earth's geochemical cycle. Our models of slab residues after arc magma genesis differ from previous ones by being internally consistent with geodynamic models of modern arcs that successfully explain arc magma genesis and include element fluxes from the dehydration/melting of each underlying slab component. We assume that the mantle potential temperature (Tp) was 1400-1650°C at 3.5-1.7 Ga and gradually decreased to 1300-1350°C today. Hot subduction zones with Tp ˜1650°C have a thermal structure like modern SW Japan where high-Mg andesite is formed which is chemically like continental crust. After 2.5-1.7 Gyr of storage in the mantle, the residual igneous oceanic crust from hot subduction zones can evolve isotopically to the HIMU mantle component, the residual base of the mantle wedge to EMI, the residual sediment becomes an essential part of EMII, and the residual top of the mantle wedge can become the subcontinental lithosphere component. The Common or Focal Zone component is a stable mixture of the first three residues occasionally mixed with early depleted mantle. Slab residues that recycled earlier (˜2.5 Ga) form the DUPAL anomaly in the southern hemisphere, whereas residues of more recent recycling (˜1.7 Ga) underlie the northern hemisphere. These ages correspond to major continental crust forming events. The east-west heterogeneity of the depleted upper mantle involves subcontinental mantle except in the Pacific.

  9. Pyroxenes as tracers of mantle water variations (United States)

    Warren, Jessica M.; Hauri, Erik H.


    The concentration and distribution of volatiles in the Earth's mantle influence properties such as melting temperature, conductivity, and viscosity. To constrain upper mantle water content, concentrations of H2O, P, and F were measured in olivine, orthopyroxene, and clinopyroxene in mantle peridotites by secondary ion mass spectrometry. Analyzed peridotites are xenoliths (Pali Aike, Spitsbergen, Samoa), orogenic peridotites (Josephine Peridotite), and abyssal peridotites (Gakkel Ridge, Southwest Indian Ridge, Tonga Trench). The comparison of fresh and altered peridotites demonstrates that low to moderate levels of alteration do not affect H2O concentrations, in agreement with mineral diffusion data. Olivines have diffusively lost water during emplacement, as demonstrated by disequilibrium between olivine and coexisting pyroxenes. In contrast, clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene preserve their high-temperature water contents, and their partitioning agrees with published experiments and other xenoliths. Hence, olivine water concentrations can be determined from pyroxene concentrations using mineral-mineral partition coefficients. Clinopyroxenes have 60-670 ppm H2O, while orthopyroxenes have 10-300 ppm, which gives calculated olivine concentrations of 8-34 ppm. The highest olivine water concentration translates to an effective viscosity of 6 × 1019 Pa s at 1250°C and ~15 km depth, compared to a dry effective viscosity of 2.5 × 1021 Pa s. Bulk rock water concentrations, calculated using mineral modes, are 20-220 ppm and correlate with peridotite indices of melt depletion. However, trace element melt modeling indicates that peridotites have too much water relative to their rare earth element concentrations, which may be explained by late-stage melt addition, during which only hydrogen diffuses fast enough for reequilibration.

  10. Volatile cycling and the thermal evolution of planetary mantle (United States)

    Sandu, Constantin

    The thermal histories of terrestrial planets are investigated using two parameterized mantle convection models for either Earth like planets and planets with no active plate tectonics. Using parameterized models of mantle convection, we performed computer simulations of planetary cooling and volatile cycling. The models estimate the amount of volatile in mantle reservoir, and calculate the outgassing and regassing rates. A linear model of volatile concentration-dependent is assumed for the activation energy of the solid-state creep in the mantle. The kinematic viscosity of the mantle is thus dynamically affected by the activation energy through a variable concentration in volatile. Mantle temperature and heat flux is calculated using a model derived from classic thermal boundary layer theory of a single layered mantle with temperature dependent viscosity. The rate of volatile exchanged between mantle and surface is calculated by balancing the amount of volatiles degassed in the atmosphere by volcanic and spreading related processes and the amount of volatiles recycled back in the mantle by the subduction process. In the cases that lack plate tectonics, the degassing efficiency is dramatically reduced and the regassing process is absent. The degassing effect is dependent on average spreading rate of tectonic plates and on the amount of volatile in the melt extract in the transition zone between mantle and upper boundary laver. The regassing effect is dependent on the subduction rate and on the amount of volatile present on a hydrated layer on top of the subducting slab. The degassing and regassing parameters are all related to the intensity of the convection in the mantle and to the surface temperature of the planet, and they are regulated by the amount of volatiles in reservoir. Comparative study with the previous models display significant differences and improve the versatility of the model. The optimum efficiency factors found are in the range of 0.01--0.06 for

  11. The initiation, temporal evolution and dynamics of deep mantle heterogeneities (United States)

    Bull-Aller, Abigail; Torsvik, Trond; Domeier, Mathew; Doubrovine, Pavel


    Understanding the first-order dynamical structure and temporal evolution of Earth's mantle is a fundamental goal in solid-earth geophysics. Recent tomographic observations reveal a lower mantle characterised by higher-than-average shear-wave speeds beneath Asia and encircling the Pacific, consistent with cold slabs of descending lithosphere beneath regions of ancient subduction, and lower-than-average shear-wave speeds in broad regional areas beneath Africa and the Central Pacific (LLSVPs). The LLSVPs, although not as easily understood from a dynamical perspective, are inferred to be broad upwelling centres between Mesozoic and Cenozoic subduction zones. Heterogeneous mantle models place these anomalies into the context of thermochemical piles, characterised by an anomalously dense component, with their location and geometry being controlled by the movement of subducting slabs. The origin and temporal evolution of the LLSVPs remain enigmatic. Recent numerical studies propose that the LLSVP beneath Africa formed as a result of return flow in the mantle due to circum-Pacific subduction beneath the Pangean supercontinent. This suggests that prior to the formation of Pangea, the lower mantle was dominated by a degree-1 convection pattern, with a major upwelling centred close to the present-day Pacific LLSVP and subduction concentrated in the antipodal hemisphere. The African LLSVP would thus have developed within the time frame of the Pangean supercontinent (i.e., 300Ma-180Ma), in contrast to a much older Pacific LLSVP. It is further proposed that a cyclic alternation between a degree-1 pattern and a degree-2 pattern of mantle convection may accompany the supercontinent cycle and characterise the temporal convective evolution of Earth's mantle. In contrast, a more long-term persistence for both the African and Pacific LLSVPs, and thus for the planform of mantle convection within the Earth as a whole, is suggested by recent palaeomagnetic studies, which show that over

  12. P-V-T equations of state of lower mantle minerals: Constraints on mantle composition models (United States)

    Fei, Y.; Zhang, L.; Frank, M.; Corgne, A.; Wheeler, K.; Meng, Y.


    Ferropericlase (Mg,Fe)O is likely a stable phase coexisting with silicate perovskite in the Earth's lower mantle. Determination of a reliable P-V-T equation-of-state of this phase is therefore crucial for developing compositional and mineralogical models of the Earth's interior. In this study, we report new compression data on ferropericlase up to 136 GPa, covering the entire pressure range of the lower mantle. The experiments were performed at the HPCAT 16-ID-B beamline (Advanced Photon Source), using monochromatic X-radiation and a CCD area detector. We used (Mg0.6Fe0.4)O as the starting material. The powdered sample was sandwiched between NaCl and a mixture of NaCl-Au in an externally heated high-temperature diamond anvil cell. The sample was annealed at each pressure increment by laser heating. High-quality diffraction data were collected up to 136 GPa. The same starting material was also studied up to 27 GPa and 2173 K in a multi-anvil apparatus by X-ray diffraction. A reliable P-V-T equation of state for (Mg0.6Fe0.4)O was developed by combining the two data sets. The new results, together with our recent P-V-T data for Al-bearing perovskite up to 105 GPa and 1000 K, provide solid density measurements for the two most important lower mantle minerals under simultaneous high pressure and temperature conditions. The new data are used to model the density profile of the lower mantle and provide tight constraints on its chemical composition.

  13. The Elephants' Graveyard: Constraints from Mantle Plumes on the Fate of Subducted Slabs and Implications for the Style of Mantle Convection (United States)

    Lassiter, J. C.


    The style of mantle convection (e.g., layered- vs. whole-mantle convection) is one of the most hotly contested questions in the Geological Sciences. Geochemical arguments for and against mantle layering have largely focused on mass-balance evidence for the existence of "hidden" geochemical reservoirs. However, the size and location of such reservoirs are largely unconstrained, and most geochemical arguments for mantle layering are consistent with a depleted mantle comprising most of the mantle mass and a comparatively small volume of enriched, hidden material either within D" or within seismically anomalous "piles" beneath southern Africa and the South Pacific. The mass flux associated with subduction of oceanic lithosphere is large and plate subduction is an efficient driver of convective mixing in the mantle. Therefore, the depth to which oceanic lithosphere descends into the mantle is effectively the depth of the upper mantle in any layered mantle model. Numerous geochemical studies provide convincing evidence that many mantle plumes contain material which at one point resided close to the Earth's surface (e.g., recycled oceanic crust ± sediments, possibly subduction-modified mantle wedge material). Fluid dynamic models further reveal that only the central cores of mantle plumes are involved in melt generation. The presence of recycled material in the sources of many ocean island basalts therefore cannot be explained by entrainment of this material during plume ascent, but requires that recycled material resides within or immediately above the thermo-chemical boundary layer(s) that generates mantle plumes. More recent Os- isotope studies of mantle xenoliths from OIB settings reveal the presence not only of recycled crust in mantle plumes, but also ancient melt-depleted harzburgite interpreted to represent ancient recycled oceanic lithosphere [1]. Thus, there is increasing evidence that subducted slabs accumulate in the boundary layer(s) that provide the source

  14. Rhenium - osmium heterogeneity of enriched mantle basalts explained by composition and behaviour of mantle-derived sulfides (United States)

    Harvey, J.; Dale, C. W.; Gannoun, A.; Burton, K. W.


    data for whole rocks are also consistent with this scenario. The sequence of (i) addition of all the metasomatic sulfide, followed by (ii) the incorporation of small amounts of armored sulfide can thus account for the range of both [Os] and 187Os/188Os of EM-basalts worldwide without the need for contributions from additional silicate mantle reservoirs. References: [1] Zindler & Hart, (1986) Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 14, 493-571. [2] Class et al. (2009) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 284, 219-227. [3] Stracke, et al. (2005) Geochem., Geophys., Geosys. 6, doi:10.1029/2004GC000824. [4] Burton et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. (1999) 172, 311-322. [5] Alard et al., (2002) Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 203, 651-663

  15. Role of the subduction filter in mantle recycling (United States)

    Kimura, J. I.; Skora, S. E.; Gill, J.; Van Keken, P. E.


    Subduction modifies the descending basaltic and sedimentary oceanic crust and generates felsic arc materials and continental crust. Studies of element mass balances in the subduction zone therefore reveal the evolution of the Earth's two major geochemical reservoirs: the continent crust and mantle. We use the Arc Basalt Simulator ver.4 (ABS4) to model the geochemical mass balance during dehydration by prograde metamorphism and melting of the slab followed by subsequent flux melting of the wedge mantle caused by the addition of slab-derived liquids. The geochemistry of high-Mg andesite or adakite formed in a hot subduction zone is akin to the present-day bulk continental crust and to the Archean (>2 Ga) Tonalite-Trondjhemite-Granodiorite composition. Therefore, the residual slab and the metasomatized mantle wedge at hot subduction zones should be the most plausible sources for materials recycled back into the deep mantle. Model calculations of isotopic growth in the residual slab and mantle formed in hot subduction zones reproduce fairly well the EM1-FOZO-HIMU isotope arrays found in ocean island basalts (OIBs) of deep mantle plume origin, although FOZO with high 3He/4He is not generated by this slab recycling process. The recycled materials are bulk igneous ocean crust for HIMU and metasomatized mantle wedge peridotite for EM1. In contrast, the EM2-FOZO array can be generated in a cold subduction zone with igneous oceanic crust for FOZO and sediment for EM2 sources. Necessary residence time are ~2 Ga to form HIMU-FOZO-EM1 and ~1 Ga to form EM2-FOZO. The subducted oceanic crust (forming HIMU) and mantle wedge peridotite (forming EM1) may have travelled in the mantle together. They then melted together in an upwelling mantle plume to form the EM1-FOZO-HIMU isotopic variations found frequently in OIBs. In contrast, the less frequent EM2-FOZO array suggests a separate source and recycling path. These recycling ages are consistent with the change in the mantle potential

  16. Quantizing Earth surface deformations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. O. Bowin


    Full Text Available The global analysis of Bowin (2010 used the global 14 absolute Euler pole set (62 Myr history from Gripp and Gordon (1990 and demonstrated that plate tectonics conserves angular momentum. We herein extend that analysis using the more detailed Bird (2003 52 present-day Euler pole set (relative to a fixed Pacific plate for the Earth's surface, after conversion to absolute Euler poles. Additionally, new analytical results now provide new details on upper mantle mass anomalies in the outer 200 km of the Earth, as well as an initial quantizing of surface deformations.

  17. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics. (United States)

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H


    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time.

  18. High-P behavior of anorthite composition and some phase relations of the CaO-Al2O3-SiO2 system to the lower mantle of the Earth, and their geophysical implications (United States)

    Liu, Xi; Ohfuji, Hiroaki; Nishiyama, Norimasa; He, Qiang; Sanehira, Takeshi; Irifune, Tetsuo


    Multianvil experiments with long experimental durations have been made with the anorthite composition CaAl2Si2O8at pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions of 14-25 GPa and 1400-2400°C. At subsolidus conditions, these experiments demonstrated three phase assemblages, grossular (Gr) + kyanite (Ky) + stishovite (St) at ˜14 GPa, Gr + calcium-alumino-silicate phase (CAS) + St at ˜18 GPa, and CAS + CaSiO3-perovskite (CaPv) + St at above ˜20 GPa, which are related by the reactions Gr + Ky = CAS + St and Gr + St = CAS + CaPv. Following the method of Schreinemakers, we combined our data with the literature data to deduce aP-Tphase diagram for a portion of the CaO-Al2O3-SiO2system at subsolidus conditions, which subsequently helped to solve some long-lasting discrepancies in the high-Pbehavior of the compositions of anorthite and grossular. The crystal chemistry of the CAS and CaPv solid solutions was examined, and new substitution mechanisms were firmly established. Along the solidus, the melting reaction at ˜14 GPa is peritectic while that at ˜22 GPa is eutectic. For both pressures, St is the first phase to melt out and the melt is generally andesitic. For the An composition, its density starts to be significantly higher than the density of pyrolite at ˜2.5 GPa, a much lower pressure than that for the Or, Ab or Qtz composition (˜7.5-10 GPa), so that the An-enriched continental crust material should readily plunge into the upper mantle.

  19. Evidence for multiple magma ocean outgassing and atmospheric loss episodes from mantle noble gases

    CERN Document Server

    Tucker, Jonathan M


    The energy associated with giant impacts is large enough to generate global magma oceans during Earth's accretion. However, geochemical evidence requiring a terrestrial magma ocean is scarce. Here we present evidence for at least two separate magma ocean outgassing episodes on Earth based on the ratio of primordial 3He to 22Ne in the present-day mantle. We demonstrate that the depleted mantle 3He/22Ne ratio is at least 10 while a more primitive mantle reservoir has a 3He/22Ne ratio of 2.3 to 3. The 3He/22Ne ratios of the mantle reservoirs are higher than possible sources of terrestrial volatiles, including the solar nebula ratio of 1.5. Therefore, a planetary process must have raised the mantle's 3He/22Ne ratio. We show that long-term plate tectonic cycling is incapable of raising the mantle 3He/22Ne ratio and may even lower it. However, ingassing of a gravitationally accreted nebular atmosphere into a magma ocean on the proto-Earth explains the 3He/22Ne and 20Ne/22Ne ratios of the primitive mantle reservoir....

  20. Reconstructing the Cenozoic evolution of the mantle: Implications for mantle plume dynamics under the Pacific and Indian plates (United States)

    Glišović, Petar; Forte, Alessandro M.


    The lack of knowledge of the initial thermal state of the mantle in the geological past is an outstanding problem in mantle convection. The resolution of this problem also requires the modelling of 3-D mantle evolution that yields maximum consistency with a wide suite of geophysical constraints. Quantifying the robustness of the reconstructed thermal evolution is another major concern. To solve and estimate the robustness of the time-reversed (inverse) problem of mantle convection, we analyse two different numerical techniques: the quasi-reversible (QRV) and the backward advection (BAD) methods. Our investigation extends over the 65 Myr interval encompassing the Cenozoic era using a pseudo-spectral solution for compressible-flow thermal convection in 3-D spherical geometry. We find that the two dominant issues for solving the inverse problem of mantle convection are the choice of horizontally-averaged temperature (i.e., geotherm) and mechanical surface boundary conditions. We find, in particular, that the inclusion of thermal boundary layers that yield Earth-like heat flux at the top and bottom of the mantle has a critical impact on the reconstruction of mantle evolution. We have developed a new regularisation scheme for the QRV method using a time-dependent regularisation function. This revised implementation of the QRV method delivers time-dependent reconstructions of mantle heterogeneity that reveal: (1) the stability of Pacific and African ‘large low shear velocity provinces’ (LLSVP) over the last 65 Myr; (2) strong upward deflections of the CMB topography at 65 Ma beneath: the North Atlantic, the south-central Pacific, the East Pacific Rise (EPR) and the eastern Antarctica; (3) an anchored deep-mantle plume ascending directly under the EPR (Easter and Pitcairn hotspots) throughout the Cenozoic era; and (4) the appearance of the transient Reunion plume head beneath the western edge of the Deccan Plateau at 65 Ma. Our reconstructions of Cenozoic mantle

  1. The influence of deep mantle heterogeneity on the rhythms and scales of surface topography evolution (United States)

    Arnould, Maëlis; Coltice, Nicolas; Flament, Nicolas


    Earth's surface, the interface between external processes and internal dynamics (lithosphere motions and mantle convection), is continuously reorganised. A large part of Earth's topography is generated by mantle motions and lithospheric stresses [1], which impacts for instance the global sea-level, the dynamics of sedimentary basins and the geoid. Studying how surface topography evolves in both space and time thus not only provides information on the rhythms and scales of evolution of those processes, but would also be a tool for the study of the mantle motions and properties from which it originates [2]. In this study, we propose to characterise the spatial and temporal scales of evolution of surface topography in 2D spherical annulus numerical models of mantle convection developing a plate-like behaviour. We use the geodynamical code StagYY [3] to first determine a mantle convection regime generating a surface topography with Earth-like amplitudes and realistic mantle dynamics at first order (e.g. high Rayleigh number, reasonable lithosphere thickness, pseudo-plastic lithosphere rheology generating plate tectonics). We then use this convection regime to investigate how the presence of stable deep-rooted thermochemical heterogeneities influence the rhythms of evolution of surface topography. We analyse our results to identify how the timescales of evolution are connected with the lengthscales of topography, in light of the tectonic histories produced by the models. References: [1] M. Gurnis, Long-term controls of eustatic and epeirogenic motions by mantle convection, GSA Today, 2(7):141-157, 1992. [2] B.H. Hager, R.W. Clayton, M.A. Richards, R.P. Comer, and A.M. Dziewonski, Lower mantle heterogeneity, dynamic topography and the geoid, Nature, 313:541-545, 1985. [3] J.W. Hernlund and P.J. Tackley, Modeling mantle convection in the spherical annulus, Phys. Earth Planet. Interiors, 171(1):48-54, 2008.

  2. An olivine-free mantle source of Hawaiian shield basalts. (United States)

    Sobolev, Alexander V; Hofmann, Albrecht W; Sobolev, Stephan V; Nikogosian, Igor K


    More than 50 per cent of the Earth's upper mantle consists of olivine and it is generally thought that mantle-derived melts are generated in equilibrium with this mineral. Here, however, we show that the unusually high nickel and silicon contents of most parental Hawaiian magmas are inconsistent with a deep olivine-bearing source, because this mineral together with pyroxene buffers both nickel and silicon at lower levels. This can be resolved if the olivine of the mantle peridotite is consumed by reaction with melts derived from recycled oceanic crust, to form a secondary pyroxenitic source. Our modelling shows that more than half of Hawaiian magmas formed during the past 1 Myr came from this source. In addition, we estimate that the proportion of recycled (oceanic) crust varies from 30 per cent near the plume centre to insignificant levels at the plume edge. These results are also consistent with volcano volumes, magma volume flux and seismological observations.

  3. Early mantle dynamics inferred from Nd-142 variations in Archean rocks from southwest Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rizo, Hanika; Boyet, Maud; Blichert-Toft, Janne


    The composition and evolution of the silicate Earth during Hadean/Eoarchean times are widely debated and largely unknown due to the sparse geological record preserved from Earth's infancy. The short-lived Sm-146-Nd-142 chronometer applied to 3.8-3.7 Ga old mantle-derived amphibolites from the Isu...... into the compositional evolution and dynamic workings of Earth's primordial mantle. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.......The composition and evolution of the silicate Earth during Hadean/Eoarchean times are widely debated and largely unknown due to the sparse geological record preserved from Earth's infancy. The short-lived Sm-146-Nd-142 chronometer applied to 3.8-3.7 Ga old mantle-derived amphibolites from the Isua...... of the Greenland samples from a source formed in the Hadean. This mantle source is the oldest yet identified on Earth and therefore provides key information about the nature and evolution of early-differentiated reservoirs. In contrast, modern mantle-derived rocks from around the world do not have Nd-142 anomalies...

  4. Theory of Earth (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.


    Earth is an isolated, cooling planet that obeys the 2nd law. Interior dynamics is driven from the top, by cold sinking slabs. High-resolution broad-band seismology and geodesy has confirmed that mantle flow is characterized by narrow downwellings and ~20 broad slowly rising updrafts. The low-velocity zone (LVZ) consists of a hot melange of sheared peridotite intruded with aligned melt-rich lamellae that are tapped by intraplate volcanoes. The high temperature is a simple consequence of the thermal overshoot common in large bodies of convecting fluids. The transition zone consists of ancient eclogite layers that are displaced upwards by slabs to become broad passive, and cool, ridge feeding updrafts of ambient mantle. The physics that is overlooked in canonical models of mantle dynamics and geochemistry includes; the 2nd law, convective overshoots, subadiabaticity, wave-melt interactions, Archimedes' principle, and kinetics (rapid transitions allow stress-waves to interact with melting and phase changes, creating LVZs; sluggish transitions in cold slabs keep eclogite in the TZ where it warms up by extracting heat from mantle below 650 km, creating the appearance of slab penetration). Canonical chemical geodynamic models are the exact opposite of physics and thermodynamic based models and of the real Earth. A model that results from inverting the assumptions regarding initial and boundary conditions (hot origin, secular cooling, no external power sources, cooling internal boundaries, broad passive upwellings, adiabaticity and whole-mantle convection not imposed, layering and self-organization allowed) results in a thick refractory-yet-fertile surface layer, with ancient xenoliths and cratons at the top and a hot overshoot at the base, and a thin mobile D" layer that is an unlikely plume generation zone. Accounting for the physics that is overlooked, or violated (2nd law), in canonical models, plus modern seismology, undermines the assumptions and conclusions of these

  5. Correlation between mobile continents and elevated temperatures in the subcontinental mantle (United States)

    Jain, Charitra; Rozel, Antoine; Tackley, Paul


    Rolf et al. (EPSL, 2012) and Coltice et al. (Science, 2012) have previously shown that continents exert a first order influence on Earth's mantle flow by affecting convective wavelength and surface heat flow. With stationary continents, Heron and Lowman (JGR, 2014) highlighted the decreasing role of continental insulation on subcontinental temperatures with higher Rayleigh number (Ra). However, the question whether there exists a correlation between mobile continents and elevated temperatures in the subcontinental mantle or not remains to be answered. By systematically varying parameters like core-mantle boundary (CMB) temperature, continental size, and mantle heating modes (basal and internal); we model thermo-chemical mantle convection with 2D spherical annulus geometry (Hernlund and Tackley, PEPI 2008) using StagYY (Tackley, PEPI 2008). Starting with a simple incompressible model having mobile continents, we observe this correlation. Furthermore, this correlation still holds when the model complexity is gradually increased by introducing internal heating, compressibility, and melting. In general, downwellings reduce the mantle temperature away from the continents, thereby resulting in correlation between mobile continents and elevated temperatures in the subcontinental mantle. For incompressible models (Boussinesq approximation), correlation exists and the dominant degree of convection varies with the continental distribution. When internal heating is switched on, correlation is observed but it is reduced as there are less cold regions in the mantle. Even for compressible models with melting, big continents are able to focus the heat underneath them. The dominant degree of convection changes with continental breakup. Additionally, correlation is observed to be higher in the upper mantle (300 - 1000 km) compared to the lower mantle (1000 - 2890 km). At present, mobile continents in StagYY are simplified into a compositionally distinct field drifting at the top of

  6. Long-term preservation of early formed mantle heterogeneity by mobile lid convection: Importance of grainsize evolution (United States)

    Foley, Bradford J.; Rizo, Hanika


    The style of tectonics on the Hadean and Archean Earth, particularly whether plate tectonics was in operation or not, is debated. One important, albeit indirect, constraint on early Earth tectonics comes from observations of early-formed geochemical heterogeneities: 142Nd and 182W anomalies recorded in Hadean to Phanerozoic rocks from different localities indicate that chemically heterogeneous reservoirs, formed during the first ∼500 Myrs of Earth's history, survived their remixing into the mantle for over 1 Gyrs. Such a long mixing time is difficult to explain because hotter mantle temperatures, expected for the early Earth, act to lower mantle viscosity and increase convective vigor. Previous studies found that mobile lid convection typically erases heterogeneity within ∼100 Myrs under such conditions, leading to the hypothesis that stagnant lid convection on the early Earth was responsible for the observed long mixing times. However, using two-dimensional Cartesian convection models that include grainsize evolution, we find that mobile lid convection can preserve heterogeneity at high mantle temperature conditions for much longer than previously thought, because higher mantle temperatures lead to larger grainsizes in the lithosphere. These larger grainsizes result in stronger plate boundaries that act to slow down surface and interior convective motions, in competition with the direct effect temperature has on mantle viscosity. Our models indicate that mobile lid convection can preserve heterogeneity for ≈0.4-1 Gyrs at early Earth mantle temperatures when the initial heterogeneity has the same viscosity as the background mantle, and ≈1-4 Gyrs when the heterogeneity is ten times more viscous than the background mantle. Thus, stagnant lid convection is not required to explain long-term survival of early formed geochemical heterogeneities, though these heterogeneities having an elevated viscosity compared to the surrounding mantle may be essential for their

  7. Anatomy of mantle plumes: hot heads and cold stems (United States)

    Davaille, A. B.; Kumagai, I.; Vatteville, J.; Touitou, F.; Brandeis, G.


    Recent petrological studies show evidences for secular cooling in mantle plumes: the source temperature of oceanic plateaus could be 100°C hotter than the source temperature of volcanic island chains (Herzberg and Gazel, Nature, 2009). In terms of mantle plumes, it would mean that the temperature of the plume head is hotter than that of the plume stem. This is at odd with a model where a plume head would entrain so much ambient mantle on its journey towards the Earth's surface that it would end up being considerably colder than its narrow stem. So we revisited the problem using laboratory experiments and new visualization techniques to measure in situ simultaneously the temperature, velocity and composition fields. At time t=0, a hot instability is created by heating a patch of a given radius at constant power or constant temperature. The fluids are mixtures of sugar syrups , with a strongly temperature-dependent viscosity, and salt. Rayleigh numbers were varied from 104 to 108, viscosity ratios between 1.8 and 4000, and buoyancy ratios between 0 and 2. After a stage where heat transport is by conduction only, the hot fluid gathers in a sphere and begins to rise, followed by a stem anchored on the hot patch. In all cases, temperatures in the head start with higher values than in the subsequent stem. This is also the case for the thermal instabilities rising from a infinite plate heated uniformly. However, the head also cools faster than the stem as they rise, so that they will eventually have the same temperature if the mantle is deep enough. Moreover, all the material sampled by partial melting in the plume head or stem would be coming from the heated area around the deep source, and very little entrainment from the ambient mantle is predicted. The difference in temperature between head and stem strongly depends on the mantle depth, the viscosity ratio and the buoyancy ratio. Our scaling laws predict that Earth's mantle plumes can indeed have hot heads and colder

  8. Was core formation violent enough to homogenize the early mantle? (United States)

    Cooperman, S. A.; Kaula, W. M.


    The dynamics of iron, its thermal state and its phase in the accreting Earth probably played a major role in the Earth's early thermal evolution. Plausible impact thermal histories make it possible that pure iron was molten in the accreting Earth after it was about 10% grown. Hence, iron eutectic alloys (FeS, FeO) certainly were. Additionally, the initial temperature of the core is an important constraint on the secular cooling of the early Earth and on the strength of the early geodynamo. Whether iron is solid or molten would influence geochemical equilibria in the upper and lower mantle; the mode of core formation, by spherical or near-spherical blobs, stalk-like instabilities, or something more catastrophic would influence the partitioning of siderophiles between silicate and iron phases. Early descent of iron (during accretion) favors partitioning according to low-pressure phase equilibria, whereas late descent favors higher pressure. The later core formation occurs, the greater the heat pulse, due to the strong dependence of gravitational potential energy on planetary radius. The heat may homogenize the mantle if core formation is global; otherwise, heterogeneity of iron differentiation may leave some of the pre-archean mantle unaffected. The larger the chunks of proto-core (and hence smaller surface/volume ratios) the greater the heterogeneity.

  9. The Nitrogen Budget of Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Johnson, Ben


    We comprehensively compile and review N content in geologic materials to calculate a new N budget for Earth. Using analyses of rocks and minerals in conjunction with N-Ar geochemistry demonstrates that the Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE) contains \\sim7\\pm4 times present atmospheric N (4\\times10^18 kg N, PAN), with 27\\pm16\\times10^18 kg N. Comparison to chondritic composition, after subtracting N sequestered into the core, yields a consistent result, with BSE N between 17\\pm13\\times10^18 kg to 31\\pm24\\times10^18 kg N. In the chondritic comparison we calculate a N mass in Earth's core (180\\pm110 to 300\\pm180\\times10^18 kg) and discuss the Moon as a proxy for the early mantle. Significantly, we find the majority of the planetary budget of N is in the solid Earth. The N estimate herein precludes the need for a "missing N" reservoir. Nitrogen-Ar systematics in mantle rocks and basalts identify two mantle reservoirs: MORB-source like (MSL) and high-N. High-N mantle is composed of young, N-rich material subducted from the...

  10. Rotation and Magnetism of Earth's Inner Core (United States)

    Glatzmaier; Roberts


    Three-dimensional numerical simulations of the geodynamo suggest that a super- rotation of Earth's solid inner core relative to the mantle is maintained by magnetic coupling between the inner core and an eastward thermal wind in the fluid outer core. This mechanism, which is analogous to a synchronous motor, also plays a fundamental role in the generation of Earth's magnetic field.

  11. Laboratory-based electrical conductivity at Martian mantle conditions (United States)

    Verhoeven, Olivier; Vacher, Pierre


    Information on temperature and composition of planetary mantles can be obtained from electrical conductivity profiles derived from induced magnetic field analysis. This requires a modeling of the conductivity for each mineral phase at conditions relevant to planetary interiors. Interpretation of iron-rich Martian mantle conductivity profile therefore requires a careful modeling of the conductivity of iron-bearing minerals. In this paper, we show that conduction mechanism called small polaron is the dominant conduction mechanism at temperature, water and iron content conditions relevant to Mars mantle. We then review the different measurements performed on mineral phases with various iron content. We show that, for all measurements of mineral conductivity reported so far, the effect of iron content on the activation energy governing the exponential decrease in the Arrhenius law can be modeled as the cubic square root of the iron content. We recast all laboratory results on a common generalized Arrhenius law for iron-bearing minerals, anchored on Earth's mantle values. We then use this modeling to compute a new synthetic profile of Martian mantle electrical conductivity. This new profile matches perfectly, in the depth range [100,1000] km, the electrical conductivity profile recently derived from the study of Mars Global Surveyor magnetic field measurements.

  12. Geochemical heterogeneity in the Arctic mantle at Gakkel Ridge (United States)

    D'Errico, M. E.; Warren, J. M.; Godard, M.


    Conductive cooling due to ultraslow spreading has been suggested to limit partial melting of the mantle and crustal production at Gakkel Ridge. In addition, the thick lithosphere induced by cooling should significantly control melt migration and extraction. To explore these effects at ultraslow spreading rates, major and trace element concentrations in pyroxene minerals are presented for 14 dredged Gakkel abyssal peridotites. Samples from the same dredge and among dredges reveal wide compositional variation. Trace element compositions of lherzolites reflect 4-6% non-modal fractional mantle melting. However, these high degrees of melting without a corresponding amount of oceanic crust suggest the occurrence of infertile mantle due to ancient melting event(s). In addition, high degrees of melt depletion at short length-scales (earth elements that can be fit by 6 to ≥13% non-modal melting, but this results in modeled light rare earth element contents that are too low relative to observed concentrations. Instead, harzburgite trace element patterns require open-system melting involving interaction with a percolating melt. Extreme enrichments in highly incompatible elements also suggest the occurrence of late-stage refertilization and melt entrapment. Modeling of several different source melt compositions indicates that the trapped melt was generated from garnet field-equilibrated peridotite. Overall, the compositional variability in Gakkel peridotite samples reflects a heterogeneous mantle resulting from inherited depletion and recent melt percolation and entrapment.

  13. Modeling the effect of water on mantle rheology (United States)

    Bounama, CH.; Franck, S.


    To study the thermal history of the Earth we use a parameterized model of mantle convection. This model includes a mathematical description of de- and regassing processes of water from the Earth's mantle. The rates of this processes are considered to be directly proportional to the seafloor spreading rate. The kinematic viscosity of the mantle depends on the temperature/pressure as well as on the volatile content. Dissolved volatiles such as water weaken the minerals by reducing their activation energy for solid state creep. Karato and Toriumi showed a power law dependence between creep rate and water fugacity derived from experimental results. Therefore, we use such flow parameters of diffusion creep in olivine under wet and dry conditions to calculate the mantle viscosity as a function of the water content. Because the creep rate is proportional to the concentration of water-related point deflects we assume that the water fugacity is proportional to the water weight fraction. An equation for the steady-state strain rate under wet conditions is established. To assess the unknown constant K in this equation, we use flow law parameters given by Karato and Wu as well as the results of McGovern and Schubert.

  14. Nd-isotopes in selected mantle-derived rocks and minerals and their implications for mantle evolution (United States)

    Basu, A.R.; Tatsumoto, M.


    The Sm-Nd systematics in a variety of mantle-derived samples including kimberlites, alnoite, carbonatite, pyroxene and amphibole inclusions in alkali basalts and xenolithic eclogites, granulites and a pyroxene megacryst in kimberlites are reported. The additional data on kimberlites strengthen our earlier conclusion that kimberlites are derived from a relatively undifferentiated chondritic mantle source. This conclusion is based on the observation that the e{open}Nd values of most of the kimberlites are near zero. In contrast with the kimberlites, their garnet lherzolite inclusions show both time-averaged Nd enrichment and depletion with respect to Sm. Separated clinopyroxenes in eclogite xenoliths from the Roberts Victor kimberlite pipe show both positive and negative e{open}Nd values suggesting different genetic history. A whole rock lower crustal scapolite granulite xenolith from the Matsoku kimberlite pipe shows a negative e{open}Nd value of -4.2, possibly representative of the base of the crust in Lesotho. It appears that all inclusions, mafic and ultramafic, in kimberlites are unrelated to their kimberlite host. The above data and additional Sm-Nd data on xenoliths in alkali basalts, alpine peridotite and alnoite-carbonatites are used to construct a model for the upper 200 km of the earth's mantle - both oceanic and continental. The essential feature of this model is the increasing degree of fertility of the mantle with depth. The kimberlite's source at depths below 200 km in the subcontinental mantle is the most primitive in this model, and this primitive layer is also extended to the suboceanic mantle. However, it is clear from the Nd-isotopic data in the xenoliths of the continental kimberlites that above 200 km the continental mantle is distinctly different from their suboceanic counterpart. ?? 1980 Springer-Verlag.

  15. Tomography of core-mantle boundary and lowermost mantle coupled by geodynamics: joint models of shear and compressional velocity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Soldati


    Full Text Available We conduct joint tomographic inversions of P and S travel time observations to obtain models of delta v_P  and delta v_S in the entire mantle. We adopt a recently published method which takes into account the geodynamic coupling between mantle heterogeneity and core-mantle boundary (CMB topography by viscous flow, where sensitivity of the seismic travel times to the CMB is accounted for implicitly in the inversion (i.e. the CMB topography is not explicitly inverted for. The seismic maps of the Earth's mantle and CMB topography that we derive can explain the inverted seismic data while being physically consistent with each other. The approach involved scaling P-wave velocity (more sensitive to the CMB to density anomalies, in the assumption that mantle heterogeneity has a purely thermal origin, so that velocity and density heterogeneity are proportional to one another. On the other hand, it has sometimes been suggested that S-wave velocity might be more directly sensitive to temperature, while P heterogeneity is more strongly influenced by chemical composition. In the present study, we use only S-, and not P-velocity, to estimate density heterogeneity through linear scaling, and hence the sensitivity of core-reflected P phases to mantle structure. Regardless of whether density is more closely related to P- or S-velocity, we think it is worthwhile to explore both scaling approaches in our efforts to explain seismic data. The similarity of the results presented in this study to those obtained by scaling P-velocity to density suggests that compositional anomaly has a limited impact on viscous flow in the deep mantle.

  16. Simple scaling relations in geodynamics:the role of pressure in mantle convection and plume formation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Don L. Anderson


    Scaling relations are important in extrapolating laboratory experiments to the Earth's mantle. In planetary interiors, compression becomes an important parameter and it is useful to explore scalings that involve volume. I use simple volume scaling relations that allow one to extrapolate laboratory experiments and upper mantle behavior, in a thermodynamically self-consistent way, to predict lower mantle behavior. The relations are similar to the quasi- harmonic approximation. Slabs and plates have characteristic dimensions of hundreds of kilometers and time constants of 100 million years, but the volume scalings predict order of magnitude higher values in the deep mantle. The scaling relations imply that the deep mantle is a sluggish system with ancient features. They imply irreversible chemical stratification and do not favor the plume hypothesis.

  17. Ore deposits in Africa and their relation to the underlying mantle (United States)

    Liu, H.-S.


    African magmatism is largely related to the tensional stress regimes of the crust which are induced by the hotter upwelling mantle rocks. These mantle rocks may provide emanating forces and thermal energy for the upward movements of primary ore bodies with fluid inclusions in the tensional stress regimes of the crust. In this paper, the Goddard Earth Gravity Model is used to calculate a detailed subcrustal stress system exerted by mantle convection under Africa. The resulting system is found to be correlated with the African metallogenic provinces. Recognition of the full spectrum of ore deposits in Africa that may be associated with the hotter upwelling mantle rocks has provided an independent evidence to support the hypothesis of mantle-derived heat source for ore deposits.

  18. Electrical conductivity of the lowermost mantle explains absorption of core torsional waves at the equator

    CERN Document Server

    Schaeffer, Nathanaël


    Torsional Alfv{\\'e}n waves propagating in the Earth's core have been inferred by inversion techniques applied to geomagnetic models. They appear to propagate across the core but vanish at the equator, exchanging angular momentum between core and mantle. Assuming axial symmetry, we find that an electrically conducting layer at the bottom of the mantle can lead to total absorption of torsional waves that reach the equator. We show that the reflection coefficient depends on G Br , where Br is the strength of the radial magnetic field at the equator, and G the conductance of the lower mantle there. With Br = 7e-4 T., torsional waves are completely absorbed when they hit the equator if G = 1.3e8 S. For larger or smaller G, reflection occurs. As G is increased above this critical value, there is less attenuation and more angular momentum exchange. Our finding dissociates efficient core-mantle coupling from strong ohmic dissipation in the mantle.

  19. The effects of phase boundary induced layering on the Earth's thermal history (United States)

    Butler, S. L.


    The convective Urey ratio is equal to the instantaneous heating generated in the Earth's mantle by radioactive decay divided by the contribution of convection in Earth's mantle to Earth's surface heat flow. The measured heat flow at the Earth's surface as well as geochemical models for radioactive abundances give relatively low modern-day convective Urey ratios of roughly 0.4 while early parameterized modelling studies that treated the internal heating rate as a free parameter indicated relatively high modern-day Urey ratios of at least 0.6. Seismic tomographic images of subducting slabs and numerical simulations of convection in Earth's mantle indicate that convection is partially layered by the endothermic phase transition at 660-km depth in the mantle. In numerical simulations, the 660-km depth phase transition also leads to increased time-dependence of the mantle flow and mantle `avalanches'. Incomplete layering has been proposed as a mechanism that could store heat in Earth's lower mantle early in Earth's evolution and release it at later times when the degree of layering decreases thus allowing for the modern-day surface heat flow with a relatively low internal heating rate. In this contribution, the Earth's thermal history is simulated using both dynamic models of mantle circulation that include the effects of the mantle phase transitions and parametrized models of mantle heat transfer. In particular, we will show that for dynamic models with Earth-like parameters describing the 660-km-depth phase boundary that, although the mass flux at 660-km depth is partially impeded and avalanching takes place, the long-term evolution of the surface heat flow is very similar to models with no phase boundary induced layering and hence incomplete mantle layering is not a likely solution of the mantle heat flow paradox.

  20. Cosmochemical Estimates of Mantle Composition (United States)

    Palme, H.; O'Neill, H. St. C.


    In 1794 the German physicist Chladni published a small book in which he suggested the extraterrestrial origin of meteorites. The response was skepticism and disbelief. Only after additional witnessed falls of meteorites did scientists begin to consider Chladni's hypothesis seriously. The first chemical analyses of meteorites were published by the English chemist Howard in 1802, and shortly afterwards by Klaproth, a professor of chemistry in Berlin. These early investigations led to the important conclusion that meteorites contained the same elements that were known from analyses of terrestrial rocks. By the year 1850, 18 elements had been identified in meteorites: carbon, oxygen, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, phosphorous, sulfur, potassium, calcium, titanium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, and tin (Burke, 1986). A popular hypothesis, which arose after the discovery of the first asteroid Ceres on January 1, 1801 by Piazzi, held that meteorites came from a single disrupted planet between Mars and Jupiter. In 1847 the French geologist Boisse (1810-1896) proposed an elaborate model that attempted to account for all known types of meteorites from a single planet. He envisioned a planet with layers in sequence of decreasing densities from the center to the surface. The core of the planet consisted of metallic iron surrounded by a mixed iron-olivine zone. The region overlying the core contained material similar to stony meteorites with ferromagnesian silicates and disseminated grains of metal gradually extending into shallower layers with aluminous silicates and less iron. The uppermost layer consisted of metal-free stony meteorites, i.e., eucrites or meteoritic basalts. About 20 years later, Daubrée (1814-1896) carried out experiments by melting and cooling meteorites. On the basis of his results, he came to similar conclusions as Boisse, namely that meteorites come from a single, differentiated planet with a metal core, a silicate mantle

  1. Compressibility of water in magma and the prediction of density crossovers in mantle differentiation. (United States)

    Agee, Carl B


    Hydrous silicate melts appear to have greater compressibility relative to anhydrous melts of the same composition at low pressures (planetary differentiation. From these compression curves, crystal-liquid density crossovers are predicted for the mantles of the Earth and Mars. For the Earth, trapped dense hydrous melts may reside atop the 410km discontinuity, and, although not required to be hydrous, atop the core-mantle boundary (CMB), in accord with seismic observations of low-velocity zones in these regions. For Mars, a density crossover at the base of the upper mantle is predicted, which would produce a low-velocity zone at a depth of approximately 1200km. If perovskite is stable at the base of the Martian mantle, then density crossovers or trapped dense hydrous melts are unlikely to reside there, and long-lived, melt-induced, low-velocity regions atop the CMB are not predicted.

  2. How Depleted is the MORB mantle? (United States)

    Hofmann, A. W.; Hart, S. R.


    Knowledge of the degree of mantle depletion of highly incompatible elements is critically important for assessing Earth's internal heat production and Urey number. Current views of the degree of MORB source depletion are dominated by Salters and Stracke (2004), and Workman and Hart (2005). The first is based on an assessment of average MORB compositions, whereas the second considers trace element data of oceanic peridotites. Both require an independent determination of one absolute concentration, Lu (Salters & Stracke), or Nd (Workman & Hart). Both use parent-daughter ratios Lu/Hf, Sm/Nd, and Rb/Sr calculated from MORB isotopes combined with continental-crust extraction models, as well as "canonical" trace element ratios, to boot-strap the full range of trace element abundances. We show that the single most important factor in determining the ultimate degree of incompatible element depletion in the MORB source lies in the assumptions about the timing of continent extraction, exemplified by continuous extraction versus simple two-stage models. Continued crust extraction generates additional, recent mantle depletion, without affecting the isotopic composition of the residual mantle significantly. Previous emphasis on chemical compositions of MORB and/or peridotites has tended to obscure this. We will explore the effect of different continent extraction models on the degree of U, Th, and K depletion in the MORB source. Given the uncertainties of the two most popular models, the uncertainties of U and Th in DMM are at least ±50%, and this impacts the constraints on the terrestrial Urey ratio. Salters, F.J.M. and Stracke, A., 2004, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 5, Q05004. Workman, R.K. and Hart, S.R., 2005, EPSL 231, 53-72.

  3. Trans-Pacific whole mantle structure (United States)

    Liu, Lijun; Tan, Ying; Sun, Daoyuan; Chen, Min; Helmberger, Don


    Recent reports on modeling USArray data reveal mostly vertical microplates with little resemblance to preliminary reference Earth model (PREM). Such complexity at plate boundaries makes it difficult to form reliable images of ocean basins using global paths. Here, we report on modeling stacked seismograms obtained from the first broadband array (TriNet) situated on the edge of the Pacific Plate, southern California, with no major subduction zone blocking its view. Extended records, including multi-S and ScS waves up to four bounces from 18 Tonga-Fiji deep events (140 to 620 km) are analyzed to check the validity of existing models and derive the whole mantle shear velocity structure along this corridor. Synthetics generated from 3-D tomographic models do not fit the upper mantle triplication data or the mantle reverberations associated with the ScS multiples as well as the 1-D model PAC06. We construct a hybrid model (HPAC), which remains one dimensional down to 800 km (PAC06). The lower portion of HPAC is essentially the tomography model S20RTS with velocity variation inflated by a factor of 2 for the lowermost 600 km. Thus, the mid-Pacific large low shear velocity province (LLSVP) has a lower shear velocity of about 2% relative to PREM and extends into the midmantle, similar to that beneath South Africa. Moreover, rapid changes in the differential (ScS-S) and (ScS2-S) times as a function of distance suggest ultra low velocity zones near the eastern edge and under the LLSVP, again similar to that found beneath Africa.

  4. Is there seismic attenuation in the mantle? (United States)

    Ricard, Y.; Durand, S.; Montagner, J.-P.; Chambat, F.


    The small scale heterogeneity of the mantle is mostly due to the mixing of petrological heterogeneities by a smooth but chaotic convection and should consist in a laminated structure (marble cake) with a power spectrum S(k) varying as 1/k, where k is the wavenumber of the anomalies. This distribution of heterogeneities during convective stirring with negligible diffusion, called Batchelor regime is documented by fluid dynamic experiments and corresponds to what can be inferred from geochemistry and seismic tomography. This laminated structure imposes density, seismic velocity and potentially, anisotropic heterogeneities with similar 1/k spectra. A seismic wave of wavenumber k0 crossing such a medium is partly reflected by the heterogeneities and we show that the scattered energy is proportional to k0S(2k0). The reduction of energy for the propagating wave appears therefore equivalent to a quality factor 1/Q∝k0S(2k0). With the specific 1/k spectrum of the mantle, the resulting apparent attenuation should therefore be frequency independent. We show that the total contribution of 6-9% RMS density, velocity and anisotropy would explain the observed S and P attenuation of the mantle. Although these values are large, they are not unreasonable and we discuss how they depend on the range of frequencies over which the attenuation is explained. If such a level of heterogeneity were present, most of the attenuation of the Earth would be due to small scale scattering by laminations, not by intrinsic dissipation. Intrinsic dissipation must certainly exist but might correspond to a larger, yet unobserved Q. This provocative result would explain the very weak frequency dependence of the attenuation, and the fact that bulk attenuation seems negligible, two observations that have been difficult to explain for 50 years.

  5. Sizes of mantle heteogeneities and seismic attenuation (United States)

    Ricard, Y. R.; durand, S.; Chambat, F.; Montagner, J.


    The small scale heterogeneity of the mantle, being mostly due to the mixing of petrological heterogeneities by a smooth but chaotic convection should consist in a laminated structure (marble cake) with a power spectrum S(k) varying as 1/k, where k is the wavenumber of the anomalies. This distribution of heterogeneities during convective stirring with negligible diffusion, called Batchelor regime is documented by fluid dynamic experiments and corresponds to what can be inferred from geochemistry and seismic tomography. This laminated structure imposes density, seismic velocity and potentially, anisotropic heterogeneities with similar 1/k spectrums. We show that a seismic wave of wavenumber k_0 crossing such medium is partly reflected by the heterogeneities and the scattered energy has an energy found proportional to k_0 S(2k_0). The reduction of energy for the propagating wave appears therefore equivalent to a quality factor 1/Q proportional to k_0 S(2k_0). With the specific 1/k spectrum of the mantle, the resulting apparent attenuation should therefore be frequency independent. We show that the total contribution of 6-9% RMS density, velocity and anisotropy would explain the observed S and P attenuation of the mantle. Although these values are large there are not unreasonable and we discuss how they are likely overestimated. In this case, most of the attenuation of the Earth would be due to small scale scattering by laminations not by intrinsic dissipation. Intrinsic dissipation must certainly exists but might correspond to a larger, yet unobserved Q. This provocative result would explain the observed very weak frequency dependence of the attenuation, and the fact that bulk attenuation seems negligeable, two observations that have been difficult to explain for 50 years.

  6. The mantle transition zone and the upper mantle in Central-Eastern Greenland (United States)

    Anja Kraft, Helene; Thybo, Hans; Vinnik, Lev


    We present a receiver function (RF) study of the mantle transition zone (MTZ) and upper mantle in central-eastern Greenland. Our results are based on data from 18 temporary broad-band seismometers and 5 additional stations from the GLISN and GLATIS networks. The stations were operating in the region between Scoresby Sund and Summit (~ 70 ° N) with half of them installed on ice, the other half on bedrock. For our analysis we calculated low frequency PRF and SRF, which use the difference in travel times between converted and not converted phases at discontinuities. We see clear signals from P410s and P660s in most of our PRF and from S410p in the SRF. Their delay times suggest a surprisingly thin MTZ for most parts of the study area with up to 25 km of thinning compared to standard Earth models. The only exception is a small region in the centre of the study area, which shows times close to standard. It is mainly the delay time for P410s, that varies, while P660s is stable throughout our study area. This indicates, that the thinning of the MTZ is mainly due to topography on the 410-discontinuity. We furthermore observe an M-shaped signal for P410s at stations in the western part around Summit. A similar, complicated signal has been observed previously in different settings and is interpreted as a thin low velocity layer between 410 km and 520 km. In addition we jointly inverted the PRF and SRF for upper mantle velocities. These results show velocities slower than IASP91 for the entire study area. Both the low velocities in the upper mantle and the thinning of the MTZ are in contrary to simple models of old continental shields and might indicate a fairly recent heating event.

  7. The Current Energetics of Earth's Interior: A Gravitational Energy Perspective (United States)

    Morgan, Jason; Rüpke, Lars; White, William


    The Earth's mantle convects to lose heat (Holmes, 1931); doing so drives plate tectonics (Turcotte and Oxburgh, 1967). Significant gravitational energy is created by the cooling of oceanic lithosphere atop hotter, less dense mantle. When slabs subduct, this gravitational energy is mostly (~86% for whole mantle flow in a PREM-like mantle) transformed into heat by viscous dissipation. Using this perspective, we reassess the energetics of Earth's mantle. We also reconsider the terrestrial abundances of heat producing elements U, Th, and K, and argue they are lower than previously considered and that consequently the heat produced by radioactive decay within the mantle is comparable to the present-day potential gravitational energy release by subducting slabs — both are roughly ~10-12 TW. We reassess possible core heat flow into the base of the mantle, and determine that the core may be still losing a significant amount of heat from its original formation, potentially more than the radioactive heat generation within the mantle. These factors are all likely to be important for Earth's current energetics, and argue that strong plume-driven upwelling is likely to exist within the convecting mantle.

  8. Redox conditions for mantle plumes (United States)

    Heister, L. E.; Lesher, C. E.


    The vanadium to scandium ratio (V/Sc) for basalts from mid-ocean ridge (MOR) and arc environments has been proposed as a proxy for fO2 conditions during partial melting (e.g. [1] and [2]). Contrary to barometric measurements of the fO2 of primitive lavas, the V/Sc ratio of the upper mantle at mid-ocean ridges and arcs is similar, leading previous authors to propose that the upper mantle has uniform redox potential and is well-buffered. We have attempted to broaden the applicability of the V/Sc parameter to plume-influenced localities (both oceanic and continental), where mantle heterogeneities associated with recycled sediments, mafic crust, and metasomatized mantle, whether of shallow or deep origin, exist. We find that primitive basalts from the North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP), Hawaii (both the Loa and Kea trends), Deccan, Columbia River, and Siberian Traps show a range of V/Sc ratios that are generally higher (average ~9) than those for MOR (average ~ 6.7) or arc (average ~7) lavas. Based on forward polybaric decompression modeling, we attribute these differences to polybaric melting and melt segregation within the garnet stability field rather than the presence of a more oxidized mantle in plume-influenced settings. Like MORB, the V/Sc ratios for plume-influenced basalts can be accounted for by an oxidation state approximately one log unit below the Ni-NiO buffer (NNO-1). Our analysis suggests that source heterogeneities have little, if any, resolvable influence on mantle redox conditions, although they have significant influence on the trace element and isotopic composition of mantle-derived melts. We suggest that variations in the redox of erupted lavas is largely a function of shallow lithospheric processes rather than intrinsic to the mantle source, regardless of tectonic setting. [1] Li and Lee (2004) EPSL, [2] Lee et al. (2005) J. of Petrology

  9. The seismic anisotropy of the crustal and mantle medium of the Earth interior and its dynamical response%地球内部壳幔介质地震各向异性与动力学响应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    滕吉文; 张永谦; 阮小敏; 胡国泽; 闫雅芬


    The earth interior is so complex that it is impossible to describe it in a simple model, because its structure and property are inhomogeneous, nonlinear and anisotropic. The tectonic frame, lithology, and structural characteristics (such as fractures, broken belts, caves with various scales and irregular geometry) are all very complex in the exploring metal mineral, energy and the research of the structure and tectonics of the earth interior. Hence, much more attention has been paid to the anisotropy of the medium underground based on the deepen research in mountain formation, basin formation, mineral formation, rock formation and disaster formation. According to the research of physical properties of medium structure and seismic wave propagation theory, the seismic anisotropy is formed because of the existence of the preferred orientation of rocks, minerals, and crystal lattice, variation of the stress field, tectonic fractures and the substance movement in the deep earth. In this paper, the problems in the development, especially in the application of seismic anisotropy were raised based on the analysis of the main content of the 14 IWSAs in the world. On the basis of research on the properties of the earth interior, we discussed relationships between the splitting of S waves, polarization effect, structure division and tectonic activities, exploration in oil and gas fields, deep process and dynamical response of the fine tectonics and earthquake activity areas (belts). At last, the effects and tasks of seismic anisotropy in the development of geophysics were raised.%实际的地球介质十分复杂,远非当今人们所采用的理想模型可以概括,因为其属性和结构的变异是非均匀、非线性和各向异性的.在研究地球内部壳幔介质与结构、构造与属性差异、金属矿产资源和油、气、煤能源的勘查中,无论是区域构造格局、岩相和结构特征(如裂缝、破碎带、不同尺度的洞穴以及一些不

  10. SH-wave propagation in the whole mantle using high-order finite differences


    H. Igel; Michael Weber;  


    Finite-difference approximations to the wave equation in spherical coordinates are used to calculate synthetic seismograms for global Earth models. High-order finite-difference (FD) schemes were employed to obtain accurate waveforms and arrival times. Application to SH-wave propagation in the mantle shows that multiple reflections from the core-mantle boundary (CMB), with travel times of about one hour, can be modeled successfully. FD techniques, which are applicable in generally heterogeneou...

  11. Water pumping in mantle shear zones (United States)

    Précigout, Jacques; Prigent, Cécile; Palasse, Laurie; Pochon, Anthony


    Water plays an important role in geological processes. Providing constraints on what may influence the distribution of aqueous fluids is thus crucial to understanding how water impacts Earth's geodynamics. Here we demonstrate that ductile flow exerts a dynamic control on water-rich fluid circulation in mantle shear zones. Based on amphibole distribution and using dislocation slip-systems as a proxy for syn-tectonic water content in olivine, we highlight fluid accumulation around fine-grained layers dominated by grain-size-sensitive creep. This fluid aggregation correlates with dislocation creep-accommodated strain that localizes in water-rich layers. We also give evidence of cracking induced by fluid pressure where the highest amount of water is expected. These results emphasize long-term fluid pumping attributed to creep cavitation and associated phase nucleation during grain size reduction. Considering the ubiquitous process of grain size reduction during strain localization, our findings shed light on multiple fluid reservoirs in the crust and mantle.

  12. Towards a Global Upper Mantle Attenuation Model (United States)

    Karaoglu, Haydar; Romanowicz, Barbara


    Global anelastic tomography is crucial for addressing the nature of heterogeneity in the Earth's interior. The intrinsic attenuation manifests itself through dispersion and amplitude decay. These are contaminated by elastic effects such as (de)focusing and scattering. Therefore, mapping anelasticity accurately requires separation of elastic effects from the anelastic ones. To achieve this, a possible approach is to try and first predict elastic effects through the computation of seismic waveforms in a high resolution 3D elastic model, which can now be achieved accurately using numerical wavefield computations. Building upon the recent construction of such a whole mantle elastic and radially anisotropic shear velocity model (SEMUCB_WM1, French and Romanowicz, 2014), which will be used as starting model, our goal is to develop a higher resolution 3D attenuation model of the upper mantle based on full waveform inversion. As in the development of SEMUCB_WM1, forward modeling will be performed using the spectral element method, while the inverse problem will be treated approximately, using normal mode asymptotics. Both fundamental and overtone time domain long period waveforms (T>60s) will be used from a dataset of over 200 events observed at several hundred stations globally. Here we present preliminary results of synthetic tests, exploring different iterative inversion strategies.

  13. Dynamics of Pre-3 Ga Crust-Mantle Evolution (United States)

    Patchett, P. J.; Chase, C. G.; Vervoort, J. D.


    During 3.0 to 2.7 Ga, the Earth's crust underwent a non-uniformitarian change from a pre-3.0 Ga environment where long-term preservation of cratons was rare and difficult, to post-2.7 Ga conditions where cratons were established and new continental crust generation took place largely at craton margins. Many models view the Earth's surface during pre-3 Ga time as broadly equivalent to the post 2.7 Ga regime. Any such uniformitarian or gradual evolution cannot explain the conundrum that only a tiny amount of pre-3 Ga crust is preserved today coupled with the fact that very little pre-3 Ga crust was incorporated into the large amount of new craton that came into existence during 3.0-2.7 Ga. If large volumes of pre-3 Ga continental crust existed, it disappeared either just prior to 3 Ga, or during 3.0-2.7 Ga. To explain sudden appearance of surviving but dominantly juvenile continental crust in a model where continents were large prior to 3 Ga, it would be necessary either that pre-3 Ga continent was recycled into the mantle at sites systematically different from those where new 3.0-2.7 Ga crust was made, or that widespread continent destruction preceded the 3.0-2.7 Ga crustal genesis. From expected mantle overturn in response to the heat budget, it is likely that most pre-3 Ga crust was both more mafic and shorter-lived than after 3 Ga. Although Nd and Hf ratios for pre-3 Ga rocks are uncertain due to polymetamorphism, it appears that depleted upper mantle was widespread by 2.7 Ga, even pre-3 Ga. Depletion may have been largely achieved by formation, subduction and storage of mafic crust for periods of 200-500 m.y. The rapid change to large surviving continents during 3.0-2.7 Ga was due to declining mantle overturn, and particularly to development of the ability to maintain subduction in one zone of the earth's surface for the time needed to allow evolution to felsic igneous rock compositions. In as much as storage of subducted slabs is probably occurring today, and

  14. Interplay between solid Earth and biological evolution (United States)

    Höning, Dennis; Spohn, Tilman


    Major shifts in Earth's evolution led to progressive adaptations of the biosphere. Particularly the emergence of continents permitted efficient use of solar energy. However, the widespread evolution of the biosphere fed back to the Earth system, often argued as a cause for the great oxidation event or as an important component in stabilizing Earth's climate. Furthermore, biologically enhanced weathering rates alter the flux of sediments in subduction zones, establishing a potential link to the deep interior. Stably bound water within subducting sediments not only enhances partial melting but further affects the mantle rheology. The mantle responds by enhancing its rates of convection, water outgassing, and subduction. How crucial is the emergence and evolution of life on Earth to these processes, and how would Earth have been evolved without the emergence of life? We here discuss concepts and present models addressing these questions and discuss the biosphere as a major component in evolving Earth system feedback cycles.

  15. Preservation of Primordial Mantle in the Aftermath of a Giant Impact (United States)

    Lock, S. J.; Stewart, S. T.; Mukhopadhyay, S.


    Terrestrial planets experience a number of giant impacts in the final stages of accretion. These highly energetic events force planets into hot, partially vaporized, and occasionally rapidly-rotating states. However, recent measurements of Xe and W isotopes in mantle plume-derived basalts imply that the terrestrial mantle was not homogenized during this violent stage of Earth's accretion. Understanding the physical structure of post-impact states is key for interpreting these primitive mantle signatures. Post-impact states are highly thermally stratified: the lowermost mantle has lower entropy than the rest of the mantle. Usually, the lowermost mantle is near the solidus or partially molten. The high-entropy portion of the mantle is super-liquidus, smoothly grading to a silicate vapor atmosphere. Here, we consider the competing processes acting on these distinct layers as the mantle establishes a single thermal gradient. If the whole mantle chemically mixed during cooling, then any pre-impact chemical signature would be erased. Previous work has neglected the critical time period between the highly vaporized post-impact state and a fully-condensed silicate body, i.e., a separated magma ocean and atmosphere. The post-impact structure cools rapidly by radiation from the photosphere, causing contraction of the body and redistribution of mass and angular momentum. One consequence of contraction is that the pressure in the mantle increases significantly (on the order of several to 10s GPa at the core mantle boundary) over 10s-1000s years. The increased pressure causes part of the mantle to solidify. Significantly, the timescale for pressure-induced freezing is shorter than the timescale for thermal equilibration between the low and high entropy mantle layers and the timescale for melt percolation (both >100s yrs). Therefore, pressure-induced freezing in the aftermath of a giant impact may be an important factor in preserving primordial Xe and W signatures in the lower

  16. Contamination of the Convecting Mantle in Eastern Tethyan 'Subduction Factories' (United States)

    Flower, M. F.; Nguyen, T. H.


    As subduction gives way to collision at the end of a Wilson Cycle the associated magmatic activity becomes increasingly enriched in potassium and other large-ion lithophile elements. This is usually attributed to the addition of continental crust-derived material to the convecting mantle wedge. Corresponding depletions in high-field strength elements (Ti and Nb) are more commonly explained in terms of accessory phase buffering or protracted reaction of melts with mantle wallrock. It is increasingly apparent that mantle wedge magmatic sources range from 'fertile' (lherzolitic) to 'refractory' (harzburgitic) although the extent to which this corresponds to the LILE and HFSE variation is unclear. Mantle wedge mass balances clearly hold clues to enrichment-depletion histories of the convecting asthenosphere with respect to both the overriding and subducting plates. With a view to better understanding these effects we have used the MELTS algorithm to calculate hypothetical partial melt compositions as a function of source fertility and H2O content, in the pressure range, 0-1.0 GPa as a basis comparison for natural partial melts. Primitive magmas characterizing the Mariana (western Pacific) and Sunda-Banda (Indonesia) arcs, and the northeastern syntaxis of the India-Asia collision suture (Yunnan) appear to resemble calculated equilibrium melts of refractory (basalt-depleted) peridotite, variably enriched in lithophile and light rare earth elements. These comparisons lead to three observations. 1) HFSE and Fe abundances in primitive MORB, calcalkaline, and boninite magmas, and their respective high-potassium variants are consistent with those implied by phase equilibria associated with partial melting and fractionation, suggesting accessory phases, wall-rock reaction, and slab contamination are probably not important as causes of HFSE depletions. 2) Magmatic sources at convergent and colliding margins are typically refractory (basalt-depleted) compared to those yielding

  17. Mapping small-scale mantle heterogeneities using seismic arrays (United States)

    Bentham, H. L.; Rost, S.


    In recent years array seismology has been used extensively to detect and locate the small scale (~10 km) structure of the Earth. In the mantle, small scale structure likely represents chemical heterogeneity and is essential in our understanding of mechanical mixing processes within mantle convection. As subducted crust is chemically distinct from the background mantle, imaging the remains of the crust provides a tracer for convectional flow. Evidence for heterogeneities has been found in the lower mantle in previous seismology studies but the arrivals associated with such heterogeneities are difficult to detect in the seismic data as they are typically low amplitude and are often masked by a multitude of larger amplitude arrivals. In this study we find global and regional seismic heterogeneities in the mantle by processing teleseismic earthquake data through array seismology methods. We find global patterns of heterogeneity using a stacking approach. To locate regional heterogeneities, we target the "quiet" window prior to the PP arrival for earthquakes with epicentral distances of 90-110°. Within this time window, we enhance the weak coherent energy that arrives off great circle path by calculating the observed directivity (slowness and backazimuth) and using a semblance weighted beampower measure. We use the directivity and travel times of suitable precursors to back-trace the energy to the origin of P-to-P reflections, using a 1D raytracer. Most of the P-to-P reflections that we observe have reflection origins in the upper/mid mantle. Beneath the western Pacific subduction zones, such reflections show a good correlation with subduction zone contours that are derived from subduction zone seismicity, and correlate well with tomography gradients of 0.01-0.5% per degree, interpreted as the edge of the slab. Deep mantle reflections (>600 km) are also observed to depths of ~1900 km. The locations of these heterogeneities are combined with previous seismological

  18. Heat transport within the Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Herndon, J Marvin


    Numerous attempts have been made to interpret Earth's dynamic processes based upon heat transport concepts derived from ordinary experience. But, ordinary experience can be misleading, especially when underlain by false assumptions. Geodynamic considerations traditionally have embraced three modes of heat transport: conduction, convection, and radiation. Recently, I introduced a fourth, "mantle decompression thermal tsunami" that, I submit, is responsible for emplacing heat at the base of the Earth's crust. Here, I review thermal transport within the Earth and speculate that there might be a fifth mode: "heat channeling", involving heat transport from the core to "hot-spots" such as those that power the Hawaiian Islands and Iceland.

  19. Evidence for recycled Archaean oceanic mantle lithosphere in the Azores plume. (United States)

    Schaefer, Bruce F; Turner, Simon; Parkinson, Ian; Rogers, Nick; Hawkesworth, Chris


    The compositional differences between mid-ocean-ridge and ocean-island basalts place important constraints on the form of mantle convection. Also, it is thought that the scale and nature of heterogeneities within plumes and the degree to which heterogeneous material endures within the mantle might be reflected in spatial variations of basalt composition observed at the Earth's surface. Here we report osmium isotope data on lavas from a transect across the Azores archipelago which vary in a symmetrical pattern across what is thought to be a mantle plume. Many of the lavas from the centre of the plume have lower 187Os/188Os ratios than most ocean-island basalts and some extend to subchondritic 187Os/188Os ratios-lower than any yet reported from ocean-island basalts. These low ratios require derivation from a depleted, harzburgitic mantle, consistent with the low-iron signature of the Azores plume. Rhenium-depletion model ages extend to 2.5 Gyr, and we infer that the osmium isotope signature is unlikely to be derived from Iberian subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Instead, we interpret the osmium isotope signature as having a deep origin and infer that it may be recycled, Archaean oceanic mantle lithosphere that has delaminated from its overlying oceanic crust. If correct, our data provide evidence for deep mantle subduction and storage of oceanic mantle lithosphere during the Archaean era.

  20. A sharp and flat section of the core-mantle boundary (United States)

    Vidale, J.E.; Benz, H.M.


    THE transition zone between the Earth's core and mantle plays an important role as a boundary layer for mantle and core convection1. This zone conducts a large amount of heat from the core to the mantle, and contains at least one thermal boundary layer2,3; the proximity of reactive silicates and molten iron leads to the possibility of zones of intermediate composition4. Here we investigate one region of the core-mantle boundary using seismic waves that are converted from shear to compressional waves by reflection at the boundary. The use of this phase (known as ScP), the large number of receiving stations, and the large aperture of our array all provide higher resolution than has previously been possible5-7. For the 350-km-long section of the core-mantle boundary under the northeast Pacific sampled by the reflections, the local boundary topography has an amplitude of less than 500 m, no sharp radial gradients exist in the 400 km above the boundary, and the mantle-lo-core transition occurs over less than 1 km. The simplicity of the structure near and above the core-mantle boundary argues against chemical heterogeneity at the base of the mantle in this location.

  1. Upper mantle viscosity and lithospheric thickness under Iceland determined from a microphysical modelling approach of mantle rheology (United States)

    Barnhoorn, A.; van der Wal, W.; Drury, M. R.


    The Vatnajökull glacier, located in the south-east of Iceland is the largest ice cap of Iceland having a mean radius of ~50 km covering an area of ˜8100 km2. The Vatnajökull glacier is situated directly on top of the spreading axis in the eastern volcanic zone (EVZ) of the Icelandic mid-ocean ridge and near the inferred center of the Icelandic hotspot. Due to the vicinity of the glacier to the active tectonic area, the response of the solid earth to melting of the ice cap is strongly controlled by the properties of the hot newly formed upper mantle underneath the mid-ocean ridge. The relatively high temperatures in the mantle during rifting result in relatively low upper mantle viscosities and fast relaxation times in comparison with tectonically inactive glaciated areas such as in. In this study, estimates for lithospheric thickness and upper mantle viscosity under Iceland are produced by a microphysical modelling approach using the theoretical temperature distribution under mid-ocean ridges combined with olivine diffusion and dislocation creep flow laws. Large lateral variations in upper mantle viscosity and especially lithospheric thickness are expected for Iceland perpendicular to the ridge axis due to the large changes in temperatures away from the ridge axis. The lithospheric thickness (27-40 km) and upper mantle viscosity (2 × 1018-1019 Pa s) outcomes for the recent glaciation are consistent with previous reports of viscosity and lithospheric thickness from glacial isostatic adjustment studies. A combination of a 40 km thick elastic lithosphere and an average upper mantle viscosity of 5 × 1018 Pa s would suggest that the upper mantle under Iceland is most likely dry. Also, the results indicate that the presence of a plume under Iceland cannot explain the recent low viscosity values reported for Iceland. Using a larger extent and larger thickness of the Icelandic icecap during the Weichselian glaciation event (˜10,000 BP) this study predicts that during

  2. West Antarctic Mantle Plume Hypothesis and Basal Water Generation (United States)

    Ivins, Erik; Seroussi, Helene; Wiens, Doug; Bondzio, Johannes


    The hypothesis of a deep mantle plume that manifests Pliocene and Quaternary volcanism and present-day seismicity in West Antarctica has been speculated for more than 30 years. Recent seismic images support the plume hypothesis as the cause of Marie Byrd Land (MBL) volcanism and geophysical structure [ Lloyd et al., 2015; Ramirez et al., 2016]. Mantle plumes can more that double the geothermal heat flux, qGHF, above nominal continental values at their axial peak position and raise qGHF in the surrounding plume head to 60 mW/m2 or higher. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of in-situ basal ice sheet data that sample the heat flux. Consequently, we examine a realistic distribution of heat flux associated with a late-Cenozoic mantle plume in West Antarctica and explore its impact on thermal and melt conditions near the ice sheet base. The solid Earth model assumes a parameterized deep mantle plume and head. The 3-D ice flow model includes an enthalpy framework and full-Stokes stress balance. Both the putative plume location and extent are uncertain. Therefore, we perform broadly scoped experiments to characterize plume related basal conditions. The experiments show that mantle plumes have an important local impact on the ice sheet, with basal melting rates reaching several centimeters per year directly above the hotspot. The downstream active lake system of Whillans Ice Stream suggests a rift-related source of anomalous mantle heat. However, the lack of lake and stream activity in MBL suggests a relatively weak plume: one that delivers less flux by 35% below the heat flux to the crustal surface at the site of the Yellowstone hotspot [e.g., DeNosaquo et al., 2009], with peak value no higher than about 145 mW/m2.

  3. Origin of azimuthal seismic anisotropy in oceanic plates and mantle (United States)

    Becker, Thorsten W.; Conrad, Clinton P.; Schaeffer, Andrew J.; Lebedev, Sergei


    Seismic anisotropy is ubiquitous in the Earth's mantle but strongest in its thermo-mechanical boundary layers. Azimuthal anisotropy in the oceanic lithosphere and asthenosphere can be imaged by surface waves and should be particularly straightforward to relate to well-understood plate kinematics and large-scale mantle flow. However, previous studies have come to mixed conclusions as to the depth extent of the applicability of paleo-spreading and mantle flow models of anisotropy, and no simple, globally valid, relationships exist. Here, we show that lattice preferred orientation (LPO) inferred from mantle flow computations produces a plausible global background model for asthenospheric anisotropy underneath oceanic lithosphere. The same is not true for absolute plate motion (APM) models. A ˜200 km thick layer where the flow model LPO matches observations from tomography lies just below the ˜1200 °C isotherm of a half-space cooling model, indicating strong temperature-dependence of the processes that control the development of azimuthal anisotropy. We infer that the depth extent of shear, and hence the thickness of a relatively strong oceanic lithosphere, can be mapped this way. These findings for the background model, and ocean-basin specific deviations from the half-space cooling pattern, are found in all of the three recent and independent tomographic models considered. Further exploration of deviations from the background model may be useful for general studies of oceanic plate formation and dynamics as well as regional-scale tectonic analyses.

  4. Using pattern recognition to infer parameters governing mantle convection (United States)

    Atkins, Suzanne; Valentine, Andrew P.; Tackley, Paul J.; Trampert, Jeannot


    The results of mantle convection simulations are fully determined by the input parameters and boundary conditions used. These input parameters can be for initialisation, such as initial mantle temperature, or can be constant values, such as viscosity exponents. However, knowledge of Earth-like values for many input parameters are very poorly constrained, introducing large uncertainties into the simulation of mantle flow. Convection is highly non-linear, therefore linearised inversion methods cannot be used to recover past configurations over more than very short periods of time, which makes finding both initial and constant simulation input parameters very difficult. In this paper, we demonstrate a new method for making inferences about simulation input parameters from observations of the mantle temperature field after billions of years of convection. The method is fully probabilistic. We use prior sampling to construct probability density functions for convection simulation input parameters, which are represented using neural networks. Assuming smoothness, we need relatively few samples to make inferences, making this approach much more computationally tractable than other probabilistic inversion methods. As a proof of concept, we show that our method can invert the amplitude spectra of temperature fields from 2D convection simulations, to constrain yield stress, surface reference viscosity and the initial thickness of primordial material at the CMB, for our synthetic test cases. The best constrained parameter is yield stress. The reference viscosity and initial thickness of primordial material can also be inferred reasonably well after several billion years of convection.

  5. Mantle geoneutrinos in KamLAND and Borexino

    CERN Document Server

    Fiorentini, G; Lisi, E; Mantovani, F; Rotunno, A M


    The KamLAND and Borexino experiments have observed, each at ~4 sigma level, signals of electron antineutrinos produced in the decay chains of thorium and uranium in the Earth's crust and mantle (Th and U geoneutrinos). Various pieces of geochemical and geophysical information allow an estimation of the crustal geoneutrino flux components with relatively small uncertainties. The mantle component may then be inferred by subtracting the estimated crustal flux from the measured total flux. To this purpose, we analyze in detail the experimental Th and U geoneutrino event rates in KamLAND and Borexino, including neutrino oscillation effects. We estimate the crustal flux at the two detector sites, using state-of-the-art information about the Th and U distribution on global and local scales. We find that crust-subtracted signals show hints of a residual mantle component, emerging at ~2.4 sigma level by combining the KamLAND and Borexino data. The inferred mantle flux slightly favors scenarios with relatively high Th ...

  6. A Model of Continental Growth and Mantle Degassing Comparing Biotic and Abiotic Worlds (United States)

    Höning, D.; Hansen-Goos, H.; Spohn, T.


    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in

  7. Tracking the evolution of mantle sources with incompatible element ratios in stagnant-lid and plate-tectonic planets (United States)

    Condie, Kent C.; Shearer, Charles K.


    The distribution of high field strength incompatible element ratios Zr/Nb, Nb/Th, Th/Yb and Nb/Yb in terrestrial oceanic basalts prior to 2.7 Ga suggests the absence or near-absence of an enriched mantle reservoir. Instead, most oceanic basalts reflect a variably depleted mantle source similar in composition to primitive mantle. In contrast, basalts from hydrated mantle sources (like those associated with subduction) exist from 4 Ga onwards. The gradual appearance of enriched mantle between 2 and 3 Ga may reflect the onset and propagation of plate tectonics around the globe. Prior to 3 Ga, Earth may have been in a stagnant-lid regime with most basaltic magmas coming from a rather uniform, variably depleted mantle source or from a non-subduction hydrated mantle source. It was not until the extraction of continental crust and accompanying propagation of plate tectonics that ;modern type; enriched and depleted mantle reservoirs developed. Consistent with the absence of plate tectonics on the Moon is the near absence of basalts derived from depleted (DM) and enriched (EM) mantle reservoirs as defined by the four incompatible element ratios of this study. An exception are Apollo 17 basalts, which may come from a mixed source with a composition similar to primitive mantle as one end member and a high-Nb component as the other end member. With exception of Th, which requires selective enrichment in at least parts of the martian mantle, most martian meteorites can be derived from sources similar to terrestrial primitive mantle or by mixing of enriched and depleted mantle end members produced during magma ocean crystallization. Earth, Mars and the Moon exhibit three very different planetary evolution paths. The mantle source regions for Mars and the Moon are ancient and have HFS element signatures of magma ocean crystallization well-preserved, and differences in these signatures reflect magma ocean crystallization under two distinct pressure regimes. In contrast, plate

  8. Electronic spin state of iron in lower mantle perovskite. (United States)

    Li, Jie; Struzhkin, Viktor V; Mao, Ho-Kwang; Shu, Jinfu; Hemley, Russell J; Fei, Yingwei; Mysen, Bjorn; Dera, Przemek; Prakapenka, Vitali; Shen, Guoyin


    The electronic spin state of iron in lower mantle perovskite is one of the fundamental parameters that governs the physics and chemistry of the most voluminous and massive shell in the Earth. We present experimental evidence for spin-pairing transition in aluminum-bearing silicate perovskite (Mg,Fe)(Si,Al)O(3) under the lower mantle pressures. Our results demonstrate that as pressure increases, iron in perovskite transforms gradually from the initial high-spin state toward the final low-spin state. At 100 GPa, both aluminum-free and aluminum-bearing samples exhibit a mixed spin state. The residual magnetic moment in the aluminum-bearing perovskite is significantly higher than that in its aluminum-free counterpart. The observed spin evolution with pressure can be explained by the presence of multiple iron species and the occurrence of partial spin-paring transitions in the perovskite. Pressure-induced spin-pairing transitions in the perovskite would have important bearing on the magnetic, thermoelastic, and transport properties of the lower mantle, and on the distribution of iron in the Earth's interior.

  9. Noble gases recycled into the mantle through cold subduction zones (United States)

    Smye, Andrew J.; Jackson, Colin R. M.; Konrad-Schmolke, Matthias; Hesse, Marc A.; Parman, Steve W.; Shuster, David L.; Ballentine, Chris J.


    Subduction of hydrous and carbonated oceanic lithosphere replenishes the mantle volatile inventory. Substantial uncertainties exist on the magnitudes of the recycled volatile fluxes and it is unclear whether Earth surface reservoirs are undergoing net-loss or net-gain of H2O and CO2. Here, we use noble gases as tracers for deep volatile cycling. Specifically, we construct and apply a kinetic model to estimate the effect of subduction zone metamorphism on the elemental composition of noble gases in amphibole - a common constituent of altered oceanic crust. We show that progressive dehydration of the slab leads to the extraction of noble gases, linking noble gas recycling to H2O. Noble gases are strongly fractionated within hot subduction zones, whereas minimal fractionation occurs along colder subduction geotherms. In the context of our modelling, this implies that the mantle heavy noble gas inventory is dominated by the injection of noble gases through cold subduction zones. For cold subduction zones, we estimate a present-day bulk recycling efficiency, past the depth of amphibole breakdown, of 5-35% and 60-80% for 36Ar and H2O bound within oceanic crust, respectively. Given that hotter subduction dominates over geologic history, this result highlights the importance of cooler subduction zones in regassing the mantle and in affecting the modern volatile budget of Earth's interior.

  10. Isotope geochemistry of boron in mantle rocks, tektites and meteorites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaussidon, M. [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 54 - Nancy (France). Centre de Recherches Petrographiques et Geochimiques


    Recent ion microprobe studies of fresh oceanic basalt glasses and chondrules from primitive meteorites give an overview of the distribution of boron isotopes in the mantle and in extra-terrestrial rocks. After removal of secondary boron isotope variations due to interactions between mantle melts and the oceanic crust, the primitive mantle is found to have a constant {delta}{sup 11}B value of -10 {+-} 2 per mill, similar to that of the bulk continental crust. In contrast, large isotopic variations between -50 and +40 per mill are present at the micron scale in meteoritic chondrules which are among the most primitive objects of the solar system. These isotopic variations imply that a significant part of the boron of the solar system was synthesized in the presolar cloud, likely by spallation reactions between lo-energy cosmic rays and nebular hydrogen. These heterogeneities were partly preserved in chondrules which formed early in the evolution of the solar system but are not observed for the silicate Earth implying an efficient mixing just before or during the accretion of the Earth. (authors). 74 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. The 2016 Case for Mantle Plumes and a Plume-Fed Asthenosphere (Augustus Love Medal Lecture) (United States)

    Morgan, Jason P.


    The process of science always returns to weighing evidence and arguments for and against a given hypothesis. As hypotheses can only be falsified, never universally proved, doubt and skepticism remain essential elements of the scientific method. In the past decade, even the hypothesis that mantle plumes exist as upwelling currents in the convecting mantle has been subject to intense scrutiny; from geochemists and geochronologists concerned that idealized plume models could not fit many details of their observations, and from seismologists concerned that mantle plumes can sometimes not be 'seen' in their increasingly high-resolution tomographic images of the mantle. In the place of mantle plumes, various locally specific and largely non-predictive hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origins of non-plate boundary volcanism at Hawaii, Samoa, etc. In my opinion, this debate has now passed from what was initially an extremely useful restorative from simply 'believing' in the idealized conventional mantle plume/hotspot scenario to becoming an active impediment to our community's ability to better understand the dynamics of the solid Earth. Having no working hypothesis at all is usually worse for making progress than having an imperfect and incomplete but partially correct one. There continues to be strong arguments and strong emerging evidence for deep mantle plumes. Furthermore, deep thermal plumes should exist in a mantle that is heated at its base, and the existence of Earth's (convective) geodynamo clearly indicates that heat flows from the core to heat the mantle's base. Here I review recent seismic evidence by French, Romanowicz, and coworkers that I feel lends strong new observational support for the existence of deep mantle plumes. I also review recent evidence consistent with the idea that secular core cooling replenishes half the mantle's heat loss through its top surface, e.g. that the present-day mantle is strongly bottom heated. Causes for

  12. Mantle superplumes induce geomagnetic superchrons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eOlson


    Full Text Available We use polarity reversal systematics from numerical dynamos to quantify the hypothesis that the modulation of geomagnetic reversal frequency, including geomagnetic superchrons, results from changes in core heat flux related to growth and collapse of lower mantle superplumes. We parameterize the reversal frequency sensitivity from numerical dynamos in terms of average core heat flux normalized by the difference between the present-day core heat flux and the core heat flux at geomagnetic superchron onset. A low-order polynomial fit to the 0-300 Ma Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (GPTS reveals that a decrease in core heat flux relative to present-day of approximately 30% can account for the Cretaceous Normal Polarity and Kiaman Reverse Polarity Superchrons, whereas the hyper-reversing periods in the Jurassic require a core heat flux equal to or higher than present-day. Possible links between GPTS transitions, large igneous provinces (LIPs, and the two lower mantle superplumes are explored. Lower mantle superplume growth and collapse induce GPTS transitions by increasing and decreasing core heat flux, respectively. Age clusters of major LIPs postdate transitions from hyper-reversing to superchron geodynamo states by 30-60 Myr, suggesting that superchron onset may be contemporaneous with LIP-forming instabilities produced during collapses of lower mantle superplumes.

  13. Compositional layering within the large low shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) in the lower mantle (United States)

    Ballmer, Maxim; Lekic, Vedran; Schumacher, Lina; Ito, Garrett; Thomas, Christine


    Seismic tomography reveals two antipodal LLSVPs in the Earth's mantle, each extending from the core-mantle boundary (CMB) up to ~1000 km depth. The LLSVPs are thought to host primordial mantle materials that bear witness of early-Earth processes, and/or subducted basalt that has accumulated in the mantle over billions of years. A compositional distinction between the LLSVPs and the ambient mantle is supported by anti-correlation of bulk-sound and shear-wave velocity (Vs) anomalies as well as abrupt lateral gradients in Vs along LLSVP margins. Both of these observations, however, are mainly restricted to the LLSVP bottom domains (2300~2900 km depth), or hereinafter referred to as "deep distinct domains" (DDD). Seismic sensitivity calculations suggest that DDDs are more likely to be composed of primordial mantle material than of basaltic material. On the other hand, the seismic signature of LLSVP shallow domains (1000~2300 km depth) is consistent with a basaltic composition, though a purely thermal origin cannot be ruled out. Here, we explore the dynamical, seismological, and geochemical implications of the hypothesis that the LLSVPs are compositionally layered with a primordial bottom domain (or DDD) and a basaltic shallow domain. We test this hypothesis using 2D thermochemical mantle-convection models. Depending on the density difference between primordial and basaltic materials, the materials either mix or remain separate as they join to form thermochemical piles in the deep mantle. Separation of both materials within these piles provides an explanation for LLSVP seismic properties, including substantial internal vertical gradients in Vs observed at 400-700 km height above the CMB, as well as out-of-plane reflections on LLSVP sides over a range of depths. Predicted geometry of thermochemical piles is compared to LLSVP and DDD shapes as constrained by seismic cluster analysis. Geodynamic models predict short-lived "secondary" plumelets to rise from LLSVP roofs and

  14. Numerical Modeling of Deep Mantle Flow: Thermochemical Convection and Entrainment (United States)

    Mulyukova, Elvira; Steinberger, Bernhard; Dabrowski, Marcin; Sobolev, Stephan


    One of the most robust results from tomographic studies is the existence of two antipodally located Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) at the base of the mantle, which appear to be chemically denser than the ambient mantle. Results from reconstruction studies (Torsvik et al., 2006) infer that the LLSVPs are stable, long-lived, and are sampled by deep mantle plumes that rise predominantly from their margins. The origin of the dense material is debated, but generally falls within three categories: (i) a primitive layer that formed during magma ocean crystallization, (ii) accumulation of a dense eclogitic component from the recycled oceanic crust, and (iii) outer core material leaking into the lower mantle. A dense layer underlying a less dense ambient mantle is gravitationally stable. However, the flow due to thermal density variations, i.e. hot rising plumes and cold downwelling slabs, may deform the layer into piles with higher topography. Further deformation may lead to entrainment of the dense layer, its mixing with the ambient material, and even complete homogenisation with the rest of the mantle. The amount of the anomalous LLSVP-material that gets entrained into the rising plumes poses a constraint on the survival time of the LLSVPs, as well as on the plume buoyancy, on the lithospheric uplift associated with plume interaction and geochemical signature of the erupted lavas observed at the Earth's surface. Recent estimates for the plume responsible for the formation of the Siberian Flood Basalts give about 15% of entrained dense recycled oceanic crust, which made the hot mantle plume almost neutrally buoyant (Sobolev et al., 2011). In this numerical study we investigate the mechanics of entrainment of a dense basal layer by convective mantle flow. We observe that the types of flow that promote entrainment of the dense layer are (i) upwelling of the dense layer when it gets heated enough to overcome its stabilizing chemical density anomaly, (ii

  15. The effect of a power-law mantle viscosity on trench retreat rate (United States)

    Holt, Adam F.; Becker, Thorsten W.


    The subduction of lithospheric plates is partitioned between subducting plate motion and lateral slab migration (i.e. trench retreat and advance). We use 3-D, dynamic models of subduction to address the role of a power-law mantle viscosity on subduction dynamics and, in particular, rates of trench retreat. For all numerical models tested, we find that a power-law rheology results in reduced rates of trench retreat, and elevated slab dip angles, relative to the equivalent isoviscous mantle model. We analyse the asthenospheric pressure distribution and the style of mantle flow, which exhibits only limited variability as a function of mantle rheology, in order to compute estimates of the mantle forces associated with subduction. The inclusion of a power-law rheology reduces the mantle shear force (which resists subducting plate motion) to a greater degree than it reduces the dynamic pressure gradient across the slab (which resists trench retreat). Therefore, the inclusion of a power-law mantle rheology favours a shift towards a subduction mode with a reduced trench retreat component, typically a relative reduction of order 25 per cent in our 3-D models. We suggest that this mechanism may be of importance for reducing the high trench retreat rates observed in many previous models to levels more in line with the average subduction partitioning observed on Earth at present (i.e. trench velocity ≤ plate velocity), for most absolute plate motion reference frames.

  16. New observational and experimental evidence for a plume-fed asthenosphere boundary layer in mantle convection (United States)

    Morgan, J. P.; Hasenclever, J.; Shi, C.


    The textbook view is that the asthenosphere is the place beneath the tectonic plates where competing temperature and pressure effects on mantle rheology result in the lowest viscosity region of Earth's mantle. We think the sub-oceanic asthenosphere exists for a different reason, that instead it is where rising plumes of hot mantle stall and spread out beneath the strong tectonic plates. Below this plume-fed asthenosphere is a thermal and density inversion with cooler underlying average-temperature mantle. Here we show several recent seismic studies that are consistent with a plume-fed asthenosphere. These include the seismic inferences that asthenosphere appears to resist being dragged down at subduction zones, that a sub-oceanic thermal inversion ∼250-350 km deep is needed to explain the seismic velocity gradient there for an isochemical mantle, that a fast 'halo' of shear-wave travel-times surrounds the Hawaiian plume conduit, and that an apparent seismic reflector is found ∼300 km beneath Pacific seafloor near Hawaii. We also present 2D axisymmetric and 3D numerical experiments that demonstrate these effects in internally consistent models with a plume-fed asthenosphere. If confirmed, the existence of a plume-fed asthenosphere will change our understanding of the dynamics of mantle convection and melting, and the links between surface plate motions and mantle convection.

  17. Initial Feasibility Study to Drill and Core the Ocean Mantle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Pilisi


    Full Text Available An initial feasibility study (Pilisi and Whitney, 2011 of drilling through the Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho into the oceanic mantle specifically focused on future requirements for planning, drilling and coring a hole 500 m into the oceanic mantle from three candidate locations in the Pacific Ocean (Cocos Plate, Baja California, and offshore Hawaii. The study points out some of the critical issues that need to be resolved before embarking upon such a challengingproject. It was conducted on the basis of data provided by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program–Management International (IODP-MI, the Center for Deep Earth Exploration (CDEX operating the drilling vessel Chikyu within IODP, public domain information, and past experience that Blade Energy Partners (hereafter mentioned as “Blade”; has had with frontier projects in the offshore deepwater oil and gas and geothermal industries.

  18. Core formation in the earth and shergottite parent body (SPB) - Chemical evidence from basalts (United States)

    Treiman, A. H.; Drake, M. J.; Janssens, M.-J.; Wolf, R.; Ebihara, M.


    Abundances of siderophile and chalcophile elements in the shergottite parental body (SPB) have been compared with those of the earth. To this end, new INAA and RNAA analyses of non-Antarctic meteorites have been performed, and the composition of the shergottite SPB mantle has been inferred from the compositions of the SNC meteorites. The composition of the earth's mantle has been inferred from the compositions of terrestrial basalt. Finally, the effects of volatile depletion, core formation, and mineral/melt fractionation on the abundances of siderophile and chalcophile elements in the SPB and the earth have been taken into consideration. Compared to the earth, the SPB mantle is richer in moderately siderophile elements and more depleted with respect to chalcophile elements. The observed relative abundances of siderophile and chalcophile elements in the SPB and the earth mantles indicate that the SPB underwent accretion and/or differentiation processes which differ from those in the earth.

  19. Subducted slabs and the geoid: Constraints on mantle rheology and flow (United States)

    Hager, B. H.


    The total geoid anomaly which is the result of a given density contrast in a convecting viscous earth is affected by the mass anomalies associated with the flow induced deformation of the upper surface and internal compositional boundaries, as well as by the density contrast itself is discussed. If the internal density contrasts can be estimated, the depth and variation of viscosity with depth of the convecting system can be constrained. The observed long wavelength geoid is highly correlated with that predicted by a density model for seismically active subducted slabs. The amplitude of the correlation is explained if the density contrasts associated with subduction extend into the lower mantle or if subducted slabs exceeding 350 km in thickness are piled up over horizontal distances of thousands of km at the base of the upper mantle. Mantle wide convection in a mantle that has a viscosity increasing with depth provides the explanation of the long-wavelength geoid anomalies over subduction zones.

  20. The earth as a planet - Paradigms and paradoxes (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.


    The independent growth of the various branches of the earth sciences in the past two decades has led to a divergence of geophysical, geochemical, geological, and planetological models for the composition and evolution of a terrestrial planet. Evidence for differentiation and volcanism on small planets and a magma ocean on the moon contrasts with hypotheses for a mostly primitive, still undifferentiated, and homogeneous terrestrial mantle. In comparison with the moon, the earth has an extraordinarily thin crust. The geoid, which should reflect convection in the mantle, is apparently unrelated to the current distribution of continents and oceanic ridges. If the earth is deformable, the whole mantle should wander relative to the axis of rotation, but the implications of this are seldom discussed. The proposal of a mantle rich in olivine violates expectations based on evidence from extraterrestrial sources. These and other paradoxes force a reexamination of some long-held assumptions.

  1. Superweak asthenosphere in light of upper mantle seismic anisotropy (United States)

    Becker, Thorsten W.


    Earth's upper mantle includes a ˜200 km thick asthenosphere underneath the plates where viscosity and seismic velocities are reduced compared to the background. This zone of weakness matters for plate dynamics and may be required for the generation of plate tectonics itself. However, recent seismological and electromagnetic studies indicate strong heterogeneity in thinner layers underneath the plates which, if related to more extreme, global viscosity reductions, may require a revision of our understanding of mantle convection. Here, I use dynamically consistent mantle flow modeling and the constraints provided by azimuthal seismic anisotropy as well as plate motions to explore the effect of a range of global and local viscosity reductions. The fit between mantle flow model predictions and observations of seismic anisotropy is highly sensitive to radial and lateral viscosity variations. I show that moderate suboceanic viscosity reductions, to ˜0.01-0.1 times the upper mantle viscosity, are preferred by the fit to anisotropy and global plate motions, depending on layer thickness. Lower viscosities degrade the fit to azimuthal anisotropy. Localized patches of viscosity reduction, or layers of subducted asthenosphere, however, have only limited additional effects on anisotropy or plate velocities. This indicates that it is unlikely that regional observations of subplate anomalies are both continuous and indicative of dramatic viscosity reduction. Locally, such weak patches may exist and would be detectable by regional anisotropy analysis, for example. However, large-scale plate dynamics are most likely governed by broad continent-ocean asthenospheric viscosity contrasts rather than a thin, possibly high melt fraction layer.

  2. Zn isotopic heterogeneity in the mantle: A melting control? (United States)

    Doucet, Luc S.; Mattielli, Nadine; Ionov, Dmitri A.; Debouge, Wendy; Golovin, Alexander V.


    We present new Zn elemental and isotope data on seventeen fertile and refractory mantle peridotite xenoliths. Eleven fertile peridotites are garnet and spinel lherzolites from Vitim and Tariat (Siberia and Mongolia) and represent some of the most pristine fertile peridotites available. Six refractory peridotites are spinel harzburgites from the Udachnaya kimberlite (Siberian craton) that are nearly pristine residues of high-degree polybaric melting at high pressure (7-4 GPa). Geochemical data suggest that Zn isotopic compositions in the peridotites have not been affected by post-melting processes such as metasomatism, contamination by the host-magmas or alteration. The fertile peridotites have uniform Zn concentrations (59 ± 2 ppm) and Zn isotopic compositions with δ66Zn (relative to JMC-Lyon-03-0749l) = +0.30 ± 0.03‰ consistent with the Bulk Silicate Earth estimates of δ66Zn = +0.28 ± 0.05‰ (Chen et al., 2013). The refractory peridotites have Zn concentrations ranging from 30 to 48 ppm and δ66Zn from + 0.10 ± 0.01 ‰ to + 0.18 ± 0.01 ‰ with an average of + 0.14 ± 0.03 ‰. Our data suggest that the lithospheric mantle has a heterogeneous Zn isotopic composition. Modeling of Zn isotope partitioning during partial melting of fertile mantle suggests that high degrees of melt extraction (>30%) may significantly fractionate Zn isotopes (up to 0.16‰) and that during mantle melting, Zn concentrations and isotopic compositions are mainly controlled by the stability of clinopyroxene and garnet within the melting residue. Because the stability of clinopyroxene and garnet is mainly pressure dependent we suggest that both the depth and the degrees of melt extraction may control Zn isotope fractionation during mantle melting.

  3. A model for core formation in the early Earth (United States)

    Jones, J. H.; Drake, M. J.


    Two basic types exogenous models were proposed to account for siderophile and chalcophile element abundances in the Earth's upper mantle. The first model requires that the Earth be depleted in volatiles and that, after a core formation event which extracted the most siderophile elements into the core, additional noble siderophile elements (Pt, Ir, Au) were added as a late veneer and mixed into the mantle. The second model postulates a reduced Earth with approximately CI elemental abundances in which a primary core forming event depleted all siderophile elements in the mantle. The plausibility of models which require fine scale mixing of chondritic material into the upper mantle is analyzed. Mixing in liquids is more efficient, but large degrees of silicate partial melting will facilitate the separation of magma from residual solids. Any external events affecting the upper mantle of the Earth should also be evident in the Moon; but siderophile and chalcophile element abundance patterns inferred for the mantles of the Earth and Moon differ. There appear to be significant physical difficulties associated with chondritic veneer models.

  4. Magnetic field of the Earth (United States)

    Popov, Aleksey


    The magnetic field of the Earth has global meaning for a life on the Earth. The world geophysical science explains: - occurrence of a magnetic field of the Earth it is transformation of kinetic energy of movements of the fused iron in the liquid core of Earth - into the magnetic energy; - the warming up of a kernel of the Earth occurs due to radioactive disintegration of elements, with excretion of thermal energy. The world science does not define the reasons: - drift of a magnetic dipole on 0,2 a year to the West; - drift of lithospheric slabs and continents. The author offers: an alternative variant existing in a world science the theories "Geodynamo" - it is the theory « the Magnetic field of the Earth », created on the basis of physical laws. Education of a magnetic field of the Earth occurs at moving the electric charge located in a liquid kernel, at rotation of the Earth. At calculation of a magnetic field is used law the Bio Savara for a ring electric current: dB = . Magnetic induction in a kernel of the Earth: B = 2,58 Gs. According to the law of electromagnetic induction the Faradey, rotation of a iron kernel of the Earth in magnetic field causes occurrence of an electric field Emf which moves electrons from the center of a kernel towards the mantle. So of arise the radial electric currents. The magnetic field amplifies the iron of mantle and a kernel of the Earth. As a result of action of a radial electric field the electrons will flow from the center of a kernel in a layer of an electric charge. The central part of a kernel represents the field with a positive electric charge, which creates inverse magnetic field Binv and Emfinv When ?mfinv = ?mf ; ?inv = B, there will be an inversion a magnetic field of the Earth. It is a fact: drift of a magnetic dipole of the Earth in the western direction approximately 0,2 longitude, into a year. Radial electric currents a actions with the basic magnetic field of a Earth - it turn a kernel. It coincides with laws

  5. Thermochemical structure of the Earth's mantle and continental crust

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerri, Mattia

    task. In this thesis, I adopt a multidisciplinary approach geared towards the unification of geochemical and geophysical constraints within a framework provided by theoretical and experimental mineral and rock physics. In the first part, I focus on the Continental crust, assessing the relations between...... elastic properties and chemical composition taking into account the thermal and pressure effects. I found that even small amounts of H2O have an extremely high impact on the elastic properties of crustal rock. In addition, I show the potential that modifications in the stable mineralogical assemblage have...

  6. Effects of grain size evolution on mantle dynamics (United States)

    Schulz, Falko; Tosi, Nicola; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Breuer, Doris


    The rheology of planetary mantle materials is strongly dependent on temperature, pressure, strain-rate, and grain size. In particular, the rheology of olivine, the most abundant mineral of the Earth's upper mantle, has been extensively studied in the laboratory (e.g., Karato and Wu, 1993; Hirth and Kohlstedt, 2003). Two main mechanisms control olivine's deformation: dislocation and diffusion creep. While the former implies a power-law dependence of the viscosity on the strain-rate that leads to a non-Newtonian behaviour, the latter is sensitively dependent on the grain size. The dynamics of planetary interiors is locally controlled by the deformation mechanism that delivers the lowest viscosity. Models of the dynamics and evolution of planetary mantles should thus be capable to self-consistently distinguish which of the two mechanisms dominates at given conditions of temperature, pressure, strain-rate and grain size. As the grain size can affect the viscosity associated with diffusion creep by several orders of magnitude, it can strongly influence the dominant deformation mechanism. The vast majority of numerical, global-scale models of mantle convection, however, are based on the use of a linear diffusion-creep rheology with constant grain-size. Nevertheless, in recent studies, a new equation has been proposed to properly model the time-dependent evolution of the grain size (Austin and Evens, 2007; Rozel et al., 2010). We implemented this equation in our mantle convection code Gaia (Hüttig et al., 2013). In the framework of simple models of stagnant lid convection, we compared simulations based on the fully time-dependent equation of grain-size evolution with simulations based on its steady-state version. In addition, we tested a number of different parameters in order to identify those that affects the grain size to the first order and, in turn, control the conditions at which mantle deformation is dominated by diffusion or dislocation creep. References Austin

  7. The degassing history of the Earth: Noble gas studies of Archaean cherts and zero age glassy submarine basalts (United States)

    Hart, R.; Hogan, L.


    Recent noble gas studies suggests the Earth's atmosphere outgassed from the Earth's upper mantle synchronous with sea floor spreading, ocean ridge hydrothermal activity and the formation of continents by partial melting in subduction zones. The evidence for formation of the atmosphere by outgassing of the mantle is the presence of radionuclides H3.-4, Ar-040 and 136 Xe-136 in the atmosphere that were produced from K-40, U and Th in the mantle. How these radionuclides were formed is reviewed.

  8. Consequences for an Alternative Earth Composition: A Decade of Insight (United States)

    Jackson, M. G.; Jellinek, M.; Carlson, R. W.


    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the landmark discovery showing that modern terrestrial mantle-derived lavas have 142Nd/144Nd ratios ~18 ppm higher than ordinary chondrites. One interpretation of this discovery is that the accessible Earth has a Sm/Nd ratio that is 5-7% higher than chondrites, which resulted from an early (20-30 Ma after accretion), catastrophic extraction of geochemically-enriched crust from the Earth's mantle (Boyet and Carlson, Science, 2005). The location of this early-formed enriched reservoir is unknown (it is either hidden in the deep Earth or was lost to space by impact erosion), but is critical, as it hosts the equivalent of the modern continents' budget of the radioactive heat-producing elements: U, Th and K. If the early-enriched reservoir is no longer in the Earth, there are profound implications for the geochemical and thermal evolution of the planet. First, the bulk silicate Earth would have a present-day 143Nd/144Nd of ~0.5130, and all modern terrestrial mantle and crustal reservoirs were ultimately derived from a non-chondric mantle with superchondritic Sm/Nd. Second, this composition matches the most frequently-occurring 143Nd/144Nd ratio (0.5130, PREMA) in ocean island basalts, including lavas with primitive 3He/4He, and suggests that large portions of the mantle sampled by OIB remain little-modified with respect to 143Nd/144Nd. Third, the modern continents were extracted from a previously depleted mantle, meaning that the modern mantle is pervasively depleted in highly incompatible elements, and that the mantle's radiogenic heat production is 50% lower than in chondrite-based models. The new bulk silicate Earth composition therefore presents challenges for describing the thermal history of the planet, but may lead to a stable plate tectonic regime over time and could be more conducive to supporting a habitable world.

  9. Deep Drilling into a Mantle Plume Volcano: The Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald M. Thomas


    Full Text Available Oceanic volcanoes formed by mantle plumes, such as those of Hawaii and Iceland, strongly influence our views about the deep Earth (Morgan, 1971; Sleep, 2006. These volcanoes are the principal geochemical probe into the deep mantle, a testing ground for understanding mantle convection, plate tectonics and volcanism, and an archive of information on Earth’s magnetic field and lithospheredynamics. Study of the petrology, geochemistry, and structure of oceanic volcanoes has contributed immensely to our present understanding of deep Earth processes, but virtually all of this study has been concentrated on rocks available at the surface. In favorable circumstances, surface exposures penetrate to a depth of a few hundred meters, which is a small fraction of the 10- to 15-kilometer height of Hawaiian volcanoes above the depressed seafloor (Moore, 1987; Watts, 2001.

  10. Tracing Proterozoic arc mantle Hf isotope depletion of southern Fennoscandia through coupled zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopes (United States)

    Petersson, Andreas; Bjärnborg, Karolina; Scherstén, Anders; Gerdes, Axel; Næraa, Tomas


    Constraints on the composition of the depleted mantle Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf crust formation ages have a long history of scientific debate. When calculating mantle extraction ages, and constructing crustal growth models, a linear evolution of incompatible trace elements in a depleted mantle since > 4 Ga is routinely used. Mantle depletion however varies regionally and over time and subduction of sediments and oceanic crust renders a mantle-wedge variously enriched relative to a modelled depleted mantle. Here we show that primitive mantle-derived subduction related gabbroic intrusions from southern Fennoscandia have Hf isotope compositions that are enriched relative to a MORB-like linear depleted mantle evolution curve. Extrapolation of primitive Paleoproterozoic gabbro suites enables the construction of a regional mantle evolution curve, providing improved constraints on model ages, crustal residence times and the fraction of juvenile versus reworked continental crust. Convergent margins are assumed to be one of the main sites of continental crust growth, and using an overly depleted mantle source yield model ages that are too old, and hence cumulative crustal growth models show too much crust generation early in the Earth's history. The approach of using the Hf isotope composition of zircon from primitive subduction related gabbroic intrusions as a proxy for mantle Hf isotope composition, piloted in this study, can be applied to other convergent margins.

  11. Mantle Sulfur Cycle: A Case for Non-Steady State ? (United States)

    Cartigny, Pierre; Labidi, Jabrane


    Data published over the last 5 years show that the early inference that mantle is isotopically homogeneous is no more valid. Instead, new generation data on lavas range over a significant 34S/32S variability of up to 5‰ with δ 34S values often correlated to Sr- and Nd-isotope compositions. This new set of data also reveals the Earth's mantle to have a sub-chondritic 34S/32S ratio, by about ˜ 1‰. We will present at the conference our published and unpublished data on samples characterizing the different mantle components (i.e. EM1, EM2, HIMU and LOMU). All illustrate 34S-enrichments compared to MORB with Δ 33S and Δ 36S values indistinguishable from CDT or chondrites at the 0.03‰ level. These data are consistent with the recycling of subducted components carrying sulfur with Δ 33S and Δ 36S-values close to zero. Archean rocks commonly display Δ 33S and Δ 36S values deviating from zero by 1 to 10 ‰. The lack of variations for Δ 33S and Δ 36S values in present day lava argue against the sampling of any subducted protolith of Archean age in their mantle source. Instead, our data are consistent with the occurrence of Proterozoic subducted sulfur in the source of the EM1, EM2, LOMU and HIMU endmember at the St-Helena island. This is in agreement with the age of those components early derived through the use of the Pb isotope systematic. Currently, the negative δ 34S-values of the depleted mantle seem to be associated with mostly positive values of enriched components. This would be inconsistent with the concept a steady state of sulfur. Assuming that the overall observations of recycled sulfur are not biased, the origin of such a non-steady state remains unclear. It could be related to the relatively compatible behavior of sulfur during partial melting, as the residue of present-day melting can be shown to always contain significant amounts of sulfide (50{%} of what is observed in a fertile source). This typical behavior likely prevents an efficient

  12. Bases of the Mantle-Carbonatite Conception of Diamond Genesis (United States)

    Litvin, Yuriy; Spivak, Anna; Kuzyura, Anastasia


    -carbonatite-sulphide-diamond system. Geology of Ore Deposits. 54(6), 523-539. Litvin Yu.A., Spivak A.V., Solopova N.A., Dubrovinsky L.S. (2014). On origin of lower-mantle diamonds and their primary inclusions. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 228 (The Liebermann Volume), 176-185.

  13. Abundances of Ag and Cu in mantle peridotites and the implications for the behavior of chalcophile elements in the mantle (United States)

    Wang, Zaicong; Becker, Harry


    Silver abundances in mantle peridotites and the behavior of Ag during high temperature mantle processes have received little attention and, as a consequence, the abundance of Ag in the bulk silicate Earth (BSE) has been poorly constrained. In order to better understand the processes that fractionate Ag and other chalcophile elements in the mantle, abundances of Ag and Cu in mantle peridotites from different geological settings (n = 68) have been obtained by isotope dilution ICP-MS methods. In peridotite tectonites and in a few suites of peridotite xenoliths which display evidence for variable extents of melt depletion and refertilization by silicate melts, Ag and Cu abundances show positive correlations with moderately incompatible elements such as S, Se, Te and Au. The mean Cu/Ag in fertile peridotites (3500 ± 1200, 1s, n = 38) is indistinguishable from the mean Cu/Ag of mid ocean ridge basalts (MORB, 3600 ± 400, 1s, n = 338) and MORB sulfide droplets. The constant mean Cu/Ag ratios indicate similar behavior of Ag and Cu during partial melting of the mantle, refertilization and magmatic fractionation, and thus should be representative of the Earth's upper mantle. The systematic fractionation of Cu, Ag, Au, S, Se and Te in peridotites and basalts is consistent with sulfide melt-silicate melt partitioning with apparent partition coefficients of platinum group elements (PGE) > Au ⩾ Te > Cu ≈ Ag > Se ⩾ S. Because of the effects of secondary processes, the abundances of chalcophile elements, notably S, Se, but also Cu and the PGE in many peridotite xenoliths are variable and lower than in peridotite massifs. Refertilization of peridotite may change abundances of chalcophile and lithophile elements in peridotite massifs, however, this seems to mostly occur in a systematic way. Correlations with lithophile and chalcophile elements and the overlapping mean Cu/Ag ratios of peridotites and ocean ridge basalts are used to constrain abundances of Ag and Cu in the BSE

  14. Terrestrial magma ocean and core segregation in the earth (United States)

    Ohtani, Eiji; Yurimoto, Naoyoshi


    According to the recent theories of formation of the earth, the outer layer of the proto-earth was molten and the terrestrial magma ocean was formed when its radius exceeded 3000 km. Core formation should have started in this magma ocean stage, since segregation of metallic iron occurs effectively by melting of the proto-earth. Therefore, interactions between magma, mantle minerals, and metallic iron in the magma ocean stage controlled the geochemistry of the mantle and core. We have studied the partitioning behaviors of elements into the silicate melt, high pressure minerals, and metallic iron under the deep upper mantle and lower mantle conditions. We employed the multi-anvil apparatus for preparing the equilibrating samples in the ranges from 16 to 27 GPa and 1700-2400 C. Both the electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) and the Secondary Ion Mass spectrometer (SIMS) were used for analyzing the run products. We obtained the partition coefficients of various trace elements between majorite, Mg-perovskite, and liquid, and magnesiowustite, Mg-perovskite, and metallic iron. The examples of the partition coefficients of some key elements are summarized in figures, together with the previous data. We may be able to assess the origin of the mantle abundances of the elements such as transition metals by using the partitioning data obtained above. The mantle abundances of some transition metals expected by the core-mantle equilibrium under the lower mantle conditions cannot explain the observed abundance of some elements such as Mn and Ge in the mantle. Estimations of the densities of the ultrabasic magma Mg-perovskite at high pressure suggest existence of a density crossover in the deep lower mantle; flotation of Mg-perovskite occurs in the deep magma ocean under the lower mantle conditions. The observed depletion of some transition metals such as V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni in the mantle may be explained by the two stage process, the core-mantle equilibrium under the lower

  15. Subduction-controlled mantle flow and seismic anisotropy in South America (United States)

    Hu, Jiashun; Faccenda, Manuele; Liu, Lijun


    Seismic anisotropy records both the past and present deformation inside the solid Earth. In the mantle, seismic anisotropy is mainly attributed to the lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of mineral fabrics, caused by the shear deformation due to mantle flow. However, contributions from different tectonic processes remain debated, and a single geodynamic model that simultaneously explains the observed mantle structures and various seismic anisotropy measurements is still lacking. Here, we present a model for the Cenozoic subduction history in South America using a geodynamic simulation constrained by both past plate reconstructions and present mantle seismic structures. With a recently developed software package DRexS, we further predict azimuthal seismic anisotropy at different depths and generate synthetic shear wave splitting (SWS) measurements using the resulting mantle flow. Our results provide a good match to both depth-dependent surface wave anisotropy and various land-based SWS records. We find that the dominant control on seismic anisotropy in South America comes from subduction-induced mantle flow, where anisotropy below the subducting Nazca Plate aligns with plate-motion-induced Couette flow and that below the overriding South American Plate follows slab-induced Poiseuille flow. This large-scale mantle flow can be diverted by secondary slabs, such as that below the Antilles subduction zone. In contrast, the contribution to SWS from fossil continental anisotropy and from the effects due to mantle flow modulation by lithosphere thickness variation are minor. Upper-mantle fast seismic anomalies beneath the southern Atlantic margin should have close-to-neutral buoyancy in order to satisfy the observed seismic anisotropy.

  16. Seismic evidence for slab graveyards atop the Core Mantle Boundary beneath the Indian Ocean Geoid Low (United States)

    Padma Rao, B.; Ravi Kumar, M.


    The Indian Ocean Geoid Low (IOGL) that spans a vast areal extent south of the Indian subcontinent is a spectacular feature on the Earth, whose origin still remains ambiguous. In this study, we investigate the seismic character of the lower mantle below this geoid low utilizing the travel time and amplitude residuals of high quality S and ScS phases from 207 earthquakes recorded at 276 stations in the epicentral distance range of 36°-90°. For comparison, we also perform a similar exercise for a region of geoid high in the vicinity. Results reveal large variations in the ScS travel times indicating that the lowermost mantle beneath the IOGL region is heterogeneous. The ScS-S differential travel times are ∼3 s slower than those predicted by the IASP91 model, primarily due to velocity increase in the lowermost mantle beneath the IOGL region and ∼2 s higher than the IASP91 beneath the geoid high region, due to velocity decrease in the lowermost mantle. The largest negative residuals from manual method (-7.72 s) are concentrated below the IOGL. Iterative matching of differential travel time residuals reveals that the maximum positive and negative residuals can be explained in terms of a reduction in shear velocity of 0.9% and an increase of 1.6% respectively in a ∼1000 km thick layer above the Core Mantle Boundary. Further, the ScS/S amplitude residuals beneath the IOGL are positive, implying high impedance contrast at the Core Mantle Boundary, owing to the presence of high velocity material. We attribute these high velocities to the presence of dehydrated high density slab graveyards atop the Core Mantle Boundary beneath the Indian Ocean. Release of water at the mid-to-upper mantle depths due to the dehydration of subducted slabs causing a reduction in density and velocity of the ambient mantle, could be responsible for the geoid low.

  17. Upper Mantle Discontinuity Structure Beneath the Western Atlantic Ocean and Eastern North America from SS Precursors (United States)

    Schmerr, N. C.; Beghein, C.; Kostic, D.; Baldridge, A. M.; West, J. D.; Nittler, L. R.; Bull, A. L.; Montesi, L.; Byrne, P. K.; Hummer, D. R.; Plescia, J. B.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Lekic, V.; Schmidt, B. E.; Elkins, L. J.; Cooper, C. M.; ten Kate, I. L.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Parai, R.; Glass, J. B.; Ni, J.; Fuji, N.; McCubbin, F. M.; Michalski, J. R.; Zhao, C.; Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Koelemeijer, P.; Courtier, A. M.; Dalton, H.; Waszek, L.; Bahamonde, J.; Schmerr, B.; Gilpin, N.; Rosenshein, E.; Mach, K.; Ostrach, L. R.; Caracas, R.; Craddock, R. A.; Moore-Driskell, M. M.; Du Frane, W. L.; Kellogg, L. H.


    Seismic discontinuities within the mantle arise from a wide range of mechanisms, including changes in mineralogy, major element composition, melt content, volatile abundance, anisotropy, or a combination of the above. In particular, the depth and sharpness of upper mantle discontinuities at 410 and 660 km depth are attributed to solid-state phase changes sensitive to both mantle temperature and composition, where regions of thermal heterogeneity produce topography and chemical heterogeneity changes the impedance contrast across the discontinuity. Seismic mapping of this topography and sharpness thus provides constraint on the thermal and compositional state of the mantle. The EarthScope USArray is providing unprecedented access to a wide variety of new regions previously undersampled by the SS precursors. This includes the boundary between the oceanic plate in the western Atlantic Ocean and continental margin of eastern North America. Here we use a seismic array approach to image the depth, sharpness, and topography of the upper mantle discontinuities, as well as other possible upper mantle reflectors beneath this region. This array approach utilizes seismic waves that reflect off the underside of a mantle discontinuity and arrive several hundred seconds prior to the SS seismic phase as precursory energy. In this study, we collected high-quality broadband data SS precursors data from shallow focus (ocean lithosphere to underlying continental lithosphere, as while deeper reflectors are associated with the subduction of the ancient Farallon slab. A comparison of the depth of upper mantle discontinuities to changes in seismic velocity and anisotropy will further quantify the relationship to mantle flow, compositional layering, and phases changes.

  18. Determining upper mantle structures using gravity, seismology, and GIA modelling in Fennoscandia (United States)

    Root, B. C.; van der Wal, W.; Vermeersen, B. L. A.


    The 3D structure of the upper mantle plays a large role in Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). Finite-element software is able to model this 3D structure, but knowledge of the upper mantle is needed to make these models realistic. Nowadays, global maps are made of the crustal structure and temperature of the upper mantle from seismic observations. Also, satellite gravity missions, such as GOCE and GRACE, determine global gravity fields. Combining these data sets could give new insights in Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and explain some discrepancies seen in currents geological observations with 1D rheology Earth models. We obtain upper mantle models that fit gravity observations. Then, the upper mantle seismic velocities are converted to temperature profiles; that are used to determine the amount of strain according to diffusion and dislocation creep in the upper mantle. The obtained 3D rheology models are used in a finite element GIA model to observe the effect of the 3D structures during GIA. The GIA model results are compared to geological observations of the sea level change, GPS uplift rates, and ongoing gravity change in the area. This study specifically studies the effect of compositional differences in the upper mantle on the modelled remaining uplift and gravity signal. Molecular conversion relations for primitive mantle rock composition, Garnet Lherzolite rock composition, and Archon, iron depleted rock composition are used to compute the temperature and density profiles. The Fennoscandian lithosphere is believed to contain these three types of composition, yet, it is not yet known in what relative amounts and locations. An iterative approach is used to find the best compositional structure to fit the GIA observables in the Fenoscandian upper mantle.

  19. GyPSuM: A Detailed Tomographic Model of Mantle Density and Seismic Wave Speeds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simmons, N A; Forte, A M; Boschi, L; Grand, S P


    GyPSuM is a tomographic model fo mantle seismic shear wave (S) speeds, compressional wave (P) speeds and detailed density anomalies that drive mantle flow. the model is developed through simultaneous inversion of seismic body wave travel times (P and S) and geodynamic observations while considering realistic mineral physics parameters linking the relative behavior of mantle properties (wave speeds and density). Geodynamic observations include the (up to degree 16) global free-air gravity field, divergence of the tectonic plates, dynamic topography of the free surface, and the flow-induced excess ellipticity of the core-mantle boundary. GyPSuM is built with the philosophy that heterogeneity that most closely resembles thermal variations is the simplest possible solution. Models of the density field from Earth's free oscillations have provided great insight into the density configuration of the mantle; but are limited to very long-wavelength solutions. Alternatively, simply scaling higher resolution seismic images to density anomalies generates density fields that do not satisfy geodynamic observations. The current study provides detailed density structures in the mantle while directly satisfying geodynamic observations through a joint seismic-geodynamic inversion process. Notable density field observations include high-density piles at the base of the superplume structures, supporting the fundamental results of past normal mode studies. However, these features are more localized and lower amplitude than past studies would suggest. When we consider all seismic anomalies in GyPSuM, we find that P and S-wave speeds are strongly correlated throughout the mantle. However, correlations between the high-velocity S zones in the deep mantle ({approx} 2000 km depth) and corresponding P-wave anomalies are very low suggesting a systematic divergence from simplified thermal effects in ancient subducted slab anomalies. Nevertheless, they argue that temperature variations are

  20. Possible links between long-term geomagnetic variations and whole-mantle convection processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biggin, A.J.; Steinberger, B.; Aubert, J.; Suttie, N.; Holme, R.; Torsvik, T.H.; van der Meer, D.G.; van Hinsbergen, D.J.J.


    The Earth's internal magnetic field varies on timescales of months to billions of years. The field is generated by convection in the liquid outer core, which in turn is influenced by the heat flowing from the core into the base of the overlying mantle. Much of the magnetic field's variation is thoug

  1. Sinking of spherical slablets through a non-Newtonian mantle (United States)

    Crameri, Fabio; Stegman, Dave; Petersen, Robert; Tackley, Paul


    The dominant driving force for plate tectonics is slab pull, in which sinking slabs pull the trailing plate. Forward plate velocities are typically similar in magnitude (7 cm/yr) as estimates for sinking velocities of slabs through the upper mantle. However, these estimates are based on data for slabs that are coherent into the transition zone as well as models that considered the upper mantle to be entirely Newtonian. Dislocation creep in the upper mantle can strongly influence mantle flow, and is likely activated for flow around vertically sinking slabs in the uppermost mantle. Thus, it is possible that in some scenarios, a non-Newtonian mantle will have an influence on plate motions but it is unclear to what degree. To address this question, we investigate how the non-Newtonian rheology modifies the sinking velocities of slablets (spherical, negatively buoyant and highly viscous blobs). The model set-up is similar to a Stokes sphere sinking, but is in 2-D cartesian with temperature-and stress-dependent rheology. For these numerical models, we use the Stag-YY code (e.g., Tackley 2008) and apply a pseudo-free surface using the 'sticky-air' approach (Matsumoto and Tomoda 1983; Schmeling et al, 2008, Crameri et al., 2012). The sinking blob is both highly viscous and compositionally dense, but is the same temperature as the background fluid which eliminates thermal diffusion and associated variations in thermal buoyancy. The model domain is 2x1 or 4x1 and allows enough distance to the sidewalls so that sinking velocities are not influenced by the boundary conditions. We compare our results with those previously obtained for salt diapirs rising through a power-law rheology mantle/crust (Weinberg, 1993; Weinberg and Podladchikov, 1994), which provided both numerical and analytic results. Previous results indicate a speed-up of an order of magnitude is possible. Finally, we then extend the models and analysis to mantle convection systems that include for single

  2. Age and evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Khanka Massif: Geochemical and Re-Os isotopic evidence from Sviyagino mantle xenoliths (United States)

    Guo, Peng; Xu, Wen-Liang; Wang, Chun-Guang; Wang, Feng; Ge, Wen-Chun; Sorokin, A. A.; Wang, Zhi-Wei


    New geochemical and Re-Os isotopic data of mantle xenoliths entrained in Cenozoic Sviyagino alkali basalts from the Russian Far East provide insights into the age and evolution of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) beneath the Khanka Massif, within the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). These mantle xenoliths are predominantly spinel lherzolites with minor spinel harzburgite. The lherzolites contain high whole-rock concentrations of Al2O3 and CaO, with low forsterite content in olivine (Fo = 89.5-90.3%) and low Cr# in spinel (0.09-0.11). By contrast, the harzburgite is more refractory, containing lower whole rock Al2O3 and CaO contents, with higher Fo (91.3%) and spinel Cr# (0.28). Their whole rock and mineral compositions suggest that the lherzolites experienced low-degree (1-4%) batch melting and negligible metasomatism, whereas the harzburgite underwent a higher degree (10%) of fractional melting, and experienced minor post-melting silicate metasomatism. Two-pyroxene rare earth element (REE)-based thermometry (TREE) yields predominant equilibrium temperatures of 884-1043 °C, similar to values obtained from two-pyroxene major element-based thermometry (TBKN = 942-1054 °C). Two lherzolite samples yield high TREE relative to TBKN (TREE - TBKN ≥ 71 °C), suggesting that they cooled rapidly as a result of the upwelling of hot asthenospheric mantle material that underplated a cold ancient lithosphere. The harzburgite with a low Re/Os value has an 187Os/188Os ratio of 0.11458, yielding an Os model age (TMA) relative to the primitive upper mantle (PUM) of 2.09 Ga, and a Re depletion ages (TRD) of 1.91 Ga; both of which record ancient melt depletion during the Paleoproterozoic ( 2.0 Ga). The 187Os/188Os values of lherzolites (0.12411-0.12924) correlate well with bulk Al2O3 concentrations and record the physical mixing of ancient mantle domains and PUM-like ambient mantle material within the asthenosphere. This indicates that the SCLM beneath the Khanka

  3. Molybdenum isotope fractionation in the mantle (United States)

    Liang, Yu-Hsuan; Halliday, Alex N.; Siebert, Chris; Fitton, J. Godfrey; Burton, Kevin W.; Wang, Kuo-Lung; Harvey, Jason


    We report double-spike molybdenum (Mo) isotope data for forty-two mafic and fifteen ultramafic rocks from diverse locations and compare these with results for five chondrites. The δ98/95Mo values (normalized to NIST SRM 3134) range from -0.59 ± 0.04 to +0.10 ± 0.08‰. The compositions of one carbonaceous (CI) and four ordinary chondrites are relatively uniform (-0.14 ± 0.01‰, 95% ci (confidence interval)) in excellent agreement with previous data. These values are just resolvable from the mean of 10 mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs) (0.00 ± 0.02‰, 95% ci). The compositions of 13 mantle-derived ultramafic xenoliths from Kilbourne Hole, Tariat and Vitim are more diverse (-0.39 to -0.07‰) with a mean of -0.22 ± 0.06‰ (95% ci). On this basis, the isotopic composition of the bulk silicate Earth (BSE or Primitive Mantle) is within error identical to chondrites. The mean Mo concentration of the ultramafic xenoliths (0.19 ± 0.07 ppm, 95% ci) is similar in magnitude to that of MORB (0.48 ± 0.13 ppm, 95% ci), providing evidence, either for a more compatible behaviour than previously thought or for selective Mo enrichment of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Intraplate and ocean island basalts (OIBs) display significant isotopic variability within a single locality from MORB-like to strongly negative (-0.59 ± 0.04‰). The most extreme values measured are for nephelinites from the Cameroon Line and Trinidade, which also have anomalously high Ce/Pb and low Mo/Ce relative to normal oceanic basalts. δ98/95Mo correlates negatively with Ce/Pb and U/Pb, and positively with Mo/Ce, explicable if a phase such as an oxide or a sulphide liquid selectively retains isotopically heavy Mo in the mantle and fractionates its isotopic composition in low degree partial melts. If residual phases retain Mo during partial melting, it is possible that the [Mo] for the BSE may be misrepresented by values estimated from basalts. This would be consistent with the high Mo

  4. Mid-mantle heterogeneities and iron spin transition in the lower mantle: Implications for mid-mantle slab stagnation (United States)

    Shahnas, M. H.; Yuen, D. A.; Pysklywec, R. N.


    Recent high pressure experimental results reveal that the elastic and transport properties of mantle materials are impacted by the electronic spin transition in iron under lower mantle pressure and temperature conditions. The electronic transition in ferropericlase (Fp), the second major constituent mineral of the lower mantle material, is associated with a smooth increase in density starting from the mid-mantle depth to the core-mantle boundary (CMB). The transition also yields softening in the elastic moduli and an increase in the thermal expansivity over the transition zone in the lower mantle. Although there is not yet robust experimental evidence for spin-transition induced density change in the perovskite (Pv) phase (the major constituent mineral in the lower mantle), the spin transition in the octahedral (B) site in Al-free perovskite causes a bulk modulus hardening (increase in the bulk modulus) in the mineral. We have incorporated these physical processes into high resolution 3D-spherical control volume models for mantle convection. A series of numerical experiments explore how the electronic spin transition in iron modifies the mantle flow, and in particular the fate of sinking cold slabs. Such mid-mantle stagnations are prevalent globally in seismic tomographic inversions, but previous explanations for their existence are not satisfactory. Employing density anomalies from the iron spin transition in ferropericlase and density anomaly models for perovskite, we study the influence of the spin transition in the minerals of the lower mantle on mantle flow. Our model results reveal that while the spin transition-induced property variations in ferropericlase enhance mixing in the lower depths of the mantle, the density anomaly arising from the hardening in the bulk modulus of Al-free perovskite can be effective in slowing the descent of slabs and may cause stagnation at mid-mantle levels. A viscosity hill in the lower mantle may further enhance the stagnation

  5. Subduction-zone cycling of nitrogen in serpentinized mantle rocks (United States)

    Halama, R.; Bebout, G. E.; John, T.; Scambelluri, M.


    Nitrogen (N) has shown great potential as a geochemical tracer of volatiles recycling, in part because of large differences in the N isotope composition of the various Earth reservoirs. The subduction flux of N in serpentinized oceanic mantle could be as important as N input flux in oceanic crust and even sediment because, although its N concentrations are lower, its volume is potentially far greater than that of the crust/sediment. However, recycling of oceanic mantle rocks is still poorly constrained for the N cycle, and N isotope data for subduction-related ultramafic rocks are scarce [1]. The primary goal of this study is to characterize the subduction flux of N in subducting altered oceanic mantle by documenting concentrations and isotopic compositions of N in mantle rocks that reflect different stages of the metamorphic subduction zone cycle. The results are crucial to assess the composition of N recycled into the mantle, to determine the extent to which N can be retained in subducted mantle rocks to depths approaching those beneath arcs, and to balance N subduction-zone inputs with outputs in arc volcanic gases. Moreover, information has been gained regarding the redistribution and isotope fractionation of N via ultramafic dehydration and metamorphic fluid-rock interaction. The samples analyzed in this study are ultramafic rocks from shallow oceanic environments to increasing P-T conditions up to depths of ~70 km. Three distinct metamorphic grades, reflecting seafloor fluid uptake, water release due to brucite breakdown and the final antigorite breakdown, were investigated: 1. Pre-subduction serpentinized mantle peridotite from non-subducted ophiolite sequences from the Northern Apennines, Italy (Monte Nero). 2. Eclogite-facies antigorite serpentinites from the Ligurian Alps, Italy (Erro Tobbio). 3. Eclogite-facies chlorite harzburgites derived from dehydration of serpentinites from the Betic Cordillera, Spain (Cerro de Almirez). The pre

  6. Mantle wedge serpentinization effects on slab dips

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eh Tan


    Full Text Available The mechanical coupling between a subducting slab and the overlying mantle wedge is an important factor in controlling the subduction dip angle and the flow in mantel wedge. This paper investigates the role of the amount of mantle serpentinization on the subduction zone evolution. With numerical thermos-mechanical models with elasto-visco-plastic rheology, we vary the thickness and depth extent of mantle serpentinization in the mantle wedge to control the degree of coupling between the slab and mantle wedge. A thin serpentinized mantle layer is required for stable subduction. For models with stable subduction, we find that the slab dip is affected by the down-dip extent and the mantle serpentinization thickness. A critical down-dip extent exists in mantle serpentinization, determined by the thickness of the overriding lithosphere. If the down-dip extent does not exceed the critical depth, the slab is partially coupled to the overriding lithosphere and has a constant dip angle regardless of the mantle serpentinization thickness. However, if the down-dip extent exceeds the critical depth, the slab and the base of the overriding lithosphere would be separated and decoupled by a thick layer of serpentinized peridotite. This allows further slab bending and results in steeper slab dip. Increasing mantle serpentinization thickness will also result in larger slab dip. We also find that with weak mantle wedge, there is no material flowing from the asthenosphere into the serpentinized mantle wedge. All of these results indicate that serpentinization is an important ingredient when studying the subduction dynamics in the mantle wedge.

  7. Influence of magmatism on mantle cooling, surface heat flow and Urey ratio (United States)

    Nakagawa, Takashi; Tackley, Paul J.


    Two-dimensional thermo-chemical mantle convection simulations are used to investigate the influence of melting-inducted differentiation on the thermal evolution of Earth's mantle, focussing in particular on matching the present-day surface heat flow and the 'Urey ratio'. The influence of internal heating rate, initial mantle temperature and partitioning of heat-producing elements into basaltic crust are studied. High initial mantle temperatures, which are expected following Earth's accretion, cause major differences in early mantle thermo-chemical structures, but by the present-day surface heat flux and internal structures are indistinguishable from cases with a low initial temperature. Assuming three different values of mantle heat production that vary by more than a factor of two results in small differences in present-day heat flow, as does assuming different partitioning ratios of heat-producing elements into crust. Indeed, all of the cases presented here, regardless of exact parameters, have approximately Earth's present-day heat flow, with substantial fractions coming from the core and from mantle cooling. As a consequence of the model present-day surface heat flow varying only slightly with parameters, the Urey ratio (the ratio of total heat production to the total surface heat flow) is highly dependent on the amount of internal heat production, and due to the large uncertainty in this, the Urey ratio is considered to be a much poorer constraint on thermal evolution than the heat flow. The range of present-day Urey ratio observed in simulations here is about 0.3 to 0.5, which is consistent with observational and geochemical constraints (Jaupart et al., 2007). Magmatic heat transport contributes an upper bound of 9% to Earth's present-day heat loss but a much higher fraction at earlier times—often more than convective heat loss—so neglecting this causes an overestimation of the Urey ratio. Magmatic heat transport also plays an important role in mantle

  8. The Earth effects on the supernova neutrino spectra

    CERN Document Server

    Takahashi, K


    The Earth effects on the energy spectra supernova neutrinos are studied. We analyse numerically the time-integrated energy spectra of neutrino in a mantle-core-mantle step function model of the Earth's matter density profile. We consider a realistic frame-work in which there are three active neutrinos whose mass squared differences and mixings are constrained by the present understanding of solar and atmospheric neutrinos. We find that the energy spectra change for some allowed mixing parameters. We show that observation of the Earth effect allow us to identify the solar neutrino solution and to probe the mixing angle $\\theta_{13}$.

  9. Between a rock and a hot place: the core-mantle boundary. (United States)

    Wookey, James; Dobson, David P


    The boundary between the rocky mantle and iron core, almost 2900 km below the surface, is physically the most significant in the Earth's interior. It may be the terminus for subducted surface material, the source of mantle plumes and a control on the Earth's magnetic field. Its properties also have profound significance for the thermochemical and dynamic evolution of the solid Earth. Evidence from seismology shows that D'' (the lowermost few hundred kilometres of the mantle) has a variety of anomalous features. Understanding the origin of these observations requires an understanding of the elastic and deformation properties of the deep Earth minerals. Core-mantle boundary pressures and temperatures are achievable in the laboratory using diamond anvil cell (DAC) apparatus. Such experiments have led to the recent discovery of a new phase, 'post-perovskite', which may explain many hitherto poorly understood properties of D''. Experimental work is also done using analogue minerals at lower pressures and temperatures; these circumvent some of the limits imposed by the small sample size allowed by the DAC. A considerable contribution also comes from theoretical methods that provide a wealth of otherwise unavailable information, as well as verification and refinement of experimental results. The future of the study of the lowermost mantle will involve the linking of the ever-improving seismic observations with predictions of material properties from theoretical and experimental mineral physics in a quantitative fashion, including simulations of the dynamics of the deep Earth. This has the potential to dispel much of the mystery that still surrounds this remote but important region.

  10. Supercontinents, mantle dynamics and plate tectonics: A perspective based on conceptual vs. numerical models (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki; Santosh, M.


    The periodic assembly and dispersal of supercontinents through the history of the Earth had considerable impact on mantle dynamics and surface processes. Here we synthesize some of the conceptual models on supercontinent amalgamation and disruption and combine it with recent information from numerical studies to provide a unified approach in understanding Wilson Cycle and supercontinent cycle. Plate tectonic models predict that superdownwelling along multiple subduction zones might provide an effective mechanism to pull together dispersed continental fragments into a closely packed assembly. The recycled subducted material that accumulates at the mantle transition zone and sinks down into the core-mantle boundary (CMB) provides the potential fuel for the generation of plumes and superplumes which ultimately fragment the supercontinent. Geological evidence related to the disruption of two major supercontinents (Columbia and Gondwana) attest to the involvement of plumes. The re-assembly of dispersed continental fragments after the breakup of a supercontinent occurs through complex processes involving 'introversion', 'extroversion' or a combination of both, with the closure of the intervening ocean occurring through Pacific-type or Atlantic-type processes. The timescales of the assembly and dispersion of supercontinents have varied through the Earth history, and appear to be closely linked with the processes and duration of superplume genesis. The widely held view that the volume of continental crust has increased over time has been challenged in recent works and current models propose that plate tectonics creates and destroys Earth's continental crust with more crust being destroyed than created. The creation-destruction balance changes over a supercontinent cycle, with a higher crustal growth through magmatic influx during supercontinent break-up as compared to the tectonic erosion and sediment-trapped subduction in convergent margins associated with supercontinent

  11. The Mantle Transition Zone in Central-Eastern Greenland (United States)

    Kraft, H. A.; Thybo, H.; Vinnik, L. P.


    We present results of a Receiver Function (RF) study of the mantle transition zone (TZ) in Central-Eastern Greenland. The base of this study is data from 19 broad-band seismometers, which were temporarily installed from 2009 to 2012 in the region between Scoresbysund and Summit (~ 70º N) plus 5 permanent stations from the GLISN network. One half of these stations were installed on the ice, the other half on bedrock.Our analysis is based on low frequency PRF, which use the difference in travel times between converted and not converted phasesat discontinuities. Most of our RFs show clear signals for P410s and P660s. Their delay times suggest a surprisingly thin mantle transition zone for most parts of the study area in comparison to standard Earth models, and much thinner than below other continental shield and platform areas. This could indicate a fairly recent heating of the TZ. Another observation is an M-shaped signal around the 410 km - discontinuity at some of the stations mainly in the western part around Summit. This observation is contrary to the expected simple negative signal. It may indicate a thin low velocity layer between 410 km and 520 km, as it has previously been observed in several settings based on converted waves and also explosion data. Most of our stations show positive travel time anomalies for the upper mantle, which again is contrary to simple models of old continental shields.

  12. Tectonic plates, D (double prime) thermal structure, and the nature of mantle plumes (United States)

    Lenardic, A.; Kaula, W. M.


    It is proposed that subducting tectonic plates can affect the nature of thermal mantle plumes by determining the temperature drop across a plume source layer. The temperature drop affects source layer stability and the morphology of plumes emitted from it. Numerical models are presented to demonstrate how introduction of platelike behavior in a convecting temperature dependent medium, driven by a combination of internal and basal heating, can increase the temperature drop across the lower boundary layer. The temperature drop increases dramatically following introduction of platelike behavior due to formation of a cold temperature inversion above the lower boundary layer. This thermal inversion, induced by deposition of upper boundary layer material to the system base, decays in time, but the temperature drop across the lower boundary layer always remains considerably higher than in models lacking platelike behavior. On the basis of model-inferred boundary layer temperature drops and previous studies of plume dynamics, we argue that generally accepted notions as to the nature of mantle plumes on Earth may hinge on the presence of plates. The implication for Mars and Venus, planets apparently lacking plate tectonics, is that mantle plumes of these planets may differ morphologically from those of Earth. A corollary model-based argument is that as a result of slab-induced thermal inversions above the core mantle boundary the lower most mantle may be subadiabatic, on average (in space and time), if major plate reorganization timescales are less than those acquired to diffuse newly deposited slab material.

  13. Radioactivity released from burning gas lantern mantles. (United States)

    Luetzelschwab, J W; Googins, S W


    Gas lantern mantles contain thorium to produce incandescence when lantern fuel is burned on the mantle. Although only thorium is initially present on the mantle, the thorium daughters build up, some over a period of weeks and some over a period of years, and significant quantities of these daughters are present when the mantle is used. Some of these daughters are released when the lantern fuel is burned on the mantle. The amounts of radioactivity released during burning is studied by measuring the gamma radiation emitted by the daughters. Results of this study show that some of the radium (224Ra and 228Ra) and more than half the 212Pb and 212Bi is released during the first hour of a burn. The actual amounts release depend on the age of the mantle.

  14. Illuminating the electrical conductivity of the lowermost mantle from below (United States)

    Jault, Dominique


    The magnetic field that originates in the earth's core is transformed across the electrically conducting mantle before being observed, at the earth's surface or above. Assuming that the conductivity depends only on radius, it has been customary to treat the mantle as a linear time-invariant filter for the core magnetic field, with properties (as a function of the frequency ω) specified by the transfer function Γ(ω). An high-frequency approximation to Γ(ω), which is derived from a three terms WKBJ expansion with ω-1/2 as small parameter, is found here to reproduce adequately, for low harmonic degrees and/or thin conducting layers, the exact solution, which is evaluated numerically. It is contrasted with the low-frequency estimation of Γ, which consists in a perturbation procedure and in writing Γ(ω) as a series in powers of ω (ω → 0). The low-frequency theory is applied to the magnetic variations produced by the geostrophic core flows with about 6 yr period as the phase of these flows is independently determined from their effect on the length of the day. Apart from that, the low-frequency approximation overestimates the screening by the mantle of high-frequency signals, especially the low harmonic degree ones. In practice, the attenuating factor defined from the O(ω2) term in the expansion of Γ as ω → 0 cannot be retrieved from analyses of geomagnetic time-series. Application of the mantle filter theory hinges on our knowledge about the time spectrum of the magnetic field at the core surface. The low-frequency theory had been previously applied to observatory series on the assumption that geomagnetic jerks occurring in the core are rare and isolated events. Rather than following up these earlier studies, I note that the spectral density function for the second time derivative of the main magnetic field coefficients is approximately independent of ω in a frequency range for which the mantle has undoubtedly negligible influence. In the absence of

  15. The nature of the earth's core (United States)

    Jeanloz, Raymond


    The properties of the earth's core are overviewed with emphasis on seismologically determined regions and pressures and seismologically measured density, elastic wave velocities, and gravitational acceleration. Attention is given to solid-state convection of the inner core, and it is noted that though seismological results do not conclusively prove that the inner core is convective, the occurrence and magnitude of seismic anisotropy are explained by the effects of solid-state convection. Igneous petrology and geochemistry of the inner core, a layer at the base of the mantle and contact metasomatism at the core-mantle boundary, and evolution of the core-mantle system are discussed. It is pointed out that high-pressure melting experiments indicate that the temperature of the core is ranging from 4500 to 6500 K, and a major implication of such high temperature is that the tectonics and convection of the mantle, as well as the resulting geological processes observed at the surface, are powered by heat from the core. As a result of the high temperatures, along with the compositional contrast between silicates and iron alloy, the core-mantle boundary is considered to be most chemically active region of the earth.

  16. Earth and Mars: Water inventories as clues to accretional histories (United States)

    Carr, M.H.; Wanke, H.


    The Earth has 2.7 km of water on its surface. Its mantle contains at least 150 ppm water, and probably significantly more depending on the amount of undepleted mantle and subducted crustal water that is present. Geologic evidence suggests that a few hundred meters of water are close to the Martian surface, but evidence from SNC meteorites indicates that the Martian mantle is very dry, containing no more than about 35 ppm water. Part of the difference in water content of the mantles of the two planets is attributed to plate tectonics. However, the Earth's mantle appears to contain at least several times the water content of the Martian mantle, even accounting for plate tectonics. We attribute the difference to two possible causes. The first possibility is that melting of the Earth's surface during accretion, as a result of the development of a steam atmosphere, allowed impact-devolatized water at the surface to dissolve into the Earth's interior. In contrast, because of Mars' smaller size and greater distance from the Sun, the Martian surface may not have melted, so that the devolatilized water could not dissolve into the surface. A second and preferred possibility is that Mars, like the Earth, acquired a late volatile rich veneer, but it did not get folded into the interior as with the Earth, but instead remained as a water-rich veneer. The perception of Mars as having a wet surface, but a dry interior, is consistent with what we know of the geologic history of Mars, which can be viewed as the progressive intrusion and overplating of a water-rich crust by dry, mantle-derived volcanic rocks. ?? 1992.

  17. Early Mantle Evolution and the Late Veneer - New Perspectives from Highly Siderophile Elements (United States)

    Coggon, J. A.; Luguet, A.; Lorand, J. P.; Fonseca, R.; Appel, P.; Mondal, S. K.; Peters, S.; Nowell, G. M.; Hoffmann, J. E.


    Numerous studies show that core - mantle differentiation should have fractionated the highly siderophile elements (HSE) into Earth's core during its formation, leaving them almost entirely depleted in the mantle. It is widely held that later addition of chondritic material (a.k.a. the "late veneer") can account for the disparity between modelled and observed HSE concentrations in the upper mantle. Recent experimental data (Médard et al., 2015) indicate that addition of ~0.6 % of the mass of the Earth could re-enrich the mantle HSE budget sufficiently to satisfy these observations. However, debate remains strong regarding the absolute timing, duration and nature of the re-enrichment. Chondrite-normalised HSE patterns (Coggon et al., 2015) of massive chromitites from the >3.811 Ga Ujaragssuit nunât layered ultramafic body, Greenland, are strikingly similar in both shape and abundance to the patterns of Phanerozoic chromitites from ultramafic layered intrusions. These data suggest that late veneer re-enrichment had already occurred prior to 3.811 Ga (Bennett et al., 2002; Coggon et al., 2013). Furthermore, Pt-Os model ages for these samples indicate that a late veneer component may have been present in Earth's mantle as early as 4.1 - 4.3 Ga (Coggon et al., 2013). HSE inter-element ratios demonstrate distinct differences between this chromitite sample suite and younger chromitites from analogous tectonic settings. It remains unclear whether late veneer addition was already complete at 3.82 Ga and how long it took for this material to be accreted and homogenised within the upper mantle. We will address these issues using HSE and Os isotope data from Ujaragssuit nunât, Greenland, and the Singhbum Craton, India.

  18. Thermal Stratification in Vertical Mantle Tanks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Søren; Furbo, Simon


    It is well known that it is important to have a high degree of thermal stratification in the hot water storage tank to achieve a high thermal performance of SDHW systems. This study is concentrated on thermal stratification in vertical mantle tanks. Experiments based on typical operation conditions...... are carried out to investigate how the thermal stratification is affected by different placements of the mantle inlet. The heat transfer between the solar collector fluid in the mantle and the domestic water in the inner tank is analysed by CFD-simulations. Furthermore, the flow pattern in the vertical mantle...... tank is investigated....

  19. High-Resolution Imaging of Structure and Dynamics of the Lowermost Mantle (United States)

    Zhao, Chunpeng

    This research investigates Earth structure in the core-mantle boundary (CMB) region, where the solid rocky mantle meets the molten iron alloy core. At long wavelengths, the lower mantle is characterized by two nearly antipodal large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs), one beneath the Pacific Ocean the other beneath Africa and the southern Atlantic Ocean. However, fine-scale LLSVP structure as well as its relationship with plate tectonics, mantle convection, hotspot volcanism, and Earth's outer core remains poorly understood. The recent dramatic increase in seismic data coverage due to the EarthScope experiment presents an unprecedented opportunity to utilize large concentrated datasets of seismic data to improve resolution of lowermost mantle structures. I developed an algorithm that identifies anomalously broadened seismic waveforms to locate sharp contrasts in shear velocity properties across the margins of the LLSVP beneath the Pacific. The result suggests that a nearly vertical mantle plume underlies Hawaii that originates from a peak of a chemically distinct reservoir at the base of the mantle, some 600-900 km above the CMB. Additionally, acute horizontal Vs variations across and within the northern margin of the LLSVP beneath the central Pacific Ocean are inferred from forward modeling of differential travel times between S (and Sdiff) and SKS, and also between ScS and S. I developed a new approach to expand the geographic detection of ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZs) with a new ScS stacking approach that simultaneously utilizes the pre- and post-cursor wavefield. Strong lateral variations in ULVZ thicknesses and properties are found across the LLSVP margins, where ULVZs are thicker and stronger within the LLSVP than outside of it, consistent with convection model predictions. Differential travel times, amplitude ratios, and waveshapes of core waves SKKS and SKS are used to investigate CMB topography and outermost core velocity structure. 1D and 2D

  20. Geomagnetic spikes on the core-mantle boundary (United States)

    Davies, Christopher; Constable, Catherine


    Extreme variations of Earth's magnetic field occurred in the Levant region around 1000 BC, when the field intensity rapidly rose and fell by a factor of 2. No coherent link currently exists between this intensity spike and the global field produced by the core geodynamo. Here we show that the Levantine spike must span >60° longitude at Earth's surface if it originates from the core-mantle boundary (CMB). Several low intensity data are incompatible with this geometric bound, though age uncertainties suggest these data could have sampled the field before the spike emerged. Models that best satisfy energetic and geometric constraints produce CMB spikes 8-22° wide, peaking at O(100) mT. We suggest that the Levantine spike reflects an intense CMB flux patch that grew in place before migrating northwest, contributing to growth of the dipole field. Estimates of Ohmic heating suggest that diffusive processes likely govern the ultimate decay of geomagnetic spikes.

  1. Searching for structure in the mid-mantle: Observations of converted phases beneath Iceland and Europe (United States)

    Jenkins, J.; Deuss, A. F.; Cottaar, S.


    Until recently, most of the lower mantle was considered to be well-mixed with strong heterogeneity restricted to the lowermost several hundred kilometers above the core-mantle boundary, also known as the D'' layer. However, several recent studies have started to hint at a potential change in earth structure at mid-mantle depths, with evidence from both seismic tomography (Fukao and Obayashi 2013, French and Romanowichz, 2015) and global viscosity structure (Rudolph et al., 2015). We present the first continental-wide search for mid-mantle P to S wave converted phases and find most observations come from approximately 1000 km depth beneath Iceland and Western Europe. Conversions are identified using a data set of 50,000 high quality receiver functions which are systematically searched for robust signals from the mid-mantle. Potential P to s conversions are analysed in terms of slowness to determine whether they are true observations from depth or simply surface multiples arriving at similar times. We find broad regions with robust signals from approximately 1000 km depth in several locations; beneath Iceland and across Western Europe, beneath Ireland, Scotland, Eifel and south towards NW Italy and Spain. Similar observations have previously been observed mainly in subduction zone settings, and have been hypothesised to be caused by down-going oceanic crustal material. Here we present observations which correlate with slow seismic velocities in recent tomographic models (Rickers et al., (2013); French and Romanowicz, (2015)). These low velocities appear to be a channel deviating from the broad mantle plume beneath Iceland at mid-mantle depths. We hypothesise that the mid-mantle seismic signals we observe are caused by either a phase transition occurring locally in a specific composition or by small-scale chemical heterogeneities swept along with upwelling material and ponding around 1000 km.

  2. Effect of Spin Transition onComposition and Seismic Structure of the Lower Mantle (United States)

    Wu, Z.


    Spin transition of iron in ferropericlase (Fp) causes a significant softening in bulk modulus [e.g.,1,2], which leads to unusual dVP/dT>0. Because dVP/dT>0 in Fp cancels out with dVP/dTtemperature variation at the depth of ~1730 km [3], which is in consistence with some seismic tomography results[4,5]. Spin transition of iron in Fp also plays a crtical role to the structure and stability of LLSVPs in the lower mantle[6]. Obviously, the insensitivity of VPto temperature at mid lower mantle dramatically depends on the content of Fp and iron content in Fp. The composition of the lower mantle is critical for us to understand the Earth's interior and the mantle convection. Previous reports on the composition of the lower mantle are controversial. Using the high -temperature and -pressure velocities and density data of minerals obtained from first-principles calculations, we found that the aggregate constrained well by seismic model can vary from pyrolitic composition with ~ 15 wt% ferropericlase (Fp) to perovskitic-rich composition. Any composition well constrained by seismic model, however, has enough amount of Fp to exhibit positive temperature dependence of the bulk sound velocity, which results in negative correlation between bulk sound and shear velocities at mid lower mantle without involving any composition variation. Spin crossover of iron in Fp significantly reduces the temperature sensitivity of P wave velocity of the aggregate at the depth of ~1730 km along the adiabatic geotherm. [1] Wu, Z.Q., Justo, J.F., Wentzcovitch, R.M., 2013. Elastic Anomalies in a Spin-Crossover System: Ferropericlase at Lower Mantle Conditions. Phys Rev Lett 110. 228501 [2] Lin, J.F., Speziale, S., Mao, Z., Marquardt, H., 2013. . Rev Geophys 51, 244-275 (2013). [3] Wu, Z.Q., Wentzcovitch, R.M., 2014. Spin crossover in ferropericlase and velocity heterogeneities in the lower mantle. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 111, 10468-10472. [4] Zhao, D.P., 2007. Seismic images under 60

  3. The Style of Density Stratification In The Mantle and True Polar Wander Induced By Ice Loading (United States)

    Sabadini, R.; Marotta, A. M.; de Franco, R.; Vermeersen, L. L. A.

    The present day velocity of true polar wander (TPW) and the displacement of the axis of rotation of the Earth in response to ice ages, resulting from stratified, viscoelastic Earth models, are sensitive to the non adiabatic density gradient in the mantle. Previ- ous studies, based on a fully non adiabatic, or chemically stratified mantle, overesti- mated the present day TPW for lower mantle viscosities 1021-1022 Pa s. For a density profile in agreement with the reference seismological model, where non adiabaticity is confined to the transition zone between 420 and 670 km, with the remanent mantle fully adiabatic, the present day TPW is 0.65-0.9 Deg/Myr, substantially lower than the 3.0 Deg/Myr obtained for the chemical mantle, due to the lack of isostatic restor- ing force in the adiabatic mantle, or global reduction of the buoyancy, that favours the attainment of a situation of rotational equilibrium. The correctness of this physi- cal interpretation is demonstrated by the behaviour of a fully adiabatic phase change that can be satisfactorily reproduced by deleting the buoyancy restoring modes due to chemical density jumps. The reduction of present day TPW induced by the Pleis- tocenic deglaciation, for a realistically stratified mantle with non adiabatic density gradients due to phase changes localized in the transition zone, impacts the inversion of the lower mantle viscosity, characterized by two best fit values in proximity of 1021 Pa s and 1022 Pa s, resembling the behaviour of the time derivative of the degree two component of the gravity field. The reduction of present day TPW suggests that other mechanisms, such as present day ice mass instability in Antarctica and Greenland, are presently at work to maintain the drift of 0.9 Deg/Myr of the axis of rotaton towards Newfoundland. The secular drift of the adiabatic mantle model during the continuous occurrence of ice ages is increased by the fifty per cent with respect to the chemically stratified one

  4. Non-chondritic iron isotope ratios in planetary mantles as a result of core formation (United States)

    Elardo, Stephen M.; Shahar, Anat


    Information about the materials and conditions involved in planetary formation and differentiation in the early Solar System is recorded in iron isotope ratios. Samples from Earth, the Moon, Mars and the asteroid Vesta reveal significant variations in iron isotope ratios, but the sources of these variations remain uncertain. Here we present experiments that demonstrate that under the conditions of planetary core formation expected for the Moon, Mars and Vesta, iron isotopes fractionate between metal and silicate due to the presence of nickel, and enrich the bodies' mantles in isotopically light iron. However, the effect of nickel diminishes at higher temperatures: under conditions expected for Earth's core formation, we infer little fractionation of iron isotopes. From our experimental results and existing conceptual models of magma ocean crystallization and mantle partial melting, we find that nickel-induced fractionation can explain iron isotope variability found in planetary samples without invoking nebular or accretionary processes. We suggest that near-chondritic iron isotope ratios of basalts from Mars and Vesta, as well as the most primitive lunar basalts, were achieved by melting of isotopically light mantles, whereas the heavy iron isotope ratios of terrestrial ocean floor basalts are the result of melting of near-chondritic Earth mantle.

  5. Rock species formation due to deep-mantle melting (United States)

    Fomin, Ilya; Tackley, Paul


    Melting and melting migration are processes leading to chemically distinct rock species from a homogeneous substrate in the Earth mantle. Iron-rich melts and corresponding rock species are proposed to result from magma ocean progressive crystallization [Labrosse et al., 2007], and modern geophysical models of ULVZ (e.g. [Beuchert & Schmeling, 2013]) discuss their presence at around the CMB today. We perform long-term (tens of millions of years) numerical simulations of the Earth's mantle for a plausible range of CMB temperatures to understands the possibility of melting and it's consequences. Our model of melting is based on experimental data and ab initio simulations. Physical properties (liquid-solid density differences) are adjusted with data of [de Koker et al., 2013; Mosenfelder et al., 2007; Stixrude & Lithgow-Bertelloni, 2011; Thomas & Asimow, 2013]. This model is included in StagYY numerical code (e.g. [Tackley, 2008]) to simulate mass and thermal fluxes within the Earth mantle. Melt segregation (rocks' permeability and velocities) is considered using equations listed in [Abe, 1995; Solomatov, Stevenson, 1993; Martin & Nokes, 1989]. Thermal effects (adiabatic heating and viscous dissipation) are considered. Viscous dissipation term includes Darcy flux term, but omits highly non-linear Brinkman contribution [Nield, 2007]. Modeling predicts formation of melt if temperature at CMB exceeds 4000-4050K. It's segregation and reequilibration results in sufficient volumes of slightly iron-enriched melt lighter than solid counterpart and moving upward. However, it's propagation is strongly controlled by temperature. Partial melting atop the molten layer results in formation of refractory iron-poor restite which delaminates and sink down, so that a layer of iron-depleted material forms underneath the molten layer. Our model applied to homogeneous pyrolitic mantle results in formation of layers of iron-depleted material with average FeO around 4.6 mol.% and iron

  6. Early stages of core segregation recorded by Fe isotopes in an asteroidal mantle


    Barrat, Jean-Alix; Rouxel, O; Wang, K; Moynier, F; Yamaguchi, A; Bischoff, A; Langlade, J


    International audience; Ureilites displays  56 Fe values higher than average chondrite. 29-Segregation of Fe-sulfide melts explains the high  56 Fe values in ureilites. 30-Formation of a core can begin at very low degrees of melting through the circulation of a Fe-S melt 31 through a silicate mantle. 32 33 Earth and Planetary Science Letters, in press (11/3/15). 34 2 35 Abstract 36 37 Ureilite meteorites are achondrites that are debris of the mantle of a now disrupted 38 differentiated aste...

  7. Expanding earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carey, S.W.


    Arguments in favor of an expanding earth are presented. The author believes that the theory of plate tectonics is a classic error in the history of geology. The case for the expanding earth is organized in the following way: introductory review - face of the earth, development of expanding earth concept, necessity for expansion, the subduction myth, and definitions; some principles - scale of tectonic phenomena, non-uniformitarianism, tectonic profile, paleomagnetism, asymmetry of the earth, rotation of the earth, and modes of crustal extension; regional studies - western North America, Central America, South-East Asia, and the rift oceans; tests and cause of expansion. 824 references, 197 figures, 11 tables. (RWR)

  8. Effects of compressibility in the mantle convection Equations (United States)

    Trubitsyn, V. P.; Trubitsyna, A. P.


    The Boussinesq approximation of thermal convection equations results from neglecting the number of the terms which are actually not small in the conditions of the Earth's mantle. However, the error of calculating the structure of the convective flows is lower than the discarded terms. In this work we analyze the causes of this fact by successively passing from the general equations for a heated viscous compressible fluid to the simpler thermal convection equations by rejecting small quantities with the parameters of the presentday Earth. We consider the anelastic liquid approximation (ALA), truncated anelastic liquid approximation (TALA), extended Boussinesq approximation (EBA), and the simplest classical Boussinesq approximation (BA) which fully disregards the compressibility of a fluid. With the parameters of the mantle, BA is only accurate when describing the flow velocities, while the temperature is predicted with an error of up to a few dozen percent. Therefore, it appears reasonable to consider an intermediate approximation between EBA and BA, in which the effects of compressibility are only taken into account for temperature. This approximation can be referred to as the superadiabatic Boussinesq approximation (SBA) for temperature T sa. The corresponding equations are structurally similar to the standard Boussinesq approximation but with a superadiabatic temperature T sa instead of total temperature T. In this simple approximation, the calculated structure of the convective flows and the distribution of total temperature (obtained by adding the known adiabatic T a to the calculated T sa) are more accurate than in the classical Boussinesq approximation.

  9. Waveform inversion of mantle Love waves: The born seismogram approach (United States)

    Tanimoto, T.


    Normal mode theory, extended to the slightly laterally heterogeneous Earth by the first-order Born approximation, is applied to the waveform inversion of mantle Love waves (200-500 sec) for the Earth's lateral heterogeneity at l=2 and a spherically symmetric anelasticity (Q sub mu) structure. The data are from the Global Digital Seismograph Network (GDSN). The l=2 pattern is very similar to the results of other studies that used either different methods, such as phase velocity measurements and multiplet location measurements, or a different data set, such as mantle Rayleigh waves from different instruments. The results are carefully analyzed for variance reduction and are most naturally explained by heterogeneity in the upper 420 km. Because of the poor resolution of the data set for the deep interior, however, a fairly large heterogeneity in the transition zones, of the order of up to 3.5% in shear wave velocity, is allowed. It is noteworthy that Love waves of this period range can not constrain the structure below 420 km and thus any model presented by similar studies below this depth are likely to be constrained by Rayleigh waves (spheroidal modes) only.

  10. Waveform inversion of mantle Love waves - The Born seismogram approach (United States)

    Tanimoto, T.


    Normal mode theory, extended to the slightly laterally heterogeneous earth by the first-order Born approximation, is applied to the waveform inversion of mantle Love waves (200-500 sec) for the earth's lateral heterogeneity at l = 2 and a spherically symmetric anelasticity (Q sub mu) structure. The data are from the Global Digital Seismograph Network (GDSN). The l = 2 pattern is very similar to the results of other studies that used either different methods, such as phase velocity measurements and multiplet location measurements, or a different data set, such as mantle Rayleigh waves from different instruments. The results are carefully analyzed for variance reduction and are most naturally explained by heterogeneity in the upper 420 km. Because of the poor resolution of the data set for the deep interior, however, a fairly large heterogeneity in the transition zones, of the order of up to 3.5 percent in shear wave velocity, is allowed. It is noteworthy that Love waves of this period range can not constrain the structure below 420 km and thus any model presented by similar studies below this depth are likely to be constrained by Rayleigh waves (spheroidal modes) only.

  11. Sediments at the top of Earth's core. (United States)

    Buffett, B A; Garnero, E J; Jeanloz, R


    Unusual physical properties at the core-mantle boundary have been inferred from seismic and geodetic observations in recent years. We show how both types of observations can be explained by a layer of silicate sediments, which accumulate at the top of the core as Earth cools. Compaction of the sediments expels most of the liquid iron but leaves behind a small amount of core material, which is entrained in mantle convection and may account for the isotopic signatures of core material in some hot spot plumes. Extraction of light elements from the liquid core also enhances the vigor of convection in the core and may increase the power available to the geodynamo.

  12. Global Carbon Cycle of the Precambrian Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiewióra, Justyna

    The carbon isotopic composition of distinct Archaean geological records provides information about the global carbon cycle and emergence of life on early Earth. We utilized carbon isotopic records of Greenlandic carbonatites, diamonds, graphites, marbles, metacarbonates and ultramafic rocks...... to investigate carbon fluxes between Precambrian Earth’s mantle and crust and to trace the evolution of life in the Eoarchaean oceans. The world’s desire for diamonds gives us a unique opportunity to obtain insight into the nature of metasomatic fluids affecting the subcratonic lithospheric mantle (SCLM) beneath...

  13. Modelling of Equilibrium Between Mantle and Core: Refractory, Volatile, and Highly Siderophile Elements (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Pando, K.; Shofner, G.; Lee, C. -T.


    Siderophile elements have been used to constrain conditions of core formation and differentiation for the Earth, Mars and other differentiated bodies [1]. Recent models for the Earth have concluded that the mantle and core did not fully equilibrate and the siderophile element contents of the mantle can only be explained under conditions where the oxygen fugacity changes from low to high during accretion and the mantle and core do not fully equilibrate [2,3]. However these conclusions go against several physical and chemical constraints. First, calculations suggest that even with the composition of accreting material changing from reduced to oxidized over time, the fO2 defined by metal-silicate equilibrium does not change substantially, only by approximately 1 logfO2 unit [4]. An increase of more than 2 logfO2 units in mantle oxidation are required in models of [2,3]. Secondly, calculations also show that metallic impacting material will become deformed and sheared during accretion to a large body, such that it becomes emulsified to a fine scale that allows equilibrium at nearly all conditions except for possibly the length scale for giant impacts [5] (contrary to conclusions of [6]). Using new data for D(Mo) metal/silicate at high pressures, together with updated partitioning expressions for many other elements, we will show that metal-silicate equilibrium across a long span of Earth s accretion history may explain the concentrations of many siderophile elements in Earth's mantle. The modeling includes refractory elements Ni, Co, Mo, and W, as well as highly siderophile elements Au, Pd and Pt, and volatile elements Cd, In, Bi, Sb, Ge and As.

  14. Long-term cycling of mantle Pb: A trace element study of the major mantle mineral phases in abyssal peridotites (United States)

    D'Errico, M. E.; Warren, J. M.; Godard, M.; Ildefonse, B.


    Peridotites from ultraslow-spreading ridges preserve signatures of the depleted mantle, while also reflecting the fine scale compositional variability present in the mantle. Traditional analyses of these depleted rocks have focused on clinopyroxene, the main trace element host in spinel peridotites. However, key isotopic systems, such as lead and osmium, are hosted in other phases at low but significant concentration levels. The amount of lead contained within mantle mineral phases is of critical importance to understanding the long-term evolution of the Earth, because the radiogenic isotopes of lead are sensitive to past material cycling and melt-rock interaction. Sulfides have long been suggested as the main host for lead (Pb) in the mantle, but recent studies have demonstrated that Pb is not exclusively hosted in this trace phase. Therefore, the Pb contents of the major peridotite mineral phases (olivine, orthopyroxene, and clinopyroxene) need to be reassessed. Lead concentration data is available for orogenic and xenolith peridotite samples, which are typically more enriched than abyssal peridotites, but these do not provide direct information on the oceanic upper mantle. Direct measurement of Pb in abyssal peridotites has so far been limited because of its extremely low concentration (often plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The LA-ICP-MS technique achieves high spatial resolution combined with detection of low elemental abundances. External precision varied from 6% to 17%, with a precision of 6% for Pb, based on 14 repeat analyses of BIR-1G standard basalt glass. Laser spot size varied from 102-163 microns, which produced a detection limit of 0.42-0.81 ppb for Pb. This study focused on abyssal peridotites from the ultra-slow spreading Gakkel and Southwest Indian Ridges (SWIR), with samples coming from segments with full spreading rates fresh samples from Gakkel. A total of five Gakkel and six SWIR peridotites were analyzed by LA-ICP-MS, with a subset of

  15. Water in the Earth's Interior: Distribution and Origin (United States)

    Peslier, Anne H.; Schönbächler, Maria; Busemann, Henner; Karato, Shun-Ichiro


    The concentration and distribution of water in the Earth has influenced its evolution throughout its history. Even at the trace levels contained in the planet's deep interior (mantle and core), water affects Earth's thermal, deformational, melting, electrical and seismic properties, that control differentiation, plate tectonics and volcanism. These in turn influenced the development of Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and life. In addition to the ubiquitous presence of water in the hydrosphere, most of Earth's "water" actually occurs as trace amounts of hydrogen incorporated in the rock-forming silicate minerals that constitute the planet's crust and mantle, and may also be stored in the metallic core. The heterogeneous distribution of water in the Earth is the result of early planetary differentiation into crust, mantle and core, followed by remixing of lithosphere into the mantle after plate-tectonics started. The Earth's total water content is estimated at 18_{-15}^{+81} times the equivalent mass of the oceans (or a concentration of 3900_{-3300}^{+32700} ppm weight H2O). Uncertainties in this estimate arise primarily from the less-well-known concentrations for the lower mantle and core, since samples for water analyses are only available from the crust, the upper mantle and very rarely from the mantle transition zone (410-670 km depth). For the lower mantle (670-2900 km) and core (2900-4500 km), the estimates rely on laboratory experiments and indirect geophysical techniques (electrical conductivity and seismology). The Earth's accretion likely started relatively dry because it mainly acquired material from the inner part of the proto-planetary disk, where temperatures were too high for the formation and accretion of water ice. Combined evidence from several radionuclide systems (Pd-Ag, Mn-Cr, Rb-Sr, U-Pb) suggests that water was not incorporated in the Earth in significant quantities until the planet had grown to ˜60-90% of its current size, while core formation

  16. Pulsation Solution to the Equation of Earth's Gravitational Field (Main Outcome)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Using d'Alembert equation as the approximation of Einstein's equation, a solution is given in this paper to the time-dependent gravitational equation of the Earth in consideration of the Earth's features, which describes the characteristics of pulsation of the Earth and the structures of spherical layers of its interior, thus providing a theoretical basis for establishing the idea of mantle pulsation.

  17. Models of the earth's core (United States)

    Stevenson, D. J.


    Combined inferences from seismology, high-pressure experiment and theory, geomagnetism, fluid dynamics, and current views of terrestrial planetary evolution lead to models of the earth's core with five basic properties. These are that core formation was contemporaneous with earth accretion; the core is not in chemical equilibrium with the mantle; the outer core is a fluid iron alloy containing significant quantities of lighter elements and is probably almost adiabatic and compositionally uniform; the more iron-rich inner solid core is a consequence of partial freezing of the outer core, and the energy release from this process sustains the earth's magnetic field; and the thermodynamic properties of the core are well constrained by the application of liquid-state theory to seismic and labroatory data.

  18. Triple oxygen isotopic composition of the high-3He/4He mantle (United States)

    Starkey, N. A.; Jackson, C. R. M.; Greenwood, R. C.; Parman, S.; Franchi, I. A.; Jackson, M.; Fitton, J. G.; Stuart, F. M.; Kurz, M.; Larsen, L. M.


    Measurements of Xe isotope ratios in ocean island basalts (OIB) suggest that Earth's mantle accreted heterogeneously, and that compositional remnants of accretion are sampled by modern, high-3He/4He OIB associated with the Icelandic and Samoan plumes. If so, the high-3He/4He source may also