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Rheological properties of the upper mantle of the Earth play an important role in the dynamics of the lithosphere and asthenosphere. However, such fundamental issues as the dominant mechanisms of flow have not been well resolved. A synthesis of laboratory studies and geophysical and geological observations shows that transitions between diffusion and(More)
Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain trench-parallel shear wave splitting in the mantle wedge of subduction zones. These include 3-D flow effects, parallel melt filled cracks, and B-type olivine fabric. We predict the distribution of B-type and other fabrics with high-resolution thermal and stress models of subduction zones. A composite viscous(More)
[1] Shear-wave splitting observations at several subduction systems show trench-parallel fast directions in the fore-arc mantle. The presence of B-type olivine fabric in the mantle wedge may provide an explanation for this pattern of anisotropy under low-temperature and hydrated conditions. Sensitivity tests are shown that provide insights into the(More)
Because of their distinct chemical signatures, ocean-island and mid-ocean-ridge basalts are traditionally inferred to arise from separate, isolated reservoirs in the Earth's mantle. Such mantle reservoir models, however, typically satisfy geochemical constraints, but not geophysical observations. Here we propose an alternative hypothesis that, rather than(More)
The core-mantle boundary of Earth is a region where iron-rich liquids interact with oxides and silicates in the mantle. Iron enrichment may occur at the bottom of the mantle, leading to low seismic-wave velocities and high electrical conductivity, but plausible physical processes of iron enrichment have not been suggested. Diffusion-controlled iron(More)
The distribution of water in the Earth's interior reflects the way in which the Earth has evolved, and has an important influence on its material properties. Minerals in the transition zone of the Earth's mantle (from approximately 410 to approximately 660 km depth) have large water solubility, and hence it is thought that the transition zone might act as a(More)
The chemical evolution of the Earth and the terrestrial planets is largely controlled by the density of silicate melts. If melt density is higher than that of the surrounding solid, incompatible elements dissolved in the melt will be sequestered in the deep mantle. Previous studies on dry (water-free) melts showed that the density of silicate melts can be(More)
Seismological observations reveal highly anisotropic patches at the bottom of the Earth's lower mantle, whereas the bulk of the mantle has been observed to be largely isotropic. These patches have been interpreted to correspond to areas where subduction has taken place in the past or to areas where mantle plumes are upwelling, but the underlying cause for(More)
[1] Seismological observations have revealed patches of seismic anisotropy in regions related to mantle upwelling and paleosubduction within an otherwise isotropic lower mantle. A combination of numerical modeling and mineral physics is used to constrain the source of anisotropy in these regions in an effort to better understand lower mantle dynamics and(More)
Anisotropy of the inner core of the Earth is proposed to result from the lattice preferred orientation of anisotropic iron crystals during their solidification in the presence of a magnetic field. The resultant seismic anisotropy is related to the geometry of the magnetic field in the core. This hypothesis implies that the observed anisotropy (fast velocity(More)