Heterogeneous distribution of water in the mantle transition zone inferred from wavefield imaging

Yinzhi Wang, Gary L. Pavlis, Mingming Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The amount of water in the Earth's deep mantle is critical for the evolution of the Earth. Mineral physics studies revealed that the mantle transition zone can store several times the volume of water in an ocean. However, the actual water distribution in the transition zone remains enigmatic. We used the highest resolution images produced of scatterers in the North-American transition zone derived from teleseismic data recorded by the Earthscope Transportable Array. We find that the transition zone is filled with previously unrecognized small-scale heterogeneities that produce pervasive, negative polarity signals. Simulations demonstrated the images can be explained by low-velocity bodies shaped as distributed blobs or near vertical structures. We suggest these low-velocity bodies may be heterogeneously distributed, water-enriched subducted harzburgites produced through long-term accumulation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)42-50
    Number of pages9
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Volume505
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

    Fingerprint

    transition zone
    Earth mantle
    mantle
    Imaging techniques
    Water
    water
    low speed
    Earth (planet)
    image resolution
    Image resolution
    Minerals
    polarity
    oceans
    physics
    Physics
    minerals
    distribution
    high resolution
    ocean
    mineral

    Keywords

    • imaging
    • mantle convection
    • mantle transition zone
    • receiver functions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geophysics
    • Geochemistry and Petrology
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Space and Planetary Science

    Cite this

    Heterogeneous distribution of water in the mantle transition zone inferred from wavefield imaging. / Wang, Yinzhi; Pavlis, Gary L.; Li, Mingming.

    In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 505, 01.01.2019, p. 42-50.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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