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Earth's Deep Mantle: Structure, Composition, and Evolution

Earth's Deep Mantle: Structure, Composition, and Evolution

Robert D. van der Hilst (Editor), Jay D. Bass (Editor), Jan Matas (Editor), Jeannot Trampert (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-875-90425-2

Jan 2005, American Geophysical Union

334 pages

In Stock



Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 160.

Understanding the inner workings of our planet and its relationship to processes closer to the surface remains a frontier in the geosciences. Manmade probes barely reach ˜10 km depth and volcanism rarely brings up samples from deeper than ˜150 km. These distances are dwarfed by Earth's dimensions, and our knowledge of the deeper realms is pieced together from a range of surface observables, meteorite and solar atmosphere analyses, experimental and theoretical mineral physics and rock mechanics, and computer simulations. A major unresolved issue concerns the nature of mantle convection, the slow (1-5 cm/year) solid-state stirring that helps cool the planet by transporting radiogenic and primordial heat from Earth's interior to its surface.

Expanding our knowledge here requires input from a range of geoscience disciplines, including seismology, geodynamics, mineral physics, and mantle petrology and chemistry. At the same time, with better data sets and faster computers, seismologists are producing more detailed models of 3-D variations in the propagation speed of different types of seismic waves; new instrumentation and access to state-of-the-art community facilities such as synchrotrons have enabled mineral physicists to measure rock and mineral properties at ever larger pressures and temperatures; new generations of mass spectrometers are allowing geo-chemists to quantify minute concentrations of diagnostic isotopes; and with supercomputers geodynamicists are making increasingly realistic simulations of dynamic processes at conditions not attainable in analogue experiments. But many questions persist. What causes the lateral variations in seismic wavespeed that we can image with mounting accuracy? How reliable are extrapolations of laboratory measurements on simple materials over many orders of magnitude of pressure and temperature? What are the effects of volatiles and minor elements on rock and mineral properties under extreme physical conditions? Can ab initio calculations help us understand material behavior in conditions that are still out of reach of laboratory measurement? What was the early evolution of our planet and to what extent does it still influence present-day dynamics? And how well do we know such first-order issues as the average bulk composition of Earth?

Robert D. van der Hilst, Jay D. Bass, Jan Matas, and Jean not Trampert vii

Earth's Deep Mantle: Structure, Composition, and Evolution—An Introduction
Robert D. van der Hilst, Jay D. Bass, Jan Matas, and Jeannot Trampert 1

Noble Gas Models of Mantle Structure and Reservoir Mass Transfer
Darrell Harrison and Chris J. Ballentine 9

The Survival of Mantle Geochemical Heterogeneities
Francis Albarede 27

Towards a Quantitative Interpretation of Global Seismic Tomography
Jeannot Trampert and Robert D. van der Hilst 47

Seismic Modeling Constraints on the South African Super Plume
Don V. Helmberger and Sidao Ni 63

Numerical and Laboratory Studies of Mantle Convection: Philosophy, Accomplishments, and
Thermochemical Structure and Evolution
Paul J. Tackley, Shunxing Xie, Takashi Nakagawa, and John W. Hern Iund 83

Heterogeneous Lowermost Mantle: Compositional Constraints and Seismological Observables
H. Samuel, C.G. Farnetani, and D, Andrault 101

Numerical Study of the Origin and Stability of Chemically Distinct Reservoirs Deep in Earth's Mantle
P. van Thienen, J. van Summeren, R. D. van der Hilst, A. P. van den Berg, and N. J. Vlaar 117

Self-Gravity, Self-Consistency, and Self-Organization in Geodynamics and Geochemistry
Don L Anderson 137

The Role of Theoretical Mineral Physics in Modeling the Earth's Interior
Mark S. T. Bukowinski and Sofia Akber-Knutson 165

The Uncertain Major Element Bulk Composition of Earth's Mantle
Q. Williams and E. Knittle 187

Highly Siderophile Elements: Constraints on Earth Accretion and Early Differentiation
Kevin Righter 201

Mantle Oxidation State and Oxygen Fugacity: Constraints on Mantle Chemistry, Structure, and Dynamics
Catherine A. McCammon 219

Thermochemical State of the Lower Mantle: New Insights From Mineral Physics
James Badro, Guillaume Fiquet, and Frangois Guyot 241

Stability of MgSiOs Perovskite in the Lower Mantle
Sang-Heon Shim 261

Synthetic Tomographic Images of Slabs From Mineral Physics
Y. Ricard, E. Mattern, and J. Matas 283

Compositional Dependence of the Elastic Wave Velocities of Mantle Minerals: Implications for Seismic
Properties of Mantle Rocks
Sergio Speziale, Fuming Jiang, and Thomas S. Duffy 301

Recent Progress in Experimental Mineral Physics: Phase Relations of Hydrous Systems and the Role of Water in Slab Dynamics
Fiji Ohtani 321