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Elasticity of hydrous ringwoodite at mantle conditions: Implication for water distribution in the lowermost mantle transition zone

Wang, W; Zhang, H; Brodholt, JP; Wu, Z; (2021) Elasticity of hydrous ringwoodite at mantle conditions: Implication for water distribution in the lowermost mantle transition zone. Earth and Planetary Science Letters , 554 , Article 116626. 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116626.

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Abstract

The mantle transition zone (MTZ) is potentially a geochemical water reservoir because of the high H2O solubility in its dominant minerals, wadsleyite and ringwoodite. Whether the MTZ is wet or dry fundamentally impacts our understanding of the deep-water distribution, geochemical recycling, and the pattern of mantle convection. However, the water content in the MTZ inferred from previous studies remains disputed. Seismic observations such as velocity anomalies were used to evaluate the water content in the MTZ, but the hydration effect on the velocities of MTZ minerals under appropriate pressure (P) and temperature (T) conditions is poorly constrained. Here we investigated the elastic properties and velocities of hydrous ringwoodite at high P-T conditions using first-principles calculations. Our results show that the hydration effects on elastic moduli and velocities of ringwoodite are significantly reduced by pressure but strongly enhanced by temperature. The incorporation of 1.0 wt% water into ringwoodite decreases the compressional and shear velocities of the pyrolitic mantle by −1.0% and −1.4% at the conditions of MTZ, respectively. Using results from seismic tomography and together with the topography of the 660-km discontinuity, we evaluate the global distribution of water in the lower MTZ. We find that about 80% of the MTZ can be explained by varying water content and temperature, however, the remaining 20% requires the presence of high-velocity heterogeneities such as harzburgite. Our models suggest an average water concentration of ∼0.2 wt% in the lower MTZ, with an interregional variation from 0 to 0.9 wt%. Together with our previous work, we conclude that the water concentration in the MTZ likely decreases with depth globally and the whole MTZ contains the equivalent of about one ocean mass of water.

Type: Article
Title: Elasticity of hydrous ringwoodite at mantle conditions: Implication for water distribution in the lowermost mantle transition zone
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116626
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116626
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: elasticity of hydrous ringwoodite, first-principles calculations, mantle transition zone, water content
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121607
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