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Viscosity jump in Earth's mid-mantle

Rudolph, ML; Lekić, V; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C; (2015) Viscosity jump in Earth's mid-mantle. Science , 350 (6266) pp. 1349-1352. 10.1126/science.aad1929. Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Viscosity jump in Earth's mid-mantle
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad1929
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aad1929
Language: English
Additional information: This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science {350, 11 December 2015}, doi: 10.1126/science.aad1929.
UCL classification: UCL
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/1477315
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