Dynamic processes shape the Earth and other planets throughout their history. Geochemical observations place major constraints on dynamical processes that operated throughout Earth’s history while seismic imaging gives a snapshot of today’s mantle. Knowledge of physical properties and rheology from mineral physics is key to quantify processes in the mantle, and is undergoing constant advances (e.g. related to the iron spin transition or the thermal conductivity of the core). Magma ocean crystallisation established the initial conditions for subsequent long-term Earth evolution but is not well understood and typically not considered in models of long-term evolution. Modern-day plate tectonics may not have operated in the past; there is active debate about what tectonic mode(s) may have preceded it and their geological and geochemical signatures.

This session aims to provide a multidisciplinary view of the dynamics and evolution of the Earth, including its mantle, lithosphere, core and atmosphere. We welcome contributions that address aspects of this problem including geochemical observations and their interpretation, new mineral physics findings, geodynamical modelling, and seismological observations, on temporal scales ranging from the present day to billions of years, and on spatial scales ranging from microscopic mineralogical samples to global models. Contributions that take a multidisciplinary approach are particularly welcome.

Invited speaker: Matthew Jackson, Saskia Goes, Lorenzo Colli, Paula Koelemeijer

Co-organized by EMRP1/GMPV4/SM4, co-sponsored by EAG
Convener: Simone PiliaECSECS | Co-conveners: Laura Cobden, Andrea Giuliani, Hauke Marquardt, Maria Tsekhmistrenko, stephanie durand, Bernhard Schuberth, Martina UlvrovaECSECS
| Attendance Tue, 05 May, 08:30–12:30 (CEST)

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Chat time: Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 08:30–10:15

Chairperson: Simone Pilia
D1406 |
| solicited
Lorenzo Colli

Physics-based geodynamic modeling of mantle convection provide a unifying framework for solid-Earth sciences, explicitly linking together disparate fields such as tectonophysics, tomographic imaging, basin analysis, mantle mineralogy, geomorphology, global geodesy and the long-term chemical and thermal evolution of the mantle. Studying the evolution of mantle convection in time is particularly powerful as it reduces trade-offs, increase the possible linkages and the opportunities to cross-test hypotheses. But since mantle convection evolves over geologic timescales, its future evolution is precluded from us and we must focus on its past history.

Here I will show how geodynamic modeling of past mantle flow can be combined with tomographic imaging and geologic observations, highlighting the strengths of this approach and some of its potential pitfalls. I will use a series of case studies, starting from simple analytical solutions for channelized flow in the South Atlantic and Caribbean regions. I will move on to an application of sequential assimilation to the South China Sea, ending with computationally demanding large-scale numerical optimizations of past mantle flow.

How to cite: Colli, L.: Combining tomographic images and geodynamic modeling of past mantle flow: from simple analytical solutions to numerical inverse methods, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6134, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6134, 2020.

D1407 |
Chuansong He

The formation of large igneous provinces is a focus of geoscientists and is a major scientific issue in mantle dynamics. A broad consensus holds that the Emeishan large igneous province (ELIP) was generated by an upwelling mantle plume. However, recent geological and seismic studies have challenged this notion. In this study, I redraw and reanalyze previous tomographic images and use images of three velocity perturbation profiles crossing the ELIP. I collected abundant high-quality teleseismic data and performed common conversion point (CCP) stacking of receiver functions in the mantle transition zone (MTZ) of the ELIP. The tomographic images show a high-velocity anomaly of a northeastward-subducted slab-like body beneath the ELIP, which might be a relic of the Paleo-Tethys oceanic lithosphere. Images from CCP stacking of receiver functions indicate that the subducted slab of the Paleo-Tethys oceanic lithosphere retained an imprint on the X-discontinuity and the 410 and 660 km discontinuities. Based on my assessment, the subducted slab might have induced return mantle flow or large-scale mantle upwelling, which possibly played an important role in the formation of the ELIP.

How to cite: He, C.: A subducted slab of the Paleo-Tethys oceanic lithosphere associated with the formation of the Emeishan large igneous province, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1467, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1467, 2020.

D1408 |
| solicited
Saskia Goes, Thomas Eeken, Isabella Altoe, Laura Petrescu, Anna Foster, Helle Pedersen, Nick Arndt, Fiona Darbyshire, and Pierre Bouilhol

The thermal and compositional structure of the lithospheric keels underlying the Precambrian cratonic cores of the continents may shed light on their evolution and long-term stability. A number of seismic studies have found significant 3D seismic heterogeneity in cratonic lithosphere, which is enigmatic because temperature variations in old shields are expected to be small and seismic sensitivity to major-element compositional variations is limited. Previous studies show that metasomatic alteration may lead to significant variations in shield velocities with depth. Here we perform a grid search for thermo-chemical structures including metasomatic compositions, to model Rayleigh-wave phase velocities between 20 and 160 s for the northeastern part of North America comprising the Superior craton, the largest Archean craton in the world, and surrounding Proterozoic belts. We find smooth variations in thermal structure that include variations in thermal thickness within the Superior and decreasing thickness towards the edges of the shield. Four types of distinct compositional structures are required to match the long-period phase velocities. The different types appear to correlate with: (i) the unaltered oldest cores of the Superior, (ii) Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere modified by rifting and plume activity, and two distinct types of subduction signatures: (iii) an Archean/Paleo-Proterozoic signature that includes a high-velocity eclogite layer in the mid-lithosphere and (iv) a post Paleo-Proterozoic signature characterised by strongly altered shallow mantle lithosphere. Thus, processes that have affected the formation and modification of cratonic lithosphere and were previously recognised in xenoliths appear to have also left large-scale imprints in seismic structure.

How to cite: Goes, S., Eeken, T., Altoe, I., Petrescu, L., Foster, A., Pedersen, H., Arndt, N., Darbyshire, F., and Bouilhol, P.: Thermochemical structure of cratons from Rayleigh wave phase velocities, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5380, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5380, 2020.

D1409 |
Jun Yan, Maxim D. Ballmer, and Paul J. Tackley

A better understanding of the Earth’s compositional structure is needed to place the geochemical record of surface rocks into the context of Earth accretion and evolution. Cosmochemical constraints imply that lower-mantle rocks may be enriched in silica relative to upper-mantle pyrolite, whereas geophysical observations support whole-mantle convection and mixing. To resolve this discrepancy, it has been suggested that subducted mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) segregates from subducted harzburgite to accumulate in the mantle transition zone (MTZ) and/or the lower mantle. However, the key parameters that control basalt segregation and accumulation remain poorly constrained. Here, we use global-scale 2D thermochemical convection models to investigate the influence of mantle-viscosity profile, planetary-tectonic style and bulk composition on the evolution and distribution of mantle heterogeneity. Our models robustly predict that, for all cases with Earth-like tectonics, a basalt-enriched reservoir is formed in the MTZ, and a harzburgite-enriched reservoir is sustained at 660~800 km depth, despite ongoing whole-mantle circulation. The enhancement of basalt and harzburgite in and beneath the MTZ, respectively, are laterally variable, ranging from ~30% to 50% basalt fraction, and from ~40% to 80% harzburgite enrichment relative to pyrolite. Models also predict an accumulation of basalt near the core mantle boundary (CMB) as thermochemical piles, as well as moderate enhancement of most of the lower mantle by basalt. While the accumulation of basalt in the MTZ does not strongly depend on the mantle-viscosity profile (explained by a balance between basalt delivery by plumes and removal by slabs at the given MTZ capacity), that of the lowermost mantle does: lower-mantle viscosity directly controls the efficiency of basalt segregation (and entrainment) near the CMB; upper-mantle viscosity has an indirect effect through controlling slab thickness. Finally, the composition of the bulk-silicate Earth may be shifted relative to that of upper-mantle pyrolite, if indeed significant reservoirs of basalt exist in the MTZ and lower mantle.

How to cite: Yan, J., D. Ballmer, M., and J. Tackley, P.: The evolution and distribution of recycled oceanic crust in the Earth’s mantle: Insight from geodynamic models, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20964, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20964, 2020.

D1410 |
Ulrich Faul and Harriet Lau

Grain scale diffusive processes are involved in the rheology at convective timescales, but also at the transient timescales of seismic wave propagation, solid Earth tides and post-glacial rebound. Seismic and geodetic data can therefore potentially provide constraints on lower mantle properties such as grain size that are unconstrained otherwise. Current models of the transient viscosity of the lower mantle infer an absorption band of finite width in frequency. Seismic models predict a low frequency end to the absorption band at timescales corresponding to the longest normal modes of about an hour. By contrast, geodetic models infer the onset of an absorption band at these frequencies to cover anelastic deformation at timescales up to 18.6 years. A difficulty in extracting frequency dependence from mode and tide data is its convolution with depth dependence.

To circumvent this problem we select a distinct set of seismic normal modes and solid Earth body tides that have similar depth sensitivity in the lower mantle. These processes collectively span a period range from 7 minutes to 18.6 years. This allows the examination of frequency dependent energy dissipation over the lower mantle across 6 orders of magnitude. To forward model the transient creep response of the lower mantle we use a laboratory-based model of intrinsic dissipation that we adapt to the lower mantle mineralogy. This extended Burgers model represents an empirical fit to data principally from olivine, but also MgO and other compounds. The underlying microphysical model envisions a sequence of processes that begin with a broad plateau in dissipation at the highest frequencies after the onset of anelastic behavior, followed by a broad absorption band spanning many decades in frequency. The absorption band transitions seamlessly into viscous behavior. Since dissipation both for the absorption band and for (Newtonian) viscous behavior is due to diffusion along grain boundaries there can be no gap between the end of the absorption band and onset of viscous behavior.

Modeling of the planetary response to small strain excitation necessitates consideration of inertia and self gravitation. The phase lag due to solid Earth body tides therefore does not correspond directly to the intrinsic dissipation measured in the laboratory as material property. We have developed a self consistent theory that combines the planetary response with time-dependent anelastic deformation of rocks. Results from a broad range of forward models show that at lower mantle pressures periods of modes fall onto the broad plateau in dissipation at the onset of anelastic behavior. This explains the apparent frequency independence or even negative frequency dependence observed for some normal modes. At longer timescales, solid Earth tides fall on the frequency-dependent absorption band. This reconciles seemingly contradictory results published by seismic and tidal studies. Observations at even longer timescales are needed to constrain the transition from absorption band to viscous behavior.

How to cite: Faul, U. and Lau, H.: Viscoelasticity of the lower mantle from forward modeling of normal modes and solid Earth tides, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10789, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10789, 2020.

D1411 |
Philipp Hellenkamp, Claudia Stein, and Ulrich Hansen

Early periods of Earth's history are of great interest for the evolution of plate tectonics. For instance, neither the formation of lithospheric plates nor the nature of Archean plate tectonics is well known. As a remnant of the magma ocean period, a compositionally dense layer at the core-mantle boundary is assumed to interact with the convective flow of the Earth's mantle forming todays LLSVPs. Since plate motions are strongly coupled to the convection of mantle material, stabilizing effects of compositionally dense material have a profound impact on mantle convection and plate tectonics and will be of major importance for its evolution.
To investigate the influence of a dense basal layer, we use a numerical approach employing thermo-chemical mantle convection models with self-consistent plate generation. Considering different possible scenarios of the post magma ocean period we analyze the influence of different parameters, i.e. the density contrast between the dense basal material and the ambient mantle and the volume of the enriched layer.
Generally we observe that a stagnant lid forms which is initially mobilized episodically before turning to a permanently mobile surface. However, the temporal evolution of the episodic stage is considerably altered due to the presence of dense basal material. The time when an episode occurs, is determined by the mechanism which induces this mobilization. The mechanism itself is controlled by the density and volume of the enriched layer. Therefore, we distinguish between four different initiation mechanisms, which occur for different configurations of the density and volume of enriched material.

How to cite: Hellenkamp, P., Stein, C., and Hansen, U.: LLSVPs of primordial origin: Implications for the evolution of plate tectonics, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21471, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21471, 2020.

D1412 |
Björn Heyn, Clinton Conrad, and Reidar Trønnes

Deep-rooted mantle plumes are thought to originate from the margins of the Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) at the base of the mantle. Visible in seismic tomography, the LLSVPs are often numerically modeled as dense and viscous thermochemical piles. Although the piles force lateral mantle flow upwards at their edges, it is not clear if, and how, plumes are predominantly initiated at the pile margins. In this study, we develop numerical models that show a series of plumes periodically rising from the margin of an approximately 300 km thick dense thermochemical pile, with each plume temporarily increasing the pile’s local thickness to almost 370 km due to upward viscous drag from the rising plume. When the plume is pushed towards the pile center by the lateral mantle flow, the viscous drag on the dense material at the pile margin decreases and the pile starts to collapse back towards the core-mantle boundary (CMB). This causes the dense pile material to extend laterally along the CMB (about 150 km), locally thickening the lower thermal boundary layer on the CMB next to the pile, which initiates a new plume. The resulting plume cycle is reflected in both the thickness and lateral motion of the local pile margin within a few degrees of the pile edge, while the overall thickness of the pile is not affected. The frequency of plume generation is mainly controlled by the rate at which slab material is transported to the CMB, and thus depends on the plate velocity and the sinking rate of slabs in the lower mantle. Within Earth, this mechanism of episodic plume initiation may explain the suggested link between the positions of hotspots and Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) and the LLSVP margins. Moreover, a collapse of the southeastern corner of the African LLSVP, and subsequent triggering of plumes around the spreading pile material, may explain the observed clustering of LIPs in that area between 95 and 155 Ma.

How to cite: Heyn, B., Conrad, C., and Trønnes, R.: How thermochemical piles initiate plumes at their edges, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5577, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5577, 2020.

D1413 |
| solicited
Paula Koelemeijer

The dynamic topography of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) provides important constraints on dynamic processes in the mantle and core. However, inferences on CMB topography are complicated by the uneven coverage of data with sensitivity to different length scales and strong heterogeneity in the lower mantle. Particularly, a trade-off exists with density variations, which ultimately drive mantle flow and are vital for determining the origin of mantle structures. Here, I review existing models of CMB topography and lower mantle density, focusing on seismological constraints (Koelemeijer, 2020). I develop average models and vote maps with the aim to find model consistencies and discuss what these may teach us about lower mantle structure and dynamics.

While most density models image two areas of dense anomalies beneath Africa and the Pacific, their exact location and relationship to seismic velocity structure differs between studies. CMB topography strongly influences the retrieved density structure, which partially helps to resolve differences between recent studies based on Stoneley modes and tidal measurements. CMB topography models vary both in pattern and amplitude and a discrepancy exists between models based on body-wave and normal-mode data. As existing models typically feature elevated topography below the Large-Low-Velocity Provinces (LLVPs), very dense compositional anomalies may be ruled out as possibility.

To achieve a similar consistency as observed in lower mantle models of S-wave and P-wave velocity, future studies should combine multiple data sets to break existing trade-offs between CMB topography and density. Important considerations in these studies should be the choice of theoretical approximation and parameterisation. Efforts to develop models of CMB topography consistent with both body-wave and normal-mode data should be intensified, which will aid in narrowing down possible explanations for the LLVPs and provide additional insights into mantle dynamics.

Koelemeijer, P. (2020), “Towards consistent seismological models of the core-mantle boundary landscape”. Book chapter in revision for AGU monograph "Mantle upwellings and their surface expressions", edited by Marquardt, Cottaar, Ballmer and Konter

How to cite: Koelemeijer, P.: Towards consistent seismological models of the core-mantle boundary landscape, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3518, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3518, 2020.

D1414 |
Arto Luttinen, Jussi Heinonen, Sanni Turunen, Richard Carlson, and Mary Horan

Examination of the least-contaminated rocks of the Jurassic Karoo flood basalt province indicates considerable compositional variability in the mantle source. New and previously published Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic data are suggestive of two main categories of mantle reservoirs: one coincides with the field of depleted mantle (DM) -affinity oceanic crust and the other has low initial eNd (+3.3 to 0.3) and high 87Sr/86Sr (0.7039 to 0.7057) and Δ8/4 (92 to 138) typical of enriched mantle 1 (EM1) -affinity oceanic crust. Previous studies have proposed the DM type reservoir included domains affected by subduction-related fluids and recycled oceanic components (e.g. Heinonen et al., 2014). The EM1 type reservoir probably also contained subducted crustal components, but the geochemical data are suggestive of an additional primitive mantle (PM) type component (Turunen et al., 2019).

Importantly, the two reservoirs can be geochemically linked to a recently identified bilateral compositional asymmetry in the volumious Karoo flood basalts (Luttinen, 2018): The DM type  reservoir is the most likely source of Nb-depleted flood basalts in the southeastern Karoo subprovince (Lebombo rifted margin and Antarctica), whereas the EM1-PM type reservoir has been identified as the principal source of the Nb-undepleted flood basalts in the northwestern subprovince (Karoo-Kalahari-Zambezi basins). The boundary between the flood basalt subprovinces and the occurrences of the DM-affinity and EM1-PM-affinity rocks overlie the Jurassic location of the margin of the Jurassic sub-African LLSVP. Magmas derived from the EM1-PM type reservoir were largely emplaced above the deep mantle anomaly, whereas those derived from the DM type reservoir were emplaced outside the footprint of the LLSVP.

Based on isotopic similarity, the EM1-PM type reservoir of the Karoo province may record the same overall LLSVP material as the Gough component in the zoned Tristan da Cunha plume (e.g. Hoernle et al., 2015). Furthermore, it is possible that the DM type reservoir of the Karoo province, which has been interpreted to represent depleted upper mantle heated by mantle plume, could also represent a plume component and that the bilateral Karoo flood basalt province as a whole could thus register melting of a large zoned plume source associated with the margin of the sub-African LLSVP.


Heinonen, J.S., Carlson, R.W., Riley, T.R., Luttinen, A.V., Horan, M.F. (2014). Subduction-modified oceanic crust mixed with a depleted mantle reservoir in the sources of the Karoo continental flood basalt province. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 394, 229–241. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2014.03.012

Hoernl, K., Ronde, J., Hauff, F., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Homrighausen, S., Werner, W., Morgan, J.P. (2015).  How and when plume zonation appeared during the 132 Myr evolution of the Tristan Hotspot. Nature Communications 6:7799. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8799

Luttinen, A.V. (2018). Bilateral geochemical asymmetry in the Karoo large igneous province. Scientific Reports 8:5223. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23661-3

Turunen, S.T., Luttinen, A.V., Heinonen, J.S., Jamal, D.L. (2019). Luenha picrites, Central Mozambique – Messengers from a mantle plume source of Karoo continental flood basalts? Lithos 346–347. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2019.105152

How to cite: Luttinen, A., Heinonen, J., Turunen, S., Carlson, R., and Horan, M.: Were Karoo flood basalts derived from a LLSVP-related plume source?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18210, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18210, 2020.

D1415 |
| solicited
Matthew Jackson, Thorsten Becker, and Bernhard Steinberger

Significant effort has been made to characterize the diversity of geochemical components sampled by oceanic hotspot volcanoes and mid-ocean ridges, and progress has been made to identify the origin of these geochemical components. However, the locations of the key mantle domains sampled at hotspots—EM1 (enriched mantle I), EM2 (enriched mantle II), HIMU (high ‘μ’, or high 238U/204Pb), and an ancient, high 3He/4He component—remain poorly constrained. In turn, the lack of spatial constraints on the locations and geometries of these reservoirs limits understanding of how geodynamic processes (e.g., subduction, mantle convection) operate to modify the Earth’s interior.

We provide an updated compilation the most extreme EM (lowest 143Nd/144Nd) and HIMU (highest 206Pb/204Pb) compositions in lavas from 46 oceanic hotspots with available data, and the highest 3He/4He compositions from 44 hotspots globally. We examine the geographic distributions of hotspots hosting extreme geochemical components at the Earth’s surface. We also explore how tilted plume conduits relate the geochemical distributions in hotspots at the Earth’s surface with the two inferred Large Low Shear Wave Velocity Provinces (LLSVP) in the deep mantle.

We find that the most extreme EM signatures are identified in southern hemisphere hotspots, and northern hemisphere hotspots exhibit more geochemically-depleted compositions. Critically, hotspots with the most extreme HIMU compositions show a very different distribution, and are found in, or near, the tropical latitudes. The EM and HIMU domains thus exhibit a clear spatial separation in the deep Earth.

In order to evaluate whether EM and HIMU domains are spatially associated with the LLSVPs, we compare the magnitude of EM and HIMU signatures with minimum hotspot distances from the LLSVP margins. While EM-hosting hotspots show a clear geographic affinity for the LLSVPs, new data make it apparent that HIMU-hosting hotspots show no geographic association with the LLSVPs, further supporting to the spatial decoupling of EM and HIMU mantle domains.

Hotspots hosting ancient high 3He/4He domains exhibit a spatial relationship with the LLSVPs (doi: 10.1029/2019GC008437), suggesting that the EM and high 3He/4He domains may coexist in the LLSVPs. While the degree of the EM signature exhibits no relationship with hotspot buoyancy flux, maximum high 3He/4He values correlate with hotspot buoyancy fluxes, consistent with the hypothesis that high 3He/4He mantle reservoirs are hosted in dense regions in the LLSVPs sampled by only the hottest and most buoyant plumes.

These results raise several key questions. First, if subduction of oceanic crust and sediment generate HIMU and EM reservoirs, then why are they spatially separated?  Why are EM2 domains concentrated in the southern hemisphere, and why are they limited to being inside or near the LLSVPs? Why are EM and high 3He/4He domains both geographically associated with the LLSVPs, and are they spatially separated within the LLSVPs so that the low 3He/4He of the former does not overprint the high 3He/4He of the latter? If elevated 3He/4He originates in the core, consistent with negative 182W anomalies in high 3He/4He lavas, why are high 3He/4He plumes associated with the LLSVPs?   

How to cite: Jackson, M., Becker, T., and Steinberger, B.: Geochemical and seismological constraints on the locations and geometries of deep mantle reservoirs, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10547, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10547, 2020.

D1416 |
Ross N. Mitchell, Christopher J. Spencer, Uwe Kirscher, and Simon A. Wilde

Earth’s oldest preserved crustal archive, the Jack Hills zircon of Western Australia, has been controversial to interpret in terms of the onset of plate tectonics. Here we conduct time series analysis on hafnium isotopes of the Jack Hills zircon and reveal an array of statistically significant cycles that are reminiscent of plate tectonics, i.e., subduction. At face value, such cycles may suggest early Earth conditions similar to today—the uniformitarian “day one” hypothesis. On the other hand, in the context of expected secular changes due to planetary evolution and geological observations, the cycles could instead imply that modern plate tectonic subduction inherited convective harmonics already facilitated by an early phase of stagnant-lid delamination—the “lid-to-plates” hypothesis. Either way, any model for the initiation of plate tectonics must begin in Hadean time.

How to cite: Mitchell, R. N., Spencer, C. J., Kirscher, U., and Wilde, S. A.: Modern plate tectonic cycles are inherited from Hadean mantle convection, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21211, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21211, 2020.

D1417 |
Eric Brown and Charles Lesher

Basalts are generated by adiabatic decompression melting of the upper mantle, and thus provide spatial and temporal records of the thermal, compositional, and dynamical conditions of their source regions. Uniquely constraining these factors through the lens of melting is challenging given the complexity of the melting process. To limit the a priori assumptions typically required for forward modeling of mantle melting, and to assess the robustness of the modeling results, we combine a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling method with the forward melting model REEBOX PRO [1] simulating adiabatic decompression melting of lithologically heterogeneous mantle. Using this method, we invert for mantle potential temperature (Tp), lithologic trace element and isotopic composition and abundance, and melt productivity together with a robust evaluation of the uncertainty in these system properties. We have applied this new methodology to constrain melting beneath the Reykjanes Peninsula (RP) of Iceland [2] and here extend the approach to Iceland’s Northern Volcanic Zone (NVZ). We consider melting of a heterogeneous mantle source involving depleted peridotite and pyroxenite lithologies, e.g., KG1, MIX1G and G2 pyroxenites. Best-fit model sources for Iceland basalts contain more than 90% depleted peridotite and less than 10% pyroxenite with Tp ~125-200 °C above ambient mantle. The trace element and Pb and Nd isotope composition of the depleted source beneath the Reykjanes Peninsula is similar to DMM [3], whereas depleted mantle for the NVZ is isotopically distinct and more trace element enriched. Conversely, inverted pyroxenite trace element compositions are similar for RP and NVZ and are more enriched than previously inferred, despite marked differences in their Pb and Nd isotope composition. We use these new constraints on the Iceland source to investigate their relative importance in basalt genesis along the adjoining Reykjanes and Kolbeinsey Ridges. We find that the proportion of pyroxenite diminishes southward along Reykjanes Ridge and is seemingly absent to the north along the Kolbeinsey Ridge. Moreover, abundances of inverted RP and NVZ depleted mantle also diminish away from Iceland and give way to a common depleted source for the North Atlantic. These findings further illuminate the along-strike variability in source composition along the North Atlantic ridge system influenced by the Iceland melting anomaly, while reconciling geochemical, geophysical and petrologic constraints required to rigorously test plume vs. non-plume models.

[1] Brown & Lesher (2016); G^3, v. 17, p. 3929-2968

[2] Brown et al. (2020); EPSL, v. 532, 116007

[3] Workman and Hart (2005); EPSL, v.231, p. 53-72

How to cite: Brown, E. and Lesher, C.: Constraining Mantle Source Conditions at Iceland and Adjoining Ridges Using Markov Chain Monte Carlo Inversion, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22469, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22469, 2020.

D1418 |
Simon Matthews, Kevin Wong, Oliver Shorttle, Marie Edmonds, and John Maclennan

Crystallisation temperatures of primitive olivine crystals have been widely used as both a proxy for, or an intermediate step in calculating, mantle temperatures. The olivine-spinel aluminium-exchange thermometer has been applied to many samples from mid-ocean ridges, ocean islands and large igneous provinces, yielding considerable variability in primitive olivine crystallisation temperatures. We supplement the existing data with new crystallisation temperature estimates for Hawaii, in the range 1282±21 - 1375±19°C.

Magmatic temperatures may be linked to mantle temperatures if the thermal changes during melting can be quantified. Melting lowers the temperature of co-existing magma and solid mantle, owing to the latent heat of melting. The magnitude of this cooling depends on melt fraction, itself controlled by mantle temperature, mantle lithology and lithosphere thickness. All of these parameters are likely to vary both spatially and temporally. For robust quantification of mantle temperature variability, the controls of lithosphere thickness and mantle lithology on crystallisation temperatures must be isolated.

We develop a multi-lithology melting model that can predict crystallisation temperature. The model allows mantle temperature, lithospheric thickness, and fractions of mantle lherzolite, pyroxenite and harzburgite to be varied. Inverting the model using a Bayesian Monte Carlo routine enables assessment of the extent to which crystallisation temperatures require variations in mantle temperature. We find that the high crystallisation temperatures seen at mantle plume localities do require high mantle temperatures. However, in the absence of further constraints on mantle lithology or melt productivity, we cannot robustly infer variable plume temperatures in either the present-day or throughout the phanerozoic. This work demonstrates the limit of petrological thermometers when other geodynamic parameters are poorly known.

How to cite: Matthews, S., Wong, K., Shorttle, O., Edmonds, M., and Maclennan, J.: Do olivine crystallisation temperatures faithfully record mantle temperature variability?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8741, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8741, 2020.

D1419 |
Tongzhang Qu, Ian Jackson, and Ulrich Faul

Although the seismic properties of polycrystalline olivine have been the subject of systematic and comprehensive study at seismic frequencies, the role of orthopyroxene as the major secondary phase in the shallow parts of the Earth’s upper mantle has so far received little attention. Accordingly, we have newly prepared synthetic melt-free polycrystalline specimens containing different proportions of olivine (Ol, Fo90) and orthopyroxene (Opx, En90) by the solution-gelation method. The resulting specimens, ranging in composition between Ol95Opx5 and Ol5Opx95 composition, were mechanically tested by torsional forced oscillation at temperatures of 1200 ºC to 400 ºC accessed during staged cooling under a confining pressure of 200 MPa. The microstructures of tested specimens were evaluated by BSE, EBSD and TEM. The forced-oscillation data, i.e. shear modulus and associated strain-energy dissipation at 1-1000 s period, were closely fitted by a model based on an extended Burgers-type creep function. This model was also required to fit data from previous ultrasonic and Brillouin spectroscopic measurements at ns-µs periods. Within the observational window (1-1000 s), the shear modulus and dissipation vary monotonically with period and temperature for each of the tested specimens, which is broadly comparable with that previously reported for olivine-only samples. There is no evidence of the superimposed dissipation peak reported by Sundberg and Cooper (2010) for an Ol60Opx40 specimen prepared from natural precursor materials and containing a melt fraction of 1.5%. The higher orthopyroxene concentrations are associated with systematically somewhat lower levels of dissipation and corresponding weaker modulus dispersion. The new findings suggest that the olivine-based model for high-temperature viscoelasticity in upper-mantle olivine requires only modest modification to accommodate the role of orthopyroxene, including appropriate compositional dependence of the unrelaxed modulus and its temperature derivative.

How to cite: Qu, T., Jackson, I., and Faul, U.: Low-frequency seismic properties of olivine-orthopyroxene mixtures, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4258, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4258, 2020.

D1420 |
Yi-An Lin, Lorenzo Colli, and Jonny Wu

In this study we explored the contrasted plate tectonic reconstructions proposed for the proto-South China Sea and SE Asia. We implemented four different end-member plate models into global geodynamic models to test their predicted mantle structure against tomography. All models reproduced the Sunda slabs beneath Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Java and the proto-South China Sea (PSCS) slabs beneath present Palawan, northern Borneo, and offshore Palawan; some models also predicted slabs under the southern South China Sea. PSCS slabs generated from double-sided PSCS subduction and earlier Borneo rotation generated a slightly better fit to tomography but pure southward PSCS subduction was also viable. A smaller Philippine Sea plate (PSP) with a short ~1000 km restored northern slab (i.e. Ryukyu slab) was clearly superior to a very long >3000 km slab. Mantle flows generated from our geodynamic models suggest strong upwellings under Indochina during the late Eocene to Oligocene. Our models generated strong downwellings under the South China Sea in the late Cenozoic that did not support a deep-origin ‘Hainan plume’. 

The following plate models variants were assimilated in the geodynamic models: (1) southward vs. double-sided PSCS subduction; (2) early Borneo counterclockwise rotations during the Oligocene to Early Miocene vs. later rotations (mid- to Late Eocene and Early Miocene); (3) a smaller Philippine Sea plate restored with a shorter ~1000 km northern slab vs. a longer >3000 km slab. This study assimilates four different plate models into the numerical model TERRA (Bunge et al., 1998). We digitally re-built in GPlates (Boyden et al., 2011) the implemented the plate models as a set of continuously closing plates in order to generate a global self-consistent velocity field to be assimilated into the convection models. The temperature fields were converted to seismic velocities assuming a Pyrolite composition and equilibrium mineralogy. We quantify the correlation between our geodynamic models and seismic tomography within SE Asia. For the tomography models S40RTS and LLNL-G3Dv-JPS we explicitly accounted for their finite resolution (Ritsema et al., 2011; Simmons et al. 2019).

How to cite: Lin, Y.-A., Colli, L., and Wu, J.: Where are the proto-South China Sea slabs? SE Asia plate tectonic and mantle flow insights from TERRA global mantle convection models, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12407, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12407, 2020.

D1421 |
Yi-Wei Chen, Lorenzo Colli, Dale E. Bird, Jonny Wu, and Hejun Zhu

The Caribbean region has been proposed as a candidate for outflow of asthenospheric mantle, from a shrinking Pacific region to an expanding Atlantic region. If this flow exists it should be associated to a dynamic topography gradient across the region. Estimating dynamic topography requires constraining the thicknesses and densities of sediment, crust and lithosphere to remove their isostatic response from the total topography. Dynamic topography has been studied globally in areas of ‘normal’ oceanic lithosphere but the Caribbean region, characterized by overthickened oceanic lithosphere, has not been fully analyzed due to the challenges of estimating crustal thicknesses.

Thanks to the wealth of seismic reflection, as well as borehole data, the basement relief and bulk sediment density in the Caribbean are well constrained. We performed a structural inversion of free air gravity anomalies, constrained by seismic refraction data, to established an improved Moho surface which provides more detail than existing global models such as Crust 1.0. With the improved basement and Moho relief, we computed residual basement depth. We obtained a ~300 m dynamic topography high on the Pacific-side of the Caribbean, gradually decaying to 0 m to the east near the Aves ridge.

This result supports the hypothesis of Pacific outflow through the Caribbean. Assuming a ~200 km thick asthenosphere and a flow velocity a few to a few tens of cm/yr, as suggested by tomographic imaging and regional magmatism, our results suggest the viscosity is ~5*1018 Pa s.

How to cite: Chen, Y.-W., Colli, L., Bird, D. E., Wu, J., and Zhu, H.: Asthenosphere viscosity in the Caribbean region constrained by gravity anomalies, seismic structure and regional magmatism, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12682, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12682, 2020.

D1422 |
Charitra Jain, Antoine Rozel, Emily Chin, and Jeroen van Hunen
Geophysical, geochemical, and geological investigations have attributed the stable behaviour of Earth's continents to the presence of strong and viscous cratons underlying the continental crust. The cratons are underlain by thick and cold mantle keels, which are composed of melt-depleted and low density peridotite residues [1]. Progressive melt extraction increases the magnesium number Mg# in the residual peridotite, thereby making the roots of cratons chemically buoyant [2, 3] and counteracting their negative thermal buoyancy. Recent global models have shown the self-consistent production of Archean continental crust by two-step mantle differentiation [4]. These models exhibit intense recycling of crust with delamination and eclogitic dripping in the first 500 million years and this behaviour is similar to the "plutonic-squishy lid'' that has been suggested for the early Earth. However, no stable continents form and no major regime transition from "vertical tectonics'' towards "horizontal tectonics'' is observed. This points to the missing ingredient of cratonic lithosphere in these models, which could act as a stable basement for the crustal material to accumulate on and may help initiate plate tectonics. Based on the bulk FeO and MgO content of the residual peridotites, it has been proposed that cratonic mantle formed by hot shallow melting with mantle potential temperature, which was higher by 200-300 °C than present-day [5]. We will introduce Fe-Mg partitioning between mantle peridotite and melt to track the Mg# variation through melting, and parametrise craton formation using the corresponding P-T formation conditions. Grain-size evolution, which has been shown to influence mantle rheology [6] is another mechanism that may contribute towards cratonic strength and will be explored using self-consistent global geodynamic models.
[1] Boyd, F. R. High-and low-temperature garnet peridotite xenoliths and their possible relation to the lithosphere- asthenosphere boundary beneath Africa. In Nixon, P. H. (ed.) Mantle Xenolith, 403–412 (John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 1987).
[2] Jordan, T. H. Mineralogies, densities and seismic velocities of garnet lherzolites and their geophysical implications. In The Mantle Sample: Inclusion in Kimberlites and Other Volcanics, 1–14 (American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C., 1979).
[3] Schutt, D. L. & Lesher, C. E. Effects of melt depletion on the density and seismic velocity of garnet and spinel lherzolite. Journal of Geophysical Research 111 (2006).
[4] Jain, C., Rozel, A. B., Tackley, P. J., Sanan, P. & Gerya, T. V. Growing primordial continental crust self-consistently in global mantle convection models. Gondwana Research 73, 96–122 (2019).
[5] Lee, C.-T. A. & Chin, E. J. Calculating melting temperatures and pressures of peridotite protoliths: Implications for the origin of cratonic mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 403, 273–286 (2014).
[6] Hall, C. E. & Parmentier, E. M. Influence of grain size evolution on convective instability. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 4, 469 (2003).

How to cite: Jain, C., Rozel, A., Chin, E., and van Hunen, J.: Numerical Insights into the Formation and Stability of Cratons, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8428, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8428, 2020.

D1423 |
Saskia Goes, Chunquan Yu, Ross Maguire, Elizabeth Day, Rob van der Hilst, Jeroen Ritsema, and Jing Jian

The mantle transition zone (MTZ), bounded by 410 and 660 discontinuities, is a key region to understand the thermal, chemical, and dynamical evolution of the mantle. Mantle dynamics is primarily thermally driven and the topography of 410 and 660 has been widely used to infer the temperature of the MTZ. However, in a number of recent studies, we have found that properties of transition-zone discontinuities may also provide insight in the distribution of compositional heterogeneity. We will present preliminary results from a global study of PP and SS precursors using a curvelet-based seismic array processing technique, where we successfully extract P660P signals, which are traditionally difficult to observe, over a wide distance range. Comparison with thermodynamic models suggests that on a global scale, amplitude trends of SS and PP precursors from both 410 and 660 are consistent with predictions from a pyrolitic mantle transition zone. We also find that global variation in MTZ thickness has a positive correlation with velocity anomalies within the MTZ. Both of them are likely controlled by thermal anomalies, consistent with mineralogical phase transitions of the olivine system. In an application of this method to data from Hawaii however, we found evidence of compositional variations, consistent with the analysis of tomographic images below a few other hotspots. Further compositional heterogeneity linked to recent subduction has been found from a receiver-function study below the US. Results thus indicate a quite well mixed background mantle with more heterogeneity in areas of recent up-and downwelling.

How to cite: Goes, S., Yu, C., Maguire, R., Day, E., van der Hilst, R., Ritsema, J., and Jian, J.: Thermal and chemical properties of the mantle transition zone from seismic observations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11819, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11819, 2020.

D1424 |
Gary Jarvis

Two dimensional numerical models of mantle convection in a cylindrical shell provide a possible geodynamic explanation for cold patches in the mantle below India and Mongolia as detected by seismic tomography. We investigate the influence of very high viscosities at mid-mantle and lower-mantle depths, as proposed by Mitrovica and Forte (2004) and Steinberger and Calderwood (2006), on mantle convective flow.  Models are considered with and without mineral phase transitions.  Our viscosity profiles are depth dependent with deep mantle viscosities increasing to values of 300 times the viscosity of the upper mantle, and then decreasing dramatically on approaching the core-mantle boundary.   The decrease of viscosity near the CMB mobilizes the overall mantle-wide flow despite very high mid-mantle viscosities.  However, cold detached slabs sinking below continental collisions become captured by the high viscosity interior and circulate slowly for times exceeding 200 Myr.  The separation of time scales for mantle-wide flow vs slab circulation, is a consequence of the high viscosity of the mid-mantle.

How to cite: Jarvis, G.: Slab Remnant Recycling and Mantle-Wide Convection: A Separation of Time Scales, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2032, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2032, 2020.

D1425 |
Christine Thomas, Laura Cobden, and Art Jonkers

Polarities of seismic reflection of P and S-waves at the discontinuity at the top of  D" are usually assumed to indicate the sign of the velocity contrast across the D" reflector. For reflections in paleo-subduction regions the S-wave reflections off D" (SdS) are the same as ScS and S, indicating a positive velocity contrast at the reflector. In recent years, an opposite polarity of PdP waves (P-reflection at the D" discontinuity) has been observed in some regions, partly dependent on travel direction, partly dependent on distance. This would indicate a velocity reduction in P-waves where a velocity increase is detected in S-waves. This phenomenon can be explained with the presence of post-perovskite below the top of D", but azimuthal dependence of PdP polarities can be better explained with anisotropy. Here we re-analyse PdP and SdS wave polarities and, when modelling the polarities and amplitudes using Zoeppritz equations, we find that a ratio of dVs/dVp= R of larger than 3 reverses polarities of P-waves in the absence of anisotropy, i.e. we find a polarity of PdP that would point to a velocity decrease while modelling a velocity increase. The S-polarity stays the same as S and ScS and does not change even with large R. Values of R up to 4.1 have been reported recently, so these cases do exist in the lower mantle. Using a set of 1 million models with varying minerals and processes across the boundary, we carry out a statistical analysis (Linear Discriminant Analysis, LDA) and find that there is a marked difference in mantle mineralogy to explain R values larger and smaller than 3, respectively. The regime of cases with R-value larger than 3 is mostly due to an increase in MgO and post-perovskite across the discontinuity. In regions where high R is observed, alternate explanations of lowermost mantle composition versus anisotropy can then be tested by measuring polarities in different azimuths.

How to cite: Thomas, C., Cobden, L., and Jonkers, A.: A new look at polarity information in D" reflections, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18402, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18402, 2020.

Chat time: Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 10:45–12:30

D1426 |
Constraints on D″ beneath the North Atlantic region from P and S traveltimes and amplitudes
stephanie durand, Christine Thomas, and Jennifer Jackson
D1427 |
Sascha Brune, Marzieh Baes, Taras Gerya, and Stephan Sobolev

The impingement of a hot buoyant mantle plume onto the lithosphere can result in either breaking of the lithosphere, which might results in subduction initiation or in under-plating of the plume beneath the lithosphere. Key natural examples of the former and latter are formation of subduction along the southern margin of Caribbean and northwestern South America in the late Cretaceous as well as the hotspot chains of Hawaii, respectively. In previous studies the interaction of a buoyant mantle plume with lithosphere was investigated either for the case of stationary lithosphere or for moving lithosphere but ignoring the effect of magmatic weakening of the lithosphere above the plume head. In this study we aim to investigate the response of a moving lithosphere to the arrival of a stationary mantle plume including the effect of magmatic lithospheric weakening. To do so we use 3d thermo-mechanical models employing the finite difference code I3ELVIS. Our setup consists of an oceanic lithosphere, mantle plume and asthenosphere till depth of 400 km. The moving plate is simulated by imposing a kinematic boundary condition on the lithospheric part of the side boundaries. The mantle plume in our models has a mushroom shape. The experiments differ in the age of the lithosphere, rate of the plate motion and size of the mantle plume. For different combinations of these parameters model results show either (1) breaking of the lithosphere and initiation of subduction above the plume head or (2) asymmetric spreading of the plume material below the lithosphere without large deformation of the lithosphere. We find that the critical radius of the plume that breaks the lithosphere and initiates subduction depends on plume buoyancy and the lithospheric age, but not on the plate speed. In general, the modeling results for the moving plate are similar to the results for a stationary plate, but the shapes of the region of the deformed lithosphere differ.

How to cite: Brune, S., Baes, M., Gerya, T., and Sobolev, S.: Interaction of a mantle plume and a moving plate: insights from numerical modeling, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8187, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8187, 2020.

D1428 |
On Ki Angel Ling, Simon Stähler, Domenico Giardini, Kasra Hosseini, and The AlpArray Working Group

In most seismic tomographic models, the first P and/or S wave data generated by regional and teleseismic events are used to conduct tomographic inversion. Despite the abundance and precise measurement of the first body wave arrival times, the non-uniform distribution of their ray path leads to a lower resolution in the mantle below 1000km in depth. Curiously, there are particularly few ray paths sampling the lowermost mantle below dense seismic arrays, due to the limited incidence angle range of P and S waves. Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of core phases, resulting from reflection and/or conversion of seismic waves at the core discontinuities, in seismic tomography by improving the ray path coverage and constraining the structures in the lower mantle. Therefore, adding core-grazing phases (Pdiff, Sdiff) as well as core phases (e.g. PKP, PKIKP, SKS) in tomography could deliver high-resolution tomographic images of deep mantle structures in poorly resolved regions and may even reveal undiscovered features.

To increase the topographic resolution in the Alpine region, the AlpArray Initiative deployed about 250 temporary stations alongside the local permanent stations in the European Alps forming a greater AlpArray seismic network. This large-scale network provides a dense sampling rate and high-quality seismic data across the region, which gives us a unique opportunity to observe core phases coming from all directions in such a large aperture. We investigate the visibility of core phases observed with AlpArray and find that it is uniquely suited to observe high order core phases (P’P’, PcPPcPPKP, PKPPKPPKP) from sources in Alaska, Japan, and Sumatra in a distance range of 60-110 degrees. We show some array processing methods to improve the resolution of seismic observation and examine the waveforms in different frequency ranges. We find significant deviations in core phase amplitudes from predictions which are most likely linked to other structures directly above the core mantle boundary and can serve to test tomographic models in this depth region. The insight gained from this modelling is used to discuss the usability of core phases in future tomographic studies.

How to cite: Ling, O. K. A., Stähler, S., Giardini, D., Hosseini, K., and AlpArray Working Group, T.: Core Phases Observed with AlpArray , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18461, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18461, 2020.

D1429 |
Anselme F.E. Borgeaud, Maria Koroni, and Frédéric Deschamps
This study presents a new approach for investigating the structure of the core-mantle boundary (CMB)
topography based on full-waveforms and adjoint methods. We compute intermediate period (10-20 seconds)
spectral-element seismograms using existing models of core-mantle boundary topography and we analyse the
sensitivity of relevant seismic phases. Our study adds new information about effects of CMB structure on
exact synthetics and observable traveltimes of seismic body waves by means of sensitivity kernels. It also
highlights the difficulty of imaging the boundary due to the strong trade-off between velocity and topography
variations, addressed by many previous investigators.
Given the significance of CMB and its importance for many disciplines in geophysical research, there have
been many studies trying to understand and geographically map the variations of topography and velocity
above this boundary. However, the vast mantle area wherein seismic waves travel before and after they
interact with the CMB makes the identification of desired seismic phases somehow difficult. In addition, the
observable traveltimes can be hard to interpret as a result of the boundary’s topography only, due to the
approximate inverse methods and limited modelling methodologies. Despite considerable progress made the
past years, there is still a necessity for improving the understanding of effects of core-mantle boundary and
D″ structure on recorded waveforms.
For our analyses, we perform comparisons between time shifts due to topography made on full-waveform
synthetics to ray theoretical predictions in order to assess methods usually deployed for imaging CMB.
Then, we calculate the corresponding sensitivity kernel for time windows around the theoretical arrival of
each phase. We focus on diffracted, core reflected and refracted P and S waves. The sensitivity kernels
depict the finite-frequency nature of these waves and possible contributions from other phases unpredictable
by ray theory. Results show that for most phases ray theory performs acceptably with some accuracy loss,
however comparisons of the effect of velocity variations to topography on traveltimes are discouraging due
to the low sensitivity to the latter.
The conclusions drawn by our traveltime and sensitivity analyses are twofold. Firstly, using spectral-
element waveforms, the seismic phases which are frequently found in literature can be thoroughly investigated
and better understood, since their traveltime sensitivity through mantle and core is explicitly shown. The
full-waveform analysis allows us to assess the usability of phases which are informative for core-mantle
boundary structure and its topography. Secondly, we propose that using the analysed phases simultaneously
in a full-waveform inversion scheme will improve imaging of the CMB, while also allowing to jointly invert
for velocity variations along the D″ layer, which is generally poorly understood. From this study, we want
to promote advanced techniques of full-waveform inversion for improving CMB and lower mantle models.

How to cite: Borgeaud, A. F. E., Koroni, M., and Deschamps, F.: Full-waveform analysis of core-mantle boundary structure using adjoint methods, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9346, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9346, 2020.

D1430 |
Investigation into the influence of the Réunion plume on the Central Indian Ridge
Clément Vincent, Jung-Woo Park, Sang-Mook Lee, Jonguk Kim, and Sang-Joon Pak
D1431 |
Patricia Hannah Galbraith-Olive, Nicky White, and Andy Woods

The Saffman-Taylor instability, a fluid dynamical phenomenon, occurs when a less viscous
fluid is injected into a more viscous fluid, leading to the development of radial miscible viscous
fingers. Approximately five horizontal fingers radiate away from the Icelandic plume at a
depth range of 100 km–200 km. These fingers are manifest as shear wave velocity anomalies in
full-waveform tomographic models. The best resolved fingers lie beneath the British Isles and
beneath western Norway, extending ∼1,000 km away from the Icelandic plume conduit. The
number and wavelength of miscible viscous fingers are controlled by Péclet number (i.e. the
ratio of advective and diffusive transport rates), mobility ratio (i.e. the ratio of fluid viscosities)
and thickness of the horizontal layer into which the fluid is injected. Observational estimates
for the Icelandic plume suggest the Péclet number is O(104), the mobility ratio is at least 20–
50 and the asthenospheric channel thickness is 100 ± 20 km. Appropriately scaled laboratory
experiments play a key role in developing a quantitative understanding of the spatial and
temporal evolution of the Icelandic plume planform. During laboratory experiments, Péclet
number is varied primarily by changing the flow rate as well as the altering the thickness of
the horizontal layer. Viscosity contrasts are generated by using glycerol and water mixtures
which are miscible, like plume material with ambient mantle. However there is no temperature
contrast in the experiments, which is probably significant in the mantle. Comparison between
scaled analogue experiments and observed values suggests the fluid dynamics may be more
complex than the Saffman-Taylor instability alone. Additional processes including influence
of temperature, interaction with the base of the lithospheric plate or small-scale convection,
along with the Saffman-Taylor instabillity, may be the origin of the fingers imaged by seismic

How to cite: Galbraith-Olive, P. H., White, N., and Woods, A.: Radial Miscible Viscous Fingering of the Icelandic Plume, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-524, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-524, 2020.

D1432 |
Boris R. German

It is generally accepted that the Tunguska event in Siberia on 30 June, 1908 resulted from an explosion of cosmic body. However, there is no common agreement that this bolide really existed. Moreover, registered ultra low frequency (ULF) magnetic oscillations in Kiel, Germany on 27-30 June 1908 [1] had a correlate with the 'acoustic halo' (ULF) of a solar flare [2].

Large low-shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) are linked to so-called blobs located atop the Earth's outer core [3]. It was shown the Earth's D"-layer core-mantle boundary was perturbed by both the solar flare and an anomalous lunar-solar tide during the Tunguska 1908 event [2]. Therefore, gravitational/magnetic lunar-solar perturbations could have triggered a plume/hotspot/LIP activation by means of a LLSVPs convection.

It was suggested that planetary hotspots chains are interconnected [4]. Indeed, during the Tunguska event brightest glows were observed over the Eifel volcano and more weak one over the Yellowstone volcano (both volcanoes are associated with hotspots) [5]. In addition, day by day a slowly lifting of the earth round the diabase stones was registered in Tasmania from 7 June till 29 June, 1908 [6]. This lifting was independent from atmospheric temperature variations and terminated as soon as a blast took place in the caldera of Tunguska paleovolcano on 30 June, 1908 [5, 6]. Observations in Tasmania remained a mystery for a long time. Recently scientists discovery the Cosgrove hotspot had moved from Eastern Australia to Tasmania [7]. In our opinion, the Cosgrove did not lose its activity fully 9 My ago as previously assumed: the Darwin crater in Tasmania originated about of 803 ka years and large volume ejected glasses in/around this small crater contradicts to the impact origin [5, 8]. Therefore, we consider the underground activation of Cosgrove hotspot as a cause of surface uplift in Tasmania from 7 to 30 June 1908.

As in Tasmania, moving mantle hotspots were registered in Eastern Siberia [9]. Probably, hotspots in Tasmania (near Pacific LLSVPs) and in the Tunguska basin (near Perm LLSVPs) are interconnected. Because common hotspots thermal energy was released in/by the Tunguska paleovolcano explosion on 30 June 1908, the fluidal pressure of the Cosgrove hotspot under Tasmania was reduced, resulting in the termination of surface uplift. Since meteorites could not have caused the earth uplift in Tasmania, the impact hypothesis for the Tunguska phenomenon can be excluded. All data favor an endogenic origin of this event due to lunar-solar perturbations and the whole-mantle convection.

[1]. Weber L. (1908) Astronomische Nachrichten, 178, 23. [2]. German B. (2010) EPSC2010-430. [3]. Duncombe J. (2019) Eos, 100. [4]. Courtillot V. (1990) ISBN 9780813722474, 401. [5]. German B. (2019) ISBNs 9783981952605(in Russian)/9783981952612(in English). [6]. Scott H. (1908) Nature, 78(2025), 376. [7]. Davies D. (2015) Nature, 525, 511. [8]. Haines P. (2005) Australian Journal Earth Sciences, 52, 481. [9]. Rosen O. (2015) ISBN 9785902754954, 148.

How to cite: German, B. R.: Is a whole-mantle convection the key to solving the Tunguska 1908 problem?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1662, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1662, 2020.

D1433 |
Maelis Arnould and Tobias Rolf

The coupling between mantle convection and plate tectonics results in mantle flow patterns and properties which can be characterized with different seismic methods. In particular, the presence of mantle seismic anisotropy in the uppermost mantle suggests the existence of mineral Lattice-Preferred Orientation (LPO) caused by asthenospheric flow. Dislocation creep, which implies non-Newtonian mantle rheology, has been identified as a deformation mechanism responsible for such LPO leading to seismic anisotropy. While it has been proposed that the use of a composite rheology (with both diffusion and dislocation creep) significantly impacts the planform of convection and thus the resulting tectonic behavior at the surface, large-scale mantle convection studies have typically assumed diffusion creep (Newtonian rheology) as the only deformation mechanism, due to computational limitations.

Here, we investigate the role of composite rheology on mantle convection with self-consistent plate-like behavior using the code StagYY in 2D annulus (Hernlund and Tackley, 2008). We quantify the spatial distribution of dislocation creep in the mantle in models characterized by different transitional stresses between Newtonian and non-Newtonian rheology. Such models are built on previous viscoplastic cases featuring Earth-like plate velocities, surface heat flow and topography with Newtonian rheology (Arnould et al., 2018). We then investigate how composite rheology impacts the planform of convection and the style of plate-like behavior.



Hernlund, J. W., & Tackley, P. J. (2008). Modeling mantle convection in the spherical annulus. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 171(1-4), 48-54.

Arnould, M., Coltice, N., Flament, N., Seigneur, V., & Müller, R. D. (2018). On the scales of dynamic topography in whole‐mantle convection models. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 19(9), 3140-3163.

How to cite: Arnould, M. and Rolf, T.: The effect of composite rheology on mantle convection models with plate-like behavior, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4621, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4621, 2020.

D1434 |
Aleksandr Savelev, Andrei Khudoley, and Sergey Malyshev

Meso-Neoproterozoic dolerite sills and dykes of the south-east margin of the Siberian Craton are commonly known as linked to the Sette-Daban LIP-related event (Ernst, 2014). They are localized in the Maya-Kyllakh zone which represent moderately deformed sedimentary cover of the craton. The mafic intrusions are numerous and variable in size, but the best studied are large sills up to 200 m thick. Smaller intrusions are identified to be related to the same magmatic event according to their appearance and structural position.

There are several U-Pb and Sm-Nd isochron isotopic dates for the rocks of the Ulakhanbam complex, giving a range of values from 930 to 1000 Ma. Although there is an overlap of several dates within error, sills become younger westward from 974-1005 Ma in the east part of the study area to 932-946 Ma in its west part. Due to wide range of ages they likely represent at least 2 different magmatic events, although long-term event is possible as well. To resolve this issue, new accurate dates are needed.

Chemical composition of mafic intrusions is not uniform also varying from east to west. The average Y, Zr, Nb, La, Ce, and Nd concentrations in the intrusions from the east part of the study area are approximately two times higher than in the western ones. The separation into two groups is also observed in triple discriminatory diagrams according to Sm, Ti, V, and Sc. However, εNd(T) values vary from 2.3 to 7.5 without clear correlation with chemical composition. Thus, the revealed patterns basically support interpretation with occurrence of two stages of magmatic activity, the first of which is characterized by enrichment of REEs and other elements.

The studies were supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant No. 19-77-10048.

How to cite: Savelev, A., Khudoley, A., and Malyshev, S.: Geochemical features of Meso-Neoproterozoic dolerite sill on the South-East margin of the Siberian Craton., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5252, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5252, 2020.

D1435 |
Lidiia Shpakovich, Sergey Malyshev, and Valeriy Savatenkov

Geodynamic reconstructions are largely based on information contained in mafic igneous rocks, including dykes and sills. The age and isotope-geochemical characteristics of such rocks are inevitable for understanding of geodynamic history of the Proterozoic cratons. The regions in Siberian Craton, where Precambrian mafic dyke swarms are known are following: Anabar Shield and Olenek Uplifts, Aldan-Stanovoi Shield, SE area of Siberian Craton, and smaller Uplifts on the SW margin of Siberian Craton.

The Udzha paleo-rift is located in the northern part of Siberian Craton between Anabar and Olenek Uplifts is also associated with mafic dyke swarm. These dykes cross-cut the pre-Neoproterozoic sedimentary successions. The age of the largest dyke in Udzha paleo-rift (Great Udzha Dyke) presented by medium-grained dolerite was determined to be 1386 ± 30 Ma (Malyshev et al., 2018).

We present new data of Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic composition on the Udzha paleo-rift dykes, determined by TIMS. The initial isotopic composition of Pb in the dykes was obtained using the leaching method by Savatenkov et al., 2019. The Sr isotopic composition of the dykes demonstrates substantial variation (εSr varies from 8.4 to 110.4). We do not consider this fact as a result of crust contamination, because Nd isotopic composition does not vary significantly (εNd varies from -1.4 to 0.7). Obtained results indicate that initial for the Udzha paleo-rift dykes melts were generated from two mantle reservoirs of DM and EMII-type. The initial Pb isotopic composition of the dykes reveals EMII source participation in the melts generation too (206Pb/204Pb varies from 16.133 to 16.266, 207Pb/204Pb varies from 15.343 to 15.458). The presence of enriched component is likely associated with lithospheric mantle, metasomatized by fluids, derived from subducted terrigenous material.

The studies were supported by the Russian Science Foundation project No. 19-77-10048.


Malyshev, S. V., Pasenko A. M., Ivanov A. V., Gladkochub D. P., Savatenkov V. M., Meffre S., Abersteiner A., Kamenetsky V. S. & Shcherbakov V. D. (2018): Geodynamic Significance of the Mesoproterozoic Magmatism of the Udzha Paleo-Rift (Northern Siberian Craton) Based on U-Pb Geochronology and Paleomagnetic Data. – Minerals, 8(12), 555

Savatenkov V. M., Malyshev, S. V., Ivanov A. V., Meffre S., Abersteiner A., Kamenetsky V. S., Pasenko A. M. (2019): An advanced stepwise leaching technique for derivation of initial lead isotope ratios in ancient mafic rocks: A case study of Mesoproterozoic intrusions from the Udzha paleo-rift, Siberian Craton. – Chemical Geology, 528, 119253

How to cite: Shpakovich, L., Malyshev, S., and Savatenkov, V.: Pb, Nd, Sr isotopic composition of the Mesoproterozoic mafic intrusions (Udzha paleorift, Northern Siberia), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11081, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11081, 2020.

D1436 |
Wolfgang Szwillus, Joerg Ebbing, and Bernhard Steinberger

The Large Low Velocity Provinces (LLVP) are two antipodal regions of reduced seismic velocity that extend about 800 km into the mantle from the core-mantle boundary. The LLVPs might affect the generation of plumes and organize large-scale plate motions.

However – except for the reduced velocity – almost all properties of the LLVPs are the subject of vigorous debate. The LLVPs could simply be hot upwellings, or they could be chemically different from normal mantle. They could be a transient feature, exist since the Early Earth or be the result of continuous accumulation as a result of plate tectonics. To some extent, determining the density of the LLVPs could help to distinguish between these scenarios. However, most seismic methods are only weakly sensitive to density and so far both negative and positive density anomalies have been proposed based on seismology. A more direct means of assessing the density structure comes from inverting the gravity field.

While density inversions are inherently non-unique, this can be somewhat alleviated by constraining the geometry of potential sources of the gravity anomalies. In this contribution, we use vote maps to constrain the geometry. A vote map is based on a collection of seismic tomographies and highlights areas of agreement between the seismic tomographies.

We find that the LLVPs possess a slight positive density anomaly between 0.1 and 0.6 %. The variation results from how the lithosphere is treated, since we use both an isostatic model and seismically determined Moho depths, with the isostatic model resulting in smaller LLVP densities. The combination of increased density and reduced velocity can only be explained if the LLVPs are somewhat chemically different from ‘normal’ pyrolitic mantle. Using petrophysical data bases we estimate that an enrichment of 1-1.5% iron oxide content together with a temperature increase of 260 – 380 K with respect to an adiabatic temperature curve can explain the density increase and velocity decrease. Alternatively, the LLVPs would have to contain 40-60 % Mid-Oceanic Ridge Basalt and be 870 – 960 K hotter in order to explain our findings.

How to cite: Szwillus, W., Ebbing, J., and Steinberger, B.: Evidence of increased density of LLVPs from vote map constrained density inversion, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19405, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19405, 2020.

D1437 |
Laura Cobden, Michael Afanasiev, Frederic Deschamps, Fabienne Stockmann, Christine Thomas, Sebastian Rost, and Andreas Fichtner

Elucidating the role of deep mantle plumes in mantle convection is challenging because their influence on seismic waveforms – which could be used to map their location – is subtle. Previous seismic studies have mainly focused on waveform modelling and inversion (i.e. tomography). In this study we instead consider the potential visibility of mantle plumes using array methods. We investigate, in particular, how plumes deviate seismic energy from the great-circle path. This requires a multidisciplinary approach: first, we perform geodynamic modelling to generate thermochemical plumes, and convert them to “seismic” plumes via thermodynamic modelling of mineral physics data. Next, spectral element methods are used to model the interaction of seismic waves with the plumes and generate synthetic seismograms. These seismograms are divided into arrays and we generate slowness-backazimuth plots for each array. With recent advances in computational methods and resources, we investigate wave behaviour at previously unattainable frequencies.  We find that plumes do indeed cause seismic waves to change direction, although the exact behaviour may be frequency-dependent, and at low frequencies we observe waves apparently bending around the plume conduit.  We consider how and where these results may be applied to real seismic arrays, to provide new constraints on the location and structure of mantle plumes.

How to cite: Cobden, L., Afanasiev, M., Deschamps, F., Stockmann, F., Thomas, C., Rost, S., and Fichtner, A.: Probing mantle plumes using seismic arrays, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7491, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7491, 2020.

D1438 |
Frederic Deschamps, Kensuke Konishi, Nobuaki Fuji, and Laura Cobden

The Earth’s deep mantle seismic structure is dominated by two large low shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) located beneath Africa and the Pacific. These structures have been observed by many studies and data sets, but their nature, purely thermal or thermo-chemical, is still debated. Due to trade-off between temperature and composition, maps of shear-wave velocity anomalies (dlnVS) alone are unable to discriminate between purely thermal and thermo-chemical hypotheses. Seismic shear-wave attenuation, measured by the quality factor QS, strongly depends on temperature and may bring additional information on this parameter, allowing to resolve the trade-off between temperature and composition. Here, we invert seismic waveform data jointly for radial models of dlnVS, and QS at two different locations beneath the Pacific, and from a depth of 2000 km down to the core-mantle boundary (CMB). At the Northern Pacific (NP) location, sampling a region around 50º N latitude and 180º E longitude, around VS and QS remain close to the PREM values, representing the horizontal average mantle, throughout the investigated depth-range, with dlnVS ~ -0.1% and QS ~ 300 (compared to QPREM = 312). At the Western Pacific (WP) location, sampling the western tip of the Pacific LLSVP and the Caroline plume, both VS and QS are substantially lower than PREM. Importantly, dlnVS and QS sharply decrease in the lowermost 500 km, from -0.6 % and 255 at 2500 km, to -2.5% and 215 close to the CMB. We then show that WP models cannot be explained by thermal anomalies alone, but require excess in iron of 3.5 to 4.5 % from the CMB up to 2600 km, and about 0.4 to 1.0 % at shallower depths. This later enrichment may be due to the entrainment of small amounts of the Pacific LLSVP material by the Caroline plume. The values of QS we observe give an estimate of the temperature anomalies, around 300-400 K close to the CMB, and 150 K at shallower depths. By contrast, NP models may have a purely thermal origin and can be explained by a temperature excess of about 50 K.

How to cite: Deschamps, F., Konishi, K., Fuji, N., and Cobden, L.: Radial thermo-chemical structure beneath Western and Northern Pacific inferred from seismic waveform inversion, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22295, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22295, 2020.

D1439 |
Paul Tackley

It is common to perform 2-dimensional simulations of mantle convection in spherical geometry, either with (r, theta) axisymmetry or the (r, phi) spherical annulus geometry (Hernlund and Tackley, PEPI 2008). 

A problem with both of these is that the geometrical restriction forces deformation that is not present in 3 dimensions. Specifically, in a 2-D spherical approximation, a downwelling is forced to contract in the plane-perpendicular direction, requiring it to extend in the 2 in-plane directions. In other words, it is "squeezed" in the plane-perpendicular direction.  If the downwelling has a high viscosity, as a cold slab does, then it resists this forced deformation, sinking much more slowly than in three dimensions, in which it could sink with no deformation. This can cause unrealistic behaviour and scaling relationships for high viscosity contrasts. 

This problem can be solved by subtracting the geometrically-forced deformation ("squeezing") from the strain-rate tensor when calculating the stress tensor. Specifically, components of in-plane and plane-normal strain rate that are required by and proportional to the vertical (radial) velocity are subtracted, a procedure that is here termed "anti-squeeze". It is demonstrated here that this "anti-squeeze" correction results in sinking rates and scaling relationships that are similar to those in 3-D geometry whereas without it, abnormal and physically unrealistic results can be obtained for high viscosity contrasts. This correction has been used for 2-D geometries in the code StagYY (Tackley, PEPI 2008; Hernlund and Tackley, PEPI 2008) since 2010.

How to cite: Tackley, P.: "Anti-squeeze" for Mantle Convection Simulations in Two-Dimensional Spherical Geometry, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10108, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10108, 2020.

D1440 |
Anne Davaille and Helene Massol

A clear understanding of the transition from a liquid magma ocean (MO) to a convective solid mantle is still lacking. Part of the problem is that there is still no clear view of all the physical phenomena at play during this crucial stage. As the MO cools down, the formation of a solid and therefore very viscous lithosphere at its surface has often been considered to trigger a new pattern of motion where convection occurs below the lithosphere which remains stagnant. However, when the liquid thermal boundary layer at the top of the MO cools down, it first becomes a mushy lithosphere through which melt and exsolved gas bubbles can still percolate to the surface. Using laboratory experiments of thermal convection in colloidal suspensions, we study the formation of this mushy lithosphere and its different regimes of deformation and coupling to mantle convection. We observe that deformation of the lithosphere can include « heat pipe » formation at high heat, melt and volatile flux. On the other hand, rapid thermal contraction of the lithosphere can cause buckling, leading to subduction. Transition from MO to solid-state convection could involve both processes in succession , or in competition, depending on the temperature and volatiles conditions. 

How to cite: Davaille, A. and Massol, H.: From Magma Ocean turbulent convection to lithosphere formation and mantle convection: insights from laboratory experiments, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10746, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10746, 2020.

D1441 |
Gregor J. Golabek, Anna J. P. Gülcher, Marcel Thielmann, Paul J. Tackley, and Maxim D. Ballmer

Rocks in the Earth’s interior are not homogeneous but consist of different mineralogical phases with different rheological properties. Deformation of heterogeneous rocks is thus also heterogeneous, and strongly depends on the rheological contrasts and spatial distribution of the mineral phases. In Earth’s lower mantle, the main rock constituents are bridgmanite (Br) and smaller amounts of ferropericlase (Fp). Bridgmanite is substantially stronger than ferropericlase [1]. Recent studies propose that lower mantle rheology is highly dependent on the relative mineral abundances and distribution of these two phases [1,2]. It has been suggested that for bridgmanite-depleted compositions, the viscosity decreases with accumulating strain due to the interconnection of the weaker ferropericlase. This implies that deformation may localize in the lower mantle, potentially aiding the formation and preservation of compositionally distinct and “hidden” reservoirs away from these regions of localized deformation [3]. Therefore, understanding the rheological nature of Br-Fp aggregates on a small-scale is crucial for assessing the dynamics of global mantle convection. Here, we address this objective with multi-scale numerical approaches.  

Using a numerical-statistical approach, a connection between ferropericlase morphology and effective rheology of Earth’s lower mantle has recently been established [4]. Results show that bulk-rock weakening depends on the topology of the weak phase as well on its rheology, but also that significant rheological weakening can already be achieved when ferropericlase does not (yet) form an interconnected weak layer.

In a second suite of models, we implement a macro-scale description of strain-weakening based on the micro-scale solutions found in [4] in a global mantle convection model to test the first-order effect of strain weakening on convection dynamics in the lower mantle. We present 2D numerical models of thermochemical convection in a spherical annulus geometry [5] that include a new implementation of tracking the strain ellipse at each tracer through time. We further allow lower mantle materials to rheologically weaken once a certain strain threshold has been reached. Preliminary results indicate that strain localizes along both up- and downwellings in the lower mantle and that rheological weakening has a stabilizing effect on these conduits. 

This multi-scale approach is essential for addressing lower-mantle rheological behavior and our results form an important step towards addressing the feasibility of isolated, long-lived geochemical reservoirs in Earth’s lower mantle.

[1] Yamazaki and Karato (2001), Am. Mineral. 86, 385-391. [2] Girard et al. (2016), Science 351, 144-147. [3] Ballmer et al. (2017), Nat. Geosci. 10, 236-240. [4] Thielmann et al. (2020), Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., doi:10.1029/2019GC008688. [5] Hernlund and Tackley (2008), Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 171, 48–54.

How to cite: Golabek, G. J., Gülcher, A. J. P., Thielmann, M., Tackley, P. J., and Ballmer, M. D.: Strain-weakening rheology in Earth’s lower mantle: a multi-scale numerical endeavour, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11689, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11689, 2020.

D1442 |
Xiaoyu Liu and Nansheng Qiu

The Middle-Late Permian Emeishan large igneous province (ELIP), located in the western margin of Yangtze craton, SW China, is regarded as the result of the impingement of a mantle plume onto the lithosphere. However, little is known about the petrogenesis of Late Permian basalts in Sichuan Basin, which were previously considered to be located outside the ELIP. Here we report new petrographic, major elements, trace elements and isotopic data (Sr-Nd-Pb) for Late Permian basalts in the boreholes from the northwestern Sichuan Basin. These basaltic rocks are characterized by low SiO2 contents (47.17-49.40 wt.%), high TiO2 contents (3.38-4.11 wt.%) and Ti/Y ratio (539-639), moderate total alkalis contents (Na2O+K2O, 3.36-6.01 wt.%) and Mg# values (40.93-46.04), which geochemically resemble the Emeishan high-Ti basalts. These rocks are enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare earth elements (LREE), and have (La/Yb)N ranging from 9.95 to 11.78, showing that typical oceanic island basalt (OIB)-like normalized patterns. The fractionation of MREE to HREE suggests that the basalts were generated by low degree of partial melting within the garnet stability field. Low initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70572-0.70676; t=260 Ma), Pb isotopic ratios [206Pb/204Pb(t) (18.062-18.637), 207Pb/204Pb(t) (15.574-15.641), 208Pb/204Pb(t) (38.33-38.98)], and slightly high εNd(t) values (-0.03 to +1.34) indicate that the magma formed from a deep mantle source that may possibly be a mantle plume and have negligibly been affected by crustal contamination. This inference is further supported by high Nb/U ratios (20.56-25.70), low Th/Nb (0.17-0.19) and Th/Ta ratios (2.77-3.14), and no visible Nb and Ta anomalie. In addition, thermal history reconstruction using paleogeothermal indicators in the study area shows that the Lower Paleozoic to Middle Permian formations experienced an intensive thermal event and abnormal high heat flow value reached 118.0 mW/m2 at the Late Permian, which may be due to the mantle plume magma upwelling. The geochemical and geothermal characteristics all demonstrate that these basalts were probably generated in response to the Emeishan mantle plume. Thus, we conclude that the ELIP may have larger areal extent and has been played an important role on the thermal evolution of source rocks in the Sichuan basin.

How to cite: Liu, X. and Qiu, N.: Late Permian basalts in the northwestern Sichuan Basin, SW China: Implications for the geodynamics and thermal effect of the Emeishan mantle plume, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6821, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6821, 2020.

D1443 |
Mathurin Dongmo wamba, Barbara Romanowicz, Jean-Paul Montagner, and Guilhem Barruol

How to cite: Dongmo wamba, M., Romanowicz, B., Montagner, J.-P., and Barruol, G.: A narrow plume conduit anchored in the lower mantle beneath la Réunion hotspot, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9135, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9135, 2020.

D1444 |
Anna J. P. Gülcher, Maxim D. Ballmer, Paul J. Tackley, and Paula Koelemeijer

Despite stirring by vigorous convection over billions of years, the Earth’s lower mantle appears to be chemically heterogeneous on various length scales. Constraining this heterogeneity is key for assessing Earth’s bulk composition and thermochemical evolution, but remains a scientific challenge that requires cross-disciplinary efforts. On scales below ~1 km, the concept of a “marble cake” mantle has gained wide acceptance, emphasising that recycled oceanic lithosphere, deformed into streaks of depleted and enriched compositions, makes up much of the mantle. On larger scales (10s-100s of km), compositional heterogeneity may be preserved by delayed mixing of this marble cake with either intrinsically-dense or intrinsically-strong materials. Intrinsically dense materials may accumulate as piles at the core-mantle boundary, while intrinsically viscous domains (e.g., enhanced in the strong mineral bridgmanite) may survive as “blobs” in the mid-mantle for large timescales, such as plums in the mantle “plum pudding”1,2. While many studies have explored the formation and preservation of either intrinsically-dense (recycled) or intrinsically-strong (primordial) heterogeneity, only few if any have quantified mantle dynamics in the presence of different types of heterogeneity with distinct physical properties. 

To address this objective, we use state-of-the-art 2D numerical models of global-scale mantle convection in a spherical-annulus geometry. We explore the effects of the (i) physical properties of primordial material (density, viscosity), (ii) temperature/pressure dependency of viscosity, (iii) lithospheric yielding strength, and (iv) Rayleigh number on mantle dynamics and mixing. Models predict that primordial heterogeneity is preserved in the lower mantle over >4.5 Gyr as discrete blobs for high intrinsic viscosity contrast (>30x) and otherwise for a wide range of parameters. In turn, recycled oceanic crust is preserved in the lower mantle as “marble cake” streaks or piles, particularly in models with a relatively cold and stiff mantle. Importantly, these recycled crustal heterogeneities can co-exist with primordial blobs, with piles often tending to accumulate beneath the primordial domains. This suggests that the modern mantle may be in a hybrid state between the “marble cake” and “plum pudding” styles. 

Finally, we put our model predictions in context with recent discoveries from seismology. We calculate synthetic seismic velocities from predicted temperatures and compositions, and compare these synthetics to tomography models, taking into account the limited resolution of seismic tomography. Convection models including preserved bridgmanite-enriched domains along with recycled piles have the potential of reconciling recent seismic observations of lower-mantle heterogeneity3 with the geochemical record from ocean-island basalts4,5, and are therefore relevant for assessing Earth’s bulk composition and long-term evolution. 

1 Ballmer et al. (2017), Nat. Geosci., 10.1038/ngeo2898
2 Gülcher et al. (in review), EPSL: Variable dynamic styles of primordial heterogeneity preservation in Earth’s lower mantle
3 Waszek et al. (2018), Nat. Comm., 10.1038/s41467-017-02709-4
4 Hofmann (1997), Nature, 10.1038/385219a0;
5 Mundl et al. (2017), Science, 10.1126/science.aal4179

How to cite: Gülcher, A. J. P., Ballmer, M. D., Tackley, P. J., and Koelemeijer, P.: The formation, preservation and seismic signatures of chemical heterogeneities in the lower mantle, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13705, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13705, 2020.