Moving Seismic Tomography Beyond Fast and Slow to Thermo- Chemical/Mineralogical Modeling

Moving Seismic Tomography Beyond Fast and Slow to Thermo- Chemical/Mineralogical Modeling Shear and compressional velocity maps from the layer extending 200 km above the core-mantle boundary from the seismic tomography models HMSL-S and HMSL-P (Houser et al., 2008). Temperature and chemistry heterogeneity are shown using a scale such that the maximum/minimum translates to a -2%/+2% shear velocity anomaly. The temperature map is used to predict which regions may be cold enough to support the perovskite (Pv) to post perovskite (pPv) phase transition (Houser 2007).
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The current reach and extent the Global Seismic Network (GSN) provides the seismic data needed to determine the seismic structure of the entire mantle. In fact, with the large amount of data available through the GSN, there is now enough confidence in the imaged seismic structure that we can begin to interpret seismically slow and fast regions in terms of temperature, chemistry, and mineralogy. The shear velocity (Vs) and compressional velocity (Vp) as well as normal modes are combined with their respective sensitivities to temperature and composition to map out variations in temperature (T), the mole fraction of iron (XFe), and the mole fraction of perovskite (XPv) near the core-mantle boundary (Houser et al., 2008). Since the phase transformation of perovskite to post-perovskite is temperature dependent, the temperature maps are used to determine where post-perovskite may exist at the bottom of the mantle [Houser 2007]. Thus, global seismic tomography is moving beyond slow and fast to a thermo-chemical understanding of the mantle in order to address Grand Challenge #9 “How do temperature and composition variations control mantle and core convection?”.
</p><p>References
</p><p>Houser, C., Masters, G., Shearer, P., Laske, G. (2008) Shear and compressional velocity models of the mantle from cluster analysis of long- period waveforms, Geophys. J. Int., 174 (1), 195-212.
</p><p>Houser, C. (2007) Constraints on the presence or absence of post-perovskite in the lowermost mantle from long-period seismology,Post-Perovskite: The Last Mantle Phase Transition, Geophysical Monograph Series 174, K. Hirose, J. Brodholt, T. Lay, D. Yuen editors, American Geophysical Union.
</p><p>Acknowledgements: This research was funded by the National Science Foundation grants EAR01-12289, EAR05-38238, and EAR06-52985 and was made possible by through the Instrumentation and Facilities Program (NSF EAR-0004370) funding of the IRIS Data Management Center.</p>

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