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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • Earth—Mantle—Research
  • Thermochemistry—Research
  • Seismology—Research
  • Heat—Convection, Natural—Research

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

Vol. 160, 2005

ISSN: 0065-8448; ISBN: 978-0-87590-425-2

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

R. D. van der Hilst, J. D. Bass, J. Matas, and J. Trampert (Eds.)

Understanding the inner workings of our planet and its relationship to processes closer to the surface remains a frontier in the geosciences. Manmade probes barely reach ˜10 km depth and volcanism rarely brings up samples from deeper than ˜150 km. These distances are dwarfed by Earth's dimensions, and our knowledge of the deeper realms is pieced together from a range of surface observables, meteorite and solar atmosphere analyses, experimental and theoretical mineral physics and rock mechanics, and computer simulations. A major unresolved issue concerns the nature of mantle convection, the slow (1–5 cm/year) solid-state stirring that helps cool the planet by transporting radiogenic and primordial heat from Earth's interior to its surface.
Expanding our knowledge here requires input from a range of geoscience disciplines, including seismology, geodynamics, mineral physics, and mantle petrology and chemistry. At the same time, with better data sets and faster computers, seismologists are producing more detailed models of 3-D variations in the propagation speed of different types of seismic waves; new instrumentation and access to state-of-the-art community facilities such as synchrotrons have enabled mineral physicists to measure rock and mineral properties at ever larger pressures and temperatures; new generations of mass spectrometers are allowing geo-chemists to quantify minute concentrations of diagnostic isotopes; and with supercomputers geodynamicists are making increasingly realistic simulations of dynamic processes at conditions not attainable in analogue experiments. But many questions persist. What causes the lateral variations in seismic wavespeed that we can image with mounting accuracy? How reliable are extrapolations of laboratory measurements on simple materials over many orders of magnitude of pressure and temperature? What are the effects of volatiles and minor elements on rock and mineral properties under extreme physical conditions? Can ab initio calculations help us understand material behavior in conditions that are still out of reach of laboratory measurement? What was the early evolution of our planet and to what extent does it still influence present-day dynamics? And how well do we know such first-order issues as the average bulk composition of Earth?

Citation: van der Hilst, R. D., J. D. Bass, J. Matas, and J. Trampert (Eds.) (2005), Earth's Deep Mantle: Structure, Composition, and Evolution, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 160, 334 pp., AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/GM160.

van der Hilst, Robert D.; Bass, Jay D.; Matas, Jan; Trampert, Jeannot


pp. vii-vii

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

van der Hilst, Robert D.; Bass, Jay D.; Matas, Jan; Trampert, Jeannot

Earth's deep mantle: Structure, composition, and evolution: An introduction

pp. 1-7

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Harrison, Darrell; Ballentine, Chris J.

Noble gas models of mantle structure and reservoir mass transfer

pp. 9-26

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Albarède, Francis

The survival of mantle geochemical heterogeneities

pp. 27-46

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Trampert, Jeannot; van der Hilst, Robert D.

Towards a quantitative interpretation of global seismic tomography

pp. 47-62

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Helmberger, Don V.; Ni, Sidao

Seismic modeling constraints on the South African super plume

pp. 63-81

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Tackley, Paul J.; Xie, Shunxing; Nakagawa, Takashi; Hernlund, John W.

Numerical and laboratory studies of mantle convection: Philosophy, accomplishments, and thermochemical structure and evolution

pp. 83-99

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Samuel, H.; Farnetani, C. G.; Andrault, D.

Heterogeneous lowermost mantle: Compositional constraints and seismological observables

pp. 101-116

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

van Thienen, P.; van Summeren, J.; van der Hilst, R. D.; van den Berg, A. P.; Vlaar, N. J.

Numerical study of the origin and stability of chemically distinct reservoirs deep in Earth's mantle

pp. 117-136

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Bukowinski, Mark S.T.; Akber-Knutson, Sofia

The role of theoretical mineral physics in modeling the Earth's interior

pp. 137-163

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Anderson, Don L.

Self-gravity, self-consistency, and self-organization in geodynamics and geochemistry

pp. 165-186

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Williams, Q.; Knittle, E.

The uncertain major element bulk composition of Earth's mantle

pp. 187-199

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Righter, Kevin

Highly siderophile elements: Constraints on Earth accretion and early differentiation

pp. 201-218

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

McCammon, Catherine A.

Mantle oxidation state and oxygen fugacity: Constraints on mantle chemistry, structure, and dynamics

pp. 219-240

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Badro, James; Fiquet, Guillaume; Guyot, François

Thermochemical state of the lower mantle: New insights from mineral physics

pp. 241-260

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Shim, Sang-Heon

Stability of MgSiO3 perovskite in the lower mantle

pp. 261-282

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Ricard, Y.; Mattern, E.; Matas, J.

Synthetic tomographic images of slabs from mineral physics

pp. 283-300

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Speziale, Sergio; Jiang, Fuming; Duffy, Thomas S.

Compositional dependence of the elastic wave velocities of mantle minerals: Implications for seismic properties of mantle rocks

pp. 301-320

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

Ohtani, Eiji

Recent progress in experimental mineral physics: Phase relations of hydrous systems and the role of water in slab dynamics

pp. 321-334

[Abstract] | [Chapter] | [Full Text (PDF)]

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