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    Sulfide melts and long-term low seismic wavespeeds in lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle

    Helffrich, G. and Kendall, J.-M. and Hammond, James O.S. and Carroll, M.R. (2011) Sulfide melts and long-term low seismic wavespeeds in lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle. Geophysical Research Letters 38 (11), ISSN 0094-8276.

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    Some studies of lithospheric and asthenospheric seismic structure, report mantle velocities as low as ∼4% below the reference models used. While these low wavespeeds may be attributed to thermal effects in tectonically young or actively volcanic regions, in older, tectonically stable regions low velocity anomalies apparently persist even past the decay time of any thermal perturbation, rendering such a mechanism implausible. Low volume melts can also reduce wavespeeds, but their buoyancy should drain them upward away from source regions, preventing significant accumulation if they are able to segregate. Sulfide, ubiquitous as inclusions in lithospheric mantle xenoliths, forms dense, non-segregating melts at temperatures and volatile fugacities characteristic of even old lithospheric mantle. We show that 1–5 volume percent sulfide melts can act to permanently create reductions up to 5.5% in seismic wavespeeds in areas of the lithosphere and the asthenosphere disturbed by prior melting events that carry and concentrate sulfide.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 19 May 2016 16:29
    Last Modified: 12 Jun 2021 13:19


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