Reports

Sound Velocities in Olivine at Earth Mantle Pressures

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Science  04 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5113, pp. 1487-1489
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5113.1487

Abstract

The independent elastic constants of an upper mantle mineral, San Carlos olivine [(Mg1.8Fe0.2)SiO4], were measured from 0 to 12.5 gigapascals. Evidence is offered in support of the proposition that the explicit temperature dependence of the bulk modulus is small over the range of temperatures and pressures thought to prevail above the 400-kilometer discontinuity, and thus the data can be extrapolated to estimate the properties of olivine under mantle conditions at a depth of 400 kilometers. In the absence of high-temperature data at high pressures, estimates are made of the properties of olivine under mantle conditions to a depth of 400 kilometers. In contrast with low-pressure laboratory data, the predicted covariance of shear and compressional velocities as a function of temperature nearly matches the seismically estimated value for the lower mantle.