Implications for Mantle Dynamics from the High Melting Temperature of Perovskite

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Science  03 Jun 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5164, pp. 1437-1439
DOI: 10.1126/science.264.5164.1437


Recent studies have implied that (Mg, Fe)SiO3-perovskite, a likely dominant mineral phase in the lower mantle, may have a high melting temperature. The implications of these findings for the dynamics of the lower mantle were investigated with the use of numerical convection models. The results showed that low homologous temperatures (0.3 to 0.5) would prevail in the modeled lower mantle, regardless of the effective Rayleigh number and internal heating rates. High-temperature ductile creep is possible under relatively cold conditions. In models with low rates of internal heating, local maxima of viscosity developed in the mid—lower mantle that were similar to those obtained from inversion of geoid, topography, and plate velocities.