Water-Induced Fabric Transitions in Olivine

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Science  24 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5534, pp. 1460-1463
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062235

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The interpretation of seismic anisotropy in Earth's upper mantle has traditionally been based on the fabrics (lattice-preferred orientation) of relatively water-poor olivine. Here we show that when a large amount of water is added to olivine, the relation between flow geometry and seismic anisotropy undergoes marked changes. Some of the puzzling observations of seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle, including the anomalous anisotropy in the central Pacific and the complicated anisotropy in subduction zones, can be attributed to the enrichment of water in these regions.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: shun-ichiro.karato{at}

  • Present address: Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

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