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Probabilistic Tomography Maps Chemical Heterogeneities Throughout the Lower Mantle

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Science  29 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5697, pp. 853-856
DOI: 10.1126/science.1101996

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Abstract

We obtained likelihoods in the lower mantle for long-wavelength models of bulk sound and shear wave speed, density, and boundary topography, compatible with gravity constraints, from normal mode splitting functions and surface wave data. Taking into account the large uncertainties in Earth's thermodynamic reference state and the published range of mineral physics data, we converted the tomographic likelihoods into probability density functions for temperature, perovskite, and iron variations. Temperature and composition can be separated, showing that chemical variations contribute to the overall buoyancy and are dominant in the lower 1000 kilometers of the mantle.

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