MINERAL PHYSICS

A lower-mantle water cycle component

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Science  23 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6220, pp. 385-386
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6220.385-d

Water has a dramatic impact on mantle dynamics and chemistry. Despite speculation about water in Earth's lower mantle, a mechanism for supplying water to this remote region has been elusive. Pamato et al. suggest that a hydrous mineral called “phase D” may fill that role. Aluminum-rich hydrous phase D was found to be stable at the right temperature-pressure conditions and should be present in rocks with compositions that make up subducted ocean crust. Subducted slabs could therefore introduce water-rich patches into an otherwise dry lower mantle, providing an alternative explanation for some seismic and geochemical anomalies.

Nat. Geosci. 10.1038/ngeo2306 (2015).

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