Authors:Ildikó Gyollai, Ákos Kereszturi, and Elias Chatzitheodoridis
-pressure phasetransition mineral (hollandite structure); only fluorescence background was measured.
Mineralogy and texture
In the Zagami meteorite pyroxene, feldspar, oxides (magnetite and titanomagnetite), phosphates (apatite and
Cserepes L, Yuen D 1997: Dynamical consequences of mid-mantle viscosity stratification on mantle flows with an endothermic phasetransition. Geoph. Res. Letters , 24, 181--184.
Dynamical consequences of mid-mantle viscosity
In the western region of Argentina, 30° S Lat., near the Andean Range, two Precambrian large faults or lineaments are present: Ambato (AL) (NE-SW) and Valle Fértil (VFF)(∼NS). They are deep-seated faults in the crust, with extend develop in time, crossing each other in the region where Bermejo Basin and Valle Fértil Range (Sierra de Valle Fértil, SVF) are present. The study of these lineaments is important to better know the tectonic evolution of this region. Three deep magnetotelluric soundings were carried out in this zone using induction coils and a flux-gate magnetic variometer. Principal results show a thickness up to 7000 m and saline character for the Bermejo Basin, with resistivities range frm 3 Ωm to 13 Ωm, and an integrated conductivity of 1600 Siemens. High conductivity is also suggested for the AL from the top of basement to higher depths. Westward of VFF, beneath the Bermejo Basin, a conductive lower crust is suggested with a longitudinal conductance at least of 1600 Siemens and seated at 43 km depth; but this layer does not seem to be present eastward of the fault. A possible phase transition zone at 300 km depth is also suggested. From these conductive layers, a heat flow estimate of 36–40 mW/m
is made for the region, using empirical formulas. Graphite is suspected to be the cause of lower crust conductivity. If correct, it would be suggesting a strong ancient tectonic activity, with probable dipping and lifting of significant amplitude in the region.
Key subjects related to the present status of mantle convection theory are reviewed in this paper. Rheology of the polycrystalline mantle material is known from laboratory experiments. Diffusion and dislocation creeps must predominate in the long-term deformation of the mantle at high temperatures; their effective viscosities can be estimated from measured creep parameters. Inhomogeneities in the chemical and phase composition of the mantle can influence the convective pattern considerably. Perhaps the most significant heterogeneities in this respect are those produced by the phase changes of the transition zone. The endothermic spinel-perovskite transition at 660 km depth can create an efficient obstacle to vertical flow. Available seismic tomographic images show clear signs of such an obstacle in some subduction zones, at other places however the downwellings seem to be unimpeded. The exact degree of flow layering caused by the 660 km discontinuity is not known, but some sort of flow stratification is strongly suggested by the isotopic and trace element geochemistry which shows that different chemical reservoirs must exist in the mantle on the geological time scale. Equations and the main governing forces are analyzed, and the basic structures of the convective flow are demonstrated in examples of numerical solutions. In particular, recent modelling results are discussed with regard to the plume forms allowed by a semi-permeable internal phase boundary. It is shown that three different kinds of plumes can reach the surface and produce hotspots: those arising from the internal phase boundary, those coming from the basal boundary layer of the mantle, and a recently described new plume type which breaks through the phase transition starting from a diffuse volume below the transition zone.