Mantle dynamics inferred from the crystallographic preferred orientation of bridgmanite
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Seismic shear wave anisotropy is observed in Earth's uppermost lower mantle around several subducted slabs. The anisotropy caused by the deformation-induced crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) of bridgmanite (perovskite-structured (Mg,Fe)SiO3) is the most plausible explanation for these seismic observations. However, the rheological properties of bridgmanite are largely unknown. Uniaxial deformation experiments have been carried out to determine the deformation texture of bridgmanite, but the dominant slip system (the slip direction and plane) has not been determined. Here we report the CPO pattern and dominant slip system of bridgmanite under conditions that correspond to the uppermost lower mantle (25 gigapascals and 1,873 kelvin) obtained through simple shear deformation experiments using the Kawai-type deformation-DIA apparatus. The fabrics obtained are characterized by  perpendicular to the shear plane and  parallel to the shear direction, implying that the dominant slip system of bridgmanite is (100). The observed seismic shear- wave anisotropies near several subducted slabs (Tonga-Kermadec, Kurile, Peru and Java) can be explained in terms of the CPO of bridgmanite as induced by mantle flow parallel to the direction of subduction.
Nature 539(7627), 81-84, 2016-11
Nature Publishing Group