Is the lower-mantle rheology Newtonian today?

Arie P. Van Den Berg, David A. Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The issue concerning the dominant creep mechanism in mantle convection has been studied numerically with a rheology incorporating both linear and non-linear elements. We have employed a rheology suggested by the recently obtained melting temperature of lower-mantle constituents. For an effective Rayleigh number between 105 and 106 this type of strongly temperature and pressure-dependent rheology induces a circulation in the Earth's mantle, which is characterized by a sluggish type of flow in the lower mantle with a prevailing Newtonian character, while in the upper mantle much more vigorous flows are developed in a predominantly non-Newtonian rheology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number96GL02065
Pages (from-to)2033-2036
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


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