Lower-mantle material properties and convection models of multiscale plumes

Ctirad Matyska, David A Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present the results of numerical mantle convection models demonstrating that dynamical effects induced by variable mantle viscosity, depth-dependent thermal expansivity, radiative thermal conductivity at the base of the mantle, the spinel to perov-skite phase change and the perovskite to post-perovskite phase transition in the deep mantle can result in multiscale mantle plumes: stable lower-mantle superplumes are followed by groups of small upper-mantle plumes. Both radiative thermal conductivity at the base of the lower mantle and a strongly decreasing thermal expansivity of perovskite in the lower mantle can help induce partially layered convection with intense shear heating under the transition zone, which creates a low-viscosity zone and allows for the production of secondary mantle plumes emanating from this zone. Large-scale upwellings in the lower mantle, which are induced mainly by both the style of lower-mantle viscosity stratification and decrease of thermal expansivity, control position of central upper- mantle plumes of each group as well as the upper-mantle plume-plume interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-163
Number of pages27
JournalSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Depth-dependent thermal expansivity
  • Partially layered convection
  • Post-perovskite phase transition
  • Radiative heat transfer in D"
  • Shear heating
  • Temperature-and pressure-dependent viscosity


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