Melt segregation and strain partitioning: Implications for seismic anisotropy and mantle flow

B. K. Holtzman, D. L. Kohlstedt, M. E. Zimmerman, F. Heidelbach, T. Hiraga, J. Hustoft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

380 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the principal means of understanding upper mantle dynamics involves inferring mantle flow directions from seismic anisotropy under the assumption that the seismic fast direction (olivine a axis) parallels the regional flow direction. We demonstrate that (i) the presence of melt weakens the alignment of a axes and (ii) when melt segregates and forms networks of weak shear zones, strain partitions between weak and strong zones, resulting in an alignment of a axes 90° from the shear direction in three-dimensional deformation. This orientation of a axes provides a new means of interpreting mantle flow from seismic anisotropy in partially molten deforming regions of Earth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1230
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume301
Issue number5637
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 29 2003

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