Thermal elasticity of (Fex,Mg1-x)2SiO 4 olivine and wadsleyite

M. Núñez-Valdez, Z. Wu, Y. G. Yu, R. M. Wentzcovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Wepresentfirst-principles results for elastic moduli (bulk, K, and shear, G) and acoustic velocities (compressional, VP, shear, VS, and bulk Vφ) of olivine (α) and wadsleyite (β) (Fe x,Mg1-x)2SiO4, at high pressure (P) and temperature (T) with varying iron content (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.125). Pressure and temperature derivatives of these properties are analyzed. We show that adding 12.5% of Fe in forsterite softens VP and VS by ∼3-6%, the same effect as raising temperature by ∼1000K in dry olivine at 13.5GPa-the same is true in wadsleyite. This study suggests that Fe is effective in producing seismic velocity heterogeneity at upper mantle and transition zone conditions and should be another key ingredient, in addition to temperature and water content variations, in interpreting seismic heterogeneities in the transition zone. The effect of Fe on density, elastic, and velocity contrasts across the α→β transition is also addressed at relevant conditions. We show that simultaneous changes of composition, temperature, and pressure do not affect significantly the relative density contrasts. We also find that compressional and shear impedance contrasts result primarily from velocity discontinuities rather than density discontinuity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-294
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2013

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