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Mantle structural geology from seismic anisotropy

Abstract : Seismic anisotropy is a ubiquitous feature of the subcontinental mantle. This can be inferred both from direct seismic observations of shear wave splitting from teleseismic shear waves, as well as the petrofabric analyses of mantle nodules from kimberlite pipes. The anisotropy is principally due to the strain-induced lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of olivine. The combined use of these mantle samples, deformation experiments on olivine, and numerical modeling of LPO, provides a critical framework for making inferences about mantle deformation from observed seismic anisotropy. In most cases there is a close correspondence between mantle deformation derived from seismic observations of anisotropy, and crustal deformation, from the Archean to the present. This implies that the mantle plays a major, if not dominant role in continental deformation. No clear evidence is found for a continental asthenospheric decoupling zone, suggesting that continents are probably coupled to general mantle circulation.
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Paul Silver, David Mainprice, Walid Ismaïl, Andrea Tommasi, Guilhem Barruol. Mantle structural geology from seismic anisotropy. The Geochemical Society. Mantle Petrology: Field Observations and high Pressure experimentations: a Tribute to Francis R. (Joe) Boyd, 6, 1999. ⟨hal-01391514⟩

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