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Vastly Different Heights of LLVPs Caused by Different Strengths of Historical Slab Push

Yuan, Qian and Li, Mingming (2022) Vastly Different Heights of LLVPs Caused by Different Strengths of Historical Slab Push. Geophysical Research Letters, 49 (17). Art. No. e2022GL099564. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2022gl099564.

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Two large low velocity provinces (LLVPs) are observed in Earth's lower mantle, beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean, respectively. The maximum height of the African LLVP is ∼1,000 km larger than that of the Pacific LLVP, but what causes this height difference remains unclear. LLVPs are often interpreted as thermochemical piles whose morphology is greatly controlled by the surrounding mantle flow. Seismic observations have revealed that while some subducted slabs are laterally deflected at ∼660–1,200 km, other slabs penetrate into the lowermost mantle. Here, through geodynamic modeling experiments, we show that rapid sinking of stagnant slabs to the lowermost mantle can cause significant height increases of nearby thermochemical piles. Our results suggest that the African LLVP may have been pushed more strongly and longer by surrounding mantle flows to reach a much shallower depth than the Pacific LLVP, perhaps since the Tethys slabs sank to the lowermost mantle.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Yuan, Qian0000-0001-6786-3749
Li, Mingming0000-0003-4335-5066
Additional Information:We are grateful for the extensive discussions with Edward Garnero, Sang-Heon Shim and Daniel Portner. Constructive comments from two anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated. The authors particularly thank Thorsten Becker for suggestions and providing the digital form of Figure 4. The numerical models are performed on the Agave cluster at Arizona State University. This work is supported by National Science Foundation grants of EAR-1849949, EAR-1855624, and EAR-2200335.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
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Issue or Number:17
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220916-663995000
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:117009
Deposited By: Donna Wrublewski
Deposited On:03 Dec 2022 18:22
Last Modified:04 Dec 2022 21:48

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