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Fluid Models of Mantle Convection

Stevenson, D. J. and Turner, J. S. (1979) Fluid Models of Mantle Convection. In: The Earth, its origin, structure, and evolution. Academic Press , New York, pp. 227-263. ISBN 9780124827509.

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Mantle convection appears to be an inevitable consequence of the Earth's thermal evolution, but the form which this convection takes is still unclear because the relevant data have either not yet been obtained or are ambiguous. In particular, the well-established, mechanistic picture of plate tectonics explains most of what is directly observable, but this need not imply the presence of whole-mantle motions. In this review, it is shown that a variety of indirect evidence, especially postglacial uplift and gravity data, together with an increasing theoretical and laboratory understanding of model systems, suggests convection throughout the mantle, although the flow may be in the form of coupled layers rather than overturning of the whole mantle. The relationship of this convection to plate tectonics is discussed, with emphasis on subduction as a form of thermal convection in which the mantle is cooled from above. Complications such as the non-uniform rheology, irreversible chemical evolution and non-uniform distribution of radioactive heating in the mantle make it difficult to produce a detailed picture of mantle convection at this stage, but the importance of internal motions in the thermal evolution of the Earth is clearly established. Suggestions are made about the future observational, theoretical and laboratory work that is required to resolve the outstanding problems.

Item Type:Book Section
Stevenson, D. J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 1979 Academic Press.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130724-072925684
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39543
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Sep 2013 23:25
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:08

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