A Caltech Library Service

Partial melting in the upper mantle

Anderson, Don L. and Sammis, Charles (1970) Partial melting in the upper mantle. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 3 . pp. 41-50. ISSN 0031-9201.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The low velocity zone in tectonic and oceanic regions is too pronounced to be the effect of high temperature gradients alone. Partial melting is consistent with the low velocity, low Q and abrupt boundaries of this region of the upper mantle and is also consistent with measured heat flow values. The inferred low melting temperatures seem to indicate that the water pressure is sufficiently high to lower the solidus about 200 °C to 400 °C below laboratory determinations of the melting point of anhydrous silicates. The mechanical instability of a partially molten layer in the upper mantle is probably an important source of tectonic energy. The top of the low-velocity zone can be considered a self-lubricated surface upon which the top of the mantle and the crust can slide with very little friction. Lateral motion of the crust and upper mantle away from oceanic rises is counterbalanced by the flow of molten material in the low-velocity layer toward the rise where it eventually emerges as new crust. If this lateral flow of molten material is not as efficient as the upward removal of magma, then regions of extrusion, such as oceanic rises, will migrate.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 1970 North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam. This research was partially supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Aerospace Research, United States Air Force, under AFOSR contract number AF-49(638)-1337, and National Science Foundation grant GA 1003.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)AF-49(638)-1337
NSFGA 1003
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological Sciences1624
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140430-100820363
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Anderson, D. L., & Sammis, C. (1970). Partial melting in the upper mantle. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 3(0), 41-50. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45354
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:30 Apr 2014 21:42
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:29

Repository Staff Only: item control page