Mineralogy and composition of the upper mantle

Don L. Anderson, Jay D. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seismic velocities are calculated for two petrological models of the upper mantle, an olivine‐rich assemblage, pyrolite, and a garnet‐clinopyroxene rich, olivine bearing, assemblage, piclogite. These are compared with recent seismic profiles for various tectonic provinces. The shield data is most consistent with a cold olivine and orthopyroxene‐rich LID (the seismic lithosphere) extending to 150 km followed by a high temperature gradient and/or a change in mineralogy that serves to decrease the velocity. From 200 to 400 km the velocities follow a 1400°C adiabat. The rise‐tectonic mantle is much slower, presumably hotter and is likely to be above the solidus to depths of at least 300 km. The high Vp/Vs ratio of the lower oceanic lithosphere in the western Pacific is most consistent with eclogite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-640
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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