Globally distributed subducted materials along the Earth’s core-mantle boundary: Implications for ultralow velocity zones

Samantha E. Hansen, Edward J. Garnero, Mingming Li, Sang Heon Shim, Sebastian Rost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ultralow velocity zones (ULVZs) are the most anomalous structures within the Earth’s interior; however, given the wide range of associated characteristics (thickness and composition) reported by previous studies, the origins of ULVZs have been debated for decades. Using a recently developed seismic analysis approach, we find widespread, variable ULVZs along the core-mantle boundary (CMB) beneath a largely unsampled portion of the Southern Hemisphere. Our study region is not beneath current or recent subduction zones, but our mantle convection simulations demonstrate how heterogeneous accumulations of previously subducted materials could form on the CMB and explain our seismic observations. We further show that subducted materials can be globally distributed throughout the lowermost mantle with variable concentrations. These subducted materials, advected along the CMB, can provide an explanation for the distribution and range of reported ULVZ properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadd4838
JournalScience Advances
Volume9
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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