MgSiO 3 is a principal mineral in the upper part of the lower mantle, but its stability and possible phase transition at greater depths have long been uncertain. Recently, a new high-pressure MgSiO 3 polymorph called "post-perovskite" was discovered above 125 GPa and 2500 K on the basis of X-ray diffraction measurements in a laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LH-DAC). Crystal structure of post-perovskite was first determined to be orthorhombic (space group: Cmcm) by molecular dynamics (MD) calculations. The first-principles theoretical calculations also confirmed the stability of this new phase. These results suggest that MgSiO 3 -rich post-perovskite is a predominant mineral below 2500-2700 km depth near the base of the mantle. The D" layer has long been the most enigmatic region in Earth's interior. The post-perovskite phase can account for the large seismic anomalies observed in the D" region, such as D" discontinuity, polarization anisotropy, and anticorrelation between S-wave and bulk sound velocities. The long-term enigma may be explained with this newly discovered crystal.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Special Paper of the Geological Society of America|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2007|
- Core-mantle boundary
- D layer
- Phase transition
ASJC Scopus subject areas