Elasticity of Ferropericlase across the Spin Crossover in the Earth's Lower Mantle

Jing Yang, Xinyue Tong, Jung Fu Lin, Takuo Okuchi, Naotaka Tomioka

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Knowing the elasticity of ferropericlase across the spin transition can help explain seismic and mineralogical models of the lower-mantle including the origin of seismic heterogeneities in the middle to lowermost parts of the lower mantle. However, the effects of spin transition on full elastic constants of ferropericlase remain experimentally controversial due to technical challenges in directly measuring sound velocities under lower-mantle conditions. Here we have reliably measured both V P and V S of a single-crystal ferropericlase ((Mg 0.92,Fe 0.08)O) using complementary Brillouin Light Scattering and Impulsive Stimulated Light Scattering coupled with a diamond anvil cell up to 96 GPa. The derived elastic constants show drastically softened C 11 and C 12 within the spin transition at 40-60 GPa while C 44 is not affected. The spin transition is associated with a significant reduction of the aggregate V P/V S via the aggregate V P softening because V S softening does not visibly occur within the transition. Based on thermoelastic modelling along an expected geotherm, the spin crossover in ferropericlase can contribute to 2% reduction in V P/V S in a pyrolite mineralogical model in mid lower-mantle. Our results imply that the middle to lowermost parts of the lower-mantle would exhibit enhanced seismic heterogeneities due to the occurrence of the mixed-spin and low-spin ferropericlase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17188
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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