Water Content in the Mantle Transition Zone Beneath the North Pacific Derived from the Electrical Conductivity Anomaly

Takao Koyama, Hisayoshi Shimizu, Hisashi Utada, Masahiro Ichiki, Eiji Ohtani, Ryota Hae

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

21 Citations (Scopus)


Fukao et al. (2004) inverted semi-global electromagnetic network data for threedimensional electrical conductivity structure in the mantle transition zone beneath the north Pacific. In this paper we interpret the electrical conductivity structure in terms of the water distribution in the mantle transition zone, using partial derivatives determined by laboratory experiments on mantle materials. Fukao et al. (2004) explained both electrical conductivity and seismic P-wave velocity anomalies with thermal anomalies because of the overall coincidence of high electrical conductivity with low seismic velocity. However, a significant discrepancy is found beneath the Mariana islands where the seismic tomography would indicate little temperature anomaly, while electromagnetic tomography implies high temperatures. Despite limitations and differences in spatial resolution, this result indicates that this particular feature may not be explained by only a thermal effect. Taking into consideration that this region is well populated by subducted slabs, we further assume that this discrepancy is caused by water dehydrated from those slabs. Under this assumption, by combining the Nernst-Einstein relationship (e.g. Karato, 1990) and the recent result of laboratory measurements of hydrogen diffusivity in wadsleyite (Hae et al., 2006), the water content anomaly was estimated from the electrical conductivity anomalies. We find that the mantle transition zone beneath Mariana islands could contain about 0.3 weight % water.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth's Deep Water Cycle
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781118666487
ISBN (Print)0875904335, 9780875904337
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 19
Externally publishedYes


  • Earth-Mantle
  • Geodynamics
  • Geology
  • Groundwater
  • Hydrologic cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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