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.
- Hydrologic cycle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)