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Localized anisotropy in the mantle transition zone due to flow through slab gaps
  • Han Zhang,
  • Brandon Schmandt,
  • Jin S Zhang
Han Zhang
University of New Mexico

Corresponding Author:hanzhang@unm.edu

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Brandon Schmandt
University of New Mexico
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Jin S Zhang
University of New Mexico
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Abstract

Measurement of anisotropy advances our understanding of mantle dynamics by linking remote seismic observations to local deformation state through constraints from mineral physics. The Pacific Northwest records the largest depth-integrated anisotropic signals across the western United States but the depths contributing to the total signal are unclear. We used the amplitudes of orthogonally polarized P-to-S converted phases from the mantle transition zone boundaries to identify anisotropy within the ~400-700 km deep layer. Significant anisotropy is found near slab gaps. Focusing of mantle flow through slab gaps may lead to locally elevated stress that enhances lattice preferred orientation of anisotropic minerals within the transition zone, such as wadsleyite.