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Effects of composite rheology on plate-like behavior in global-scale mantle convection
  • Maelis Arnould,
  • Tobias Rolf,
  • Antonio Manjón-Cabeza Córdoba
Maelis Arnould
Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1

Corresponding Author:maelis.arnould@univ-lyon1.fr

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Tobias Rolf
University of Oslo
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Antonio Manjón-Cabeza Córdoba
University College London
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Earthâ\euro™s upper mantle rheology controls lithosphere-asthenosphere coupling and thus surface tectonics. Rock deformation experiments and seismic anisotropy measurements indicate that composite rheology (co-existing diffusion and dislocation creep) occurs in the Earth’s uppermost mantle, potentially affecting convection and surface tectonics. Here, we investigate how the spatio-temporal distribution of dislocation creep in an otherwise diffusion-creep-controlled mantle impacts the planform of convection and the planetary tectonic regime as a function of the lithospheric yield strength in numerical models of mantle convection self-generating plate-like tectonics. The low upper-mantle viscosities caused by zones of substantial dislocation creep produce contrasting effects on surface dynamics. For strong lithosphere (yield strength $>$35 MPa), the large lithosphere-asthenosphere viscosity contrasts promote stagnant-lid convection. In contrast, the increase of upper mantle convective vigor enhances plate mobility for lithospheric strength $<$35 MPa. For the here-used model assumptions, composite rheology does not facilitate the onset of plate-like behavior at large lithospheric strength.
02 May 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
04 May 2023Published in ESS Open Archive
28 Aug 2023Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 50 issue 16. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023GL104146