Inferring Earth’s discontinuous chemical layering from the 660-kilometer boundary topography

Wenbo Wu, Sidao Ni, Jessica Claire Elizabeth Irving

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Topography, or depth variation, of certain interfaces in the solid Earth can provide important insights into the dynamics of our planet interior. Although the intermediate- and long-range topographic variation of the 660-kilometer boundary between Earth’s upper and lower mantle is well studied, small-scale measurements are far more challenging. We found a surprising amount of topography at short length scale along the 660-kilometer boundary in certain regions using scattered P'P' seismic waves. Our observations required chemical layering in regions with high short-scale roughness. By contrast, we did not see such small-scale topography along the 410-kilometer boundary in the upper mantle. Our findings support the concept of partially blocked or imperfect circulation between the upper and lower mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-740
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume363
Issue number6428
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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