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

Wenbo Wu, Sidao Ni, Jessica Claire Elizabeth Irving

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 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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