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  1. Abstract

    Three-dimensional models of Earth’s seismic structure can be used to identify temperature-dependent phenomena, including mineralogical phase and spin transformations, that are obscured in 1-D spherical averages. Full-waveform tomography maps seismic wave-speeds inside the Earth in three dimensions, at a higher resolution than classical methods. By providing absolute wave speeds (rather than perturbations) and simultaneously constraining bulk and shear wave speeds over the same frequency range, it becomes feasible to distinguish variations in temperature from changes in composition or spin state. We present a quantitative joint interpretation of bulk and shear wave speeds in the lower mantle, using a recently published full-waveform tomography model. At all depths the diversity of wave speeds cannot be explained by an isochemical mantle. Between 1000 and 2500 km depth, hypothetical mantle models containing an electronic spin crossover in ferropericlase provide a significantly better fit to the wave-speed distributions, as well as more realistic temperatures and silica contents, than models without a spin crossover. Below 2500 km, wave speed distributions are explained by an enrichment in silica towards the core-mantle boundary. This silica enrichment may represent the fractionated remains of an ancient basal magma ocean.

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  2. Abstract. Shear properties of mantle minerals are vital for interpreting seismic shear wave speeds and therefore inferring the composition and dynamics of a planetary interior. Shear wave speed and elastic tensor components, from which the shear modulus can be computed, are usually measured in the laboratory mimicking the Earth's (or a planet's) internal pressure and temperature conditions. A functional form that relates the shear modulus to pressure (and temperature) is fitted to the measurements and used to interpolate within and extrapolate beyond the range covered by the data. Assuming a functional form provides prior information, and the constraints on the predicted shear modulus and its uncertainties might depend largely on the assumed prior rather than the data. In the present study, we propose a data-driven approach in which we train a neural network to learn the relationship between the pressure, temperature and shear modulus from the experimental data without prescribing a functional form a priori. We present an application to MgO, but the same approach works for any other mineral if there are sufficient data to train a neural network. At low pressures, the shear modulus of MgO is well-constrained by the data. However, our results show that different experimental results are inconsistent even at room temperature, seen as multiple peaks and diverging trends in probability density functions predicted by the network. Furthermore, although an explicit finite-strain equation mostly agrees with the likelihood predicted by the neural network, there are regions where it diverges from the range given by the networks. In those regions, it is the prior assumption of the form of the equation that provides constraints on the shear modulus regardless of how the Earth behaves (or data behave). In situations where realistic uncertainties are not reported, one can become overconfident when interpreting seismic models based on those defined equations of state. In contrast, the trained neural network provides a reasonable approximation to experimental data and quantifies the uncertainty from experimental errors, interpolation uncertainty, data sparsity and inconsistencies from different experiments. 
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