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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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  3. null (Ed.)
    SUMMARY The method of ScS reverberation migration is based on a ‘common reflection point’ analysis of multiple ScS reflections in the mantle transition zone (MTZ). We examine whether ray-theoretical traveltimes, slownesses and reflection points are sufficiently accurate for estimating the thickness H of the MTZ, defined by the distance between the 410- and 660-km phase transitions. First, we analyse ScS reverberations generated by 35 earthquakes and recorded at hundreds of seismic stations from the combined Arrays in China, Hi-NET in Japan and the Global Seismic Network. This analysis suggests that H varies by about 30 km and therefore that dynamic processes have modified the large-scale structure of the MTZ in eastern Asia and the western Pacific region. Second, we apply the same procedure to spectral-element synthetics for PREM and two 3-D models. One 3-D model incorporates degree-20 topography on the 410 and 660 discontinuities, otherwise preserving the PREM velocity model. The other model incorporates the degree-20 velocity heterogeneity of S20RTS and leaves the 410 and 660 flat. To optimize reflection point coverage, our synthetics were computed assuming a homogeneous grid of stations using 16 events, four of which are fictional. The resolved image using PREM synthetics resembles the PREM structure and indicates that the migration approach is correct. However, ScS reverberations are not as strongly sensitive to H as predicted ray-theoretically because the migration of synthetics for a model with degree-20 topography on the 410 and 660: H varies by less than 5 km in the resolved image but 10 km in the original model. In addition, the relatively strong influence of whole-mantle shear-velocity heterogeneity is evident from the migration of synthetics for the S20RTS velocity model and the broad sensitivity kernels of ScS reverberations at a period of 15 s. A ray-theoretical approach to modelling long-period ScS traveltimes appears inaccurate, at least for continental-scale regions with relatively sparse earthquake coverage. Additional modelling and comparisons with SS precursor and receiver function results should rely on 3-D waveform simulations for a variety of structures and ultimately the implementation of full wave theory. 
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  4. Abstract

    When a continuum is subjected to an induced stress, the equations that govern seismic wave propagation are modified in two ways. First, the equation of conservation of linear momentum gains terms related to the induced deviatoric stress, and, second, the elastic constitutive relationship acquires terms linear in the induced stress. This continuum mechanics theory makes testable predictions with regard to stress‐induced changes in the elastic tensor. Specifically, it predicts that induced compression linearly affects the prestressed moduli with a slope determined by their local adiabatic pressure derivatives and that induced deviatoric stress produces anisotropic compressional and shear wave speeds. In this article we successfully compare such predictions against ab initio mineral physics calculations for NaCl and MgO.

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