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  1. Abstract

    We investigate spatiotemporal changes of intermediate‐depth earthquakes in the double seismic zone beneath Central and Northeastern Japan before and after the 2011 magnitude 9 Tohoku earthquake. We build a template‐matching catalog 1 year before and 1 year after the Tohoku earthquake using Hi‐net recordings. The new catalog has a six‐fold increase in earthquakes compared to the Japan Meteorological Agency catalog. Our results show no significant change in the intermediate‐depth earthquake rate prior to the Tohoku earthquake, but a clear increase in both planes following the Tohoku earthquake. The regions with increased intermediate‐depth earthquake activity and the post‐seismic slips following the Tohoku earthquake are spatially separate and complementary with each other. Aftershock productivity of intermediate‐depth earthquakes increased in both planes following the Tohoku earthquake. Overall, aftershock productivity of the upper plane is higher than the lower plane, likely indicating that stress environments and physical mechanisms of intermediate‐depth earthquakes in the two planes are distinct.

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  2. null (Ed.)
  3. Deeply subducted carbonates likely cause low-degree melting of the upper mantle and thus play an important role in the deep carbon cycle. However, direct seismic detection of carbonate-induced partial melts in the Earth’s interior is hindered by our poor knowledge on the elastic properties of carbonate melts. Here we report the first experimentally determined sound velocity and density data on dolomite melt up to 5.9 GPa and 2046 K by in-situ ultrasonic and sink-float techniques, respectively, as well as first-principles molecular dynamics simulations of dolomite melt up to 16 GPa and 3000 K. Using our new elasticity data, the calculated V P /V S ratio of the deep upper mantle (∼180–330 km) with a small amount of carbonate-rich melt provides a natural explanation for the elevated V P /V S ratio of the upper mantle from global seismic observations, supporting the pervasive presence of a low-degree carbonate-rich partial melt (∼0.05%) that is consistent with the volatile-induced or redox-regulated initial melting in the upper mantle as argued by petrologic studies. This carbonate-rich partial melt region implies a global average carbon (C) concentration of 80–140 ppm. by weight in the deep upper mantle source region, consistent with the mantle carbon content determined from geochemical studies. 
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  5. Abstract

    Dense Fe‐Ti‐rich cumulates, formed as the last dregs of the lunar magma ocean, are thought to have driven a large‐scale overturn of the lunar mantle over 4 Ga ago. Analysis of lunar seismic data has implied that some of the overturned bodies may have reached the lunar core‐mantle boundary and remained there until the present day as a partially molten layer. However, whether such a molten layer could be stable during >4 Ga of post‐magma‐ocean lunar history and explain lunar seismic observations remains poorly constrained. Here, we report the first sound velocity measurements on a Fe‐Ti‐rich lunar melt up to conditions of the lowermost lunar mantle. Our results suggest that a partial melt layer with at least 20% overturned Fe‐Ti‐rich melt can be trapped atop the lunar core‐mantle boundary until the present day, strongly influencing the thermochemical evolution of the lunar interior.

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  6. null (Ed.)
  7. Abstract

    Controlling diamond structures with nanometer precision is fundamentally challenging owing to their extreme and far‐from‐equilibrium synthetic conditions. State‐of‐the‐art techniques, including detonation, chemical vapor deposition, mechanical grinding, and high‐pressure‐high‐temperature synthesis, yield nanodiamond particles with a broad distribution of sizes. Despite many efforts, the direct synthesis of nanodiamonds with precisely controlled diameters remains elusive. Here the geochemistry‐inspired synthesis of sub‐5 nm nanodiamonds with sub‐nanometer size deviation is described. High‐pressure‐high‐temperature treatment of uniform iron carbide nanoparticles embedded in iron oxide matrices yields nanodiamonds with tunable diameters down to 2.13 and 0.22 nm standard deviation. A self‐limiting, redox‐driven, and diffusion‐controlled solid‐state reaction mechanism is proposed and supported by in situ X‐ray diffraction, ex situ characterizations, and computational modeling. This work provides a unique mechanism for the precise control of nanostructured diamonds under extreme conditions and paves the road for the full realization of their potential in emerging technologies.

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