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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Ferropericlase is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s lower mantle and its mechanical properties have a strong influence on the rheology of this region. Here, we deform polycrystalline MgO, the magnesium end-member of ferropericlase, at conditions ranging from 1.6 to 8.3 GPa and 875–1,270 K. We analyse the flow laws and microstructures of the recovered samples using electron microscopy and compare our observations with predictions from the literature. We identify a first mechanism for samples deformed at 1,270 K, attributed to a regime controlled by grain boundary sliding accommodated by diffusion, and characterized by a small grain size, an absence of texture, and no intracrystalline deformation. At 1,070 K and below, the deformation regime is controlled by dislocations. The samples show a more homogeneous grain size distribution, significant texture, and intracrystalline strains. In this regime, deformation is controlled by the ⟨110⟩{110} slip system and a combined ⟨110⟩{110} and ⟨110⟩{100} slip, depending on pressure and temperature. Based on these results, we propose an updated deformation map for polycrystalline MgO at mantle conditions. The implications for ferropericlase and seismic observations in the Earth’s lower mantle are discussed.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 9, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 22, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 10, 2023
  5. null (Ed.)
    Garnet is an important mineral phase in the upper mantle as it is both a key component in bulk mantle rocks, and a primary phase at high-pressure within subducted basalt. Here, we focus on the strength of garnet and the texture that develops within garnet during accommodation of differential deformational strain. We use X-ray diffraction in a radial geometry to analyze texture development in situ in three garnet compositions under pressure at 300 K: a natural garnet (Prp60Alm37) to 30 GPa, and two synthetic majorite-bearing compositions (Prp59Maj41 and Prp42Maj58) to 44 GPa. All three garnets develop a modest (100) texture at elevated pressure under axial compression. Elasto-viscoplastic self-consistent (EVPSC) modeling suggests that two slip systems are active in the three garnet compositions at all pressures studied: {110}<1-21 11> and {001}<110>. We determine a flow strength of ~5 GPa at pressures between 10 to 15 GPa for all three garnets; these values are higher than previously measured yield strengths measured on natural and majoritic garnets. Strengths calculated using the experimental lattice strain differ from the strength generated from those calculated using EVPSC. Prp67Alm33, Prp59Maj41 and Prp42Maj58 are of comparable strength to each other at room temperature, which indicates that majorite substitutionmore »does not greatly affect the strength of garnets. Additionally, all three garnets are of similar strength as lower mantle phases such as bridgmanite and ferropericlase, suggesting that garnet may not be notably stronger than the surrounding lower mantle/deep upper mantle phases at the base of the upper mantle.« less