Sound velocity of δ-AlOOH up to core-mantle boundary pressures: Implications for the seismic anomalies induced by hydrated sediment in subducting slabs

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 9:00 AM
Izumi Mashino, Motohiko Murakami and Eiji Ohtani, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Recent seismic tomography studies indicate that some of the subducting slabs stagnate at the mantle transition zone. Subducting slabs generally comprise lithological layers of sediments, mid-ocean ridge basalt and peridotite. Some amount of water is believed to exist as hydrous minerals in sediments. Therefore, it is essential to understand the effect of hydrous minerals in sediments on global circulation of hydrogen in deep earth. Many hydrous minerals are not stable under the pressure-temperature conditions of the lower mantle. However, recent studies show that δ-AlOOH, which exists in a sediment layer of subducting slabs below 600 km depth, is stable up to the base of the lowermost mantle. This phase is a possible carrier and reservoir of water in cold slabs subducting into the deep mantle. We have conducted high pressure acoustic wave velocity measurements of δ-AlOOH using Brillouin spectroscopy and also we explored the chemical bonding of δ-AlOOH by Raman spectroscopy at high pressure in a diamond anvil cell up to 134 GPa. The result shows that δ-AlOOH becomes harder at pressures above 6 GPa due to the hydrogen bonding symmetrization and has a higher VS compared to those of the major minerals in the transition zone, such as wadsleyite, ringwoodite, and majorite. Therefore, the existence of δ-AlOOH phase might account for the positive Vs anomaly at 600 km depth beneath northwest Pacific subduction zone. In some stagnated slabs, VS at 600 km depth is 2 % faster than that of PREM. If sediments stagnate in the transition zone, the positive Vs anomaly at 600 km depth would be accounted for by the stagnated sediments containing δ-AlOOH in the transition zone.