Continuous Measurements of Electrical Conductivity and Viscosity of Lherzorite Analogue Samples during Slow Increases and Decreases in Temperature: Melting and Pre-melting Effects

Friday, 19 December 2014
Kenta Sueyoshi and Takehiko Hiraga, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
It has been considered that transport properties of the mantle (ex. electrical conductivity, viscosity, seismic attenuation) changes dramatically during ascend of the mantle especially at around the mantle solidus. To understand the mechanism of such changes, we measured the electrical conductivity and viscosity of the lherzorite analogues during slow increases and decreases in temperature reproducing the mantle crossing its solidus.

Two types of samples, one was forsterite plus 20% diopside and the other was 50% forsterite, 40% enstatite and 10% diopside with addition of 0.5% spinel, were synthesized from Mg(OH)2, SiO2, CaCO3 and MgAl2O4 (spinel) powders with particle size of <50 nm. Samples were expected to exhibit different manners in initiation of partial melt and amount of melt during the temperature change. We continuously measured electrical conductivity of these samples at every temperature during gradual temperature change, which crosses the sample solidus (~1380℃ and 1230℃ for forsterite + diopside sample and spinel-added samples, respectively). Sample viscosity were also measured under constant loads of 0.5~50 MPa.

The electrical conductivity and viscosity at well below (>150℃) the sample solidus exhibited linear distributions in their Arrhenius plots indicating that a single mechanism controls for each transport property within the experimental temperature ranges. Such linear relationship especially in the electrical conductivity was no longer observed at higher temperature regime exhibiting its exponential increase until the temperature reached the sample solidus. Such dramatic change with changing temperature has not been detected for the sample viscosity. Monotonic increase of electrical conductivity in accordance with increasing melt fraction was observed above the sample solidus.