Constraints on Average Radial Anisotropy in the Lower Mantle

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 10:35 AM
Ralph W.L. De Wit, Paul Kaeufl, Andrew P Valentine and Jeannot Trampert, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3584, Netherlands
Quantifying uncertainties in seismological models is challenging, yet ideally quality assessment is an integral part of the inverse method. We invert centre frequencies for spheroidal and toroidal modes for three parameters of average radial anisotropy, density and P- and S-wave velocities in the lower mantle. We adopt a Bayesian machine learning approach to extract the information on the earth model that is available in the normal mode data. The method is flexible and allows us to infer probability density functions (pdfs), which provide a quantitative description of our knowledge of the individual earth model parameters. The parameters describing shear- and P-wave anisotropy show little deviations from isotropy, but the intermediate parameter η carries robust information on negative anisotropy of ~1% below 1900 km depth. The mass density in the deep mantle (below 1900 km) shows clear positive deviations from existing models. Other parameters (P- and shear-wave velocities) are close to PREM. Our results require that the average mantle is about 150K colder than commonly assumed adiabats and consist of a mixture of about 60% perovskite and 40% ferropericlase containing 10-15% iron. The anisotropy favours a specific orientation of the two minerals. This observation has important consequences for the nature of mantle flow.