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Controls on the deep water cycle within three-dimensional mantle convection models

Price, Matthew, Davies, John and Panton, James 2019. Controls on the deep water cycle within three-dimensional mantle convection models. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 20 (5) , pp. 2199-2213. 10.1029/2018GC008158

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Abstract

Earth's mantle is known to harbor water in the form of hydrous and nominally anhydrous minerals. How much water the mantle holds and whether it has remained constant through time are open questions. Previous numerical studies of the deep‐water cycle have been limited to box models or 2‐D calculations. Here we present for the first time results from 3‐D mantle convection models. We address the evolution of the mantle's total water content by adapting a well benchmarked mantle convection code to track water, including its feedbacks on dynamics. While Earth's surface is presently covered by one ocean mass of water, our results suggest that the mantle holds approximately two ocean masses of water based on the best estimates from mineral physics. This value varies only weakly for a wide parameter space of additional complex dynamics such as viscosity laws, density controls, and phase change considerations. Our result of a mantle holding two ocean masses conforms with estimates from other branches of Earth science, suggesting that these models could be an excellent tool in understanding the spatial heterogeneity of the water found in the mantle.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
ISSN: 1525-2027
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 8 April 2019
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2019 22:36
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/121754

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