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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 2, 2019

Activation of [100](001) slip system by water incorporation in olivine and the cause of seismic anisotropy decrease with depth in the asthenosphere

  • Lin Wang EMAIL logo , Nobuyoshi Miyajima , Takaaki Kawazoe and Tomoo Katsura
From the journal American Mineralogist


A transition from A-type to E-type fabrics in olivine may be the cause of a decrease in seismic anisotropy with depth in the upper mantle. To better understand upper mantle seismic signals, we investigate the origin of E-type fabrics using a natural olivine by deformation experiments. An olivine crystal was first hydrated at 5 GPa and 1473 K (with 4–60 ppm H2O), or dehydrated at room pressure at 1473 K at an oxygen fugacity near the enstatite-magnesite-olivine-graphite (EMOG) buffer. This hydrated/dehydrated olivine was then sheared in the [100] direction on the (001) plane at pressures of 2 to 5 GPa and temperatures of 1473 or 1573 K. The deformed samples were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on the (001) plane to determine whether the [100](001) slip system was activated or not. Only c-elongated [100] dislocations were observed for the anhydrous samples, while [100](001) dislocations dominated in the hydrous samples. The dislocation structure of the [100](001) slip system developed under hydrous and relatively low-temperature conditions indicates different slip mechanism which is detected under anhydrous and high-temperature conditions in previous studies. We conclude that the incorporation of water into olivine helps to activate the [100](001) slip system by reducing its Peierls stress. This supports the idea that E-type fabrics can exist under hydrous conditions and that a transition to this fabric may be the cause of seismic anisotropy decrease with depth in the asthenosphere.


We acknowledge F. Heidelbach and P. O’Brien for providing the olivine single crystals and T. Boffa Ballaran for instructing the single-crystal X‑ray diffractometry. We thank technicians in BGI for the sample and assembly preparation. We thank P. Cordier, an anonymous reviewer, and K. Putirka for their reviews and comments to improve the manuscript. This research was supported by DFG grants to TK (KA3434/3-1, KA3434/7-1, KA3434/8-1, and KA3434/9-1) and by the annual budget of BGI.

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Received: 2018-04-02
Accepted: 2018-09-07
Published Online: 2019-01-02
Published in Print: 2019-01-28

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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