Conceptual model sketches for proposed compositional structures of Earth's mantle, including "Marble cake", "Thermo-chemical piles", and "Mid-mantle blobs" theories.

Conceptual model sketches for proposed compositional structures of Earth’s mantle. The “Marble cake” theory emphasises that much of Earth’s mantle is made out of recycled oceanic lithosphere (dark and light) slivers that are preserved throughout the mantle. The “Thermo-chemical piles” theory suggests that intrinsically dense materials may accumulate as piles atop the core–mantle boundary. In particular, the two large low-shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) in the deep Earth are commonly thought to have resisted mantle mixing due to their thermochemical origin. The “mid-mantle blobs” theory emphasises large, compositionally-different domains that may be located in the mid-mantle of the Earth, with mantle convection being accommodated around them. Red triangles at the surface represent volcanism.

  • Creator: Anna Gülcher
  • This version: 17.12.2022
  • License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
  • Specific citation: These graphics by Anna Gülcher from Gülcher et al. (2021) are available via the open-access s-Ink.org repository.
  • Related reference: Gülcher, A. J. P., Ballmer, M. D., and Tackley, P. J. (2021), Coupled dynamics and evolution of primordial and recycled heterogeneity in Earth’s lower mantle, Solid Earth, 12, 2087–2107, 2021 https://doi.org/10.5194/se-12-2087-2021
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