Viscosity of the D' layer of the Earth's mantle, the lowermost layer in the Earth's mantle, controls a number of geodynamic processes, but a robust estimate of its viscosity has been hampered by the lack of relevant observations. A commonly used analysis of geophysical signals in terms of heterogeneity in seismic wave velocities suffers from major uncertainties in the velocity-to-density conversion factor, and the glacial rebound observations have little sensitivity to the D' layer viscosity. We show that the decay of Chandler wobble and semi-diurnal to 18.6years tidal deformation combined with the constraints from the postglacial isostatic adjustment observations suggest that the effective viscosity in the bottom ∼300km layer is 10 19-10 20Pas, and also the effective viscosity of the bottom part of the D' layer (∼100km thickness) is less than 10 18Pas. Such a viscosity structure of the D' layer would be a natural consequence of a steep temperature gradient in the D' layer, and will facilitate small scale convection and melt segregation in the D' layer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science