Si self-diffusion rates in Mg2SiO4 polycrystalline wadsleyite were measured at 18 GPa and 1430-1630°C using an isotopic tracer (29Si) and secondary ion mass spectrometry. The volume diffusion coefficient (Dv) and grain-boundary diffusion coefficient (Dgb) were determined to be Dv = 3.44 × 10-11 [m2/s] exp (-299 [kJ/mol]/RT) and δDgb = 1.14 × 10-17 [m3/s] exp (-248 [kJ/mol]/RT), respectively. Si diffusion rates in wadsleyite are about 5 orders of magnitude slower than Mg-Fe interdiffusion rates at 1400°C. Assuming that Si is the slowest diffusing species in wadsleyite, the geophysical model of the viscosity in the mantle transition zone can be explained by diffusion creep in wadsleyite for a grain size of about 0.5-5 mm. Some portions in cold subducting slabs, where the grain size reduces to less than 1 μm after the olivine-spinel transformation, become weaker than the surrounding mantle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)