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P Q R S T A C D E F G K L P R S T V W Int Bdy

Seismic velocity decrement ratios for regions of partial melt near the core-mantle boundary

James G. Berryman


For regions of partial melt in the lower mantle, both compressional and shear wave velocities decrease monotonically with increasing melt volume fraction. It has been observed that regions close to the core-mantle boundary thought to contain partial melt have a velocity decrement ratio (relative change in shear velocity over relative change of compressional velocity) of about 3. This is certainly a high value for this ratio and arguments based on effective medium theories have been given to show that such values are predicted for partial melt systems. The present work confirms the value of 3 near the core-mantle boundary. It is shown, furthermore, that the velocity decrement ratio can be estimated without detailed knowledge of, or assumptions about, the microstructure of the partial melt system by using Gassmann's equation of poroelasicity together with some reasonable assumptions about the change (or lack of change) of the density and bulk modulus for lower mantle pressure and temperature conditions.

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Stanford Exploration Project