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The upper mantle and transition zone

Daniel J. Frost
The upper mantle and transition zone
Elements (June 2008) 4 (3): 171-176


The upper mantle is the source of almost all magmas. It contains major transitions in rheological and thermal behaviour that control the character of plate tectonics and the style of mantle dynamics. Essential parameters in any model to describe these phenomena are the mantle's compositional and thermal structure. Most samples of the mantle come from the lithosphere. Although the composition of the underlying asthenospheric mantle can be estimated, this is made difficult by the fact that this part of the mantle partially melts and differentiates before samples ever reach the surface. The composition and conditions in the mantle at depths significantly below the lithosphere must be interpreted from geophysical observations combined with experimental data on mineral and rock properties. Fortunately, the transition zone, which extends from approximately 410 to 660 km, has a number of characteristic globally observed seismic properties that should ultimately place essential constraints on the compositional and thermal state of the mantle.

ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 4
Serial Issue: 3
Title: The upper mantle and transition zone
Author(s): Frost, Daniel J.
Affiliation: University of Bayreuth, Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Bayreuth, Federal Republic of Germany
Pages: 171-176
Published: 200806
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 29
Accession Number: 2008-102400
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 200835
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