Hydrogen traces change the physical properties of mantle minerals to an extent that is far out of proportion to its low concentration. These properties include mechanical strength, melting behavior, diffusion rate, electrical conductivity, viscosity and rheology. Besides minerals of the pyroxene group (as discussed by Skogby 2006, this volume), the close-packed mineral structures of olivine, garnet and some accessory minerals offer important storage sites for hydrogen traces in the Earth’s mantle. However, the water content stored in olivine and mantle garnet is quite low compared to that in pyroxenes.

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Based on chemical considerations, but also on information obtained from...

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