Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Research article
04 Jun 2020
Research article |  | 04 Jun 2020

On the self-regulating effect of grain size evolution in mantle convection models: application to thermochemical piles

Jana Schierjott, Antoine Rozel, and Paul Tackley

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Cited articles

Armann, M. and Tackley, P. J.: Simulating the thermochemical magmatic and tectonic evolution of Venus's mantle and lithosphere: Two-dimensional models, J. Geophys. Res.-Planet., 117, e12003,, 2012. a
Austin, N. J. and Evans, B.: Paleowattmeters: A scaling relation for dynamically recrystallized grain size, Geology, 35, 343–346, 2007. a
Burke, K., Steinberger, B., Torsvik, T. H., and Smethurst, M. A.: Plume generation zones at the margins of large low shear velocity provinces on the core-mantle boundary, Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 265, 49–60, 2008. a, b, c
Cordier, P., Ungár, T., Zsoldos, L., and Tichy, G.: Dislocation creep in MgSiO3 perovskite at conditions of the Earth's uppermost lower mantle, Nature, 428, 837–840, 2004. a
Dannberg, J., Eilon, Z., Faul, U., Gassmöller, R., Moulik, P., and Myhill, R.: The importance of grain size to mantle dynamics and seismological observations, Geochem. Geophys., 18, 3034–3061,, 2017. a, b, c, d, e, f, g
Short summary
We investigate the size of mineral grains of Earth's rocks in computer models of the whole Earth. This is relevant because grain size affects the stiffness (large grains are stiffer) and deformation of the Earth's mantle. We see that mineral grains grow inside stable non-deforming regions of the Earth. However, these regions are less stiff than expected. On the other hand, we find that grain size diminishes during deformation events such as when surface material comes down into the Earth.