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Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

Anomalously thin transition zone and apparently isotropic upper mantle beneath Bermuda: Evidence for upwelling

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Abstract

[1] The origin of the Bermuda swell and volcanism remains enigmatic. The lack of an associated time-progressive hotspot track and absence of present-day volcanic activity make it difficult to reconcile with a deep mantle plume model. We analyze shear wave splitting measurements to estimate mantle flow direction and receiver function stacks to place constraints on the mantle transition zone thermal structure. *KS phases exhibit well-resolved null arrivals (no splitting) beneath the swell over a range of back azimuths. We find that the 410 and 660 km discontinuities are 49 ± 5 km and 19 ± 5 km deeper than the global average, respectively, leading to a transition zone thickness that is 27 ± 4 km thinner than the average. Together, an apparently isotropic upper mantle and a thinned mantle transition zone suggest that mantle flow is primarily vertical beneath the swell, consistent with the presence of hot, buoyant mantle at depth.

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