Evolution of deep mantle flow under the Pacific Ocean

The video, created by Rakib Hassan, shows the evolution of mean poloidal deep mantle flow in a 300 km thick shell above the core mantle boundary over the last 140 million years. N-S oriented cross sections along two profiles through the Pacific Large Low-Shear Velocity Province (LLSVP) show the evolution of its edges driven by subduction-induced flow.



The cross-section on the right, starting at X at the North Pole, roughly intersects the (time-dependent) location of the Hawaii Plume. Note the rapid southward motion of the plume base and the associated plume tilt before 50 Ma. This motion slows down markedly after 50 Ma, associated with a reduction in plume tilt, resulting in a "straightening" of the plume conduit after 50 Ma. The cross section on the left, along the date line (180 deg), illustrates how location-dependent the migration of the LLSVP edge is; this is mainly dependent on the spatial and temporal patterns of subduction-driven mantle flow.


Hassan, R., Müller, R.D., Gurnis, M., Williams, S.E. and Flament, N., 2016, A rapid burst in hotspot motion through the interaction of tectonics and deep mantle flow, Nature, 533, 239-242.

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