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Water in the mantle: Results from electrical conductivity beneath the French Alps

Abstract : A deep magnetotelluric sounding in the French Alps provided a vertical electrical conductivity profile between ~200–1000 km. Two prominent features are observed. First, the conductivity in the depth range 400– 800 km is smaller than the conductivity of a pyrolite mantle obtained from laboratory results for a normal geotherm. Second, the data do not require the conductivity to change throughout the transition zone (410– 660 km). In this part of the mantle, a temperature of 350– 450 C less than normal explains the magnetotelluric conductivity profile. At 200 – 400 km, our model favors a cold mantle with 1000 – 1500 ppm of water dissolved in olivine. If correct, this model suggests that the subducted slab is dehydrated before reaching the transition zone.
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Pascal Tarits, Sophie Hautot, F Perrier. Water in the mantle: Results from electrical conductivity beneath the French Alps. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2004, 31 (6), pp.L06612. ⟨10.1029/2003GL019277⟩. ⟨insu-01298769⟩

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