The viscosity of the lower mantle

McKenzie, D. P. (1966) The viscosity of the lower mantle. Journal of Geophysical Research, 71. pp. 3995-4010. ISSN 0148-0227, ESSN: 2156-2202 DOI 10.1029/JZ071i016p03995

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The viscosity of the mantle is important to theories of convection and continental drift and also to the understanding of the earth's external gravity field. Until recently, however, the processes causing creep in solids under the low stresses present within the earth were obscure, and there were no estimates of the viscosity of the lower mantle. In this paper the use of a stress-independent viscosity is justified, and the Navier-Stokes equation is applied to creep within the mantle, to investigate how this viscosity may vary with depth within the earth and to estimate the viscosity of the lower mantle from the nonhydrostatic equatorial bulge. The viscosity is shown to be 6×1026 (stokes), and this high value prevents both convection in the lower mantle and polar wandering.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NIL AREP
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 71
Page Range: pp. 3995-4010
Identification Number: 10.1029/JZ071i016p03995
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 21 May 2015 10:29
Last Modified: 21 May 2015 10:34

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