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Academia Sinica E-news No.507
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IES High-pressure Mineral Physics Laboratory research Published in PNAS

  Drs. Wen-Pin Hsieh and Yun-Yuan Chang at the High-pressure Mineral Physics Laboratory, Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica measured the thermal conductivity of hydrous San Carlos olivine and found that at pressures near the mantle transition zone, the thermal conductivity of hydrous olivine is only half of the anhydrous counterpart. The hydration-reduced thermal conductivity of hydrated olivine in oceanic crust decreases the temperature at the center of subducting slabs. Therefore, the olivine−wadsleyite phase transformation rate in the slab with hydrated olivine is much slower, extending the metastable olivine to a greater depth. This enables hydrous minerals to survive in deeper mantle and leads to a possible mechanism of earthquakes in the transition zone. The research finding has been published on PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) on April 3, 2017.
  Reading the full text, please visit: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/03/1616216114

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