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An Overview of the Experimental Studies on the Electrical Conductivity of Major Minerals in the Upper Mantle and Transition Zone

1
Key Laboratory of High-Temperature and High-Pressure Study of the Earth’s Interior, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China
2
UNESCO Chair in Solid Earth Physics and Geohazards Risk Reduction, Hellenic Mediterranean University, 3 Romanou St., Chalepa, GR73 133 Chania, Greece
3
Department of Geophysics–Geothermics, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15772 Athens, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(2), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13020408
Received: 26 November 2019 / Revised: 31 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 15 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrical and Mechanical Properties of Geomaterials)
In this paper, we present the recent progress in the experimental studies of the electrical conductivity of dominant nominally anhydrous minerals in the upper mantle and mantle transition zone of Earth, namely, olivine, pyroxene, garnet, wadsleyite and ringwoodite. The main influence factors, such as temperature, pressure, water content, oxygen fugacity, and anisotropy are discussed in detail. The dominant conduction mechanisms of Fe-bearing silicate minerals involve the iron-related small polaron with a relatively large activation enthalpy and the hydrogen-related defect with lower activation enthalpy. Specifically, we mainly focus on the variation of oxygen fugacity on the electrical conductivity of anhydrous and hydrous mantle minerals, which exhibit clearly different charge transport processes. In representative temperature and pressure environments, the hydrogen of nominally anhydrous minerals can tremendously enhance the electrical conductivity of the upper mantle and transition zone, and the influence of trace structural water (or hydrogen) is substantial. In combination with the geophysical data of magnetotelluric surveys, the laboratory-based electrical conductivity measurements can provide significant constraints to the water distribution in Earth’s interior. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrical conductivity; impedance spectroscopy; mantle; olivine; pyroxene; garnet; wadsleyite; ringwoodite; high-pressure; high-temperature electrical conductivity; impedance spectroscopy; mantle; olivine; pyroxene; garnet; wadsleyite; ringwoodite; high-pressure; high-temperature
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Dai, L.; Hu, H.; Jiang, J.; Sun, W.; Li, H.; Wang, M.; Vallianatos, F.; Saltas, V. An Overview of the Experimental Studies on the Electrical Conductivity of Major Minerals in the Upper Mantle and Transition Zone. Materials 2020, 13, 408.

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