Seismic anisotropy is observed above the core-mantle boundary in regions of slab subduction and near the margins of Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs). Ferropericlase is believed to be the second most abundant phase in the lower mantle. As it is rheologically weak, it may be a dominant source for anisotropy in the lowermost mantle. Understanding deformation mechanisms in ferropericlase over a range of pressure and temperature conditions is crucial to interpret seismic anisotropy. The effect of temperature on deformation mechanisms of ferropericlase has been established, but the effects of pressure are still controversial. With the aim to clarify and quantify the effect of pressure on deformation mechanisms, we perform room temperature compression experiments on polycrystalline periclase to 50 GPa. Lattice strains and texture development are modeled using the Elasto-ViscoPlastic Self Consistent method (EVPSC). Based on modeling results, we find that
slip is increasingly activated with higher pressure and is fully activated at ~50 GPa. Pressure and temperature have a competing effect on activities of dominant slip systems. An increasing
ratio of slip activity is expected as material moves from cold subduction regions towards hot upwelling region adjacent to LLSVPs. This could explain observed seismic anisotropy in the circum-Pacific region that appears to weaken near margins of LLVSPs.
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