Submitted for publication in AGU Monograph Series
Self-gravity, Self-consistency & Self-organization in Geodynamics &
Don L. Anderson
Seismological Laboratory, Caltech, Pasadena, California
"...it is a privilege to see so much confusion."
Marianne Moore, The steeple-jack
It is widely believed that the results of seismology and geochemistry for mantle structure are discordant,
with the former favoring whole-mantle convection and the later favoring layered convection. However,
a different view arises from recognizing effects usually ignored in the construction of these models.
Self-compression and expansion affect material properties that are important in all aspects of mantle
geochemistry and dynamics, including the interpretation of tomographic images. Pressure compresses a
solid and changes physical properties that depend on volume and does so in a highly non-linear way.
Intrinsic, anelastic, composition and crystal structure effects also affect seismic velocities; temperature
is not the only parameter. Shear velocity, or rigidity, is not a good proxy for density, temperature, and
composition or for other elastic constants such as bulk modulus. Scaling concepts play a central role in
the analysis of complex systems and are particularly important in mantle dynamics, equations of state