Electrical conductivity anisotropy in partially molten peridotite under shear deformation

Baohua Zhang, Takashi Yoshino, Daisuke Yamazaki, Geeth Manthilake, Tomoo Katsura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The electrical conductivity of partially molten peridotite was measured during deformation in simple shear at 1 GPa in a DIA type apparatus with a uniaxial deformation facility. To detect development of electrical anisotropy during deformation of partially molten system, the electrical conductivity was measured simultaneously in two directions of three principal axes: parallel and normal to the shear direction on the shear plane, and perpendicular to the shear plane. Impedance spectroscopy measurement was performed at temperatures of 1523 K for Fe-bearing and 1723 K for Fe-free samples, respectively, in a frequency range from 0.1 Hz to 1 MHz. The electrical conductivity of partially molten peridotite parallel to shear direction increased to more than one order of magnitude higher than those normal to shear direction on the shear plane. This conductivity difference is consistent with the magnitude of the conductivity anisotropy observed in the oceanic asthenosphere near the Eastern Pacific Rise. On the other hand, conductivity perpendicular to the shear plane decreased gradually after the initiation of shear and finally achieved a value close to that of olivine. The magnitude and development style of conductivity anisotropy was almost the same for both Fe-bearing and Fe-free melt-bearing systems, and also independent of shear strain. However, such conductivity anisotropy was not developed in melt-free samples during shear deformation, suggesting that the conductivity anisotropy requires a presence of partial melting under shear stress. Microstructural observations of deformed partially molten peridotite samples demonstrated that conductivity anisotropy was attributed to the elongation of melt pockets parallel to the shear direction. Horizontal electrical conductivity anisotropy revealed by magnetotelluric surveys in the oceanic asthenosphere can be well explained by the realignment of partial melt induced by shear stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Anisotropy
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Partial melt
  • Peridotite
  • Shear deformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrical conductivity anisotropy in partially molten peridotite under shear deformation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this