WISTFUL: Whole-Rock Interpretative Seismic Toolbox for Ultramafic Lithologies


To quantitatively convert upper mantle seismic wave speeds measured into temperature, density, composition, and corresponding and uncertainty, we introduce the Whole-rock Interpretative Seismic Toolbox For Ultramafic Lithologies (WISTFUL). WISTFUL is underpinned by a database of 4,485 ultramafic whole-rock compositions, their calculated mineral modes, elastic moduli, and seismic wave speeds over a range of pressure (P) and temperature (T) (P = 0.5–6 GPa, T = 200–1,600°C) using the Gibbs free energy minimization routine Perple_X. These data are interpreted with a toolbox of MATLAB® functions, scripts, and three general user interfaces: WISTFUL_relations, which plots relationships between calculated parameters and/or composition; WISTFUL_geotherms, which calculates seismic wave speeds along geotherms; and WISTFUL_inversion, which inverts seismic wave speeds for best-fit temperature, composition, and density. To evaluate our methodology and quantify the forward calculation error, we estimate two dominant sources of uncertainty: (a) the predicted mineral modes and compositions, and (b) the elastic properties and mixing equations. To constrain the first source of uncertainty, we compiled 122 well-studied ultramafic xenoliths with known whole-rock compositions, mineral modes, and estimated P-T conditions. We compared the observed mineral modes with modes predicted using five different thermodynamic solid solution models. The Holland et al. (2018, https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egy048) solution models best reproduce phase assemblages (∼12 vol. % phase root-mean-square error [RMSE]) and estimated wave speeds. To assess the second source of uncertainty, we compared wave speed measurements of 40 ultramafic rocks with calculated wave speeds, finding excellent agreement (Vp RMSE = 0.11 km/s). WISTFUL easily analyzes seismic datasets, integrates into modeling, and acts as an educational tool.

Published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems