Plate tectonics and mantle controls on plume dynamics
© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Mantle plumes provide valuable information about whole-mantle convection: they originate at the core-mantle boundary, cross Earth's mantle and interact with the lithosphere. For instance, it has been proposed that the mobility/stability of plumes depends on plume intrinsic properties, on how slabs interact with the basal boundary layer, on mantle flow, or on their proximity to mid-ocean ridges. Here, we use 3D-spherical models of mantle convection generating self-consistent plate-like behaviour to investigate the mechanisms linking tectonics and mantle convection to plume dynamics. Our models produce fully-dynamic mantle plumes that rise vertically with deflection 5 cm yr−1 over layer, plate-like regimes decrease the lifetime of plumes compared to stagnant-lid models. Plume age, temperature excess or buoyancy flux are not diagnostic of plume lateral speed. The fraction of plumes moving by less than 0.5 cm yr−1 is >25%, which suggests that fixed hotspot reference frames can be defined from carefully selected hotspot tracks.