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Sample records for earths core mantle

  1. Sulfur in Earth's Mantle and Its Behavior During Core Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabot, Nancy L.; Righter,Kevin

    2006-01-01

    The density of Earth's outer core requires that about 5-10% of the outer core be composed of elements lighter than Fe-Ni; proposed choices for the "light element" component of Earth's core include H, C, O, Si, S, and combinations of these elements [e.g. 1]. Though samples of Earth's core are not available, mantle samples contain elemental signatures left behind from the formation of Earth's core. The abundances of siderophile (metal-loving) elements in Earth's mantle have been used to gain insight into the early accretion and differentiation history of Earth, the process by which the core and mantle formed, and the composition of the core [e.g. 2-4]. Similarly, the abundance of potential light elements in Earth's mantle could also provide constraints on Earth's evolution and core composition. The S abundance in Earth's mantle is 250 ( 50) ppm [5]. It has been suggested that 250 ppm S is too high to be due to equilibrium core formation in a high pressure, high temperature magma ocean on early Earth and that the addition of S to the mantle from the subsequent accretion of a late veneer is consequently required [6]. However, this earlier work of Li and Agee [6] did not parameterize the metalsilicate partitioning behavior of S as a function of thermodynamic variables, limiting the different pressure and temperature conditions during core formation that could be explored. Here, the question of explaining the mantle abundance of S is revisited, through parameterizing existing metal-silicate partitioning data for S and applying the parameterization to core formation in Earth.

  2. Iron-carbonate interaction at Earth's core-mantle boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorfman, S. M.; Badro, J.; Nabiei, F.; Prakapenka, V.; Gillet, P.

    2015-12-01

    Carbon storage and flux in the deep Earth are moderated by oxygen fugacity and interactions with iron-bearing phases. The amount of carbon stored in Earth's mantle versus the core depends on carbon-iron chemistry at the core-mantle boundary. Oxidized carbonates subducted from Earth's surface to the lowermost mantle may encounter reduced Fe0 metal from disproportionation of Fe2+ in lower mantle silicates or mixing with the core. To understand the fate of carbonates in the lowermost mantle, we have performed experiments on sandwiches of single-crystal (Ca0.6Mg0.4)CO3 dolomite and Fe foil in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell at lower mantle conditions of 49-110 GPa and 1800-2500 K. Syntheses were conducted with in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction to identify phase assemblages. After quench to ambient conditions, samples were sectioned with a focused Ga+ ion beam for composition analysis with transmission electron microscopy. At the centers of the heated spots, iron melted and reacted completely with the carbonate to form magnesiowüstite, iron carbide, diamond, magnesium-rich carbonate and calcium carbonate. In samples heated at 49 and 64 GPa, the two carbonates exhibit a eutectoid texture. In the sample heated at 110 GPa, the carbonates form rounded ~150-nm-diameter grains with a higher modal proportion of interspersed diamonds. The presence of reduced iron in the deep lower mantle and core-mantle boundary region will promote the formation of diamonds in carbonate-bearing subducted slabs. The complete reaction of metallic iron to oxides and carbides in the presence of mantle carbonate supports the formation of these phases at the Earth's core-mantle boundary and in ultra-low velocity zones.

  3. Gravitational Core-Mantle Coupling and the Acceleration of the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubincam, David Parry; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Gravitational core-mantle coupling may be the cause of the observed variable acceleration of the Earth's rotation on the 1000 year timescale. The idea is that density inhomogeneities which randomly come and go in the liquid outer core gravitationally attract density inhomogeneities in the mantle and crust, torquing the mantle and changing its rotation state. The corresponding torque by the mantle on the core may also explain the westward drift of the magnetic field of 0.2 deg per year. Gravitational core-mantle coupling would stochastically affect the rate of change of the Earth's obliquity by just a few per cent. Its contribution to polar wander would only be about 0.5% the presently observed rate. Tidal friction is slowing down the rotation of the Earth, overwhelming a smaller positive acceleration from postglacial rebound. Coupling between the liquid outer core of the Earth and the mantle has long been a suspected reason for changes in the length-of-day. The present investigation focuses on the gravitational coupling between the density anomalies in the convecting liquid outer core and those in the mantle and crust as a possible cause for the observed nonsecular acceleration on the millenial timescale. The basic idea is as follows. There are density inhomogeneities caused by blobs circulating in the outer core like the blobs in a lava lamp; thus the outer core's gravitational field is not featureless. Moreover, these blobs will form and dissipate somewhat randomly. Thus there will be a time variability to the fields. These density inhomogeneities will gravitationally attract the density anomalies in the mantle.

  4. Steady state toroidal magnetic field at earth's core-mantle boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Eugene H.; Pearce, Steven J.

    1991-01-01

    Measurements of the dc electrical potential near the top of earth's mantle have been extrapolated into the deep mantle in order to estimate the strength of the toroidal magnetic field component at the core-mantle interface. Recent measurements have been interpreted as indicating that at the core-mantle interface, the magnetic toroidal and poloidal field components are approximately equal in magnitude. A motivation for such measurements is to obtain an estimate of the strength of the toroidal magnetic field in the core, a quantity important to our understanding of the geomagnetic field's dynamo generation. Through the use of several simple and idealized calculation, this paper discusses the theoretical relationship between the amplitude of the toroidal magnetic field at the core-mantle boundary and the actual amplitude within the core. Even with a very low inferred value of the toroidal field amplitude at the core-mantle boundary, (a few gauss), the toroidal field amplitude within the core could be consistent with a magnetohydrodynamic dynamo dominated by nonuniform rotation and having a strong toroidal magnetic field.

  5. Density Anomalies in the Mantle and the Gravitational Core-Mantle Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Weijia; Liu, Lanbo

    2003-01-01

    Seismic studies suggest that the bulk of the mantle is heterogeneous, with density variations in depth as well as in horizontal directions (latitude and longitude). This density variation produces a three- dimensional gravity field throughout the Earth. On the other hand, the core density also varies in both time and space, due to convective core flow. Consequently, the fluid outer core and the solid mantle interact gravitationally due to the mass anomalies in both regions. This gravitational core-mantle interaction could play a significant role in exchange of angular momentum between the core and the mantle, and thus the change in Earth's rotation on time scales of decades and longer. Aiming at estimating the significance of the gravitational core-mantle interaction on Earth's rotation variation, we introduce in our MoSST core dynamics model a heterogeneous mantle, with a density distribution derived from seismic results. In this model, the core convection is driven by the buoyancy forces. And the density variation is determined dynamically with the convection. Numerical simulation is carried out with different parameter values, intending to extrapolate numerical results for geophysical implications.

  6. Waves in the core and mechanical core-mantle interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jault, D.; Finlay, Chris

    2015-01-01

    This Chapter focuses on time-dependent uid motions in the core interior, which can beconstrained by observations of the Earth's magnetic eld, on timescales which are shortcompared to the magnetic diusion time. This dynamics is strongly inuenced by the Earth's rapid rotation, which rigidies...... the motions in the direction parallel to the Earth'srotation axis. This property accounts for the signicance of the core-mantle topography.In addition, the stiening of the uid in the direction parallel to the rotation axis gives riseto a magnetic diusion layer attached to the core-mantle boundary, which would...... otherwisebe dispersed by Alfven waves. This Chapter complements the descriptions of large-scaleow in the core (8.04), of turbulence in the core (8.06) and of core-mantle interactions(8.12), which can all be found in this volume. We rely on basic magnetohydrodynamictheory, including the derivation...

  7. Core-Mantle Partitioning of Volatile Elements and the Origin of Volatile Elements in Earth and Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Danielson, L.; Nickodem, K.

    2014-01-01

    Depletions of siderophile elements in mantles have placed constraints on the conditions on core segregation and differentiation in bodies such as Earth, Earth's Moon, Mars, and asteroid 4 Vesta. Among the siderophile elements there are a sub-set that are also volatile (volatile siderophile elements or VSE; Ga, Ge, In, As, Sb, Sn, Bi, Zn, Cu, Cd), and thus can help to constrain the origin of volatile elements in these bodies, and in particular the Earth and Moon. One of the fundamental observations of the geochemistry of the Moon is the overall depletion of volatile elements relative to the Earth, but a satisfactory explanation has remained elusive. Hypotheses for Earth include addition during accretion and core formation and mobilized into the metallic core, multiple stage origin, or addition after the core formed. Any explanation for volatile elements in the Earth's mantle must also be linked to an explanation of these elements in the lunar mantle. New metal-silicate partitioning data will be applied to the origin of volatile elements in both the Earth and Moon, and will evaluate theories for exogenous versus endogenous origin of volatile elements.

  8. Geodynamo Modeling of Core-Mantle Interactions

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    Kuang, Wei-Jia; Chao, Benjamin F.; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Angular momentum exchange between the Earth's mantle and core influences the Earth's rotation on time scales of decades and longer, in particular in the length of day (LOD) which have been measured with progressively increasing accuracy for the last two centuries. There are four possible coupling mechanisms for transferring the axial angular momentum across the core-mantle boundary (CMB): viscous, magnetic, topography, and gravitational torques. Here we use our scalable, modularized, fully dynamic geodynamo model for the core to assess the importance of these torques. This numerical model, as an extension of the Kuang-Bloxham model that has successfully simulated the generation of the Earth's magnetic field, is used to obtain numerical results in various physical conditions in terms of specific parameterization consistent with the dynamical processes in the fluid outer core. The results show that depending on the electrical conductivity of the lower mantle and the amplitude of the boundary topography at CMB, both magnetic and topographic couplings can contribute significantly to the angular momentum exchange. This implies that the core-mantle interactions are far more complex than has been assumed and that there is unlikely a single dominant coupling mechanism for the observed decadal LOD variation.

  9. Constraints on the coupled thermal evolution of the Earth's core and mantle, the age of the inner core, and the origin of the 186Os/188Os “core signal” in plume-derived lavas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lassiter, J. C.

    2006-10-01

    The possibility that some mantle plumes may carry a geochemical signature of core/mantle interaction has rightly generated considerable interest and attention in recent years. Correlated 186Os- 187Os enrichments in some plume-derived lavas (Hawaii, Gorgona, Kostomuksha) have been interpreted as deriving from an outer core with elevated Pt/Os and Re/Os ratios due to the solidification of the Earth's inner core (c.f., [A.D. Brandon, R.J. Walker, The debate over core-mantle interaction, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 232 (2005) 211-225.] and references therein). Conclusive identification of a "core signal" in plume-derived lavas would profoundly influence our understanding of mantle convection and evolution. This paper reevaluates the Os-isotope evidence for core/mantle interaction by examining other geochemical constraints on core/mantle interaction, geophysical constraints on the thermal evolution of the outer core, and geochemical and cosmochemical constraints on the abundance of heat-producing elements in the core. Additional study of metal/silicate and sulfide/silicate partitioning of K, Pb, and other trace elements is needed to more tightly constrain the likely starting composition of the Earth's core. However, available data suggest that the observed 186Os enrichments in Hawaiian and other plume-derived lavas are unlikely to derive from core/mantle interaction. 1) Core/mantle interaction sufficient to produce the observed 186Os enrichments would likely have significant effects on other tracers such as Pb- and W-isotopes that are not observed. 2) Significant partitioning of K or other heat-producing elements into the core would produce a "core depletion" pattern in the Silicate Earth very different from that observed. 3) In the absence of heat-producing elements in the core, core/mantle heat flow of ˜ 6-15 TW estimated from several independent geophysical constraints suggests an inner core age (< ˜ 2.5 Ga) too young for the outer core to have developed a significant

  10. Linking lowermost mantle structure, core-mantle boundary heat flux and mantle plume formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mingming; Zhong, Shijie; Olson, Peter

    2018-04-01

    The dynamics of Earth's lowermost mantle exert significant control on the formation of mantle plumes and the core-mantle boundary (CMB) heat flux. However, it is not clear if and how the variation of CMB heat flux and mantle plume activity are related. Here, we perform geodynamic model experiments that show how temporal variations in CMB heat flux and pulses of mantle plumes are related to morphologic changes of the thermochemical piles of large-scale compositional heterogeneities in Earth's lowermost mantle, represented by the large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs). We find good correlation between the morphologic changes of the thermochemical piles and the time variation of CMB heat flux. The morphology of the thermochemical piles is significantly altered during the initiation and ascent of strong mantle plumes, and the changes in pile morphology cause variations in the local and the total CMB heat flux. Our modeling results indicate that plume-induced episodic variations of CMB heat flux link geomagnetic superchrons to pulses of surface volcanism, although the relative timing of these two phenomena remains problematic. We also find that the density distribution in thermochemical piles is heterogeneous, and that the piles are denser on average than the surrounding mantle when both thermal and chemical effects are included.

  11. Constraints on The Coupled Thermal Evolution of the Earth's Core and Mantle, The Age of The Inner Core, And The Origin of the 186Os/188Os Core(?) Signal in Plume-Derived Lavas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lassiter, J. C.

    2005-12-01

    Thermal and chemical interaction between the core and mantle has played a critical role in the thermal and chemical evolution of the Earth's interior. Outer core convection is driven by core cooling and inner core crystallization. Core/mantle heat transfer also buffers mantle potential temperature, resulting in slower rates of mantle cooling (~50-100 K/Ga) than would be predicted from the discrepancy between current rates of surface heat loss (~44 TW) and internal radioactive heat production (~20 TW). Core/mantle heat transfer may also generate thermal mantle plumes responsible for ocean island volcanic chains such as the Hawaiian Islands. Several studies suggest that mantle plumes, in addition to transporting heat from the core/mantle boundary, also carry a chemical signature of core/mantle interaction. Elevated 186Os/188Os ratios in lavas from Hawaii, Gorgona, and in the 2.8 Ga Kostomuksha komatiites have been interpreted as reflecting incorporation of an outer core component with high time-integrated Pt/Os and Re/Os ( Brandon et al., 1999, 2003; Puchtel et al., 2005). Preferential partitioning of Os relative to Re and Pt into the inner core during inner core growth may generate elevated Re/Os and Pt/Os ratios in the residual outer core. Because of the long half-life of 190Pt (the parent of 186Os, t1/2 = 489 Ga), an elevated 186Os/188Os outer core signature in plume lavas requires that inner core crystallization began early in Earth history, most likely prior to 3.5 Ga. This in turn requires low time-averaged core/mantle heat flow (<~2.5 TW) or large quantities of heat-producing elements in the core. Core/mantle heat flow may be estimated using boundary-layer theory, by measuring the heat transported in mantle plumes, by estimating the heat transported along the outer core adiabat, or by comparing the rates of heat production, surface heat loss, and secular cooling of the mantle. All of these independent methods suggest time-averaged core/mantle heat flow of ~5

  12. The mechanism of translational displacements of the core of the Earth at inversion molten and solidification of substance at core-mantle boundary in opposite hemispheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yu. V.

    2009-04-01

    Shell dynamics. "The Earth represents system of non-spherical eccentric shells (the core, the mantle, a rigid core etc.) which have various structure and distribution of density. Their moments of inertia and dynamic oblatenesses are various. From the point of view of the mechanics it means, that external celestial bodies (the Moon and the Sun) on miscellaneous (differentially) gravitationally act on the separate shells. They try to cause various accelerations to the centers of masses of shells and various angular accelerations to their rotary motions. It the most external celestial bodies put shells of forced body in difficult state, forcing them to push each other to prevent each other and to struggle with each other. That is between shells there are powerful force interactions: additional forces, and more significant on value, than tidal forces, and the huge moments of forces which all time aspire to turn one of shells relatively to another. The external influence is stronger, the shells are pressed more strongly or taken away. If external action weakens, also shells mutually exist more quietly. External influence depends on position of perturbing celestial bodies. But the last vary cyclically in various time scales. It means, that interactions of shells with each other also are cyclic with the set of frequencies being a derivative from basic frequencies of orbital motions of celestial bodies (coincide with basic frequencies or are their various combinations). Clearly, that the specified mechanical interactions are as though primary which generate then a sequence of every possible interactions of all layers of shells, geodynamic and geophysical processes (which are naturally also cyclic). Elastic layers will test deformations, thus absorbing, and then returning a mechanical energy of translatory - rotary motion of shells and their relative swing. Plastic properties of layers of shells will result in absorption of mechanical energy and to its transformation to

  13. A Mercury-like component of early Earth yields uranium in the core and high mantle (142)Nd.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlers, Anke; Wood, Bernard J

    2015-04-16

    Recent (142)Nd isotope data indicate that the silicate Earth (its crust plus the mantle) has a samarium to neodymium elemental ratio (Sm/Nd) that is greater than that of the supposed chondritic building blocks of the planet. This elevated Sm/Nd has been ascribed either to a 'hidden' reservoir in the Earth or to loss of an early-formed terrestrial crust by impact ablation. Since removal of crust by ablation would also remove the heat-producing elements--potassium, uranium and thorium--such removal would make it extremely difficult to balance terrestrial heat production with the observed heat flow. In the 'hidden' reservoir alternative, a complementary low-Sm/Nd layer is usually considered to reside unobserved in the silicate lower mantle. We have previously shown, however, that the core is a likely reservoir for some lithophile elements such as niobium. We therefore address the question of whether core formation could have fractionated Nd from Sm and also acted as a sink for heat-producing elements. We show here that addition of a reduced Mercury-like body (or, alternatively, an enstatite-chondrite-like body) rich in sulfur to the early Earth would generate a superchondritic Sm/Nd in the mantle and an (142)Nd/(144)Nd anomaly of approximately +14 parts per million relative to chondrite. In addition, the sulfur-rich core would partition uranium strongly and thorium slightly, supplying a substantial part of the 'missing' heat source for the geodynamo.

  14. Eutectic melting temperature of the lowermost Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrault, D.; Lo Nigro, G.; Bolfan-Casanova, N.; Bouhifd, M.; Garbarino, G.; Mezouar, M.

    2009-12-01

    Partial melting of the Earth's deep mantle probably occurred at different stages of its formation as a consequence of meteoritic impacts and seismology suggests that it even continues today at the core-mantle boundary. Melts are important because they dominate the chemical evolution of the different Earth's reservoirs and more generally the dynamics of the whole planet. Unfortunately, the most critical parameter, that is the temperature profile inside the deep Earth, remains poorly constrained accross the planet history. Experimental investigations of the melting properties of materials representative of the deep Earth at relevant P-T conditions can provide anchor points to refine past and present temperature profiles and consequently determine the degree of melting at the different geological periods. Previous works report melting relations in the uppermost lower mantle region, using the multi-anvil press [1,2]. On the other hand, the pyrolite solidus was determined up to 65 GPa using optical observations in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LH-DAC) [3]. Finally, the melting temperature of (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 olivine is documented at core-mantle boundary (CMB) conditions by shock wave experiments [4]. Solely based on these reports, experimental data remain too sparse to draw a definite melting curve for the lower mantle in the relevant 25-135 GPa pressure range. We reinvestigated melting properties of lower mantle materials by means of in-situ angle dispersive X-ray diffraction measurements in the LH-DAC at the ESRF [5]. Experiments were performed in an extended P-T range for two starting materials: forsterite and a glass with chondrite composition. In both cases, the aim was to determine the onset of melting, and thus the eutectic melting temperatures as a function of pressure. Melting was evidenced from drastic changes of diffraction peak shape on the image plate, major changes in diffraction intensities in the integrated pattern, disappearance of diffraction rings

  15. Obliquity histories of Earth and Mars: Influence of inertial and dissipative core-mantle coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bills, Bruce G.

    1990-01-01

    For both the Earth and Mars, secular variations in the angular separation of the spin axis from the orbit normal are suspected of driving major climatic changes. There is considerable interest in determining the amplitude and timing of these obliquity variations. If the orientation of the orbital plane were inertially fixed, and the planet were to act as a rigid body in it response to precessional torques, the spin axis would simply precess around the orbit at a fixed obliquity and at a uniform angular rate. The precession rate parameter depends on the principal moments of inertia and rotation rate of the perturbed body, and on the gravitational masses and semiminor axes of the perturbing bodies. For Mars, the precession rate is not well known, but probably lies in the interval 8 to 10 arcsec/year. Gravitational interactions between the planets lead to secular motions of the orbit planes. In the rigid body case, the spin axis still attempts to precess about the instantaneous orbit normal, but now the obliquity varies. The hydrostatic figure of a planet represents a compromise between gravitation, which attempts to attain spherical symmetry, and rotation, which prefers cylindrical symmetry. Due to their higher mean densities the cores of the Earth and Mars will be more nearly spherical than the outer layers of these planets. On short time scales it is appropriate to consider the core to be an inviscid fluid constrained to move with the ellipsoidal region bounded by the rigid mantle. The inertial coupling provided by this mechanism is effective whenever the ellipticicy of the container exceeds the ratio of precessional to rotational rates. If the mantle were actually rigid, this would be an extremely effective type of coupling. However, on sufficiently long time scales, the mantle will deform viscously and can accommodate the motions of the core fluid. A fundamentally different type of coupling is provided by electromagnetic or viscous torques. This type of coupling

  16. Nickel and helium evidence for melt above the core-mantle boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzberg, Claude; Asimow, Paul D; Ionov, Dmitri A; Vidito, Chris; Jackson, Matthew G; Geist, Dennis

    2013-01-17

    High (3)He/(4)He ratios in some basalts have generally been interpreted as originating in an incompletely degassed lower-mantle source. This helium source may have been isolated at the core-mantle boundary region since Earth's accretion. Alternatively, it may have taken part in whole-mantle convection and crust production over the age of the Earth; if so, it is now either a primitive refugium at the core-mantle boundary or is distributed throughout the lower mantle. Here we constrain the problem using lavas from Baffin Island, West Greenland, the Ontong Java Plateau, Isla Gorgona and Fernandina (Galapagos). Olivine phenocryst compositions show that these lavas originated from a peridotite source that was about 20 per cent higher in nickel content than in the modern mid-ocean-ridge basalt source. Where data are available, these lavas also have high (3)He/(4)He. We propose that a less-degassed nickel-rich source formed by core-mantle interaction during the crystallization of a melt-rich layer or basal magma ocean, and that this source continues to be sampled by mantle plumes. The spatial distribution of this source may be constrained by nickel partitioning experiments at the pressures of the core-mantle boundary.

  17. Update on the Search for Chemical Interactions Between the Core and Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Recent tomographic studies provide strong geophysical evidence for deep mantle upwellings, commonly referred to as "plumes", rising from the core-mantle boundary to regions underlying some ocean island basalt occurrences. Nevertheless, the existence of plumes and their association with ocean islands remains questioned by some. In addition, the occurrence and extent of chemical exchange between the core and lowermost mantle remains essentially un-constrained. If some plumes rise from the core-mantle boundary and there has been some level of chemical interaction between the core and mantle at some point in time, then it is possible that plumes could contain a unique chemical or isotopic fingerprint that is characteristic of the core. There is currently no strong evidence supporting this possibility. The short-lived 182Hf→182W (t½ = 9 m.y.) system has been proposed as a geochemical tool for detecting possible core-mantle interactions. Mass balance constraints suggest the 182W/184W and W concentration of the core are 200 ppm lower and 20 times higher, respectively, than the bulk silicate Earth. Recent discovery of negative correlations between 182W/184W and 3He/4He in ocean island basalts (OIB) from Hawaii and Samoa suggests that these volcanic systems may access a primordial component inside the Earth with W-He isotopic characteristics broadly consistent with the core. However, direct contribution of metal from the outer core to a rising plume is inconsistent with the concentrations of highly siderophile elements (HSE) in the isotopically anomalous lavas. In order for the isotopically anomalous W and He to be tied to the core, a transfer mechanism for isotopic signal, other than metal infiltration into the mantle is needed, as is a present day storage site for the signal. The possible existence of one or more basal magma oceans at some points in Earth history present opportunity for isotopic exchange between the lowermost mantle and core, without collateral

  18. Lateral temperature variations at the core-mantle boundary deduced from the magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloxham, Jeremy; Jackson, Andrew

    1990-01-01

    Recent studies of the secular variation of the earth's magnetic field over periods of a few centuries have suggested that the pattern of fluid motion near the surface of earth's outer core may be strongly influenced by lateral temperature variations in the lowermost mantle. This paper introduces a self-consistent method for finding the temperature variations near the core surface by assuming that the dynamical balance there is geostrophic and that lateral density variations there are thermal in origin. As expected, the lateral temperature variations are very small. Some agreement is found between this pattern and the pattern of topography of the core-mantle boundary, but this does not conclusively answer to what extent core surface motions are controlled by the mantle, rather than being determined by processes in the core.

  19. Water in Earth's mantle: Hydrogen analysis of mantle olivine, pyroxenes and garnet using the SIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurosawa, Masanori; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sueno, Shigeho

    1993-01-01

    Hydrogen (or water) in the Earth's interior plays a key role in the evolution and dynamics of the planet. However, the abundance and the existence form of the hydrogen have scarcely been clear in practice. Hydrogen in the mantle was incorporated in the interior during the formation of the Earth. The incorporated hydrogen was hardly possible to concentrate locally inside the Earth considering its high mobility and high reactivity. The hydrogen, preferably, could be distributed homogeneously over the mantle and the core by the subsequent physical and chemical processes. Therefore, hydrogen in the mantle could be present in the form of trace hydrogen in nominally anhydrous mantle minerals. The hydrogen and the other trace elements in mantle olivines, orthopyroxenes, clinopyroxenes, and garnets were determined using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) for elucidating (1) the exact hydrogen contents, (2) the correlation between the hydrogen and the other trace elements, (3) the dependence of the hydrogen contents on the depth, and (4) the dependence of the whole rock water contents on the depth.

  20. Models of the earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, D. J.

    1981-01-01

    Combined inferences from seismology, high-pressure experiment and theory, geomagnetism, fluid dynamics, and current views of terrestrial planetary evolution lead to models of the earth's core with five basic properties. These are that core formation was contemporaneous with earth accretion; the core is not in chemical equilibrium with the mantle; the outer core is a fluid iron alloy containing significant quantities of lighter elements and is probably almost adiabatic and compositionally uniform; the more iron-rich inner solid core is a consequence of partial freezing of the outer core, and the energy release from this process sustains the earth's magnetic field; and the thermodynamic properties of the core are well constrained by the application of liquid-state theory to seismic and labroatory data.

  1. Hydrogen storage in Earth's mantle and core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prewitt, Charles T.

    1994-01-01

    Two different approaches to explaining how hydrogen might be stored in the mantle are illustrated by a number of papers published over the past 25-30 years, but there has been little attempt to provide objective comparisons of the two. One approach invokes the presence in the mantle of dense hydrous magnesium silicates (DHMS) stable at elevated pressures and temperatures. The other involves nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) that contain hydrogen as a minor constituent on the ppm level. Experimental studies on DHMS indicate these phases may be stable to pressures and temperatures as high at 16 GPa and 1200 C. This temperature is lower than that indicated by a mantle geotherm at 16 GPa, but may be reasonable for a subducting slab. It is possible that other DHMS could be stable to even higher pressures, but little is known about maximum temperature limits. For NAM, small amounts of hydrogen (up to several hundred ppm) have been detected in olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, and garnet recovered from xenoliths in kimberlites, eclogites, and alkali basalts; it has been demonstrated that synthetic wadsleyite and perovskite can accommodate significant amounts of hydrogen. A number of problems are associated with each possibility. For NAM originating in the mantle, one would like to assume that the hydrogen measured in samples recovered on Earth's surface was incorporated when the phase-crystallized at high temperatures and pressures, but it could have been introduced during transport to the surface. Major problems for the DHMS proponents are that none of these phases have been found as minerals and little is yet known about their stabilities in systems containing other cations such as Fe, Al, and Ca.

  2. Osmium-187 enrichment in some plumes: Evidence for core-mantle interaction?

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    Walker, R.J.; Morgan, J.W.; Horan, M.F.

    1995-01-01

    Calculations with data for asteroidal cores indicate that Earth's outer core may have a rhenium/osmium ratio at least 20 percent greater than that of the chondritic upper mantle, potentially leading to an outer core with an osmium-187/osmium-188 ratio at least 8 percent greater than that of chondrites. Because of the much greater abundance of osmium in the outer core relative to the mantle, even a small addition of metal to a plume ascending from the D??? layer would transfer the enriched isotopic signature to the mixture. Sources of certain plume-derived systems seem to have osmium-187/osmium-188 ratios 5 to 20 percent greater than that for chondrites, consistent with the ascent of a plume from the core-mantle boundary.

  3. When the Earth's Inner Core Shuffles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkalcic, H.; Young, M. K.; Bodin, T.; Ngo, S.; Sambridge, M.

    2011-12-01

    Shuffling is a tribal dance recently adapted by teenagers as a street dance. In one of the most popular moves, the so-called "Running Man", a stomp forward on one foot, shifted without being lifted from the ground, is followed by a change of position backwards on the same foot. Here, we present strong observational evidence from a newly observed collection of earthquake doublets that the Earth's inner core "shuffles" exhibiting both prograde and retrograde rotation in the reference frame of the mantle. This discovery is significant on several levels. First, the observed pattern consists of intermittent intervals of quasi-locked and differentially rotating inner core with respect to the Earth's mantle. This means that the angular alignment of the inner core and mantle oscillates in time over the past five decades. Jolting temporal changes are revealed, indicating that during the excursions from the quasi-locked state, the Earth's inner core can rotate both faster and slower than the rest of the planet, thus exhibiting both eastward and westward rotation. According to our results, a short time interval (on the order of one to two years) is needed for the inner core to accelerate to a differential rotation rate of several degrees per year, and typically a slightly longer time is needed to decelerate down to a negligibly small differential rotation rate. These time scales are in agreement with experimental spin-up times obtained when the magnetic torque alone is used to accelerate the inner core. Second, when we integrate the rotation rate over different time intervals, it is possible to explain discrepancies between the body wave and normal modes results for the rate of the inner core differential rotation found by previous authors. We show that the integrated shift in angular alignment and average rotation rates (previously determined to be constant) in normal mode studies are much smaller that those for the body waves. The repeating earthquakes from the South

  4. Obliquity histories of Earth and Mars: Influence of inertial and dissipative core-mantle coupling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bills, B.G.

    1990-01-01

    For both the Earth and Mars, secular variations in the angular separation of the spin axis from the orbit normal are suspected of driving major climatic changes. There is considerable interest in determining the amplitude and timing of these obliquity variations. If the orientation of the orbital plane were inertially fixed, the spin axis would simply precess around the orbit at a fixed obliquity and at a uniform angular rate. The precession rate parameter depends on the principal moments of inertia and rotation rate of the perturbed body, and on the gravitational masses and semiminor axes of the perturbing bodies. For Mars, the precession rate is not well known, but probably lies in the interval 8 to 10 arcsec/year. In the rigid body case, the spin axis still attempts to precess about the instantaneous orbit normal, but now the obliquity varies. The hydrostatic figure of a planet represents a compromise between gravitation, which attempts to attain spherical symmetry, and rotation, which prefers cylindrical symmetry. Due to their higher mean densities the cores of the Earth and Mars will be more nearly spherical than the outer layers of these planets. On short time scales it is appropriate to consider the core to be an inviscid fluid. The inertial coupling provided by this mechanism is effective whenever the ellipticicy of the container exceeds the ratio of precessional to rotational rates. If the mantle were actually rigid, this would be an extremely effective type of coupling. However, on sufficiently long time scales, the mantle will deform viscously and can accommodate the motions of the core fluid. A fundamentally different type of coupling is provided by electromagnetic or viscous torques. This type of coupling is likely to be most important on longer time scales

  5. Geochemical Constraints on Core-Mantle Interaction from Fe/Mn Ratios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humayun, M.; Qin, L.

    2003-12-01

    The greater density of liquid iron alloy, and its immiscibility with silicate, maintains the physical separation of the core from the mantle. There are no a priori reasons, however, why the Earth's mantle should be chemically isolated from the core. Osmium isotopic variations in mantle plumes have been interpreted in terms of interaction between outer core and the source regions of deep mantle plumes. If chemical transport occurs across the core-mantle boundary its mechanism remains to be established. The Os isotope evidence has also been interpreted as the signatures of subducted Mn-sediments, which are known to have relatively high Pt/Os. In the mantle, Fe occurs mainly as the divalent ferrous ion, and Mn occurs solely as a divalent ion, and both behave in a geochemically coherent manner because of similarity in ionic charge and radius. Thus, the Fe/Mn ratio is a planetary constant insensitive to processes of mantle differentiation by partial melting. Two processes may perturb the ambient mantle Fe/Mn of 60: a) the subduction of Mn-sediments should decrease the Fe/Mn ratio in plume sources, while b) chemical transport from the outer core may increase the Fe/Mn ratio. The differentiation of the liquid outer core to form the solid inner core may increase abundances of the light element constituents (FeS, FeO, etc.) to the point of exsolution from the core at the CMB. The exact rate of this process is determined by the rate of inner core growth. Two end-member models include 1) inner core formation mainly prior to 3.5 Ga with heat release dominated by radioactive sources, or 2) inner core formation occurring mainly in the last 1.5 Ga with heat release dominated by latent heat. This latter model would imply large fluxes of Fe into the sources of modern mantle plumes. Existing Fe/Mn data for Gorgona and Hawaiian samples place limits on both these processes. We describe a new procedure for the precise determination of the Fe/Mn ratio in magmatic rocks by ICP-MS. This

  6. A thermodynamic recipe for baking the Earth's lower mantle and core as a whole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirone, Max; Faak, Kathi

    2016-04-01

    A rigorous understanding of the thermal and dynamic evolution of the core and the interaction with the silicate mantle cannot preclude a non-empirical petrological description of the problem which takes the form of a thermodynamic model. Because the Earth's core is predominantly made of iron such model may seem relatively straightforward, simply delivering a representation of the phase transformations in the P,T space. However due to well known geophysical considerations, a certain amount of light elements should be added. With the Occam's razor principle in mind, potential candidates could be the most abundant and easily accessible elements in the mantle, O, Si and Mg. Given these premises, the challenging problems on developing this type of model are: - a thermodynamic formulation should not simply describe phase equilibrium relations at least in the Fe-Si-O system (a formidable task itself) but should be also consistently applicable to evaluate thermophysical properties of liquid components and solids phases at extreme conditions (P=500-2000 kbar, T=1000-5000 K). Presently these properties are unknown for certain mineral and liquid components or partially available from scattered sources. - experimental data on the phase relations for iron rich liquid are extremely difficult to obtain and could not cover the entire P,T,X spectrum. - interaction of the outer core with the silicate mantle requires a melt model that is capable of describing a vast range of compositions ranging from metal-rich liquids to silicate liquids. The compound energy formalism for liquids with variable tendency to ionization developed by Hillert and coworkers is a sublattice model with varying stoichiometry that includes vacancies and neutral species in one site. It represents the ideal candidate for the task in hand. The thermodynamic model unfortunately is rather complex and a detailed description of the formulation for practical applications like chemical equilibrium calculations is

  7. Magnetic field reversals, polar wander, and core-mantle coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtillot, V; Besse, J

    1987-09-04

    True polar wander, the shifting of the entire mantle relative to the earth's spin axis, has been reanalyzed. Over the last 200 million years, true polar wander has been fast (approximately 5 centimeters per year) most of the time, except for a remarkable standstill from 170 to 110 million years ago. This standstill correlates with a decrease in the reversal frequency of the geomagnetic field and episodes of continental breakup. Conversely, true polar wander is high when reversal frequency increases. It is proposed that intermittent convection modulates the thickness of a thermal boundary layer at the base of the mantle and consequently the core-to-mantle heat flux. Emission of hot thermals from the boundary layer leads to increases in mantle convection and true polar wander. In conjunction, cold thermals released from a boundary layer at the top of the liquid core eventually lead to reversals. Changes in the locations of subduction zones may also affect true polar wander. Exceptional volcanism and mass extinctions at the Cretaceous-Tertiary and Permo-Triassic boundaries may be related to thermals released after two unusually long periods with no magnetic reversals. These environmental catastrophes may therefore be a consequence of thermal and chemical couplings in the earth's multilayer heat engine rather than have an extraterrestrial cause.

  8. Terrestrial magma ocean and core segregation in the earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohtani, Eiji; Yurimoto, Naoyoshi

    1992-01-01

    According to the recent theories of formation of the earth, the outer layer of the proto-earth was molten and the terrestrial magma ocean was formed when its radius exceeded 3000 km. Core formation should have started in this magma ocean stage, since segregation of metallic iron occurs effectively by melting of the proto-earth. Therefore, interactions between magma, mantle minerals, and metallic iron in the magma ocean stage controlled the geochemistry of the mantle and core. We have studied the partitioning behaviors of elements into the silicate melt, high pressure minerals, and metallic iron under the deep upper mantle and lower mantle conditions. We employed the multi-anvil apparatus for preparing the equilibrating samples in the ranges from 16 to 27 GPa and 1700-2400 C. Both the electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) and the Secondary Ion Mass spectrometer (SIMS) were used for analyzing the run products. We obtained the partition coefficients of various trace elements between majorite, Mg-perovskite, and liquid, and magnesiowustite, Mg-perovskite, and metallic iron. The examples of the partition coefficients of some key elements are summarized in figures, together with the previous data. We may be able to assess the origin of the mantle abundances of the elements such as transition metals by using the partitioning data obtained above. The mantle abundances of some transition metals expected by the core-mantle equilibrium under the lower mantle conditions cannot explain the observed abundance of some elements such as Mn and Ge in the mantle. Estimations of the densities of the ultrabasic magma Mg-perovskite at high pressure suggest existence of a density crossover in the deep lower mantle; flotation of Mg-perovskite occurs in the deep magma ocean under the lower mantle conditions. The observed depletion of some transition metals such as V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni in the mantle may be explained by the two stage process, the core-mantle equilibrium under the lower

  9. Large-scale compositional heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballmer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Seismic imaging of subducted Farallon and Tethys lithosphere in the lower mantle has been taken as evidence for whole-mantle convection, and efficient mantle mixing. However, cosmochemical constraints point to a lower-mantle composition that has a lower Mg/Si compared to upper-mantle pyrolite. Moreover, geochemical signatures of magmatic rocks indicate the long-term persistence of primordial reservoirs somewhere in the mantle. In this presentation, I establish geodynamic mechanisms for sustaining large-scale (primordial) heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle using numerical models. Mantle flow is controlled by rock density and viscosity. Variations in intrinsic rock density, such as due to heterogeneity in basalt or iron content, can induce layering or partial layering in the mantle. Layering can be sustained in the presence of persistent whole mantle convection due to active "unmixing" of heterogeneity in low-viscosity domains, e.g. in the transition zone or near the core-mantle boundary [1]. On the other hand, lateral variations in intrinsic rock viscosity, such as due to heterogeneity in Mg/Si, can strongly affect the mixing timescales of the mantle. In the extreme case, intrinsically strong rocks may remain unmixed through the age of the Earth, and persist as large-scale domains in the mid-mantle due to focusing of deformation along weak conveyor belts [2]. That large-scale lateral heterogeneity and/or layering can persist in the presence of whole-mantle convection can explain the stagnation of some slabs, as well as the deflection of some plumes, in the mid-mantle. These findings indeed motivate new seismic studies for rigorous testing of model predictions. [1] Ballmer, M. D., N. C. Schmerr, T. Nakagawa, and J. Ritsema (2015), Science Advances, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500815. [2] Ballmer, M. D., C. Houser, J. W. Hernlund, R. Wentzcovitch, and K. Hirose (2017), Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2898.

  10. Possible Role of Hydrogen in the Earth Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, E.; Imai, T.

    2011-12-01

    Possible role of hydrogen in the Earth core has been discussed by Stevenson (1977) and demonstrated experimentally by Fukai (1984), Okuchi (1997) and others. Planetary theory proposes a possibility of hydrogen incorporation in Earth's magma ocean from ambient solar nebula gas (Ikoma & Genda 2005, Genda & Ikoma 2008). More recently, migration of snow line during planet formation was examined (Min et al., 2010; Oka et al, 2011) and it was proposed that the Earth building material originally contained abundant water as ice and hydrous minerals. Therefore, it is very important to investigate the fate of water in the planet building process and clarify the role of hydrogen in the planetary core. Using SPring-8 synchrotron (NaCl capsule, LiAlH4 as hydrogen source), we determined the melting curve of FeH up to 20 GPa under hydrogen saturated conditions (Sakamaki, Takahashi et al, 2009). Observed melting point is below 1300C and has a very small dT/dP slope. By extrapolating the melting curve using Lindeman's law, we proposed that hydrogen could lower the melting temperature of the Earth core by more than 1500K than current estimate. Here we report our new experiments using SPring-8 synchrotron (single crystal diamond capsule, water as hydrogen source). Hydrogen concentration and melting temperature of FeHx that coexists with hydrous mantle minerals were determined at 15-20GPa and 1000-1600C. We show that 1) hydrogen concentration in FeHx at 1000C, coexisting with hydrous-B and ringwoodite is approximately X=0.6. 2) Upon heating, hydrous-B decomposes and hydrogen strongly partitions into FeHx (X=0.8~1.0) than ringwoodite. 3) FeHx that coexists with ringwoodite melts between ~1300C (solidus) and ~1600C (liquidus). Combined our new experiments with those by Sakamaki et al (2009) and Shibazaki et al (2009), partitioning of hydrogen between proto-core and primitive mantle is discussed. We propose that >90% of water in the source material may have entered the Earth core. Given

  11. Thermal interaction of the core and the mantle and long-term behavior of the geomagnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, G. M.

    1977-01-01

    The effects of temperature changes at the earth's core-mantle boundary on the velocity field of the core are analyzed. It is assumed that the geomagnetic field is maintained by thermal convection in the outer core. A model for the thermal interaction of the core and the mantle is presented which is consistent with current views on the presence of heat sources in the core and the properties of the lower mantle. Significant long-term variations in the frequency of geomagnetic reversals may be the result of fluctuating temperatures at the core-mantle boundary, caused by intermittent convection in the lower mantle. The thermal structure of the lower mantle region D double prime, extending from 2700 to 2900 km in depth, constitutes an important test of this hypothesis and offers a means of deciding whether the geomagnetic dynamo is thermally driven.

  12. Modelling of Equilibrium Between Mantle and Core: Refractory, Volatile, and Highly Siderophile Elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Pando, K.; Shofner, G.; Lee, C. -T.

    2013-01-01

    Siderophile elements have been used to constrain conditions of core formation and differentiation for the Earth, Mars and other differentiated bodies [1]. Recent models for the Earth have concluded that the mantle and core did not fully equilibrate and the siderophile element contents of the mantle can only be explained under conditions where the oxygen fugacity changes from low to high during accretion and the mantle and core do not fully equilibrate [2,3]. However these conclusions go against several physical and chemical constraints. First, calculations suggest that even with the composition of accreting material changing from reduced to oxidized over time, the fO2 defined by metal-silicate equilibrium does not change substantially, only by approximately 1 logfO2 unit [4]. An increase of more than 2 logfO2 units in mantle oxidation are required in models of [2,3]. Secondly, calculations also show that metallic impacting material will become deformed and sheared during accretion to a large body, such that it becomes emulsified to a fine scale that allows equilibrium at nearly all conditions except for possibly the length scale for giant impacts [5] (contrary to conclusions of [6]). Using new data for D(Mo) metal/silicate at high pressures, together with updated partitioning expressions for many other elements, we will show that metal-silicate equilibrium across a long span of Earth s accretion history may explain the concentrations of many siderophile elements in Earth's mantle. The modeling includes refractory elements Ni, Co, Mo, and W, as well as highly siderophile elements Au, Pd and Pt, and volatile elements Cd, In, Bi, Sb, Ge and As.

  13. Electromagnetic core-mantle coupling associated with changes in the geomagnetic dipole field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watanabe, Hidehumi; Yukutake, Takesi.

    1975-01-01

    On a shelluar earth model electromagnetic coupling between the mantle and the core is investigated when the geomagnetic dipole field changes its intensity. Besides electromagnetic interaction between the dipole change and the relative slip of the mantle to the core, coupling of the dipole change with shear motions within the core is considered. If, in the core, the dipole change is limited within a surface layer shallower than a few hundred kilometers, the electromagnetic interaction gives the same order of magnitudes and phases of mantle oscillation as suggested from observation for three different periods, 8000, 400 and 65 years, provided that the electrical conductivity of the bottom part of the mantle is 10 -9 to 10 -8 emu. It is shown that mean motion of the surface shells of the core thus calculated is compatible with the observed variations in the drift velocity of the geomagnetic secular change. Except for surface shells, those in the deep interior is confirmed to oscillate almost with the same angular velocity, like a rigid rotation, for all the periods. (auth.)

  14. Influence of precipitating light elements on stable stratification below the core/mantle boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Rourke, J. G.; Stevenson, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    Stable stratification below the core/mantle boundary is often invoked to explain anomalously low seismic velocities in this region. Diffusion of light elements like oxygen or, more slowly, silicon could create a stabilizing chemical gradient in the outermost core. Heat flow less than that conducted along the adiabatic gradient may also produce thermal stratification. However, reconciling either origin with the apparent longevity (>3.45 billion years) of Earth's magnetic field remains difficult. Sub-isentropic heat flow would not drive a dynamo by thermal convection before the nucleation of the inner core, which likely occurred less than one billion years ago and did not instantly change the heat flow. Moreover, an oxygen-enriched layer below the core/mantle boundary—the source of thermal buoyancy—could establish double-diffusive convection where motion in the bulk fluid is suppressed below a slowly advancing interface. Here we present new models that explain both stable stratification and a long-lived dynamo by considering ongoing precipitation of magnesium oxide and/or silicon dioxide from the core. Lithophile elements may partition into iron alloys under extreme pressure and temperature during Earth's formation, especially after giant impacts. Modest core/mantle heat flow then drives compositional convection—regardless of thermal conductivity—since their solubility is strongly temperature-dependent. Our models begin with bulk abundances for the mantle and core determined by the redox conditions during accretion. We then track equilibration between the core and a primordial basal magma ocean followed by downward diffusion of light elements. Precipitation begins at a depth that is most sensitive to temperature and oxygen abundance and then creates feedbacks with the radial thermal and chemical profiles. Successful models feature a stable layer with low seismic velocity (which mandates multi-component evolution since a single light element typically

  15. Shock Compression and Melting of an Fe-Ni-Si Alloy: Implications for the Temperature Profile of the Earth's Core and the Heat Flux Across the Core-Mantle Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Youjun; Sekine, Toshimori; Lin, Jung-Fu; He, Hongliang; Liu, Fusheng; Zhang, Mingjian; Sato, Tomoko; Zhu, Wenjun; Yu, Yin

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the melting behavior and the thermal equation of state of Fe-Ni alloyed with candidate light elements at conditions of the Earth's core is critical for our knowledge of the region's thermal structure and chemical composition and the heat flow across the liquid outer core into the lowermost mantle. Here we studied the shock equation of state and melting curve of an Fe-8 wt% Ni-10 wt% Si alloy up to 250 GPa by hypervelocity impacts with direct velocity and reliable temperature measurements. Our results show that the addition of 10 wt% Si to Fe-8 wt% Ni alloy slightly depresses the melting temperature of iron by 200-300 (±200) K at the core-mantle boundary ( 136 GPa) and by 600-800 (±500) K at the inner core-outer core boundary ( 330 GPa), respectively. Our results indicate that Si has a relatively mild effect on the melting temperature of iron compared with S and O. Our thermodynamic modeling shows that Fe-5 wt% Ni alloyed with 6 wt% Si and 2 wt% S (which has a density-velocity profile that matches the outer core's seismic profile well) exhibits an adiabatic profile with temperatures of 3900 K and 5300 K at the top and bottom of the outer core, respectively. If Si is a major light element in the core, a geotherm modeled for the outer core indicates a thermal gradient of 5.8-6.8 (±1.6) K/km in the D″ region and a high heat flow of 13-19 TW across the core-mantle boundary.

  16. Understanding the effects of the core on the nutation of the Earth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Dehant

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In this review paper, we examine the changes in the Earth orientation in space and focus on the nutation (shorter-term periodic variations, which is superimposed on precession (long-term trend on a timescale of years. We review the nutation modelling involving several coupling mechanisms at the core-mantle boundary using the Liouville angular momentum equations for a two-layered Earth with a liquid flattened core. The classical approach considers a Poincaré fluid for the core with an inertial pressure coupling mechanism at the core-mantle boundary. We examine possible additional coupling mechanisms to explain the observations. In particular, we examine how we can determine the flattening of the core as well as information on the magnetic field and the core flow from the nutation observations. The precision of the observations is shown to be high enough to increase our understanding on the coupling mechanisms at the core-mantle boundary.

  17. Motion of the Mantle in the Translational Modes of the Earth and Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinfeld, Pavel; Wisdom, Jack

    2005-01-01

    Slichter modes refer to the translational motion of the inner core with respect to the outer core and the mantle. The polar Slichter mode is the motion of the inner core along the axis of rotation. Busse presented an analysis of the polar mode which yielded an expression for its period. Busse's analysis included the assumption that the mantle was stationary. This approximation is valid for planets with small inner cores, such as the Earth whose inner core is about 1/60 of the total planet mass. On the other hand, many believe that Mercury's core may be enormous. If so, the motion of the mantle should be expected to produce a significant effect. We present a formal framework for including the motion of the mantle in the analysis of the translational motion of the inner core. We analyze the effect of the motion of the mantle on the Slichter modes for a non-rotating planet with an inner core of arbitrary size. We omit the effects of viscosity in the outer core, magnetic effects, and solid tides. Our approach is perturbative and is based on a linearization of Euler's equations for the motion of the fluid and Newton's second law for the motion of the inner core. We find an analytical expression for the period of the Slichter mode. Our result agrees with Busse's in the limiting case of small inner core. We present the unexpected result that even for Mercury the motion of the mantle does not significantly change the period of oscillation.

  18. Inner Core Rotation from Geomagnetic Westward Drift and a Stationary Spherical Vortex in Earth's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voorhies, C. V.

    1999-01-01

    The idea that geomagnetic westward drift indicates convective leveling of the planetary momentum gradient within Earth's core is pursued in search of a differentially rotating mean state, upon which various oscillations and secular effects might be superimposed. The desired state conforms to roughly spherical boundary conditions, minimizes dissipative interference with convective cooling in the bulk of the core, yet may aide core cooling by depositing heat in the uppermost core and lower mantle. The variational calculus of stationary dissipation applied to a spherical vortex within the core yields an interesting differential rotation profile akin to spherical Couette flow bounded by thin Hartmann layers. Four boundary conditions are required. To concentrate shear induced dissipation near the core-mantle boundary, these are taken to be: (i) no-slip at the core-mantle interface; (ii) geomagnetically estimated bulk westward flow at the base of the core-mantle boundary layer; (iii) no-slip at the inner-outer core interface; and, to describe magnetic locking of the inner core to the deep outer core, (iv) hydrodynamically stress-free at the inner-outer core boundary. By boldly assuming the axial core angular momentum anomaly to be zero, the super-rotation of the inner core is calculated to be at most 1.5 degrees per year.

  19. A volatile-rich Earth's core inferred from melting temperature of core materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morard, G.; Andrault, D.; Antonangeli, D.; Nakajima, Y.; Auzende, A. L.; Boulard, E.; Clark, A. N.; Lord, O. T.; Cervera, S.; Siebert, J.; Garbarino, G.; Svitlyk, V.; Mezouar, M.

    2016-12-01

    Planetary cores are mainly constituted of iron and nickel, alloyed with lighter elements (Si, O, C, S or H). Understanding how these elements affect the physical and chemical properties of solid and liquid iron provides stringent constraints on the composition of the Earth's core. In particular, melting curves of iron alloys are key parameter to establish the temperature profile in the Earth's core, and to asses the potential occurrence of partial melting at the Core-Mantle Boundary. Core formation models based on metal-silicate equilibration suggest that Si and O are the major light element components1-4, while the abundance of other elements such as S, C and H is constrained by arguments based on their volatility during planetary accretion5,6. Each compositional model implies a specific thermal state for the core, due to the different effect that light elements have on the melting behaviour of Fe. We recently measured melting temperatures in Fe-C and Fe-O systems at high pressures, which complete the data sets available both for pure Fe7 and other binary alloys8. Compositional models with an O- and Si-rich outer core are suggested to be compatible with seismological constraints on density and sound velocity9. However, their crystallization temperatures of 3650-4050 K at the CMB pressure of 136 GPa are very close to, if not higher than the melting temperature of the silicate mantle and yet mantle melting above the CMB is not a ubiquitous feature. This observation requires significant amounts of volatile elements (S, C or H) in the outer core to further reduce the crystallisation temperature of the core alloy below that of the lower mantle. References 1. Wood, B. J., et al Nature 441, 825-833 (2006). 2. Siebert, J., et al Science 339, 1194-7 (2013). 3. Corgne, A., et al Earth Planet. Sc. Lett. 288, 108-114 (2009). 4. Fischer, R. a. et al. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 167, 177-194 (2015). 5. Dreibus, G. & Palme, H. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 60, 1125-1130 (1995). 6. Mc

  20. First Principles Analysis of Convection in the Earth's Mantle, Eustatic Sea Level and Earth Volume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsland, G. L.

    2011-12-01

    Steady state convection (convection whereby heat leaving the mantle at the top is equal to the heat entering the mantle across the core mantle boundary and that created within the mantle) of the Earth's mantle is, to a very good approximation, both a constant mass and constant volume process. Mass or volume which moves to one place; e.g., an oceanic ridge; must be accompanied by mass or volume removed from another place. The location of removal, whether from underneath of an ocean or a continent, determines the relationship between oceanic ridge volume and eustatic sea level. If all of the volume entering a ridge were to come from under an oceanic basin then the size of the ridge would not affect eustatic sea level as it would be compensated by a lowering of the sea floor elsewhere. If the volume comes from under a continent then the hypsometry of the continent becomes important. Thus, eustatic sea level is not simply related to convection rate and oceanic ridge volume as posited by Hays and Pitman(1973). Non-steady state convection is still a constant mass process but is not a constant volume process. The mantle experiences a net gain of heat, warms and expands during periods of relatively slow convection (that being convection rate which is less than that necessary to transport incoming and internally created heat to the surface). Conversely, the mantle has a net loss of heat, cools and contracts during periods of relatively rapid convection. The Earth itself expands and contracts as the mantle does. During rapid convection more volume is delivered from the interior of the mantle to the Earth's ridge system than during slow convection. The integral of the difference of ridge system volume between fast and slow convection over a fast-slow convection cycle is a measure of the difference in volume of the mantle over a cycle. The magnitude of the Earth's volume expansion and contraction as calculated from published values for the volume of ocean ridges and is about

  1. High-pressure metallization of FeO and implications for the earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knittle, Elise; Jeanloz, Raymond

    1986-01-01

    The phase diagram of FeO has been experimentally determined to pressures of 155 GPa and temperatures of 4000 K using shock-wave and diamond-cell techniques. A metallic phase of FeO is observed at pressures greater than 70 GPa and temperatures exceeding 1000 K. The metallization of FeO at high pressures implies that oxygen can be present as the light alloying element of the earth's outer core, in accord with the geochemical predictions of Ringwood (1977 and 1979). The high pressures necessary for this metallization suggest that the core has acquired its composition well after the initial stages of the earth's accretion. Direct experimental observations at elevated pressures and temperatures indicate that core-forming alloy can react chemically with oxides such as those forming the mantle. The core and mantle may never have reached complete chemical equilibrium, however. If this is the case, the core-mantle boundary is likely to be a zone of active chemical reactions.

  2. Non-chondritic iron isotope ratios in planetary mantles as a result of core formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elardo, Stephen M.; Shahar, Anat

    2017-02-01

    Information about the materials and conditions involved in planetary formation and differentiation in the early Solar System is recorded in iron isotope ratios. Samples from Earth, the Moon, Mars and the asteroid Vesta reveal significant variations in iron isotope ratios, but the sources of these variations remain uncertain. Here we present experiments that demonstrate that under the conditions of planetary core formation expected for the Moon, Mars and Vesta, iron isotopes fractionate between metal and silicate due to the presence of nickel, and enrich the bodies' mantles in isotopically light iron. However, the effect of nickel diminishes at higher temperatures: under conditions expected for Earth's core formation, we infer little fractionation of iron isotopes. From our experimental results and existing conceptual models of magma ocean crystallization and mantle partial melting, we find that nickel-induced fractionation can explain iron isotope variability found in planetary samples without invoking nebular or accretionary processes. We suggest that near-chondritic iron isotope ratios of basalts from Mars and Vesta, as well as the most primitive lunar basalts, were achieved by melting of isotopically light mantles, whereas the heavy iron isotope ratios of terrestrial ocean floor basalts are the result of melting of near-chondritic Earth mantle.

  3. Planet Within a Planet: Rotation of the Inner Core of Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su; Dziewonski; Jeanloz

    1996-12-13

    The time dependence of the orientation of Earth's inner core relative to the mantle was determined using a recently discovered 10-degree tilt in the axis of symmetry of the inner core's seismic-velocity anisotropy. Two methods of analyzing travel-time variations for rays traversing the inner core, on the basis of 29 years of data from the International Seismological Centre (1964-1992), reveal that the inner core appears to rotate about 3 degrees per year faster than the mantle. An anomalous variation in inner-core orientation from 1969 to 1973 coincides in time with a sudden change ("jerk") in the geomagnetic field.

  4. Thermoconvective waves in the earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birger, B. I.

    1980-06-01

    The thermoconvective instability of the Earth's mantle is analysed. The mantle is modelled as an infinite horizontal layer with a free upper surface, heated from below. The creep in the mantle is supposed to be transient when strains are small. This transient creep is described by Lomnitz's law modified by Jeffreys (1958a). It is shown that disturbances, in the form of thermoconvective waves with a period of 10 8 - 10 9y and wavelength of the order 10 3 km, can propagate through the mantle without attenuation. These waves induce oscillations of the Earth's surface. The pattern of flows differs greatly from that suggested by plate tectonics. An attempt is made to give a new explanation for the linear magnetic anomalies over oceanic ridges.

  5. Nitrogen partitioning during Earth's accretion and core-mantle differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speelmanns, I. M.; Schmidt, M. W.; Liebske, C.

    2017-12-01

    On present day Earth, N is one of the key constituents of our atmosphere and forms the basis of life. However, the deep Earth geochemistry of N, i.e. its distribution and isotopic fractionation between Earth's deep reservoirs is not well constrained. This study investigates nitrogen partitioning between metal and silicate melts as relevant for core segregation during the accretion of planetesimals into the Earth. We have determined N-partitioning coefficients over a wide range of temperatures (1250-2000 °C), pressures (15-35 kbar) and oxygen fugacity's, the latter in the relevant range of core segregation (IW-5 to IW). Centrifuging piston cylinders were used to equilibrate and then gravitationally separate metal-silicate melt pairs. Separation of the two melts is necessary to avoid micro nugget contamination in the silicate melt at reducing conditions double capsule technique in all experiments, using an outer metallic (Pt) and inner non-metallic capsule (graphite or Al2O3), minimizes N-loss over the course of the experiments compared to single non-metallic capsules. The two quenched melts were cut apart mechanically, cleaned at the outside, their N concentrations were then analysed on bulk samples by an elemental analyser, the low abslute masses requiring careful development of analytical routines. Despite these difficulties, we were able to determine a DNmetal/silicate of 13±0.3 at IW-1 decreasing to 2.0±0.2 at IW-5.5, at 1250°C and 15 kbar, N partitioning into the core forming metal. Increasing temperature dramatically lowers the DNmetal/silicate to e.g. 0.5±0.15 at IW-4, during early core formation N was hence mildly incompatible in the metal. The results suggest that under magma ocean conditions (> 2000 oC and fO2 IW-2.5), N-partition coefficents were within a factor of 2 of unity. Hence, N did not partition into the core, which should contain negliligible quantities of N. The few available literature data [1],[2],[3] support N changing compatibility with

  6. Primordial Noble Gases from Earth's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, K.; Lu, X.; Brodholt, J. P.

    2016-12-01

    isotopic constrains. (1) Bouhifd, M.A., Jephcoat, A.P., Heber, V.S., Kelley, S.P., 2013. Helium in Earth's early core. Nat. Geosci. 6, 982-986. (2) Mukhopadhyay, S., 2012. Early differentiation and volatile accretion recorded in deep-mantle neon and xenon. Nature 486, 101-124.

  7. Dynamo Tests for Stratification Below the Core-Mantle Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, P.; Landeau, M.

    2017-12-01

    Evidence from seismology, mineral physics, and core dynamics points to a layer with an overall stable stratification in the Earth's outer core, possibly thermal in origin, extending below the core-mantle boundary (CMB) for several hundred kilometers. In contrast, energetic deep mantle convection with elevated heat flux implies locally unstable thermal stratification below the CMB in places, consistent with interpretations of non-dipole geomagnetic field behavior that favor upwelling flows below the CMB. Here, we model the structure of convection and magnetic fields in the core using numerical dynamos with laterally heterogeneous boundary heat flux in order to rationalize this conflicting evidence. Strongly heterogeneous boundary heat flux generates localized convection beneath the CMB that coexists with an overall stable stratification there. Partially stratified dynamos have distinctive time average magnetic field structures. Without stratification or with stratification confined to a thin layer, the octupole component is small and the CMB magnetic field structure includes polar intensity minima. With more extensive stratification, the octupole component is large and the magnetic field structure includes intense patches or high intensity lobes in the polar regions. Comparisons with the time-averaged geomagnetic field are generally favorable for partial stratification in a thin layer but unfavorable for stratification in a thick layer beneath the CMB.

  8. The Earth's mantle and geoneutrinos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fiorentini, Giovanni; Fogli, Gian Luigi; Lisi, Eligio; Mantovani, Fabio; Rotunno, Anna Maria; Xhixha, Gerti

    2013-01-01

    The KamLAND and Borexino experiments have observed, each at ∼4σ level, signals of electron antineutrinos produced in the decay chains of thorium and uranium in the Earth's crust and mantle (Th and U geoneutrinos). Various pieces of geochemical and geophysical information allow an estimation of the crustal geoneutrino flux components with relatively small uncertainties. The mantle component may then be inferred by subtracting the estimated crustal flux from the measured total flux. We find that crust-subtracted signals show hints of a residual mantle component, emerging at ∼2.4σ level by combining the KamLAND and Borexino data. The inferred mantle flux, slightly favoring scenarios with relatively high Th and U abundances, within ∼1σ uncertainties is comparable to the predictions from recent mantle models

  9. Geomagnetic spikes on the core-mantle boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, C. J.; Constable, C.

    2017-12-01

    Extreme variations of Earth's magnetic field occurred in the Levantine region around 1000 BC, where the field intensity rose and fell by a factor of 2-3 over a short time and confined spatial region. There is presently no coherent link between this intensity spike and the generating processes in Earth's liquid core. Here we test the attribution of a surface spike to a flux patch visible on the core-mantle boundary (CMB), calculating geometric and energetic bounds on resulting surface geomagnetic features. We show that the Levantine intensity high must span at least 60 degrees in longitude. Models providing the best trade-off between matching surface spike intensity, minimizing L1 and L2 misfit to the available data and satisfying core energy constraints produce CMB spikes 8-22 degrees wide with peak values of O(100) mT. We propose that the Levantine spike grew in place before migrating northward and westward, contributing to the growth of the axial dipole field seen in Holocene field models. Estimates of Ohmic dissipation suggest that diffusive processes, which are often neglected, likely govern the ultimate decay of geomagnetic spikes. Using these results, we search for the presence of spike-like features in geodynamo simulations.

  10. Tomography of core-mantle boundary and lowermost mantle coupled by geodynamics: joint models of shear and compressional velocity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Soldati

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We conduct joint tomographic inversions of P and S travel time observations to obtain models of delta v_P  and delta v_S in the entire mantle. We adopt a recently published method which takes into account the geodynamic coupling between mantle heterogeneity and core-mantle boundary (CMB topography by viscous flow, where sensitivity of the seismic travel times to the CMB is accounted for implicitly in the inversion (i.e. the CMB topography is not explicitly inverted for. The seismic maps of the Earth's mantle and CMB topography that we derive can explain the inverted seismic data while being physically consistent with each other. The approach involved scaling P-wave velocity (more sensitive to the CMB to density anomalies, in the assumption that mantle heterogeneity has a purely thermal origin, so that velocity and density heterogeneity are proportional to one another. On the other hand, it has sometimes been suggested that S-wave velocity might be more directly sensitive to temperature, while P heterogeneity is more strongly influenced by chemical composition. In the present study, we use only S-, and not P-velocity, to estimate density heterogeneity through linear scaling, and hence the sensitivity of core-reflected P phases to mantle structure. Regardless of whether density is more closely related to P- or S-velocity, we think it is worthwhile to explore both scaling approaches in our efforts to explain seismic data. The similarity of the results presented in this study to those obtained by scaling P-velocity to density suggests that compositional anomaly has a limited impact on viscous flow in the deep mantle.

  11. Effects of iron on the lattice thermal conductivity of Earth's deep mantle and implications for mantle dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Wen-Pin; Deschamps, Frédéric; Okuchi, Takuo; Lin, Jung-Fu

    2018-04-17

    Iron may critically influence the physical properties and thermochemical structures of Earth's lower mantle. Its effects on thermal conductivity, with possible consequences on heat transfer and mantle dynamics, however, remain largely unknown. We measured the lattice thermal conductivity of lower-mantle ferropericlase to 120 GPa using the ultrafast optical pump-probe technique in a diamond anvil cell. The thermal conductivity of ferropericlase with 56% iron significantly drops by a factor of 1.8 across the spin transition around 53 GPa, while that with 8-10% iron increases monotonically with pressure, causing an enhanced iron substitution effect in the low-spin state. Combined with bridgmanite data, modeling of our results provides a self-consistent radial profile of lower-mantle thermal conductivity, which is dominated by pressure, temperature, and iron effects, and shows a twofold increase from top to bottom of the lower mantle. Such increase in thermal conductivity may delay the cooling of the core, while its decrease with iron content may enhance the dynamics of large low shear-wave velocity provinces. Our findings further show that, if hot and strongly enriched in iron, the seismic ultralow velocity zones have exceptionally low conductivity, thus delaying their cooling.

  12. Reflection and transmission of seismic waves under initial stress at the earth's core-mantle boundary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukhendu Dey

    1980-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper the influence of the initial stress is shown on the reflection and transmission of P waves at the core-mantle boundary. Taking a particular value of the inherent initial stress, the variations of reflection and transmission coefficients with respect to the angle of emergence are represented by graphs. These graphs when compared with those having no initial stress show that the effect of the initial stress is to produce a reflected P and S waves with numerically higher amplitudes but a transmitted P wave with smaller amplitude. A method is also indicated in this paper to calculate the actual value of the initial stress near the core-mantle boundary by measuring the amplitudes of incident and reflected P waves.

  13. Models of the earth's core

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevenson, D.J.

    1981-01-01

    The combination of seismology, high pressure experiment and theory, geomagnetism, fluid dynamics, and current views of terrestrial planetary evolution lead to strong constraints on core models. The synthesis presented here is devoted to the defense of the following properties: (1) core formation was contemporaneous with earth accretion; (2) the outer, liquid core is predominately iron but cannot be purely iron; (3) the inner core-outer core boundary represents a thermodynamic equilibrium between a liquid alloys and a predominanately iron solid; (4) thermodynamic and transport properties of outer core can be estimated from liquid-state theories; and (5) the outer core is probably adiabatic and uniform in composition. None of these propositions are universally accepted by geophysicists. But, the intent of this paper is to present a coherent picture which explains most of the data with the fewest ad hoc assumptions. Areas in which future progress is both essential and likely are geo- and cosmochronology, seismological determinations of core structure, fluid dynamics of the core and mantle, and condensed matter physics

  14. Chemical Reactions Between Fe and H2O up to Megabar Pressures and Implications for Water Storage in the Earth's Mantle and Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Liang; Ohtani, Eiji; Ikuta, Daijo; Kamada, Seiji; Tsuchiya, Jun; Naohisa, Hirao; Ohishi, Yasuo; Suzuki, Akio

    2018-02-01

    We investigated the phase relations of the Fe-H2O system at high pressures based on in situ X-ray diffraction experiments and first-principles calculations and demonstrate that FeHx and FeO are present at pressures less than 78 GPa. A recently reported pyrite-structured FeO2 was identified in the Fe-H2O system at pressures greater than 78 GPa after laser heating. The phase observed in this study has a unit cell volume 8%-11% larger than that of FeO2, produced in the Fe-O binary system reported previously, suggesting that hydrogen might be retained in a FeO2Hx crystal structure. Our observations indicate that H2O is likely introduced into the deep Earth through reaction between iron and water during the accretion and separation of the metallic core. Additionally, reaction between Fe and H2O would occur at the core-mantle boundary, given water released from hydrous subducting slabs that intersect with the metallic core. Accumulation of volatile-bearing iron compounds may provide new insights into the enigmatic seismic structures observed at the base of the lower mantle.

  15. Observation of the Earth liquid core resonance by extensometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bán, Dóra; Mentes, Gyula

    2016-04-01

    The axis of the fluid outer core of the Earth and the rotation axis of the mantle do not coincide therefore restoring forces are set up at the core-mantle boundary which try to realign the two axes causing a resonance effect. In celestial reference system it is called the "Free Core Nutation" (FCN), which can be characterized by a period of 432 days while in the Earth reference system it is called the "Nearly Diurnal Free Wobble" (NDFW). The frequency of this phenomenon is near to the diurnal tidal frequencies, especially to P1 and K1 waves. Due to its resonance effect this phenomenon can be detected also by quartz tube extensometers suitable for Earth tides recording. In this study data series measured in several extensometric stations were used to reveal the presence of the FCN resonance. In the Pannonian Basin there are five observatories where extensometric measurements were carried out in different lengths of time. Four stations in Hungary: Sopronbánfalva Geodynamical Observatory (2000-2014), Budapest Mátyáshegy Gravity and Geodynamic Observatory (2005-2012), Pécs uranium mine (1991-1999), Bakonya, near to Pécs (2004-2005) and in Slovakia: Vyhne Earth Tide Observatory (2001-2013). Identical instrumentation in different observatories provides the opportunity to compare measurements with various topography, geology and environmental parameters. The results are also compared to values inferred from extensometric measurements in other stations.

  16. A model for osmium isotopic evolution of metallic solids at the core-mantle boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humayun, Munir

    2011-03-01

    Some plumes are thought to originate at the core-mantle boundary, but geochemical evidence of core-mantle interaction is limited to Os isotopes in samples from Hawaii, Gorgona (89 Ma), and Kostomuksha (2.7 Ga). The Os isotopes have been explained by physical entrainment of Earth's liquid outer core into mantle plumes. This model has come into conflict with geophysical estimates of the timing of core formation, high-pressure experimental determinations of the solid metal-liquid metal partition coefficients (D), and the absence of expected 182W anomalies. A new model is proposed where metallic liquid from the outer core is partially trapped in a compacting cumulate pile of Fe-rich nonmetallic precipitates (FeO, FeS, Fe3Si, etc.) at the top of the core and undergoes fractional crystallization precipitating solid metal grains, followed by expulsion of the residual metallic liquid back to the outer core. The Os isotopic composition of the solids and liquids in the cumulate pile is modeled as a function of the residual liquid remaining and the emplacement age using 1 bar D values, with variable amounts of oxygen (0-10 wt %) as the light element. The precipitated solids evolve Os isotope compositions that match the trends for Hawaii (at an emplacement age of 3.5-4.5 Ga; 5%-10% oxygen) and Gorgona (emplacement age < 1.5 Ga; 0%-5% oxygen). The Fe-rich matrix of the cumulate pile dilutes the precipitated solid metal decoupling the Fe/Mn ratio from Os and W isotopes. The advantages to using precipitated solid metal as the Os host include a lower platinum group element and Ni content to the mantle source region relative to excess iron, miniscule anomalies in 182W (<0.1 ɛ), and no effects for Pb isotopes, etc. A gradual thermomechanical erosion of the cumulate pile results in incorporation of this material into the base of the mantle, where mantle plumes subsequently entrain it. Fractional crystallization of metallic liquids within the CMB provides a consistent explanation of

  17. Complete synthetic seismograms based on a spherical self-gravitating Earth model with an atmosphere-ocean-mantle-core structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rongjiang; Heimann, Sebastian; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Hansheng; Dahm, Torsten

    2017-09-01

    A hybrid method is proposed to calculate complete synthetic seismograms based on a spherically symmetric and self-gravitating Earth with a multilayered structure of atmosphere, ocean, mantle, liquid core and solid core. For large wavelengths, a numerical scheme is used to solve the geodynamic boundary-value problem without any approximation on the deformation and gravity coupling. With decreasing wavelength, the gravity effect on the deformation becomes negligible and the analytical propagator scheme can be used. Many useful approaches are used to overcome the numerical problems that may arise in both analytical and numerical schemes. Some of these approaches have been established in the seismological community and the others are developed for the first time. Based on the stable and efficient hybrid algorithm, an all-in-one code QSSP is implemented to cover the complete spectrum of seismological interests. The performance of the code is demonstrated by various tests including the curvature effect on teleseismic body and surface waves, the appearance of multiple reflected, teleseismic core phases, the gravity effect on long period surface waves and free oscillations, the simulation of near-field displacement seismograms with the static offset, the coupling of tsunami and infrasound waves, and free oscillations of the solid Earth, the atmosphere and the ocean. QSSP is open source software that can be used as a stand-alone FORTRAN code or may be applied in combination with a Python toolbox to calculate and handle Green's function databases for efficient coding of source inversion problems.

  18. Metal-silicate Partitioning and Its Role in Core Formation and Composition on Super-Earths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, Laura; Petaev, M. I.; Sasselov, Dimitar D. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Jacobsen, Stein B.; Remo, John L., E-mail: lschaefer@asu.edu [Harvard University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 20 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2017-02-01

    We use a thermodynamic framework for silicate-metal partitioning to determine the possible compositions of metallic cores on super-Earths. We compare results using literature values of the partition coefficients of Si and Ni, as well as new partition coefficients calculated using results from laser shock-induced melting of powdered metal-dunite targets at pressures up to 276 GPa, which approaches those found within the deep mantles of super-Earths. We find that larger planets may have little to no light elements in their cores because the Si partition coefficient decreases at high pressures. The planet mass at which this occurs will depend on the metal-silicate equilibration depth. We also extrapolate the equations of state (EOS) of FeO and FeSi alloys to high pressures, and present mass–radius diagrams using self-consistent planet compositions assuming equilibrated mantles and cores. We confirm the results of previous studies that the distribution of elements between mantle and core will not be detectable from mass and radius measurements alone. While observations may be insensitive to interior structure, further modeling is sensitive to compositionally dependent properties, such as mantle viscosity and core freeze-out properties. We therefore emphasize the need for additional high pressure measurements of partitioning as well as EOSs, and highlight the utility of the Sandia Z-facilities for this type of work.

  19. Broad plumes rooted at the base of the Earth's mantle beneath major hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Scott W; Romanowicz, Barbara

    2015-09-03

    Plumes of hot upwelling rock rooted in the deep mantle have been proposed as a possible origin of hotspot volcanoes, but this idea is the subject of vigorous debate. On the basis of geodynamic computations, plumes of purely thermal origin should comprise thin tails, only several hundred kilometres wide, and be difficult to detect using standard seismic tomography techniques. Here we describe the use of a whole-mantle seismic imaging technique--combining accurate wavefield computations with information contained in whole seismic waveforms--that reveals the presence of broad (not thin), quasi-vertical conduits beneath many prominent hotspots. These conduits extend from the core-mantle boundary to about 1,000 kilometres below Earth's surface, where some are deflected horizontally, as though entrained into more vigorous upper-mantle circulation. At the base of the mantle, these conduits are rooted in patches of greatly reduced shear velocity that, in the case of Hawaii, Iceland and Samoa, correspond to the locations of known large ultralow-velocity zones. This correspondence clearly establishes a continuous connection between such zones and mantle plumes. We also show that the imaged conduits are robustly broader than classical thermal plume tails, suggesting that they are long-lived, and may have a thermochemical origin. Their vertical orientation suggests very sluggish background circulation below depths of 1,000 kilometres. Our results should provide constraints on studies of viscosity layering of Earth's mantle and guide further research into thermochemical convection.

  20. The Thermal Conductivity of Earth's Core: A Key Geophysical Parameter's Constraints and Uncertainties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Q.

    2018-05-01

    The thermal conductivity of iron alloys at high pressures and temperatures is a critical parameter in governing ( a) the present-day heat flow out of Earth's core, ( b) the inferred age of Earth's inner core, and ( c) the thermal evolution of Earth's core and lowermost mantle. It is, however, one of the least well-constrained important geophysical parameters, with current estimates for end-member iron under core-mantle boundary conditions varying by about a factor of 6. Here, the current state of calculations, measurements, and inferences that constrain thermal conductivity at core conditions are reviewed. The applicability of the Wiedemann-Franz law, commonly used to convert electrical resistivity data to thermal conductivity data, is probed: Here, whether the constant of proportionality, the Lorenz number, is constant at extreme conditions is of vital importance. Electron-electron inelastic scattering and increases in Fermi-liquid-like behavior may cause uncertainties in thermal conductivities derived from both first-principles-associated calculations and electrical conductivity measurements. Additional uncertainties include the role of alloying constituents and local magnetic moments of iron in modulating the thermal conductivity. Thus, uncertainties in thermal conductivity remain pervasive, and hence a broad range of core heat flows and inner core ages appear to remain plausible.

  1. Identifying regions of strong scattering at the core-mantle boundary from analysis of PKKP precursor energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rost, S.; Earle, P.S.

    2010-01-01

    We detect seismic scattering from the core-mantle boundary related to the phase PKKP (PK. KP) in data from small aperture seismic arrays in India and Canada. The detection of these scattered waves in data from small aperture arrays is new and allows a better characterization of the fine-scale structure of the deep Earth especially in the southern hemisphere. Their slowness vector is determined from array processing allowing location of the heterogeneities at the core-mantle boundary using back-projection techniques through 1D Earth models. We identify strong scattering at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) beneath the Caribbean, Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula as well as beneath southern Africa. An analysis of the scattering regions relative to sources and receivers indicates that these regions represent areas of increased scattering likely due to increased heterogeneities close to the CMB. The 1. Hz array data used in this study is most sensitive to heterogeneity with scale lengths of about 10. km. Given the small size of the scatterers, a chemical origin of the heterogeneities is likely. By comparing the location of the fine-scale heterogeneity to geodynamical models and tomographic images, we identify different scattering mechanisms in regions related to subduction (Caribbean and Patagonia) and dense thermo chemical piles (Southern Africa). ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  2. Equation of state fits to the lower mantle and outer core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, R.; Anderson, D. L.

    1978-01-01

    The lower mantle and outer core are subjected to tests for homogeneity and adiabaticity. An earth model is used which is based on the inversion of body waves and Q-corrected normal-mode data. Homogeneous regions are found at radii between 5125 and 4825 km, 4600 and 3850 km, and 3200 and 2200 km. The lower mantle and outer core are inhomogeneous on the whole and are only homogeneous in the above local regions. Finite-strain and atomistic equations of state are fit to the homogeneous regions. The apparent convergence of the finite-strain relations is examined to judge their applicability to a given region. In some cases the observed pressure derivatives of the elastic moduli are used as additional constraints. The effect of minor deviations from adiabaticity on the extrapolations is also considered. An ensemble of zero-pressure values of the density and seismic velocities are found for these regions. The range of extrapolated values from these several approaches provides a measure of uncertainties involved.

  3. The origin of volatiles in the Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hier-Majumder, Saswata; Hirschmann, Marc M.

    2017-08-01

    The Earth's deep interior contains significant reservoirs of volatiles such as H, C, and N. Due to the incompatible nature of these volatile species, it has been difficult to reconcile their storage in the residual mantle immediately following crystallization of the terrestrial magma ocean (MO). As the magma ocean freezes, it is commonly assumed that very small amounts of melt are retained in the residual mantle, limiting the trapped volatile concentration in the primordial mantle. In this article, we show that inefficient melt drainage out of the freezing front can retain large amounts of volatiles hosted in the trapped melt in the residual mantle while creating a thick early atmosphere. Using a two-phase flow model, we demonstrate that compaction within the moving freezing front is inefficient over time scales characteristic of magma ocean solidification. We employ a scaling relation between the trapped melt fraction, the rate of compaction, and the rate of freezing in our magma ocean evolution model. For cosmochemically plausible fractions of volatiles delivered during the later stages of accretion, our calculations suggest that up to 77% of total H2O and 12% of CO2 could have been trapped in the mantle during magma ocean crystallization. The assumption of a constant trapped melt fraction underestimates the mass of volatiles in the residual mantle by more than an order of magnitude.Plain Language SummaryThe Earth's deep interior contains substantial amounts of volatile elements like C, H, and N. How these elements got sequestered in the Earth's interior has long been a topic of debate. It is generally assumed that most of these elements escaped the interior of the Earth during the first few hundred thousand years to create a primitive atmosphere, leaving the mantle reservoir nearly empty. In this work, we show that the key to this paradox involves the very early stages of crystallization of the mantle from a global magma ocean. Using numerical models, we show

  4. Differential Rotation within the Earth's Outer Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hide, R.; Boggs, D. H.; Dickey, J. O.

    1998-01-01

    Non-steady differential rotation drive by bouyancy forces within the Earth's liquid outer core (OC) plays a key role not only in the generation of the main geomagnetic field by the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) dynamo process but also in the excitation of irregular fluctuations in the angular speed of rotation of the overlying solid mantle, as evidenced by changes in the length of the day (LOD) on decadal and longer timescales (1-8).

  5. Seismic Wave Velocity in Earth's Shallow Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandrakis, C.; Eaton, D. W.

    2008-12-01

    Studies of the outer core indicate that it is composed of liquid Fe and Ni alloyed with a ~10% fraction of light elements such as O, S or Si. Recently, unusual features, such as sediment accumulation, immiscible fluid layers or stagnant convection, have been predicted in the shallow core region. Secular cooling and compositional buoyancy drive vigorous convection that sustains the geodynamo, although critical details of light-element composition and thermal regime remain uncertain. Seismic velocity models can provide important constraints on the light element composition, however global reference models, such as Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM), IASP91 and AK135 vary significantly in the 200 km below the core-mantle boundary. Past studies of the outermost core velocity structure have been hampered by traveltime uncertainties due to lowermost mantle heterogeneities. The recently published Empirical Transfer Function (ETF) method has been shown to reduce the uncertainty using a waveform stacking approach to improve global observations of SmKS teleseismic waves. Here, we apply the ETF method to achieve a precise top-of-core velocity measurement of 8.05 ± 0.03 km/s. This new model accords well with PREM. Since PREM is based on the adiabatic form of the Adams-Williamson equation, it assumes a well mixed (i.e. homogeneous) composition. This result suggests a lack of heterogeneity in the outermost core due to layering or stagnant convection.

  6. The zonal tidal effect on the variation in the rotation rate of the Earth with a fluid core I. Improvements on the theoretical formulae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Han-Wei; Zheng, Yong; Du, Lan; Pan, Guan-Song

    The tidal variation in Earth's rotation rate is a periodical response to solar-lunar tide generating potential (TGP). In this article, the factor of the fluid core, which is related with the variation in the polar moment of inertia of the Earth, is considered and introduced distinctly into the theoretical formula of the variation in the Earth's rotational rate caused by lunar-solar tide-producing force based on the dynamics principle of the fluid core Earth. Different from previously work, some Doodson developments are given including the variation formulae of the Earth's rotational rate, LOD and UT1. The reasons are pointed why the moment of inertia for the scale should be the effective polar rotational moment of inertia of the mantle and the Love number should be the effective Love number of the mantle. It is also indicated that the factor of the fluid core is consistent with the effect of the effective Love number of the mantle due to fluid core.

  7. Composition of the earth's upper mantle. II - Volatile trace elements in ultramafic xenoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J. W.; Wandless, G. A.; Petrie, R. K.; Irving, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    Radiochemical neutron activation analysis was used to determine the nine volatile elements Ag, Bi, Cd, In, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, and Zn in 19 ultramafic rocks, consisting mainly of spinel and garnet lherzolites. A sheared garnet lherzolite, PHN 1611, may approximate undepleted mantle material and tends to have a higher volatile element content than the depleted mantle material represented by spinel lherzolites. Comparisons of continental basalts with PHN 1611 and of oceanic ridge basalts with spinel lherzolites show similar basalt: source material partition factors for eight of the nine volatile elements, Sb being the exception. The strong depletion of Te and Se in the mantle, relative to lithophile elements of similar volatility, suggests that 97% of the earth's S, Se and Te may be in the outer core.

  8. The Earth's heterogeneous mantle a geophysical, geodynamical, and geochemical perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Amir

    2015-01-01

    This book highlights and discusses recent developments that have contributed to an improved understanding of observed mantle heterogeneities and their relation to the thermo-chemical state of Earth's mantle, which ultimately holds the key to unlocking the secrets of the evolution of our planet. This series of topical reviews and original contributions address 4 themes. Theme 1 covers topics in geophysics, including global and regional seismic tomography, electrical conductivity and seismic imaging of mantle discontinuities and heterogeneities in the upper mantle, transition zone and lower mantle. Theme 2 addresses geochemical views of the mantle including lithospheric evolution from analysis of mantle xenoliths, composition of the deep Earth and the effect of water on subduction-zone processes. Theme 3 discusses geodynamical perspectives on the global thermo-chemical structure of the deep mantle. Theme 4 covers application of mineral physics data and phase equilibrium computations to infer the regional-scale ...

  9. Seismic anisotropy; a window on how the Earth works: multiple mechanisms and sites, from shallow mantle to inner core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmaston, Miles

    2013-04-01

    Since the seismic anisotropy (SA) in the uppermost oceanic mantle was discovered [1] and attributed to the shearing of olivine by an MOR-divergent flow velocity gradient, rheological mobility interpretations of this type have dominated studies of SA there and elsewhere in the Earth. Here I describe two other SA-generating mechanisms. I will reason that one of these, the anisotropic crystallization from melt, bids fair largely to replace the shearing one and be present in even larger volumes of the Earth, both within its outer 100km and in the Inner Core. The other, the layered deposition of disparate substances, offers to explain the ULVZs and SA in D''. We start with the Upper Mantle. New constraints on its rheological properties and dynamical behaviour have come from two directions. Firstly, contrary to the seismologists' rule-book, the oceanic LVZ is no longer to be thought of as mobile because the presence of interstitial melt strips out the water-weakening of the mineral structure [2, 3]. So we require a substitute for the divergent-flow model for MORs. In fact it also has three other, apparently unrecognized, dynamical inconsistencies. One of these [4] is that there are in the record many rapid changes of spreading rate and direction, and ridge jumps. This cannot happen with a process driven by slow-to-change body forces. Secondly, during the past decade, my work on the global dynamics for the past 150Ma (I will show examples) has shown [4 - 7] that the tectospheres of cratons must extend to very close to the bottom of the upper mantle. And that East Antarctica's 'keel' must actually reach it, because its CW rotation [7] suggests it has been picking up an electromagnetic torque from the CMB via the lower mantle. Xenoliths suggest that the reason for this downwards extent of 'keels' is the same as [3]. To meet these two sets of constraints I will demonstrate my now not-so-new MOR model, which has a narrow, wall-accreting subaxial crack. Among its many features

  10. Pole-strength of the earth from Magsat and magnetic determination of the core radius

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voorhies, G. V.; Benton, E. R.

    1982-01-01

    A model based on two days of Magsat data is used to numerically evaluate the unsigned magnetic flux linking the earth's surface, and a comparison of the 16.054 GWb value calculated with values from earlier geomagnetic field models reveals a smooth, monotonic, and recently-accelerating decrease in the earth's pole strength at a 50-year average rate of 8.3 MWb, or 0.052%/year. Hide's (1978) magnetic technique for determining the radius of the earth's electrically-conducting core is tested by (1) extrapolating main field models for 1960 and 1965 downward through the nearly-insulating mantle, and then separately comparing them to equivalent, extrapolated models of Magsat data. The two unsigned fluxes are found to equal the Magsat values at a radius which is within 2% of the core radius; and (2) the 1960 main field and secular variation and acceleration coefficients are used to derive models of 1930, 1940 and 1950. The same core magnetic radius value, within 2% of the seismic value, is obtained. It is concluded that the mantle is a nearly-perfect insulator, while the core is a perfect conductor, on the decade time scale.

  11. Earth's Outer Core Properties Estimated Using Bayesian Inversion of Normal Mode Eigenfrequencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irving, J. C. E.; Cottaar, S.; Lekic, V.

    2016-12-01

    The outer core is arguably Earth's most dynamic region, and consists of an iron-nickel liquid with an unknown combination of lighter alloying elements. Frequencies of Earth's normal modes provide the strongest constraints on the radial profiles of compressional wavespeed, VΦ, and density, ρ, in the outer core. Recent great earthquakes have yielded new normal mode measurements; however, mineral physics experiments and calculations are often compared to the Preliminary reference Earth model (PREM), which is 35 years old and does not provide uncertainties. Here we investigate the thermo-elastic properties of the outer core using Earth's free oscillations and a Bayesian framework. To estimate radial structure of the outer core and its uncertainties, we choose to exploit recent datasets of normal mode centre frequencies. Under the self-coupling approximation, centre frequencies are unaffected by lateral heterogeneities in the Earth, for example in the mantle. Normal modes are sensitive to both VΦ and ρ in the outer core, with each mode's specific sensitivity depending on its eigenfunctions. We include a priori bounds on outer core models that ensure compatibility with measurements of mass and moment of inertia. We use Bayesian Monte Carlo Markov Chain techniques to explore different choices in parameterizing the outer core, each of which represents different a priori constraints. We test how results vary (1) assuming a smooth polynomial parametrization, (2) allowing for structure close to the outer core's boundaries, (3) assuming an Equation-of-State and adiabaticity and inverting directly for thermo-elastic parameters. In the second approach we recognize that the outer core may have distinct regions close to the core-mantle and inner core boundaries and investigate models which parameterize the well mixed outer core separately from these two layers. In the last approach we seek to map the uncertainties directly into thermo-elastic parameters including the bulk

  12. Inner Core Tilt and Polar Motion: Probing the Dynamics Deep Inside the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumberry, M.; Bloxham, J.

    2003-12-01

    A tilted inner core permits exchange of angular momentum between the core and the mantle through gravitational and pressure torques and, as a result, changes in the direction of Earth's axis of rotation with respect to the mantle. Some of the observed variations in the direction of Earth's rotation could then be caused by equatorial torques on the inner core which tilt the latter out of its alignment with the mantle. In this work, we investigate whether such a scenario could explain the decade polar motion known as the Markowitz wobble. We show that a decade polar motion of the same amplitude as the observed Markowitz wobble requires a torque of 1020 N m which tilts the inner core by 0.07 degrees. This result critically depends on the viscosity of the inner core; for a viscosity less than 5 x 1017 Pa s, larger torques are required. A torque of 1020 N m with decadal periodicity can perhaps be produced by electromagnetic coupling between the inner core and a component of the flow in the outer core known as torsional oscillations, provided that the radial magnetic field at the inner core boundary is on the order of 3 to 4 mT and satisfies certain geometrical constraints. The resulting polar motion thus produced is eccentric and polarized, in agreement with the observations. Our model suggests that equatorial torques at the inner core boundary might also excite the Chandler wobble, provided shorter wavelength torsional oscillations with higher natural frequencies have enough power or provided there exists another physical mechanism that can generate a large torque at a 14 month period.

  13. Normal Mode Derived Models of the Physical Properties of Earth's Outer Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irving, J. C. E.; Cottaar, S.; Lekic, V.; Wu, W.

    2017-12-01

    Earth's outer core, the largest reservoir of metal in our planet, is comprised of an iron alloy of an uncertain composition. Its dynamical behaviour is responsible for the generation of Earth's magnetic field, with convection driven both by thermal and chemical buoyancy fluxes. Existing models of the seismic velocity and density of the outer core exhibit some variation, and there are only a small number of models which aim to represent the outer core's density.It is therefore important that we develop a better understanding of the physical properties of the outer core. Though most of the outer core is likely to be well mixed, it is possible that the uppermost outer core is stably stratified: it may be enriched in light elements released during the growth of the solid, iron enriched, inner core; by elements dissolved from the mantle into the outer core; or by exsolution of compounds previously dissolved in the liquid metal which will eventually be swept into the mantle. The stratified layer may host MAC or Rossby waves and it could impede communication between the chemically differentiated mantle and outer core, including screening out some of the geodynamo's signal. We use normal mode center frequencies to estimate the physical properties of the outer core in a Bayesian framework. We estimate the mineral physical parameters needed to best produce velocity and density models of the outer core which are consistent with the normal mode observations. We require that our models satisfy realistic physical constraints. We create models of the outer core with and without a distinct uppermost layer and assess the importance of this region.Our normal mode-derived models are compared with observations of body waves which travel through the outer core. In particular, we consider SmKS waves which are especially sensitive to the uppermost outer core and are therefore an important way to understand the robustness of our models.

  14. Stability of iron-rich magnesiowüstite in Earth's lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, K.; Fujino, K.; Kuwayama, Y.; Kondo, T.; Shimizu, K.; Ohishi, Y.

    2012-12-01

    At ambient conditions, MgO periclase and FeO wüstite form a solid solution (Mg1-xFex)O, named ferropericlase (x ≤ 0.5) and magnesiowüstite (x > 0.5). (Mg1-xFex)O ferropericlase is considered to be a major component of Earth's lower mantle, and may play an important role for its structure and dynamics. Iron-rich magnesiowüstite also needs to be considered because of possible iron enrichment at the core-mantle boundary region [e.g., Nomura et al., 2011]. Recent laser-heated diamond anvil cell experiments on FeO revealed that NaCl-type (B1) structured FeO underwent an insulator-metal transition at about 70 GPa and 1800 K without any structural transformation [Fischer et al., 2011; Ohta et al., 2012]. These results imply that the metallic B1 FeO would require a two-phase field for the MgO-FeO binary system due to different chemical bonding between insulating MgO and metallic FeO. We performed simultaneous electrical conductivity and x-ray diffraction measurements on (Mg0.20Fe0.80)O and (Mg0.05Fe0.95)O magnesiowüstite up to 140 GPa and 2100 K, and then examined recovered samples by using analytical transmission electron microprobe. We obtained some evidences for the dissociation of (Mg0.05Fe0.95)O into lighter and heavier phases than starting material occurring above 70 GPa and 1900 K, which is most likely due to the metallization of FeO component. On the other hand, we did not observe such dissociation and metallization in (Mg0.20Fe0.80)O. Observed dissociation in (Mg0.05Fe0.95)O might contribute to the heterogeneity in seismic wave and electrical conductivity at the Earth's core-mantle boundary region.

  15. The elastic constants of MgSiO3 perovskite at pressures and temperatures of the Earth's mantle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oganov, A R; Brodholt, J P; Price, G D

    2001-06-21

    The temperature anomalies in the Earth's mantle associated with thermal convection can be inferred from seismic tomography, provided that the elastic properties of mantle minerals are known as a function of temperature at mantle pressures. At present, however, such information is difficult to obtain directly through laboratory experiments. We have therefore taken advantage of recent advances in computer technology, and have performed finite-temperature ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of the elastic properties of MgSiO3 perovskite, the major mineral of the lower mantle, at relevant thermodynamic conditions. When combined with the results from tomographic images of the mantle, our results indicate that the lower mantle is either significantly anelastic or compositionally heterogeneous on large scales. We found the temperature contrast between the coldest and hottest regions of the mantle, at a given depth, to be about 800 K at 1,000 km, 1,500 K at 2,000 km, and possibly over 2,000 K at the core-mantle boundary.

  16. A wet, heterogeneous lunar interior: Lower mantle and core dynamo evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, A. J.; Zuber, M. T.; Weiss, B. P.; Tikoo, S. M.

    2014-05-01

    While recent analyses of lunar samples indicate the Moon had a core dynamo from at least 4.2-3.56 Ga, mantle convection models of the Moon yield inadequate heat flux at the core-mantle boundary to sustain thermal core convection for such a long time. Past investigations of lunar dynamos have focused on a generally homogeneous, relatively dry Moon, while an initial compositionally stratified mantle is the expected consequence of a postaccretionary lunar magma ocean. Furthermore, recent re-examination of Apollo samples and geophysical data suggests that the Moon contains at least some regions with high water content. Using a finite element model, we investigate the possible consequences of a heterogeneously wet, compositionally stratified interior for the evolution of the Moon. We find that a postoverturn model of mantle cumulates could result in a core heat flux sufficiently high to sustain a dynamo through 2.5 Ga and a maximum surface, dipolar magnetic field strength of less than 1 μT for a 350-km core and near ˜2 μT for a 450-km core. We find that if water was transported or retained preferentially in the deep interior, it would have played a significant role in transporting heat out of the deep interior and reducing the lower mantle temperature. Thus, water, if enriched in the lower mantle, could have influenced core dynamo timing by over 1.0 Gyr and enhanced the vigor of a lunar core dynamo. Our results demonstrate the plausibility of a convective lunar core dynamo even beyond the period currently indicated by the Apollo samples.

  17. Modeling the Conducting Stably-Stratified Layer of the Earth's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petitdemange, L.; Philidet, J.; Gissinger, C.

    2017-12-01

    Observations of the Earth magnetic field as well as recent theoretical works tend to show that the Earth's outer liquid core is mostly comprised of a convective zone in which the Earth's magnetic field is generated - likely by dynamo action -, but also features a thin, stably stratified layer at the top of the core.We carry out direct numerical simulations by modeling this thin layer as an axisymmetric spherical Couette flow for a stably stratified fluid embedded in a dipolar magnetic field. The dynamo region is modeled by a conducting inner core rotating slightly faster than the insulating mantle due to magnetic torques acting on it, such that a weak differential rotation (low Rossby limit) can develop in the stably stratified layer.In the case of a non-stratified fluid, the combined action of the differential rotation and the magnetic field leads to the well known regime of `super-rotation', in which the fluid rotates faster than the inner core. Whereas in the classical case, this super-rotation is known to vanish in the magnetostrophic limit, we show here that the fluid stratification significantly extends the magnitude of the super-rotation, keeping this phenomenon relevant for the Earth core. Finally, we study how the shear layers generated by this new state might give birth to magnetohydrodynamic instabilities or waves impacting the secular variations or jerks of the Earth's magnetic field.

  18. Sensitivity of the Geomagnetic Octupole to a Stably Stratified Layer in the Earth's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, C.; Stanley, S.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of a stably stratified layer at the top of the core has long been proposed for Earth, based on evidence from seismology and geomagnetic secular variation. Geodynamo modeling offers a unique window to inspect the properties and dynamics in Earth's core. For example, numerical simulations have shown that magnetic field morphology is sensitive to the presence of stably stratified layers in a planet's core. Here we use the mMoSST numerical dynamo model to investigate the effects of a thin stably stratified layer at the top of the fluid outer core in Earth on the resulting large-scale geomagnetic field morphology. We find that the existence of a stable layer has significant influence on the octupolar component of the magnetic field in our models, whereas the quadrupole doesn't show an obvious trend. This suggests that observations of the geomagnetic field can be applied to provide information of the properties of this plausible stable layer, such as how thick and how stable this layer could be. Furthermore, we have examined whether the dominant thermal signature from mantle tomography at the core-mantle boundary (CMB) (a degree & order 2 spherical harmonic) can influence our results. We found that this heat flux pattern at the CMB has no outstanding effects on the quadrupole and octupole magnetic field components. Our studies suggest that if there is a stably stratified layer at the top of the Earth's core, it must be limited in terms of stability and thickness, in order to be compatible with the observed paleomagnetic record.

  19. Precise seismic-wave velocity atop Earth's core: No evidence for outer-core stratification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandrakis, Catherine; Eaton, David W.

    2010-05-01

    Earth's outer core is composed of liquid Fe and Ni alloyed with a ˜10% fraction of light elements such as O, S, or Si. Secular cooling and compositional buoyancy drive vigorous convection that sustains the geodynamo, but critical details of light-element composition and thermal regime remain uncertain. Seismic velocities can provide important observational constraints on these parameters, but global reference models such as Preliminary Reference Earth Model ( PREM), IASP91 and AK135 exhibit significant discrepancies in the outermost ˜200 km of the core. Here, we apply an Empirical Transfer Function method to obtain precise arrival times for SmKS waves, a whispering-gallery mode that propagates near the underside of the core-mantle boundary. Models that fit our data are all characterized by seismic velocities and depth gradients in the outermost 200 km of the core that correspond best with PREM. This similarity to PREM, which has a smooth velocity profile that satisfies the adiabatic Adams and Williamson equation, argues against the presence of an anomalous layer of light material near the top of the core as suggested in some previous studies. A new model, AE09, is proposed as a slight modification to PREM for use as a reference model of the outermost core.

  20. Thermodynamic properties, melting temperature and viscosity of the mantles of Super Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenkovic, V.; Spohn, T.; Breuer, D.

    2010-12-01

    The recent dicscovery of extrasolar planets with radii of about twice the Earth radius and masses of several Earth masses such as e.g., Corot-7b (approx 5Mearth and 1.6Rearth, Queloz et al. 2009) has increased the interest in the properties of rock at extremely high pressures. While the pressure at the Earth’s core-mantle boundary is about 135GPa, pressures at the base of the mantles of extraterrestrial rocky planets - if these are at all differentiated into mantles and cores - may reach Tera Pascals. Although the properties and the mineralogy of rock at extremely high pressure is little known there have been speculations about mantle convection, plate tectonics and dynamo action in these “Super-Earths”. We assume that the mantles of these planets can be thought of as consisting of perovskite but we discuss the effects of the post-perovskite transition and of MgO. We use the Keane equation of state and the Slater relation (see e.g., Stacey and Davies 2004) to derive an infinite pressure value for the Grüneisen parameter of 1.035. To derive this value we adopted the infinite pressure limit for K’ (pressure derivative of the bulk modulus) of 2.41 as derived by Stacey and Davies (2004) by fitting PREM. We further use the Lindeman law to calculate the melting curve. We gauge the melting curve using the available experimental data for pressures up to 120GPa. The melting temperature profile reaches 6000K at 135GPa and increases to temperatures between 12,000K and 24,000K at 1.1TPa with a preferred value of 21,000K. We find the adiabatic temperature increase to reach 2,500K at 135GPa and 5,400K at 1.1TPa. To calculate the pressure dependence of the viscosity we assume that the rheology is diffusion controlled and calculate the partial derivative with respect to pressure of the activation enthalpy. We cast the partial derivative in terms of an activation volume and use the semi-empirical homologous temperature scaling (e.g., Karato 2008). We find that the

  1. Evolution of the Oxidation State of the Earth's Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L. R.; Righter, K.; Keller, L.; Christoffersen, E.; Rahman, Z.

    2015-01-01

    The oxidation state of the Earth's mantle during formation remains an unresolved question, whether it was constant throughout planetary accretion, transitioned from reduced to oxidized, or from oxidized to reduced. We investigate the stability of Fe3(+) at depth, in order to constrain processes (water, late accretion, dissociation of FeO) which may reduce or oxidize the Earth's mantle. In our previous experiments on shergottite compositions, variable fO2, T, and P less than 4 GPa, Fe3(+)/sigma Fe decreased slightly with increasing P, similar to terrestrial basalt. For oxidizing experiments less than 7GPa, Fe3(+)/sigma Fe decreased as well, but it's unclear from previous modelling whether the deeper mantle could retain significant Fe3(+). Our current experiments expand our pressure range deeper into the Earth's mantle and focus on compositions and conditions relevant to the early Earth. Preliminary multi-anvil experiments with Knippa basalt as the starting composition were conducted at 5-7 GPa and 1800 C, using a molybdenum capsule to set the fO2 near IW, by buffering with Mo-MoO3. TEM and EELS analyses revealed the run products quenched to polycrystalline phases, with the major phase pyroxene containing approximately equal to Fe3(+)/2(+). Experiments are underway to produce glassy samples that can be measured by EELS and XANES, and are conducted at higher pressures.

  2. Ultra-low velocity zone heterogeneities at the core-mantle boundary from diffracted PKKPab waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaolong; Sun, Xinlei

    2017-08-01

    Diffracted waves around Earth's core could provide important information of the lowermost mantle that other seismic waves may not. We examined PKKPab diffraction waves from 52 earthquakes occurring at the western Pacific region and recorded by USArray to probe the velocity structure along the core-mantle boundary (CMB). These diffracted waves emerge at distances up to 10° past the theoretical cutoff epicentral distance and show comparable amplitudes. We measured the ray parameters of PKKPab diffraction waves by Radon transform analysis that is suitable for large-aperture arrays. These ray parameters show a wide range of values from 4.250 to 4.840 s/deg, suggesting strong lateral heterogeneities in sampling regions at the base of the mantle. We further estimated the P-wave velocity variations by converting these ray parameters and found the CMB regions beneath the northwestern edge of African Anomaly (Ritsma et al. in Science 286:1925-1928, 1999) and southern Sumatra Islands exhibit velocity reductions up to 8.5% relative to PREM. We suggest that these low velocity regions are Ultra-low velocity zones, which may be related to partial melt or iron-enriched solids.[Figure not available: see fulltext.

  3. HYDROGEN IN THE EARTH’S OUTER CORE, AND ITS ROLE IN THE DEEP EARTH GEODYNAMICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. N. Rumyantsev

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The content of hydrogen in the outer core of the Earth is roughly quantified from the dependence of the density of iron (viewed as the main component of the core on the amount of hydrogen dissolved in the core, with account of the most likely presence of iron hydrogen in the outer core, and the matter’s density jumps at the boundaries between the outer liquid core and the internal solid core (that is devoid of hydrogen and the mantle. Estimations for the outer liquid core show that the hydrogen content varies from 0.67 wt. % at the boundary with the solid inner core to 3.04 wt. % at the boundary with the mantle.Iron occlusion is viewed as the most likely mechanism for the iron–nickel core to capture such a significant amount of hydrogen. Iron occlusion took place at the stage of the young sun when the metallic core emerged in the cooling protoplanetary cloud containing hydrogen in high amounts, and non-volatile hydrogen was accumulated. Absorption (occlusion of molecular hydrogen was preceded by dissociation of molecules into atoms and ionization of the atoms, as proved by results of studies focused on Fe–H2 system, and hydrogen dissipation was thus prevented. The core matter was subject to gravitational compression at high pressures that contributed to the forced rapprochement of protons and electrons which interaction resulted by the formation of hydrogen atoms. Highly active hydrogen atoms reacted with metals and produced hydrides of iron and nickel, FeH and NiH. While the metallic core and then the silicate mantle were growing and consolidating, the stability of FeH and NiH was maintained due to pressures that were steadily increasing. Later on, due to the impacts of external forces on the Earth, marginal layers at the mantle–core boundary were detached and displaced, pressures decreased in the system, and iron and nickel hydrides were decomposed to produce molecular hydrogen. Consequences of the hydrides transformation into

  4. Constitution and structure of earth's mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zunino, Andrea; Khan, Amir; Cupillard, Paul

    2016-01-01

    the inaccessible parts of the Earth. Computation of physical properties using thermodynamic models is described and discussed, and an application of the joint inverse methodology is illustrated in a case study where mantle composition and thermal state beneath continental Australia is determined directly from...

  5. Secondary overprinting of S-Se-Te signatures in the Earth's mantle: Implications for the Late Veneer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, S.; Luguet, A.; Lorand, J.; Pearson, D.

    2013-12-01

    Sulphur, Selenium and Tellurium are both chalcophile and highly siderophile elements (HSE) with near-chondritic ratios and absolute abundances in the terrestrial mantle that exceed those predicted by core-mantle differentiation[1]. These 'excess' HSE abundances have been attributed to addition of ca. 0.5% of chondrite-like material that hit the Earth in its accretionary stage between 4 to 3.8 billion years ago after core-mantle differentiation (Late Veneer[2]). Therefore, like other HSE, S, Se and Te are considered potential tracers for the composition of the Late Veneer, provided that their bulk silicate Earth abundances are properly constrained. In contrast to ca. 250 ppm S, Se and Te are ultra-trace elements in the terrestrial mantle. Like all HSE, they are furthermore controlled by base metal sulphides (BMS) and micrometric platinum group minerals (PGMs)[3]. This strong control exerted by the host mineralogy and petrology on the S-Se-Te systematics at both the micro-scale and the whole-rock scale makes detailed mineralogical and petrological studies of BMS and PGM a pre-requisite to fully understand and accurately interpret the whole-rock signatures. Here we combine in-situ sulphide data and detailed mineralogical observations with whole-rock S-Se-Te-HSE signatures of both lherzolites and harburgites from different geodynamic settings. We demonstrate that the near-chondritic Se and Te signature of 'fertile' mantle rocks (Se/Te ≈9×5) is not a primitive signature of the Earth's mantle, but rather reflects strong enrichment in metasomatic HSE host phases, which erased previous pristine signatures. Consequently, current attempts to identify a potential Late Veneer composition are seriously flawed because, neither refertilisation/metasomatism nor true melt depletion (e.g. harzburgitic residues) have been taken into account for the Primitive Upper Mantle composition estimate[4]. Our combined whole rock and in-situ sulphide data indicate a refertilisation trend

  6. Magnetohydrodynamic Convection in the Outer Core and its Geodynamic Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Weijia; Chao, Benjamin F.; Fang, Ming

    2004-01-01

    The Earth's fluid outer core is in vigorous convection through much of the Earth's history. In addition to generating and maintaining Earth s time-varying magnetic field (geodynamo), the core convection also generates mass redistribution in the core and a dynamical pressure field on the core-mantle boundary (CMB). All these shall result in various core-mantle interactions, and contribute to surface geodynamic observables. For example, electromagnetic core-mantle coupling arises from finite electrically conducting lower mantle; gravitational interaction occurs between the cores and the heterogeneous mantle; mechanical coupling may also occur when the CMB topography is aspherical. Besides changing the mantle rotation via the coupling torques, the mass-redistribution in the core shall produce a spatial-temporal gravity anomaly. Numerical modeling of the core dynamical processes contributes in several geophysical disciplines. It helps explain the physical causes of surface geodynamic observables via space geodetic techniques and other means, e.g. Earth's rotation variation on decadal time scales, and secular time-variable gravity. Conversely, identification of the sources of the observables can provide additional insights on the dynamics of the fluid core, leading to better constraints on the physics in the numerical modeling. In the past few years, our core dynamics modeling efforts, with respect to our MoSST model, have made significant progress in understanding individual geophysical consequences. However, integrated studies are desirable, not only because of more mature numerical core dynamics models, but also because of inter-correlation among the geophysical phenomena, e.g. mass redistribution in the outer core produces not only time-variable gravity, but also gravitational core-mantle coupling and thus the Earth's rotation variation. They are expected to further facilitate multidisciplinary studies of core dynamics and interactions of the core with other

  7. Deep mantle roots and continental hypsometry: implications for whole-Earth elemental cycling, long-term climate, and the Cambrian explosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C. T.

    2016-12-01

    Most of Earth's continents today are above sea level, but the presence of thick packages of ancient sediments on top of the stable cores of continents indicates that continents must have been submerged at least once in their past. Elevations of continents are controlled by the interplay between crustal thickness, mantle root thickness and the temperature of the ambient convecting mantle. The history of a continent begins with mountain building through magmatic or tectonic crustal thickening, during which exhumation of deep-seated igneous and metamorphic rocks are highest. Mountain building is followed by a long interval of subsidence as a result of continued, but decreasing erosion and thermal relaxation, the latter in the form of a growing thermal boundary layer. Subsidence is manifest first as a boring interval in which no sedimentary record is preserved, followed by continent-scale submergence wherein sediments are deposited directly on deep-seated igneous/metamorphic basement, generating a major disconformity. The terminal resting elevation of a mature continent, however, is defined by the temperature of the ambient convecting mantle: below sea level when the mantle is hot and above sea level when the mantle is cold. Using thermobarometric constraints on secular cooling of Earth's mantle, our results suggest that Earth, for most of its history, must have been a water world, with regions of land confined to narrow orogenic belts and oceans characterized by deep basins and shallow continental seas, the latter serving as repositories of sediments and key redox-sensitive biological nutrients, such as phosphorous. Cooling of the Earth led to the gradual and irreversible rise of the continents, culminating in rapid emergence, through fits and starts and possible instabilities in climate, between 500-1000 Ma. Such emergence fundamentally altered marine biogeochemical cycling, continental weathering and the global hydrologic cycle, defining the backdrop for the

  8. Early episodes of high-pressure core formation preserved in plume mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Colin R. M.; Bennett, Neil R.; Du, Zhixue; Cottrell, Elizabeth; Fei, Yingwei

    2018-01-01

    The decay of short-lived iodine (I) and plutonium (Pu) results in xenon (Xe) isotopic anomalies in the mantle that record Earth’s earliest stages of formation. Xe isotopic anomalies have been linked to degassing during accretion, but degassing alone cannot account for the co-occurrence of Xe and tungsten (W) isotopic heterogeneity in plume-derived basalts and their long-term preservation in the mantle. Here we describe measurements of I partitioning between liquid Fe alloys and liquid silicates at high pressure and temperature and propose that Xe isotopic anomalies found in modern plume rocks (that is, rocks with elevated 3He/4He ratios) result from I/Pu fractionations during early, high-pressure episodes of core formation. Our measurements demonstrate that I becomes progressively more siderophile as pressure increases, so that portions of mantle that experienced high-pressure core formation will have large I/Pu depletions not related to volatility. These portions of mantle could be the source of Xe and W anomalies observed in modern plume-derived basalts. Portions of mantle involved in early high-pressure core formation would also be rich in FeO, and hence denser than ambient mantle. This would aid the long-term preservation of these mantle portions, and potentially points to their modern manifestation within seismically slow, deep mantle reservoirs with high 3He/4He ratios.

  9. The focusing effect of P-wave in the Moon's and Earth's low-velocity core. Analytical solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatyanov, A. G.; Burmin, V. Yu

    2018-04-01

    The important aspect in the study of the structure of the interiors of planets is the question of the presence and state of core inside them. While for the Earth this task was solved long ago, the question of whether the core of the Moon is in a liquid or solid state up to the present is debatable up to present. If the core of the Moon is liquid, then the velocity of longitudinal waves in it should be lower than in the surrounding mantle. If the core is solid, then most likely, the velocity of longitudinal waves in it is higher than in the mantle. Numerical calculations of the wave field allow us to identify the criteria for drawing conclusions about the state of the lunar core. In this paper we consider the problem of constructing an analytical solution for wave fields in a layered sphere of arbitrary radius. A stable analytic solution is obtained for the wave fields of longitudinal waves in a three-layer sphere. Calculations of the total wave fields and rays for simplified models of the Earth and the Moon with real parameters are presented. The analytical solution and the ray pattern showed that the low-velocity cores of the Earth and the Moon possess the properties of a collecting lens. This leads to the emergence of a wave field focusing area. As a result, focused waves of considerable amplitude appear on the surface of the Earth and the Moon. In the Earth case, they appear before the first PKP-wave arrival. These are so-called "precursors", which continue in the subsequent arrivals of waves. At the same time, for the simplified model of the Earth, the maximum amplitude growth is observed in the 147-degree region. For the Moon model, the maximum amplitude growth is around 180°.

  10. Mass Redistribution in the Core and Time-varying Gravity at the Earth's Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Wei-Jia; Chao, Benjamin F.; Fang, Ming

    2003-01-01

    The Earth's liquid outer core is in convection, as suggested by the existence of the geomagnetic field in much of the Earth's history. One consequence of the convection is the redistribution of mass resulting from relative motion among fluid parcels with slightly different densities. This time dependent mass redistribution inside the core produces a small perturbation on the gravity field of the Earth. With our numerical dynamo solutions, we find that the mass redistribution (and the resultant gravity field) symmetric about the equator is much stronger than that anti-symmetric about the equator. In particular, J(sub 2) component is the strongest. In addition, the gravity field variation increases with the Rayleigh number that measures the driving force for the geodynamo in the core. With reasonable scaling from the current dynamo solutions, we could expect that at the surface of the Earth, the J(sub 2) variation from the core is on the order of l0(exp -16)/year relative to the mean (i.e. spherically symmetric) gravity field of the Earth. The possible shielding effect due to core-mantle boundary pressure variation loading is likely much smaller and is therefore negligible. Our results suggest that time-varying gravity field perturbation due to core mass redistribution may be measured with modem space geodetic observations, which will result a new means of detecting dynamical processes in the Earth's deep interior.

  11. The viscosity of Earth's lower mantle inferred from sinking speed of subducted lithosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Čížková, H.; van den Berg, A.P.; Spakman, W.; Matyska, C.

    2012-01-01

    The viscosity of the mantle is indispensable for predicting Earth's mechanical behavior at scales ranging from deep mantle material flow to local stress accumulation in earthquakes zones. But, mantle viscosity is not well determined. For the lower mantle, particularly, only few constraints result

  12. Evolution of the earliest mantle caused by the magmatism-mantle upwelling feedback: Implications for the Moon and the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, M.

    2017-12-01

    The two most important agents that cause mantle evolution are magmatism and mantle convection. My earlier 2D numerical models of a coupled magmatism-mantle convection system show that these two agents strongly couple each other, when the Rayleigh number Ra is sufficiently high: magmatism induced by a mantle upwelling flow boosts the upwelling flow itself. The mantle convection enhanced by this positive feedback (the magmatism-mantle upwelling, or MMU, feedback) causes vigorous magmatism and, at the same time, strongly stirs the mantle. I explored how the MMU feedback influences the evolution of the earliest mantle that contains the magma ocean, based on a numerical model where the mantle is hot and its topmost 1/3 is partially molten at the beginning of the calculation: The evolution drastically changes its style, as Ra exceeds the threshold for onset of the MMU feedback, around 107. At Ra 107, however, the mantle remains compositionally more homogeneous in spite of the widespread magmatism, and the deep mantle remains hotter than the shallow mantle, because of the strong convective stirring caused by the feedback. The threshold value suggests that the mantle of a planet larger than Mars evolves in a way substantially different from that in the Moon does. Indeed, in my earlier models, magmatism makes the early mantle compositionally stratified in the Moon, but the effects of strong convective stirring overwhelms that of magmatism to keep the mantle compositionally rather homogeneous in Venus and the Earth. The MMU feedback is likely to be a key to understanding why vestiges of the magma ocean are so scarce in the Earth.

  13. Nitrogen evolution within the Earth's atmosphere-mantle system assessed by recycling in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallik, Ananya; Li, Yuan; Wiedenbeck, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of nitrogen (N) across Earth's history requires a comprehensive understanding of N's behaviour in the Earth's mantle - a massive reservoir of this volatile element. Investigation of terrestrial N systematics also requires assessment of its evolution in the Earth's atmosphere, especially to constrain the N content of the Archaean atmosphere, which potentially impacted water retention on the post-accretion Earth, potentially causing enough warming of surface temperatures for liquid water to exist. We estimated the proportion of recycled N in the Earth's mantle today, the isotopic composition of the primitive mantle, and the N content of the Archaean atmosphere based on the recycling rates of N in modern-day subduction zones. We have constrained recycling rates in modern-day subduction zones by focusing on the mechanism and efficiency of N transfer from the subducting slab to the sub-arc mantle by both aqueous fluids and slab partial melts. We also address the transfer of N by aqueous fluids as per the model of Li and Keppler (2014). For slab partial melts, we constrained the transfer of N in two ways - firstly, by an experimental study of the solubility limit of N in melt (which provides an upper estimate of N uptake by slab partial melts) and, secondly, by the partitioning of N between the slab and its partial melt. Globally, 45-74% of N introduced into the mantle by subduction enters the deep mantle past the arc magmatism filter, after taking into account the loss of N from the mantle by degassing at mid-ocean ridges, ocean islands and back-arcs. Although the majority of the N in the present-day mantle remains of primordial origin, our results point to a significant, albeit minor proportion of mantle N that is of recycled origin (17 ± 8% or 12 ± 5% of N in the present-day mantle has undergone recycling assuming that modern-style subduction was initiated 4 or 3 billion years ago, respectively). This proportion of recycled N is enough to

  14. Lower-mantle plume beneath the Yellowstone hotspot revealed by core waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Peter L.; Grand, Stephen P.

    2018-04-01

    The Yellowstone hotspot, located in North America, is an intraplate source of magmatism the cause of which is hotly debated. Some argue that a deep mantle plume sourced at the base of the mantle supplies the heat beneath Yellowstone, whereas others claim shallower subduction or lithospheric-related processes can explain the anomalous magmatism. Here we present a shear wave tomography model for the deep mantle beneath the western United States that was made using the travel times of core waves recorded by the dense USArray seismic network. The model reveals a single narrow, cylindrically shaped slow anomaly, approximately 350 km in diameter that we interpret as a whole-mantle plume. The anomaly is tilted to the northeast and extends from the core-mantle boundary to the surficial position of the Yellowstone hotspot. The structure gradually decreases in strength from the deepest mantle towards the surface and if it is purely a thermal anomaly this implies an initial excess temperature of 650 to 850 °C. Our results strongly support a deep origin for the Yellowstone hotspot, and also provide evidence for the existence of thin thermal mantle plumes that are currently beyond the resolution of global tomography models.

  15. Earth's variable rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hide, Raymond; Dickey, Jean O.

    1991-01-01

    Recent improvements in geodetic data and practical meteorology have advanced research on fluctuations in the earth's rotation. The interpretation of these fluctuations is inextricably linked with studies of the dynamics of the earth-moon system and dynamical processes in the liquid metallic core of the earth (where the geomagnetic field originates), other parts of the earth's interior, and the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Fluctuations in the length of the day occurring on decadal time scales have implications for the topographay of the core-mantle boundary and the electrical, magnetic, ande other properties of the core and lower mantle. Investigations of more rapid fluctuations bear on meteorological studies of interannual, seasonal, and intraseasonal variations in the general circulation of the atmosphere and the response of the oceans to such variations.

  16. Equation of State of Fe3C and Implications for the Carbon Content of Earth's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A.; Brauser, N.; Thompson, E. C.; Chidester, B.; Greenberg, E.; Prakapenka, V. B.; Campbell, A.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon is a common component in protoplanetary cores, as represented by iron meteorites. Therefore, along with silicon, oxygen, and other light elements, it is likely to be an alloying component with iron in Earth's core. Previous studies of the densities of iron carbides have not reached the combined pressure and temperature conditions relevant to Earth's core. To better understand the geophysical implications of carbon addition to Earth's core, we report P-V-T measurements of Fe3C to pressures and temperatures exceeding 110 GPa and 2500 K, using synchrotron X-ray diffraction in a laser heated diamond anvil cell. Fitting these measurements to an equation of state and assuming 1.5% density change upon melting and a 4000 K core-mantle boundary temperature, we report a value of 6 wt% carbon necessary to match the PREM density in the outer core. This value should be considered an upper bound due to the likely presence of other light elements.

  17. The origin of the moon and the early history of the earth - a chemical model. Part 2: The earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neill, H.St.C.

    1991-01-01

    The geochemical implications for the earth of a giant impact model for the origin of the earth-moon system are discussed, using a mass balance between three components: the proto-earth, the Impactor, and a late veneer. It is argued that the proto-earth accretes from material resembling a high temperature condensate from the solar nebula. Core formation takes place under very reducing conditions, resulting in the mantle of the proto-earth being completely stripped of all elements more siderophile than Fe, and partly depleted in the barely siderophile elements V, Cr, and perhaps Si. The Impactor then collides with the proto-earth, causing vaporisation of both the Impactor and a substantial portion of the earth's mantle. Most of this material recondenses to the earth, but some forms the moon. The Impactor adds most of the complement of the siderophile elements of the present mantle in an oxidized form. The oxidation state of the mantle is set near to its present, oxidized level. Finally, the addition of a late veneer, of composition similar to that of the H-group ordinary chondrites, accounts for the complement of the highly siderophile elements of the present mantle. The model accounts at least semi-quantitatively for the siderophile element abundances of the present mantle. Implications for the composition of the earth's core are discussed; the model predicts that neither S, O, nor Si should be present in sufficient quantities to provide the required light element in the core, whose identity, therefore, remains enigmatic

  18. Memories of Earth Formation in the Modern Mantle: W Isotopic Composition of Flood Basalt Lavas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizo Garza, H. L.; Walker, R. J.; Carlson, R.; Horan, M. F.; Mukhopadhyay, S.; Francis, D.; Jackson, M. G.

    2015-12-01

    Four and a half billion years of geologic activity has overprinted much of the direct evidence for processes involved in Earth's formation and its initial chemical differentiation. Xenon isotopic ratios [1] and 3He/22Ne ratios [2] suggest that heterogeneities formed during Earth's accretion have been preserved to the present time. New opportunities to learn about early Earth history have opened up with the development of analytical techniques that allow high precision analysis of short-lived isotopic systems. The Hf-W system (t½ = 8.9 Ma) is particularly valuable for studying events that occurred during the first ~50 Ma of Solar System history. Here we report new data for ~ 60 Ma Baffin Bay and ~ 120 Ma Ontong Java Plateau lava samples. Both are large igneous provinces that may have sampled a primitive, less degassed deep mantle reservoir that has remained isolated since shortly after Earth formation [3,4]. Three samples analyzed have 182W/184W ratios that are 10 to 48 ppm higher than our terrestrial standard. These excesses in 182W are the highest ever measured in terrestrial rocks, and may reflect 182W ingrowth in an early-formed high Hf/W mantle domain that was produced by magma ocean differentiation [5]. Long and short-lived Sm-Nd systematics in these samples, however, are inconsistent with this hypothesis. The 182W excessses could rather reflect the derivation of these lavas from a mantle reservoir that was isolated from late accretionary additions [6]. The chondritic initial Os isotopic compositions and highly siderophile element abundances of these samples, however, are inconsistent with this interpretation. Tungsten concentrations for the Baffin Bay and Ontong Java Plateau samples range from 23 ppb to 62 ppb, and are negatively correlated with their 182W/184W ratios. We propose that the source reservoirs for these flood basalts likely formed through Hf/W fractionation caused by core-forming events occuring over a protacted time interval during Earth

  19. Differentiation of crusts and cores of the terrestrial planets: lessons for the early Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solomon, S.C.

    1980-01-01

    It now appears probable that all of the terrestrial planets underwent some form of global chemical differentiation to produce crusts, mantles, and cores of variable relative mass fractions. There is direct seismic evidence for a crust on the Moon, and indirect evidence for distinct crusts on Mars and Venus. Substantial portions of these crusts have been in place since the time that heavy bombardment of the inner solar system ceased approximately 4 Ga ago. There is direct evidence for a sizeable core on Mars, indirect evidence for one on Mercury, and bounds on a possible small core for the Moon. Core formation is an important heat source confined to times prior to 4 Ga ago for Mercury and the Earth, but was not closely linked to crustal formation on the Moon nor, apparently, on Mars. The tectonic and volcanic histories of the surfaces of the terrestrial planets Moon, Mars, and Mercury can be used, with simple thermal history models, to restrict the earliest chemical differentiation to be shallow (outer 200-400 km) for the first two bodies and much more extensive for Mercury. Extension of these models to an Earth-size planet leads to the prediction of a hot and vigorously convecting mantle with an easily deformable crust immediately following core formation, and of the gradual development of a lithosphere and of plates with some lateral rigidity in Late Archean-Proterzoic times. (Auth.)

  20. A Thermal Evolution Model of the Earth Including the Biosphere, Continental Growth and Mantle Hydration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höning, D.; Spohn, T.

    2014-12-01

    By harvesting solar energy and converting it to chemical energy, photosynthetic life plays an important role in the energy budget of Earth [2]. This leads to alterations of chemical reservoirs eventually affecting the Earth's interior [4]. It further has been speculated [3] that the formation of continents may be a consequence of the evolution life. A steady state model [1] suggests that the Earth without its biosphere would evolve to a steady state with a smaller continent coverage and a dryer mantle than is observed today. We present a model including (i) parameterized thermal evolution, (ii) continental growth and destruction, and (iii) mantle water regassing and outgassing. The biosphere enhances the production rate of sediments which eventually are subducted. These sediments are assumed to (i) carry water to depth bound in stable mineral phases and (ii) have the potential to suppress shallow dewatering of the underlying sediments and crust due to their low permeability. We run a Monte Carlo simulation for various initial conditions and treat all those parameter combinations as success which result in the fraction of continental crust coverage observed for present day Earth. Finally, we simulate the evolution of an abiotic Earth using the same set of parameters but a reduced rate of continental weathering and erosion. Our results suggest that the origin and evolution of life could have stabilized the large continental surface area of the Earth and its wet mantle, leading to the relatively low mantle viscosity we observe at present. Without photosynthetic life on our planet, the Earth would be geodynamical less active due to a dryer mantle, and would have a smaller fraction of continental coverage than observed today. References[1] Höning, D., Hansen-Goos, H., Airo, A., Spohn, T., 2014. Biotic vs. abiotic Earth: A model for mantle hydration and continental coverage. Planetary and Space Science 98, 5-13. [2] Kleidon, A., 2010. Life, hierarchy, and the

  1. Behaviour of Rare Earth Elements during the Earth's core formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Pierre; Bouhifd, Mohamed Ali; Boyet, Maud; Hammouda, Tahar; Manthilake, Geeth

    2017-04-01

    Rare Earth Elements (REE) are classified in the refractory group, which means that they have a high temperature condensation and their volatility-controlled fractionation is limited to high-temperature processes. Anomalies have been measured for Eu, Yb and Sm, which are the REE with the lowest condensation temperatures in CAIs and chondrules (e.g. [1]). REE are particularly abundant in the sulfides of enstatite chondrites, 100 to 1000 times the CI value [e.g. 2,3], proving that these elements are not strictly lithophile under extremely reducing conditions. However by investigating experimentally the impact of Earth's core formation on the behavior of Sm and Nd, we have shown the absence of fractionation between Sm and Nd during the segregation of the metallic phase [4]. Recently, Wohlers and Wood [5] proposed that Nd and Sm could be fractionated in presence of a S-rich alloy phase. However, their results were obtained at pressure and temperature conditions below the plausible conditions of the Earth's core formation. Clearly, large pressure range needs to be covered before well-constrained model can be expected. Furthermore, our preliminary metal-silicate partitioning results show that Ce and Eu have higher metal/silicate partition coefficients than their neighboring elements, and that the presence of sulphur enhances the relative difference between partition coefficients. In this presentation, we will present and discuss new metal-silicate partition coefficients of all REE at a deep magma ocean at pressures ranging from those of the uppermost upper mantle ( 5 GPa) to a maximum pressure expected in the range of 20 GPa, temperatures ranging from 2500 to about 3000 K, and oxygen fugacities within IW-1 to IW-5 (1 to 5 orders of magnitude lower than the iron-wüstite buffer). We will discuss the effect of S, as well as the effect of H2O on the behaviour of REE during the Earth's core formation: recent models suggest that contrary to currently accepted beliefs, the

  2. Water in the Earth's Interior: Distribution and Origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, Anne H.; Schönbächler, Maria; Busemann, Henner; Karato, Shun-Ichiro

    2017-10-01

    The concentration and distribution of water in the Earth has influenced its evolution throughout its history. Even at the trace levels contained in the planet's deep interior (mantle and core), water affects Earth's thermal, deformational, melting, electrical and seismic properties, that control differentiation, plate tectonics and volcanism. These in turn influenced the development of Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and life. In addition to the ubiquitous presence of water in the hydrosphere, most of Earth's "water" actually occurs as trace amounts of hydrogen incorporated in the rock-forming silicate minerals that constitute the planet's crust and mantle, and may also be stored in the metallic core. The heterogeneous distribution of water in the Earth is the result of early planetary differentiation into crust, mantle and core, followed by remixing of lithosphere into the mantle after plate-tectonics started. The Earth's total water content is estimated at 18_{-15}^{+81} times the equivalent mass of the oceans (or a concentration of 3900_{-3300}^{+32700} ppm weight H2O). Uncertainties in this estimate arise primarily from the less-well-known concentrations for the lower mantle and core, since samples for water analyses are only available from the crust, the upper mantle and very rarely from the mantle transition zone (410-670 km depth). For the lower mantle (670-2900 km) and core (2900-4500 km), the estimates rely on laboratory experiments and indirect geophysical techniques (electrical conductivity and seismology). The Earth's accretion likely started relatively dry because it mainly acquired material from the inner part of the proto-planetary disk, where temperatures were too high for the formation and accretion of water ice. Combined evidence from several radionuclide systems (Pd-Ag, Mn-Cr, Rb-Sr, U-Pb) suggests that water was not incorporated in the Earth in significant quantities until the planet had grown to ˜60-90% of its current size, while core formation

  3. Fortnightly Earth Rotation, Ocean Tides, and Mantle Anelasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Richard D.; Egbert, Gary D.

    2011-01-01

    Sustained accurate measurements of earth rotation are one of the prime goals of Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS). We here concentrate on the fortnightly (Mf) tidal component of earth-rotation data to obtain new results concerning anelasticity of the mantle at this period. The study comprises three parts: (1) a new determination of the Mf component of polar motion and length-of-day from a multi-decade time series of space-geodetic data; (2) the use of the polar-motion determination as one constraint in the development of a hydrodynamic ocean model of the Mf tide; and (3) the use of these results to place new constraints on mantle anelasticity. Our model of the Mf ocean tide assimilates more than fourteen years of altimeter data from the Topex/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellites. The polar motion data, plus tide-gauge data and independent altimeter data, give useful additional information, with only the polar motion putting constraints on tidal current velocities. The resulting ocean-tide model, plus the dominant elastic body tide, leaves a small residual in observed length-of-day caused by mantle anelasticity. The inferred effective tidal 0 of the anelastic body tide is 90 and is in line with a omega-alpha frequency dependence with alpha in the range 0.2--0.3.

  4. High accuracy mantle convection simulation through modern numerical methods

    KAUST Repository

    Kronbichler, Martin; Heister, Timo; Bangerth, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    Numerical simulation of the processes in the Earth's mantle is a key piece in understanding its dynamics, composition, history and interaction with the lithosphere and the Earth's core. However, doing so presents many practical difficulties related

  5. Influence of mantle anelasticity on the phase and amplitude of earth tides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodri, B.; Pedersen, G. P. H.

    1980-05-01

    The effect of the anelasticity of the mantle on the phase and amplitude of earth tides is calculated for recent models of the internal structure of the earth and its rheological characteristics. The anelastic properties of the mantle are modeled by the Maxwell and Knopoff-Lomnitz rheological bodies. For numerical calculations two different methods of solution are used. Results indicate that the effect of mantle anelasticity on tidal amplitudes is practically zero. For both types of rheological models the phase shifts of the functions characterizing solid tides are small, none of them exceeding values of some minutes of arc. These phase shifts have a very weak dependence on the variation of attenuation and viscosity within the mantle. The present study is closely related to an important problem: what proportion of the observed tidal friction arises not in the ocean but is due to the anelasticity of the mantle. The results suggest that dissipation by solid friction at present is an insignificant, almost negligible component of tidal energy sink.

  6. Rare gas systematics: Formation of the atmosphere, evolution and structure of the Earth's mantle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allegre, C.J.; Staudacher, T.; Sarda, P.; Paris-6 Univ., 75; Paris-7 Univ., 75

    1987-01-01

    To explain the rare gas content and isotopic composition measured in modern terrestrial materials we explore in this paper an Earth model based on four reservoirs: atmosphere, continental crust, upper mantle and lower mantle. This exploration employs three tools: mass balance equations, the concept of mean age of outgassing and the systematic use of all of the rare gases involving both absolute amount and isotopic composition. The results obtained are as follows: half of the Earth's mantle is 99% outgassed. Outgassing occurred in an early very intense stage within the first 50 Ma of Earth history and a slow continuous stage which continues to the present day. The mean age of the atmosphere is 4.4 Ga. Our model with four main reservoirs explains quantitatively both isotopic and chemical ratios, assuming that He migrates from the lower to the upper mantle whereas the heavy rare gases did not. Noble gas fluxes for He, Ar and Xe from different reservoirs have been estimated. The results constrain the K content in the earth to 278 ppm. Several geodynamic consequences are discussed. (orig.)

  7. A Geochemical View on the Interplay Between Earth's Mantle and Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauvel, C.

    2017-12-01

    Over most of Earth history, oceanic and continental crust was created and destroyed. The formation of both types of crust involves the crystallization and differentiation of magmas producing by mantle melting. Their destruction proceeds by mechanical erosion and weathering above sea level, chemical alteration on the seafloor, and bulk recycling in subduction zones. All these processes enrich of some chemical element and deplete others but each process has its own effect on chemical elements. While the flux of material from mantle to crust is well understood, the return flux is much more complex. In contrast to mantle processes, erosion, weathering, chemical alteration and sedimentary processes strongly decouple elements such as the rare earths and high-field strength elements due to their different solubilities in surface fluids and mineralogical sorting during transport. Soluble elements such as strontium or uranium are quantitatively transported to the ocean by rivers and decoupled from less soluble elements. Over geological time, such decoupling significantly influences the extent to which chemical elements remain at the Earth's surface or find their way back to the mantle through subduction zones. For example, elements like Hf or Nd are retained in heavy minerals on continents whereas U and Sr are transported to the oceans and then in subduction zones to the mantle. The consequence is that different radiogenic isotopic systems give disparate age estimates for the continental crust; e.g, Hf ages could be too old. In subduction zones, chemical elements are also decoupled, due to contrasting behavior during dehydration or melting in subducting slabs. The material sent back into the mantle is generally enriched in non-soluble elements while most fluid-mobile elements return to the crust. This, in turn, affects the relationship between the Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf and U-Th-Pb isotopic systems and creates correlations unlike those based on magmatic processes. By

  8. New enhancement mechanism of the transitions in the Earth of the solar and atmospheric neutrinos crossing the Earth core

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petcov, S.T.

    1999-01-01

    It is shown that the ν 2 → ν e and ν μ → ν e (ν e → ν μ(τ) ) transitions respectively of the solar and atmospheric neutrinos in the Earth in the case of ν e - ν μ(τ) mixing in vacuum, are strongly enhanced by a new type of resonance when the neutrinos cross the Earth core. The resonance is operative at small mixing angles but differs from the MSW one. It is in many respects similar to the electron paramagnetic resonance taking place in a specific configuration of two magnetic fields. The conditions for existence of the new resonance include, in particular, specific constraints on the neutrino oscillation lengths in the Earth mantle and in the Earth core, thus the resonance is a 'neutrino oscillation length resonance'. It leads also to enhancement of the ν 2 → ν e and ν e → ν s transitions in the case of ν e - ν s mixing and of the ν-bar s (or ν μ → ν s ) transitions at small mixing angles. The presence of the neutrino oscillation length resonance in the transitions of solar and atmospheric neutrinos traversing the Earth core has important implications for current and future solar and atmospheric neutrino experiments, and more specifically, for the interpretation of the results of the Super-Kamiokande experiment

  9. Heterogeneous Delivery of Silicate and Metal to the Earth via Large Planetesimals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, S.; Canup, R. M.; Walker, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Earth's mantle abundances of at least some highly siderophile elements, (HSE; Re, Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, Rh, Pd, and Au), are much higher than would result from metal-silicate equilibration during terrestrial core formation, and can be better explained as a result of late accretion of a minimum of 0.5% Earth's masses after core formation was complete. Traditional models assume that HSEs delivered by late projectiles completely mixed and chemically equilibrated with the Earth's mantle. This appears likely for undifferentiated, well-mixed projectiles, or for relatively small, differentiated projectiles. However several arguments suggest that late projectiles may have been large (> 1500 km in diameter) and differentiated, and in this case, portions of the projectile's core may merge with the Earth's core, rather than being mixed into the Earth's mantle. We investigate projectile mixing with a suite of SPH simulations of differentiated planetesimal colliding with the Earth. A range of outcomes emerge from our simulations suggesting that for large impactors (>1500 km), the delivery of HSE to the Earth's mantle may be disproportionate with the overall delivery of mass. For impacts with impact angles 60°, most of the impactor core escapes for moderate impact speeds. An implication is that the late accreted mass inferred from terrestrial HSE abundances may be a substantial underestimate, by a factor 2-5. In addition, partial mixing of projectiles result in an enrichment in mantle vs core material delivered to the bulk silicate Earth, implying substantial compositional variations in the accreted mass. Such variations could produce initially localized domains in Earth's mantle with distinct, mass independent isotopic signatures, given the isotopic variability resulting from nucleosynthetic heterogeneities among genetically diverse meteorites. In general we find that larger, low angle collisions would be more likely to produce initial mantle domains of anomalous composition

  10. Isotope ratios of strontium and neodymium for characterizing earth mantle materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandt, S.B.; Lepin, V.S.; Maslovskaja, M.N.

    1985-01-01

    It is shown that the shares of mantle, crustal and sedimentary materials in rocks and ore deposits can be determined by isotope methods. Using Yakutian kimberlites as an example, mixing processes of mantle and crustal materials are illustrated with the aid of strontium isotopes. Due to the high sensitivity of strontium to hydrothermal effects, the combined use of neodymium and strontium isotopes is considered more appropriate to solve the problem of determining the share of mantle materials. This is demonstrated for rare earth minerals and alkaline rocks of Eastern Siberia and Mongolia. (author)

  11. Early history of Earth's crust-mantle system inferred from hafnium isotopes in chondrites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bizzarro, Martin; Haack, Henning; Rosing, M.

    2003-01-01

    for the chondrite-forming event. This ¿176 value indicates that Earth's oldest minerals were derived from melts of a mantle source with a time-integrated history of depletion rather than enrichment. The depletion event must have occurred no later than 320 Myr after planetary accretion, consistent with timing......The Lu to Hf decay series has been widely used to understand the nature of Earth's early crust-mantle system. The interpretation, however, of Lu-Hf isotope data requires accurate knowledge of the radioactive decay constant of Lu (¿176), as well as bulk-Earth reference parameters. A recent...

  12. Birch's Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.

    2002-12-01

    Francis Birch's 1952 paper started the sciences of mineral physics and physics of the Earth's interior. Birch stressed the importance of pressure, compressive strain and volume in mantle physics. Although this may seem to be an obvious lesson many modern paradoxes in the internal constitution of the Earth and mantle dynamics can be traced to a lack of appreciation for the role of compression. The effect of pressure on thermal properties such as expansivity can gravitational stratify the Earth irreversibly during accretion and can keep it chemically stratified. The widespread use of the Boussinesq approximation in mantle geodynamics is the antithesis of Birchian physics. Birch pointed out that eclogite was likely to be an important component of the upper mantle. Plate tectonic recycling and the bouyancy of oceanic crust at midmantle depths gives credence to this suggestion. Although peridotite dominates the upper mantle, variations in eclogite-content may be responsible for melting- or fertility-spots. Birch called attention to the Repetti Discontinuity near 900 km depth as an important geodynamic boundary. This may be the chemical interface between the upper and lower mantles. Recent work in geodynamics and seismology has confirmed the importance of this region of the mantle as a possible barrier. Birch regarded the transition region (TR ; 400 to 1000 km ) as the key to many problems in Earth sciences. The TR contains two major discontinuities ( near 410 and 650 km ) and their depths are a good mantle thermometer which is now being exploited to suggest that much of plate tectonics is confined to the upper mantle ( in Birch's terminology, the mantle above 1000 km depth ). The lower mantle is homogeneous and different from the upper mantle. Density and seismic velocity are very insensitive to temperature there, consistent with tomography. A final key to the operation of the mantle is Birch's suggestion that radioactivities were stripped out of the deeper parts of

  13. The ruthenium isotopic composition of the oceanic mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermingham, K. R.; Walker, R. J.

    2017-09-01

    The approximately chondritic relative, and comparatively high absolute mantle abundances of the highly siderophile elements (HSE), suggest that their concentrations in the bulk silicate Earth were primarily established during a final ∼0.5 to 1% of ;late accretion; to the mantle, following the cessation of core segregation. Consequently, the isotopic composition of the HSE Ru in the mantle reflects an amalgamation of the isotopic compositions of late accretionary contributions to the silicate portion of the Earth. Among cosmochemical materials, Ru is characterized by considerable mass-independent isotopic variability, making it a powerful genetic tracer of Earth's late accretionary building blocks. To define the Ru isotopic composition of the oceanic mantle, the largest portion of the accessible mantle, we report Ru isotopic data for materials from one Archean and seven Phanerozoic oceanic mantle domains. A sample from a continental lithospheric mantle domain is also examined. All samples have identical Ru isotopic compositions, within analytical uncertainties, indicating that Ru isotopes are well mixed in the oceanic mantle, defining a μ100Ru value of 1.2 ± 7.2 (2SD). The only known meteorites with the same Ru isotopic composition are enstatite chondrites and, when corrected for the effects of cosmic ray exposure, members of the Main Group and sLL subgroup of the IAB iron meteorite complex which have a collective CRE corrected μ100Ru value of 0.9 ± 3.0. This suggests that materials from the region(s) of the solar nebula sampled by these meteorites likely contributed the dominant portion of late accreted materials to Earth's mantle.

  14. Melting in super-earths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stixrude, Lars

    2014-04-28

    We examine the possible extent of melting in rock-iron super-earths, focusing on those in the habitable zone. We consider the energetics of accretion and core formation, the timescale of cooling and its dependence on viscosity and partial melting, thermal regulation via the temperature dependence of viscosity, and the melting curves of rock and iron components at the ultra-high pressures characteristic of super-earths. We find that the efficiency of kinetic energy deposition during accretion increases with planetary mass; considering the likely role of giant impacts and core formation, we find that super-earths probably complete their accretionary phase in an entirely molten state. Considerations of thermal regulation lead us to propose model temperature profiles of super-earths that are controlled by silicate melting. We estimate melting curves of iron and rock components up to the extreme pressures characteristic of super-earth interiors based on existing experimental and ab initio results and scaling laws. We construct super-earth thermal models by solving the equations of mass conservation and hydrostatic equilibrium, together with equations of state of rock and iron components. We set the potential temperature at the core-mantle boundary and at the surface to the local silicate melting temperature. We find that ancient (∼4 Gyr) super-earths may be partially molten at the top and bottom of their mantles, and that mantle convection is sufficiently vigorous to sustain dynamo action over the whole range of super-earth masses.

  15. Chemical evolution of the Earth: Equilibrium or disequilibrium process?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, M.

    1985-01-01

    To explain the apparent chemical incompatibility of the Earth's core and mantle or the disequilibrium process, various core forming mechanisms have been proposed, i.e., rapid disequilibrium sinking of molten iron, an oxidized core or protocore materials, and meteorite contamination of the upper mantle after separation from the core. Adopting concepts used in steady state thermodynamics, a method is devised for evaluating how elements should distribute stable in the Earth's interior for the present gradients of temperature, pressure, and gravitational acceleration. Thermochemical modeling gives useful insights into the nature of chemical evolution of the Earth without overly speculative assumptions. Further work must be done to reconcile siderophile elements, rare gases, and possible light elements in the outer core.

  16. On the consequences of strong stable stratification at the top of earth's outer core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloxham, Jeremy

    1990-01-01

    The consequences of strong stable stratification at the top of the earth's fluid outer core are considered, concentrating on the generation of the geomagnetic secular variation. It is assumed that the core near the core-mantle boundary is both strongly stably stratified and free of Lorentz forces: it is found that this set of assumptions severely limits the class of possible motions, none of which is compatible with the geomagnetic secular variation. Relaxing either assumption is adequate: tangentially geostrophic flows are consistent with the secular variation if the assumption that the core is strongly stably stratified is relaxed (while retaining the assumption that Lorentz forces are negligible); purely toroidal flows may explain the secular variation if Lorentz forces are included.

  17. Water Content of Earth's Continental Mantle Is Controlled by the Circulation of Fluids or Melts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, Anne; Woodland, Alan B.; Bell, David R.; Lazarov, Marina; Lapen, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    A key mission of the ARES Directorate at JSC is to constrain models of the formation and geological history of terrestrial planets. Water is a crucial parameter to be measured with the aim to determine its amount and distribution in the interior of Earth, Mars, and the Moon. Most of that "water" is not liquid water per se, but rather hydrogen dissolved as a trace element in the minerals of the rocks at depth. Even so, the middle layer of differentiated planets, the mantle, occupies such a large volume and mass of each planet that when it is added at the planetary scale, oceans worth of water could be stored in its interior. The mantle is where magmas originate. Moreover, on Earth, the mantle is where the boundary between tectonic plates and the underlying asthenosphere is located. Even if mantle rocks in Earth typically contain less than 200 ppm H2O, such small quantities have tremendous influence on how easily they melt (i.e., the more water there is, the more magma is produced) and deform (the more water there is, the less viscous they are). These two properties alone emphasize that to understand the distribution of volcanism and the mechanism of plate tectonics, the water content of the mantle must be determined - Earth being a template to which all other terrestrial planets can be compared.

  18. Origin of the earth and moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ringwood, A.E.

    1981-01-01

    The composition of the Earth's interior and its bearing on the Earth's origin are discussed. It seems likely that the terrestrial planets formed by the accretion of solid planetisimals from the nebula of dust and gas left behind during the formation of the Sun. The scenario proposed is simpler than others. New evidence based upon a comparison of siderophile element abundances in the Earth's mantle and in the Moon imply that the Moon was derived from the Earth's mantle after the Earth's core had segregated

  19. Assessment of the effect of three-dimensional mantle density heterogeneity on earth rotation in tidal frequencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lanbo; Chao, Benjamin F; Sun, Wenke; Kuang, Weijia

    2016-11-01

    In this paper we report the assessment of the effect of the three-dimensional (3D) density heterogeneity in the mantle on Earth Orientation Parameters (EOP) (i.e., the polar motion, or PM, and the length of day, or LOD) in the tidal frequencies. The 3D mantle density model is estimated based upon a global S-wave velocity tomography model (S16U6L8) and the mineralogical knowledge derived from laboratory experiment. The lateral density variation is referenced against the Preliminary Reference Earth Model (PREM). Using this approach the effects of the heterogeneous mantle density variation in all three tidal frequencies (zonal long periods, tesseral diurnal, and sectorial semidiurnal) are estimated in both PM and LOD. When compared with mass or density perturbations originated on the earth's surface such as the oceanic and barometric changes, the heterogeneous mantle only contributes less than 10% of the total variation in PM and LOD in tidal frequencies. Nevertheless, including the 3D variation of the density in the mantle into account explained a substantial portion of the discrepancy between the observed signals in PM and LOD extracted from the lump-sum values based on continuous space geodetic measurement campaigns (e.g., CONT94) and the computed contribution from ocean tides as predicted by tide models derived from satellite altimetry observations (e.g., TOPEX/Poseidon). In other word, the difference of the two, at all tidal frequencies (long-periods, diurnals, and semi-diurnals) contains contributions of the lateral density heterogeneity of the mantle. Study of the effect of mantle density heterogeneity effect on torque-free earth rotation may provide useful constraints to construct the Reference Earth Model (REM), which is the next major objective in global geophysics research beyond PREM.

  20. Polymorphic Nature of Iron and Degree of Lattice Preferred Orientation Beneath the Earth's Inner Core Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattesini, Maurizio; Belonoshko, Anatoly B.; Tkalčić, Hrvoje

    2018-01-01

    Deciphering the polymorphic nature and the degree of iron lattice-preferred orientation in the Earth's inner core holds a key to understanding the present status and evolution of the inner core. A multiphase lattice-preferred orientation pattern is obtained for the top 350 km of the inner core by means of the ab initio based Candy Wrapper Velocity Model coupled to a Monte Carlo phase discrimination scheme. The achieved geographic distribution of lattice alignment is characterized by two regions of freezing, namely within South America and the Western Central Pacific, that exhibit an uncommon high degree of lattice orientation. In contrast, widespread regions of melting of relatively weak lattice ordering permeate the rest of the inner core. The obtained multiphase lattice-preferred orientation pattern is in line with mantle-constrained geodynamo simulations and allows to setup an ad hoc mineral physics scenario for the complex Earth's inner core. It is found that the cubic phase of iron is the dominating iron polymorph in the outermost part of the inner core.

  1. High Resolution Global Electrical Conductivity Variations in the Earth's Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelbert, A.; Sun, J.; Egbert, G. D.

    2013-12-01

    Electrical conductivity of the Earth's mantle is a valuable constraint on the water content and melting processes. In Kelbert et al. (2009), we obtained the first global inverse model of electrical conductivity in the mantle capable of providing constraints on the lateral variations in mantle water content. However, in doing so we had to compromise on the problem complexity by using the historically very primitive ionospheric and magnetospheric source assumptions. In particular, possible model contamination by the auroral current systems had greatly restricted our use of available data. We have now addressed this problem by inverting for the external sources along with the electrical conductivity variations. In this study, we still focus primarily on long period data that are dominated by quasi-zonal source fields. The improved understanding of the ionospheric sources allows us to invert the magnetic fields directly, without a correction for the source and/or the use of transfer functions. It allows us to extend the period range of available data to 1.2 days - 102 days, achieving better sensitivity to the upper mantle and transition zone structures. Finally, once the source effects in the data are accounted for, a much larger subset of observatories may be used in the electrical conductivity inversion. Here, we use full magnetic fields at 207 geomagnetic observatories, which include mid-latitude, equatorial and high latitude data. Observatory hourly means from the years 1958-2010 are employed. The improved quality and spatial distribution of the data set, as well as the high resolution modeling and inversion using degree and order 40 spherical harmonics mapped to a 2x2 degree lateral grid, all contribute to the much improved resolution of our models, representing a conceptual step forward in global electromagnetic sounding. We present a fully three-dimensional, global electrical conductivity model of the Earth's mantle as inferred from ground geomagnetic

  2. Water cycling between ocean and mantle: Super-earths need not be waterworlds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowan, Nicolas B.; Abbot, Dorian S.

    2014-01-01

    Large terrestrial planets are expected to have muted topography and deep oceans, implying that most super-Earths should be entirely covered in water, so-called waterworlds. This is important because waterworlds lack a silicate weathering thermostat so their climate is predicted to be less stable than that of planets with exposed continents. In other words, the continuously habitable zone for waterworlds is much narrower than for Earth-like planets. A planet's water is partitioned, however, between a surface reservoir, the ocean, and an interior reservoir, the mantle. Plate tectonics transports water between these reservoirs on geological timescales. Degassing of melt at mid-ocean ridges and serpentinization of oceanic crust depend negatively and positively on seafloor pressure, respectively, providing a stabilizing feedback on long-term ocean volume. Motivated by Earth's approximately steady-state deep water cycle, we develop a two-box model of the hydrosphere and derive steady-state solutions to the water partitioning on terrestrial planets. Critically, hydrostatic seafloor pressure is proportional to surface gravity, so super-Earths with a deep water cycle will tend to store more water in the mantle. We conclude that a tectonically active terrestrial planet of any mass can maintain exposed continents if its water mass fraction is less than ∼0.2%, dramatically increasing the odds that super-Earths are habitable. The greatest source of uncertainty in our study is Earth's current mantle water inventory: the greater its value, the more robust planets are to inundation. Lastly, we discuss how future missions can test our hypothesis by mapping the oceans and continents of massive terrestrial planets.

  3. Water cycling between ocean and mantle: Super-earths need not be waterworlds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowan, Nicolas B. [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: n-cowan@northwestern.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2014-01-20

    Large terrestrial planets are expected to have muted topography and deep oceans, implying that most super-Earths should be entirely covered in water, so-called waterworlds. This is important because waterworlds lack a silicate weathering thermostat so their climate is predicted to be less stable than that of planets with exposed continents. In other words, the continuously habitable zone for waterworlds is much narrower than for Earth-like planets. A planet's water is partitioned, however, between a surface reservoir, the ocean, and an interior reservoir, the mantle. Plate tectonics transports water between these reservoirs on geological timescales. Degassing of melt at mid-ocean ridges and serpentinization of oceanic crust depend negatively and positively on seafloor pressure, respectively, providing a stabilizing feedback on long-term ocean volume. Motivated by Earth's approximately steady-state deep water cycle, we develop a two-box model of the hydrosphere and derive steady-state solutions to the water partitioning on terrestrial planets. Critically, hydrostatic seafloor pressure is proportional to surface gravity, so super-Earths with a deep water cycle will tend to store more water in the mantle. We conclude that a tectonically active terrestrial planet of any mass can maintain exposed continents if its water mass fraction is less than ∼0.2%, dramatically increasing the odds that super-Earths are habitable. The greatest source of uncertainty in our study is Earth's current mantle water inventory: the greater its value, the more robust planets are to inundation. Lastly, we discuss how future missions can test our hypothesis by mapping the oceans and continents of massive terrestrial planets.

  4. The earths innermost core

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nanda, J.N.

    1989-01-01

    A new earth model is advanced with a solid innermost core at the centre of the Earth where elements heavier than iron, over and above what can be retained in solution in the iron core, are collected. The innermost core is separated from the solid iron-nickel core by a shell of liquid copper. The innermost core has a natural vibration measured on the earth's surface as the long period 26 seconds microseisms. The earth was formed initially as a liquid sphere with a relatively thin solid crust above the Byerly discontinuity. The trace elements that entered the innermost core amounted to only 0.925 ppm of the molten mass. Gravitational differentiation must have led to the separation of an explosive thickness of pure 235 U causing a fission explosion that could expel beyond the Roche limit a crustal scab which would form the centre piece of the moon. A reservoir of helium floats on the liquid copper. A small proportion of helium-3, a relic of the ancient fission explosion present there will spell the exciting magnetic field. The field is stable for thousands of years because of the presence of large quantity of helium-4 which accounts for most of the gaseous collisions that will not disturb the atomic spin of helium-3 atoms. This field is prone to sudden reversals after long periods of stability. (author). 14 refs

  5. Nitrogen partitioning during core-mantle differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speelmanns, I. M.; Schmidt, M. W.; Liebske, C.

    2016-12-01

    This study investiagtes nitrogen partitioing between metal and silicate melts as relevant for core segregation during the accretion of planetesimals into the Earth. On present day Earth, N belongs to the most important elements, as it is one of the key constituents of our atmosphere and forms the basis of life. However, the geochemistry of N, i.e. its distribution and isotopic fractionation between Earth's deep reservoirs is not well constrained. In order to determine the partitioning behaviour of N, a centrifuging piston cylinder was used to euqilibrate and then gravitationally separate metal-silicate melt pairs at 1250 °C, 1 GPa over the range of oxygen fugacities thought to have prevailied druing core segreagtion (IW-4 to IW). Complete segregation of the two melts was reached within 3 hours at 1000 g, the interface showing a nice meniscus The applied double capsule technique, using an outer metallic and inner non-metallic (mostly graphite) capsule, minimizes volatile loss over the course of the experiment compared to single non-metallic capsules. The two quenched melts were cut apart, cleaned at the outside and N concentrations of the melts were analysed on bulk samples by an elemental analyser. Nevertheless, the low amount of sample material and the N yield in the high pressure experiments required the developement of new analytical routines. Despite these experimental and analytical difficulties, we were able to determine a DNmetal/silicateof 13±0.25 at IW-1, N partitioning into the core froming metal. The few availible literature data [1],[2] suggest that N changes its compatibility favoring the silicate melt or magma ocean at around IW-2.5. In order to asses how much N may effectively be contained in the core and the silicate Earth, experiments characterizing N behaviour over the entire range of core formation condtitions are well under way. [1] Kadik et al., (2011) Geochemistry International 49.5: 429-438. [2] Roskosz et al., (2013) GCA 121: 15-28.

  6. Assessment of the effect of three-dimensional mantle density heterogeneity on Earth rotation in tidal frequencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lanbo Liu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we report the assessment of the effect of the three-dimensional (3D density heterogeneity in the mantle on Earth orientation parameters (EOP (i.e., the polar motion, or PM, and the length of day, or LOD in the tidal frequencies. The 3D mantle density model is estimated based upon a global S-wave velocity tomography model (S16U6L8 and the mineralogical knowledge derived from laboratory experiment. The lateral density variation is referenced against the preliminary reference earth model (PREM. Using this approach the effects of the heterogeneous mantle density variation in all three tidal frequencies (zonal long periods, tesseral diurnal, and sectorial semidiurnal are estimated in both PM and LOD. When compared with mass or density perturbations originated on the Earth's surface such as the oceanic and barometric changes, the heterogeneous mantle contributes less than 10% of the total variation in PM and LOD in tidal frequencies. However, this is the gap that has not been explained to close the gap of the observation and modeling in PM and LOD. By computing the PM and LOD caused by 3D heterogeneity of the mantle during the period of continuous space geodetic measurement campaigns (e.g., CONT94 and the contribution from ocean tides as predicted by tide models derived from satellite altimetry observations (e.g., TOPEX/Poseidon in the same period, we got the lump-sum values of PM and LOD. The computed total effects and the observed PM and LOD are generally agree with each other. In another word, the difference of the observed PM and LOD and the model only considering ocean tides, at all tidal frequencies (long periods, diurnals, and semidiurnals contains the contributions of the lateral density heterogeneity of the mantle. Study of the effect of mantle density heterogeneity effect on torque-free Earth rotation may provide useful constraints to construct the reference earth model (REM, which is the next major objective in global

  7. Springtide-induced magnification of Earth mantle resonance causes tectonics and conceals universality of physics at all scales

    OpenAIRE

    Omerbashich, Mensur

    2006-01-01

    I demonstrate two fundamental contributions. First, the Earth tectonics is generally a consequence of the springtide-induced magnification of mechanical resonance in the Earth mantle. The same mechanism that causes bridges to collapse under the soldiers step-marching makes also the Earth lithosphere fail under the springtide-induced magnification of the mantle resonance resulting in strong earthquakes. Secondly, by generalizing the above finding onto any body anywhere in all the Universes and...

  8. Deep Subducction in a Compressible Mantle: Observations and Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    Our understanding of slab dynamics is primarily based on the results of numerical models of subduction. In such models coherent, cold slabs are clearly visible from the surface of the Earth to the core mantle boundary. In contrast, fast seismic anomalies associated with cold subducted slabs are difficult to identify below 1500-2000 km in tomographic models of Earth's mantle. One explanation for this has been the resolution, or lack thereof, of seismic tomography in the mid-mantle region; however in this work I will explore the impact of compressibility on the dynamics of subducting slabs, specifically shear heating of the slab and latent heat of phase transformations. Most geodynamic models of subduction have used an incompressible formulation, thus because subducted slabs are assumed to be cold and stiff, the primary means of thermal equilibration is conduction. With an assumed sinking velocity of approximately 0.1 m/yr, a subducted slab reaches the core-mantle boundary in approximately 30 Myrs—too fast for significant conductive cooling of the downgoing slab. In this work I consider a whole-mantle geometry and include both phase transformations with associated latent heat and density changes from the olivine-wadsleyite-ringwoodite-bridgmanite system and the pyroxene-garnet system. The goal of this work is to understand both the eventual fate and thermal evolution of slabs beneath the transition zone.

  9. Precession of a two-layer Earth: contributions of the core and elasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baenas, Tomás; Ferrándiz, José M.; Escapa, Alberto; Getino, Juan; Navarro, Juan F.

    2016-04-01

    The Earth's internal structure contributes to the precession rate in a small but non-negligible amount, given the current accuracy goals demanded by IAG/GGOS to the reference frames, namely 30 μas and 3 μas/yr. These contributions come from a variety of sources. One of those not yet accounted for in current IAU models is associated to the crossed effects of certain nutation-rising terms of a two-layer Earth model; intuitively, it gathers an 'indirect' effect of the core via the NDFW, or FCN, resonance as well as a 'direct' effect arising from terms that account for energy variations depending on the elasticity of the core. Similar order of magnitude reaches the direct effect of the departure of the Earth's rheology from linear elasticity. To compute those effects we work out the problem in a unified way within the Hamiltonian framework developed by Getino and Ferrándiz (2001). It allows a consistent treatment of the problem since all the perturbations are derived from the same tide generating expansion and the crossing effects are rigorously obtained through Hori's canonical perturbation method. The problem admits an asymptotic analytical solution. The Hamiltonian is constructed by considering a two-layer Earth model made up of an anelastic mantle and a fluid core, perturbed by the gravitational action of the Moon and the Sun. The former effects reach some tens of μas/yr in the longitude rate, hence above the target accuracy level. We outline their influence in the estimation of the Earth's dynamical ellipticity, a main parameter factorizing both precession and nutation.

  10. Magma Ocean Depth and Oxygen Fugacity in the Early Earth--Implications for Biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, Kevin

    2015-09-01

    A large class of elements, referred to as the siderophile (iron-loving) elements, in the Earth's mantle can be explained by an early deep magma ocean on the early Earth in which the mantle equilibrated with metallic liquid (core liquid). This stage would have affected the distribution of some of the classic volatile elements that are also essential ingredients for life and biochemistry - H, C, S, and N. Estimates are made of the H, C, S, and N contents of Earth's early mantle after core formation, considering the effects of variable temperature, pressure, oxygen fugacity, and composition on their partitioning. Assessment is made of whether additional, exogenous, sources are required to explain the observed mantle concentrations, and areas are identified where additional data and experimentation would lead to an improved understanding of this phase of Earth's history.

  11. Experiments pertaining to the formation and equilibration of planetary cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanloz, Raymond; Knittle, Elise; Williams, Quentin

    1987-01-01

    The phase diagram of FeO was experimentally determined to pressures of 155 GPa and temperatures of 4000 K using shock wave and diamond-cell techniques. Researchers discovered a metallic phase of FeO at pressures greater than 70 GPa and temperatures exceeding 1000 K. The metallization of FeO at high pressures implies that oxygen can be present as the light alloying element of the Earth's outer core, in accord with the geochemical predictions of Ringwood. The high pressures necessry for this metallization suggest that the core has acquired its composition well after the initial stages of the Earth's accretion. The core forming alloy can react chemically with oxides such as those forming the mantle. The core and mantle may never have reached complete chemical equilibrium, however. If this is the case, the core-mantle boundary is likely to be a zone of active chemical reactions.

  12. Experiments pertaining to the formation and equilibration of planetary cores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeanloz, R.; Knittle, E.; Williams, Q.

    1987-01-01

    The phase diagram of FeO was experimentally determined to pressures of 155 GPa and temperatures of 4000 K using shock wave and diamond-cell techniques. Researchers discovered a metallic phase of FeO at pressures greater than 70 GPa and temperatures exceeding 1000 K. The metallization of FeO at high pressures implies that oxygen can be present as the light alloying element of the Earth's outer core, in accord with the geochemical predictions of Ringwood. The high pressures necessry for this metallization suggest that the core has acquired its composition well after the initial stages of the Earth's accretion. The core forming alloy can react chemically with oxides such as those forming the mantle. The core and mantle may never have reached complete chemical equilibrium, however. If this is the case, the core-mantle boundary is likely to be a zone of active chemical reactions

  13. Physical mineralogy of (Ca,Al)-rich silicate phases of the Earth's mantle. Geodynamic implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gautron, Laurent

    2008-01-01

    Mineral physics could provide answers to many questions we asked about mineral phases present in the Earth's mantle, their characteristics, their crystal structure, their phase transitions. In the second part of the twentieth century, high pressure and high temperature experiments could give essential data about materials from the deep Earth: these data could then be combined to those obtained by seismology measurements, geochemistry analyses, experimental and theoretical geodynamics, for a better understanding of the deep parts of our planet. Many former studies revealed that silicate phases bearing calcium and/or aluminium could display very interesting characteristics and properties, with important geodynamics implications. The combination of calcium and aluminium is know to be very useful for mineral phases: indeed, calcium is able to be substituted by atoms which display large cations, while aluminium when replacing silicon atoms could allow the eventual charge compensation required by the substitution of calcium. Moreover, there is an increasing amount of data which reveal the existence of many new (Ca,Al)-rich silicate phases at (P,T) conditions of the Earth's mantle: these phase are found to display very original structure and properties. In this thesis manuscript, we report the main results obtained about the aluminous calcium perovskite, Al-CaSiO 3 , which is one of the three main mineral phases present in the lower mantle. We show that this phase is able to incorporate huge amount of natural actinides uranium and thorium which provide the main part of the heat produced in our planet, by radioactive decay. Then the Al-rich Ca-perovskite bearing U and Th could be the thermal engine of the Earth's lower mantle. These results obtained by mineral physics experiments and methodology are presented with the objective to better constrain the recent geodynamics models. Here, we propose that the (U,Th)-Al-CaSiO 3 perovskite alone is able to provide the entire

  14. Non-equilibrium effects of core-cooling and time-dependent internal heating on mantle flush events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. A. Yuen

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available We have examined the non-equilibrium effects of core-cooling and time-dependent internal-heating on the thermal evolution of the Earth's mantle and on mantle flush events caused by the two major phase transitions. Both two- and three-dimensional models have been employed. The mantle viscosity responds to the secular cooling through changes in the averaged temperature field. A viscosity which decreases algebraically with the average temperature has been considered. The time-dependent internal-heating is prescribed to decrease exponentially with a single decay time. We have studied the thermal histories with initial Rayleigh numbers between 2 x 107 and 108 . Flush events, driven by the non-equilibrium forcings, are much more dramatic than those produced by the equilibrium boundary conditions and constant internal heating. Multiple flush events are found under non-equilibrium conditions in which there is very little internal heating or very fast decay rates of internal-heating. Otherwise, the flush events take place in a relatively continuous fashion. Prior to massive flush events small-scale percolative structures appear in the 3D temperature fields. Time-dependent signatures, such as the surface heat flux, also exhibits high frequency oscillatory patterns prior to massive flush events. These two observations suggest that the flush event may be a self-organized critical phenomenon. The Nusselt number as a function of the time-varying Ra does not follow the Nusselt vs. Rayleigh number power-law relationship based on equilibrium (constant temperature boundary conditions. Instead Nu(t may vary non-monotonically with time because of the mantle flush events. Convective processes in the mantle operate quite differently under non-equilibrium conditions from its behaviour under the usual equilibrium situations.

  15. Topography Estimation of the Core Mantle Boundary with ScS Reverberations and Diffraction Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, B. E.; Nakata, N.

    2017-12-01

    In this study, we use the propagation of global seismic waves to study the Core Mantle Boundary (CMB). We focus on the use of S-wave reflections at the CMB (ScS reverberations) and outer-core diffracted waves. It is difficult imaging the CMB with the ScS wave because the complexity of the structure in the near surface ( 50 km); the complex structure degrades the signal-to-noise ratio of of the ScS. To avoid estimating the structure in the crust, we rely on the concept of seismic interferometry to extract wave propagation through mantle, but not through the crust. Our approach is compute the deconvolution between the ScS (and its reverberation) and direct S waves generated by intermediate to deep earthquakes (>50 km depth). Through this deconvolution, we have the ability to filter out the direct S wave and retrieve the wave field propagating from only the hypocenter to the outer core, but not between the hypocenter to the receiver. After the deconvolution, we can isolate the CMB reflected waves from the complicated wave phenomena because of the near-surface structure. Utilizing intermediate and deep earthquakes is key since we can suppress the near-surface effect from the surface to the hypocenter of the earthquakes. The variation of such waves (e.g., travel-time perturbation and/or wavefield decorrelation) at different receivers and earthquakes provides the information of the topography of the CMB. In order to get a more detailed image of the topography of the CMB we use diffracted seismic waves such as Pdiff , Sdiff, and P'P'. By using two intermediate to deep earthquakes on a great circle path with a station we can extract the wave propagation between the two earthquakes to simplify the waveform, similar to how it is preformed using the ScS wave. We generate more illumination of the CMB by using diffracted waves rather than only using ScS reverberations. The accurate topography of CMB obtained by these deconvolution analyses may provide new insight of the

  16. Water-induced convection in the Earth's mantle transition zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Guillaume C.; Bercovici, David

    2009-01-01

    Water enters the Earth's mantle by subduction of oceanic lithosphere. Most of this water immediately returns to the atmosphere through arc volcanism, but a part of it is expected as deep as the mantle transition zone (410-660 km depth). There, slabs can be deflected and linger before sinking into the lower mantle. Because it lowers the density and viscosity of the transition zone minerals (i.e., wadsleyite and ringwoodite), water is likely to affect the dynamics of the transition zone mantle overlying stagnant slabs. The consequences of water exchange between a floating slab and the transition zone are investigated. In particular, we focus on the possible onset of small-scale convection despite the adverse thermal gradient (i.e., mantle is cooled from below by the slab). The competition between thermal and hydrous effects on the density and thus on the convective stability of the top layer of the slab is examined numerically, including water-dependent density and viscosity and temperature-dependent water solubility. For plausible initial water content in a slab (≥0.5 wt %), an episode of convection is likely to occur after a relatively short time delay (5-20 Ma) after the slab enters the transition zone. However, water induced rheological weakening is seen to be a controlling parameter for the onset time of convection. Moreover, small-scale convection above a stagnant slab greatly enhances the rate of slab dehydration. Small-scale convection also facilitates heating of the slab, which in itself may prolong the residence time of the slab in the transition zone.

  17. Tomographic and Geodynamic Constraints on Convection-Induced Mixing in Earth's Deep Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafter, D. P.; Forte, A. M.; Bremner, P. M.; Glisovic, P.

    2017-12-01

    Seismological studies reveal two large low-shear-velocity provinces (LLSVPs) in the lowermost mantle (e.g., Su et al. 1994; Wang & Wen 2007; He & Wen 2012), which may represent accumulations of subducted slabs at the CMB (Tan & Gurnis 2005; Christensen & Hoffman 1994) or primordial material generated in the early differentiation of Earth (e.g. Li et al. 2014). The longevity or stability of these large-scale heterogeneities in the deep mantle depends on the vigor and spatial distribution of the convective circulation, which is in turn dependent on the distribution of mantle buoyancy and viscosity (e.g. Glisovic & Forte 2015). Here we explore the state of convective mixing in the mantle using the ASPECT convection code (Kronbichler et al. 2012). A series of experiments are conducted to consider the geochemical and dynamical contributions of LLSVPs to deep-mantle upwellings and corresponding plume-sourced volcanism. The principal feature of these experiments is the use of particle tracers to track geochemical changes in the LLSVPs and mantle plumes in addition to identifying those parts of the mantle that may remain unmixed. We employ 3-D mantle density anomalies derived from joint inversions of seismic, geodynamic and mineral physics constraints and geodynamically-constrained viscosity distributions (Glisovic et al. 2015) to ensure that the predicted flow fields yield a good match to key geophysical constraints (e.g. heat flow, global gravity anomalies and plate velocities).

  18. Early Dynamics of the Moon's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuk, Matija; Hamilton, Douglas; Stewart, Sarah T.

    2018-04-01

    The Moon has a small molten iron core (Williams et al. 2006). Remanent magnetization in lunar rocks likely derives from a past lunar dynamo (Wieczorek 2018 and references therein), which may have been powered by differential precession between the mantle and the core. The rotations of the lunar mantle and core were largely decoupled for much of lunar history, with a large mutual offset during the Cassini State Transition (Meyer and Wisdom, 2011). It is likely that the past work underestimated lunar obliquities, and therefore core offsets, during early lunar history (Cuk et al. 2016). Here we investigate the dynamics of the lunar core and mantle using a Lie-Poisson numerical integrator (Touma and Wisdom 2001) which includes interactions between triaxial core and mantle, as well as all gravitational and tidal effects included in the model of Cuk et al. (2016). Since we assume a rigid triaxial mantle, this model is applicable to the Moon only once it has acquired its current shape, which probably happened before the Moon reached 25 Earth radii. While some details of the core dynamics depend on our assumptions about the shape of the lunar core-mantle boundary, we can report some robust preliminary findings. The presence of the core does not change significantly the evolutionary scenario of Cuk et al. (2016). The core and mantle are indeed decoupled, with the core having a much smaller obliquity to the ecliptic than the mantle for almost all of the lunar history. The core was largely in an equivalent of Cassini State 2, with the vernal equinoxes (wrt the ecliptic) of the core and the mantle being anti-aligned. The core-mantle spin axis offset has been very large during the Moon's first billion years (this is true both in canonical and high-inclination tidal evolution), causing the lunar core to be sub-synchronous. If the ancient lunar magnetic dipole was rotating around the core axis that was inclined to the Moon's spin axis, then the magnetic poles would move across

  19. Sulfur Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, B. H.

    2007-12-01

    Variations in surface tension affect the buoyancy of objects floating in a liquid. Thus an object floating in water will sink deeper in the presence of dishwater fluid. This is a very minor but measurable effect. It causes for instance ducks to drown in aqueous solutions with added surfactant. The surface tension of liquid iron is very strongly affected by the presence of sulfur which acts as a surfactant in this system varying between 1.9 and 0.4 N/m at 10 mass percent Sulfur (Lee & Morita (2002), This last value is inferred to be the maximum value for Sulfur inferred to be present in the liquid outer core. Venting of Sulfur from the liquid core manifests itself on the Earth surface by the 105 to 106 ton of sulfur vented into the atmosphere annually (Wedepohl, 1984). Inspection of surface Sulfur emission indicates that venting is non-homogeneously distributed over the Earth's surface. The implication of such large variation in surface tension in the liquid outer core are that at locally low Sulfur concentration, the liquid outer core does not wet the predominantly MgSiO3 matrix with which it is in contact. However at a local high in Sulfur, the liquid outer core wets this matrix which in the fluid state has a surface tension of 0.4 N/m (Bansal & Doremus, 1986), couples with it, and causes it to sink. This differential and diapiric movement is transmitted through the essentially brittle mantle (1024 Pa.s, Lambeck & Johnson, 1998; the maximum value for ice being about 1030 Pa.s at 0 K, in all likely hood representing an upper bound of viscosity for all materials) and manifests itself on the surface by the roughly 20 km differentiation, about 0.1 % of the total mantle thickness, between topographical heights and lows with concomitant lateral movement in the crust and upper mantle resulting in thin skin tectonics. The brittle nature of the medium though which this movement is transmitted suggests that the extremes in topography of the D" layer are similar in range to

  20. Neutron activation analysis of the rare earth elements in rocks from the earth's upper mantle and deep crust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stosch, H.-G.; Koetz, J.; Herpers, U.

    1986-01-01

    Three techniques for analyzing rare earth elements (REE) in geological materials are described, i.e. instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), neutron activation analysis with pre-irradiation chemical REE separation (PCS-NAA) and radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA). The knowledge of REE concentrationd in eclogites, peridotites and minerals from the earth's lower crust and upper mantle is very useful in constraining their petrogenetic history. (author)

  1. An Earth-sized exoplanet with a Mercury-like composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santerne, A.; Brugger, B.; Armstrong, D. J.; Adibekyan, V.; Lillo-Box, J.; Gosselin, H.; Aguichine, A.; Almenara, J.-M.; Barrado, D.; Barros, S. C. C.; Bayliss, D.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Brown, D. J. A.; Deleuil, M.; Delgado Mena, E.; Demangeon, O.; Díaz, R. F.; Doyle, A.; Dumusque, X.; Faedi, F.; Faria, J. P.; Figueira, P.; Foxell, E.; Giles, H.; Hébrard, G.; Hojjatpanah, S.; Hobson, M.; Jackman, J.; King, G.; Kirk, J.; Lam, K. W. F.; Ligi, R.; Lovis, C.; Louden, T.; McCormac, J.; Mousis, O.; Neal, J. J.; Osborn, H. P.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Santos, N. C.; Sousa, S. G.; Udry, S.; Vigan, A.

    2018-05-01

    Earth, Venus, Mars and some extrasolar terrestrial planets1 have a mass and radius that is consistent with a mass fraction of about 30% metallic core and 70% silicate mantle2. At the inner frontier of the Solar System, Mercury has a completely different composition, with a mass fraction of about 70% metallic core and 30% silicate mantle3. Several formation or evolution scenarios are proposed to explain this metal-rich composition, such as a giant impact4, mantle evaporation5 or the depletion of silicate at the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk6. These scenarios are still strongly debated. Here, we report the discovery of a multiple transiting planetary system (K2-229) in which the inner planet has a radius of 1.165 ± 0.066 Earth radii and a mass of 2.59 ± 0.43 Earth masses. This Earth-sized planet thus has a core-mass fraction that is compatible with that of Mercury, although it was expected to be similar to that of Earth based on host-star chemistry7. This larger Mercury analogue either formed with a very peculiar composition or has evolved, for example, by losing part of its mantle. Further characterization of Mercury-like exoplanets such as K2-229 b will help to put the detailed in situ observations of Mercury (with MESSENGER and BepiColombo8) into the global context of the formation and evolution of solar and extrasolar terrestrial planets.

  2. An Earth-sized exoplanet with a Mercury-like composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santerne, A.; Brugger, B.; Armstrong, D. J.; Adibekyan, V.; Lillo-Box, J.; Gosselin, H.; Aguichine, A.; Almenara, J.-M.; Barrado, D.; Barros, S. C. C.; Bayliss, D.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Brown, D. J. A.; Deleuil, M.; Delgado Mena, E.; Demangeon, O.; Díaz, R. F.; Doyle, A.; Dumusque, X.; Faedi, F.; Faria, J. P.; Figueira, P.; Foxell, E.; Giles, H.; Hébrard, G.; Hojjatpanah, S.; Hobson, M.; Jackman, J.; King, G.; Kirk, J.; Lam, K. W. F.; Ligi, R.; Lovis, C.; Louden, T.; McCormac, J.; Mousis, O.; Neal, J. J.; Osborn, H. P.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Santos, N. C.; Sousa, S. G.; Udry, S.; Vigan, A.

    2018-03-01

    Earth, Venus, Mars and some extrasolar terrestrial planets1 have a mass and radius that is consistent with a mass fraction of about 30% metallic core and 70% silicate mantle2. At the inner frontier of the Solar System, Mercury has a completely different composition, with a mass fraction of about 70% metallic core and 30% silicate mantle3. Several formation or evolution scenarios are proposed to explain this metal-rich composition, such as a giant impact4, mantle evaporation5 or the depletion of silicate at the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk6. These scenarios are still strongly debated. Here, we report the discovery of a multiple transiting planetary system (K2-229) in which the inner planet has a radius of 1.165 ± 0.066 Earth radii and a mass of 2.59 ± 0.43 Earth masses. This Earth-sized planet thus has a core-mass fraction that is compatible with that of Mercury, although it was expected to be similar to that of Earth based on host-star chemistry7. This larger Mercury analogue either formed with a very peculiar composition or has evolved, for example, by losing part of its mantle. Further characterization of Mercury-like exoplanets such as K2-229 b will help to put the detailed in situ observations of Mercury (with MESSENGER and BepiColombo8) into the global context of the formation and evolution of solar and extrasolar terrestrial planets.

  3. Origin of the Earth's Electromagnetic Field Based on the Pulsating Mantle Hypothesis (PMH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gholibeigian, Hassan

    2017-11-01

    In PMH, the Earth's Inner Core's Dislocation (ICD) and Outer Core's Bulge (OCB) phenomena are generated by unbalanced gravitational fields of the Sun and Moon on the Earth. Distance between the Earth's center and inner core's center varies permanently in magnitude and direction inside two hemispheres. Geometrical loci of the inner core's center has the shape of back and force spiral cone in each hemisphere. In other words, the inner core is rotating fast in the outer core inverse of the Earth's rotation a round per day. This mechanism speed up the processes inside the core and generates a Large Scale Forced Convection System (LSFCS) inverse of the Earth's rotation in the core. The LSFCS is the origin of the Earth's electromagnetic field. The LSFCS generates huge mass transfer and momentum of inertia inside the Earth too. The inner core's axis which is the Earth's electromagnetic axis doesn't cross the Earth's geophysical axis and rotates around it per day. The mechanism of this LSFCS has diurnal, monthly and yearly cycles. These cycles are sources of the Earth's electromagnetic field variability. Direction of the variable Earth's magnetic field lines from the South Pole (hemisphere) to the sky and 146 seconds/years apparent solar day length variations can be two observable factors for this mechanism. This dynamic system may occurred inside the other planets like the Sun and the Jupiter.

  4. Thermal structure of the accreting earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turcotte, D.L.; Pflugrath, J.C.

    1985-01-01

    The energy associated with the accretion of the earth and the segregation of the core is more than sufficient to melt the entire earth. In order to understand the thermal evolution of the early earth it is necessary to study the relevant heat transfer mechanisms. In this paper we postulate the existence of a global magma ocean and carry out calculations of the heat flux through it in order to determine its depth. In the solid mantle heat is transferred by the upward migration of magma. This magma supplies the magma ocean. The increase in the mantle liquidus with depth (pressure) is the dominant effect influencing heat transfer through the magma ocean. We find that a magma ocean with a depth of the order of 20 km would have existed as the earth accreted. We conclude that the core segregated and an atmosphere was formed during accretion

  5. Earth's inner core: Innermost inner core or hemispherical variations?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lythgoe, K. H.; Deuss, A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/412396610; Rudge, J. F.; Neufeld, J. A.

    2014-01-01

    The structure of Earth's deep inner core has important implications for core evolution, since it is thought to be related to the early stages of core formation. Previous studies have suggested that there exists an innermost inner core with distinct anisotropy relative to the rest of the inner core.

  6. Composition of the low seismic velocity E' layer at the top of Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badro, J.; Brodholt, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Evidence for a layer (E') at the top of the outer core has been available since the '90s and while different studies suggest slightly different velocity contrasts and thicknesses, the common observation is that the layer has lower velocities than the bulk outer core (PREM). Although there are no direct measurements on the density of this layer, dynamic stability requires it to be less dense than the bulk outer core under those same pressure and temperature conditions. Using ab initio simulations on Fe-Ni-S-C-O-Si liquids we constrain the origin and composition of the low-velocity layer E' at the top of Earth's outer core. We find that increasing the concentration of any light-element always increases velocity and so a low-velocity and low-density layer (for stability) cannot be made by simply increasing light element concentration. This rules out barodiffusion or upwards sedimentation of a light phase for its origin. However, exchanging elements can—depending on the elements exchanged—produce such a layer. We evaluate three possibilities. Firstly, crystallization of a light phase from a core containing more than one light element may make such a layer, but only if the crystalizing phase is very Fe-rich, which is at odds with available phase diagrams at CMB conditions. Secondly, the E' layer may result from incomplete mixing of an early Earth core with a late impactor, depending on the light element compositions of the impactor and Earth's core, but such a primordial stratification is neither supported by dynamical models of the core nor thermodynamic models of core merger after the giant impact. The last and most plausible scenario is core-mantle chemical interaction; using thermodynamic models for metal-silicate partitioning of silicon and oxygen at CMB conditions, we show that a reaction between the core and an FeO-rich basal magma ocean can enrich the core in oxygen while depleting it in silicon, in relative amounts that produce a light and slow layer

  7. The melting curve of iron to 250 gigapascals - A constraint on the temperature at earth's center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Quentin; Jeanloz, Raymond; Bass, Jay; Svendsen, Bob; Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1987-01-01

    The melting curve of iron, the primary constituent of earth's core, has been measured to pressures of 250 gigapascals with a combination of static and dynamic techniques. The melting temperature of iron at the pressure of the core-mantle boundary (136 GPa) is 4800 + or - 200 K, whereas at the inner core-outer core boundary (330 GPa), it is 7600 + or - 500 K. A melting temperature for iron-rich alloy of 6600 K at the inner core-outer core boundary and a maximum temperature of 6900 K at earth's center are inferred. This latter value is the first experimental upper bound on the temperature at earth's center, and these results imply that the temperature of the lower mantle is significantly less than that of the outer core.

  8. The Interaction Between Supercontinent Cycles and Compositional Variations in the Deep Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowman, J. P.; Trim, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Earth is the only planet known to currently feature active plate tectonics. Two features that may influence the Earth's ability to sustain plate-like surface motion are the presence of continents and the inferred chemical piles lying on the core mantle boundary. In our previous study that modelled thermochemical convection in the mantle with evolving plates, it was shown that upwellings that form on top of chemical piles are relatively weak and make a diminished contribution to lithospheric stress. Yet, surface yielding is required in order to maintain plate tectonics and form new plate boundaries. Consequently an intrinsically dense layer in the lower mantle can decrease the vigour of convection and the likelihood of surface failure. In contrast to the mantle upwellings that form above the chemically dense provinces in our models, particularly vigorous plumes form where the ambient mantle lies adjacent to the core mantle boundary and at the edges of the chemically dense piles. Continents also affect surface mobility, due to their inherent buoyancy and their distinct yield strength. In this study we employ numerical models of mantle convection featuring both tectonic plates and compositional variation in the mantle and lithosphere. Plate-like surface motion is dynamically modelled using a force-balance method that determines plate velocities based upon lithospheric stresses. Oceanic and continental margins evolve in response to the plate velocities and specified lithospheric yield stresses. Compositional variations in the deep mantle are tracked using the tracer ratio method. For a range of ratios of the ambient mantle density to the density of the compositionally enriched material, we examine the the impact of mantle compositional variation on plate evolution, the effect of continents on planetary surface mobility and the frequency of supercontinent assembly versus the mobility of compositional provinces.

  9. Venus and the Archean Earth: Thermal considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sleep, N.H.

    1989-01-01

    The Archean Era of the Earth is not a direct analog of the present tectonics of Venus. In this regard, it is useful to review the state of the Archean Earth. Most significantly, the temperature of the adiabatic interior of the Earth was 200 to 300 C hotter than the current temperature. Preservation biases limit what can be learned from the Archean record. Archean oceanic crust, most of the planetary surface at any one time, has been nearly all subducted. More speculatively, the core of the Earth has probably cooled more slowly than the mantle. Thus the temperature contrast above the core-mantle boundary and the vigor of mantle plumes has increased with time on the Earth. The most obvious difference between Venus and the present Earth is the high surface temperature and hence a low effective viscosity of the lithosphere. In addition, the temperature contrast between the adiabatic interior and the surface, which drives convection, is less on Venus than on the Earth. It appears that the hot lithosphere enhanced tectonics on the early Venus significantly enough that its interior cooled faster than the Earth's. The best evidence for a cool interior of Venus comes from long wavelength gravity anomalies. The low interior temperatures retard seafloor spreading on Venus. The high surface temperatures on Venus enhance crustal deformation. That is, the lower crust may become ductile enough to permit significant flow between the upper crust and the mantle. There is thus some analogy to modern and ancient areas of high heat flow on the Earth. Archean crustal blocks typically remained stable for long intervals and thus overall are not good analogies to the deformation style on Venus

  10. The chemical composition of the cores of the terrestrial planets and the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuskov, O. L.; Khitarov, N. I.

    1977-01-01

    Using models of the quasi-chemical theory of solutions, the activity coefficients of silicon are calculated in the melts Fe-Si, Ni-Si, and Fe-Ni-Si. The calculated free energies of solution of liquid nickel and silicon in liquid iron in the interval 0 to 1400 kbar and 1500 to 4000 K, shows that Fe-Ni-Si alloy is stable under the conditions of the outer core of the earth and the cores of the terrestrial planets. The oxidation-reduction conditions are studied, and the fugacity of oxygen in the mantles of the planets and at the core-mantle boundary are calculated. The mechanism of reduction of silicon is analyzed over a broad interval of p and T. The interaction between the matter of the core and mantle is studied, resulting in the extraction of silicon from the mantle and its solution in the material of the core. It is concluded that silicon can enter into the composition of the outer core of the earth and Venus, but probably does not enter into the composition of the cores of Mercury, Mars, and the moon, if in fact the latter possesses one.

  11. Carbonate stability in the reduced lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorfman, Susannah M.; Badro, James; Nabiei, Farhang; Prakapenka, Vitali B.; Cantoni, Marco; Gillet, Philippe

    2018-05-01

    Carbonate minerals are important hosts of carbon in the crust and mantle with a key role in the transport and storage of carbon in Earth's deep interior over the history of the planet. Whether subducted carbonates efficiently melt and break down due to interactions with reduced phases or are preserved to great depths and ultimately reach the core-mantle boundary remains controversial. In this study, experiments in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LHDAC) on layered samples of dolomite (Mg, Ca)CO3 and iron at pressure and temperature conditions reaching those of the deep lower mantle show that carbon-iron redox interactions destabilize the MgCO3 component, producing a mixture of diamond, Fe7C3, and (Mg, Fe)O. However, CaCO3 is preserved, supporting its relative stability in carbonate-rich lithologies under reducing lower mantle conditions. These results constrain the thermodynamic stability of redox-driven breakdown of carbonates and demonstrate progress towards multiphase mantle petrology in the LHDAC at conditions of the lowermost mantle.

  12. Upper Mantle Dynamics of Bangladesh by Splitting Analyzes of Core Refracted SKS and SKKS Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, A. K.; Bhushan, K.; Eken, T.; Singh, A.

    2017-12-01

    New shear wave splitting measurements are obtained from hitherto less studied Bengal Basin using core refracted SKS and SKKS phases. Splitting parameters, time delays (δt) and fast polarization directions (Φ) were estimated through analysis of 64 high-quality waveforms (≥ 2.5 signal to noise ratio) from 29 earthquakes with magnitude ≥5.5 recorded at eight seismic stations deployed over Bangladesh. We found no evidence of splitting which indicates azimuthal isotropy beneath the region. Null measurements can be explained by near vertical axis of anisotropy or by the presence of multiple anisotropic layers with different fast polarization directions, where combined effect results in null. We consider that the presence of partial melts within the upper mantle due to Kerguelen mantle plume activities may be the potential geodynamic cause for observed null measurements. It locally perturbed mantle convection flow beneath the region and reoriented the lattice preferred orientation of the upper mantle mineral mainly olivine as this disabled the core refracted SKS and SKKS phases to scan the anisotropic characteristics of the region, and hence null measurements are obtained.

  13. Hydration-reduced lattice thermal conductivity of olivine in Earth's upper mantle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yun-Yuan; Hsieh, Wen-Pin; Tan, Eh; Chen, Jiuhua

    2017-04-18

    Earth's water cycle enables the incorporation of water (hydration) in mantle minerals that can influence the physical properties of the mantle. Lattice thermal conductivity of mantle minerals is critical for controlling the temperature profile and dynamics of the mantle and subducting slabs. However, the effect of hydration on lattice thermal conductivity remains poorly understood and has often been assumed to be negligible. Here we have precisely measured the lattice thermal conductivity of hydrous San Carlos olivine (Mg 0.9 Fe 0.1 ) 2 SiO 4 (Fo90) up to 15 gigapascals using an ultrafast optical pump-probe technique. The thermal conductivity of hydrous Fo90 with ∼7,000 wt ppm water is significantly suppressed at pressures above ∼5 gigapascals, and is approximately 2 times smaller than the nominally anhydrous Fo90 at mantle transition zone pressures, demonstrating the critical influence of hydration on the lattice thermal conductivity of olivine in this region. Modeling the thermal structure of a subducting slab with our results shows that the hydration-reduced thermal conductivity in hydrated oceanic crust further decreases the temperature at the cold, dry center of the subducting slab. Therefore, the olivine-wadsleyite transformation rate in the slab with hydrated oceanic crust is much slower than that with dry oceanic crust after the slab sinks into the transition zone, extending the metastable olivine to a greater depth. The hydration-reduced thermal conductivity could enable hydrous minerals to survive in deeper mantle and enhance water transportation to the transition zone.

  14. Continental growth and mantle hydration as intertwined feedback cycles in the thermal evolution of Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höning, Dennis; Spohn, Tilman

    2016-06-01

    A model of Earth's continental coverage and mantle water budget is discussed along with its thermal evolution. The model links a thermal evolution model based on parameterized mantle convection with a model of a generic subduction zone that includes the oceanic crust and a sedimentary layer as carriers of water. Part of the subducted water is used to produce continental crust while the remainder is subducted into the mantle. The total length of the subduction zones is calculated from the total surface area of continental crust assuming randomly distributed continents. The mantle viscosity is dependent of temperature and the water concentration. Sediments are generated by continental crust erosion, and water outgassing at mid-oceanic ridges closes the water cycle. We discuss the strongly coupled, non-linear model using a phase plane defined by the continental coverage and mantle water concentration. Fixed points are found in the phase plane at which the rates of change of both variables are zero. These fixed points evolve with time, but in many cases, three fixed points emerge of which two are stable and an intermediate point is unstable with respect to continental coverage. With initial conditions from a Monte-Carlo scheme we calculate evolution paths in the phase plane and find a large spread of final states that all have a mostly balanced water budget. The present day observed 40% continental surface coverage is found near the unstable fixed point. Our evolution model suggests that Earth's continental coverage formed early and has been stable for at least 1.5 Gyr. The effect of mantle water regassing (and mantle viscosity depending on water concentration) is found to lower the present day mantle temperature by about 120 K, but the present day mantle viscosity is affected little. The water cycle thus complements the well-known thermostat effect of viscosity and mantle temperature. Our results further suggest that the biosphere could impact the feedback cycles by

  15. The geobiological nitrogen cycle: From microbes to the mantle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerkle, A L; Mikhail, S

    2017-05-01

    Nitrogen forms an integral part of the main building blocks of life, including DNA, RNA, and proteins. N 2 is the dominant gas in Earth's atmosphere, and nitrogen is stored in all of Earth's geological reservoirs, including the crust, the mantle, and the core. As such, nitrogen geochemistry is fundamental to the evolution of planet Earth and the life it supports. Despite the importance of nitrogen in the Earth system, large gaps remain in our knowledge of how the surface and deep nitrogen cycles have evolved over geologic time. Here, we discuss the current understanding (or lack thereof) for how the unique interaction of biological innovation, geodynamics, and mantle petrology has acted to regulate Earth's nitrogen cycle over geologic timescales. In particular, we explore how temporal variations in the external (biosphere and atmosphere) and internal (crust and mantle) nitrogen cycles could have regulated atmospheric pN 2 . We consider three potential scenarios for the evolution of the geobiological nitrogen cycle over Earth's history: two in which atmospheric pN 2 has changed unidirectionally (increased or decreased) over geologic time and one in which pN 2 could have taken a dramatic deflection following the Great Oxidation Event. It is impossible to discriminate between these scenarios with the currently available models and datasets. However, we are optimistic that this problem can be solved, following a sustained, open-minded, and multidisciplinary effort between surface and deep Earth communities. © 2017 The Authors Geobiology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Hypothesis of Piezoelectricity of Inner Core As the Origin of Geomagnetism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y Hayakawa

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A novel hypothesis is proposed that assumes piezoelectricity of the inner core as the origin of geomagnetism. By high pressure, electric charge is created on the surface and at the center of the earth. Inner core rotation yields a magnetic field. From the intensity and direction of geomagnetism at the present time, the surface charge density of the inner core is assumed to be -2x10-5C/m2. The rotation axis of the inner core is inclined by 10.4 degrees from that of the mantle. The inner core rotates with the mantle rotation. The reason for this is thought to be the eddy currents induced in the outer core of electrically conductive fluid that rotates with the mantle.

  17. Anisotropy in the deep Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanowicz, Barbara; Wenk, Hans-Rudolf

    2017-08-01

    Seismic anisotropy has been found in many regions of the Earth's interior. Its presence in the Earth's crust has been known since the 19th century, and is due in part to the alignment of anisotropic crystals in rocks, and in part to patterns in the distribution of fractures and pores. In the upper mantle, seismic anisotropy was discovered 50 years ago, and can be attributed for the most part, to the alignment of intrinsically anisotropic olivine crystals during large scale deformation associated with convection. There is some indication for anisotropy in the transition zone, particularly in the vicinity of subducted slabs. Here we focus on the deep Earth - the lower mantle and core, where anisotropy is not yet mapped in detail, nor is there consensus on its origin. Most of the lower mantle appears largely isotropic, except in the last 200-300 km, in the D″ region, where evidence for seismic anisotropy has been accumulating since the late 1980s, mostly from shear wave splitting measurements. Recently, a picture has been emerging, where strong anisotropy is associated with high shear velocities at the edges of the large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) in the central Pacific and under Africa. These observations are consistent with being due to the presence of highly anisotropic MgSiO3 post-perovskite crystals, aligned during the deformation of slabs impinging on the core-mantle boundary, and upwelling flow within the LLSVPs. We also discuss mineral physics aspects such as ultrahigh pressure deformation experiments, first principles calculations to obtain information about elastic properties, and derivation of dislocation activity based on bonding characteristics. Polycrystal plasticity simulations can predict anisotropy but models are still highly idealized and neglect the complex microstructure of polyphase aggregates with strong and weak components. A promising direction for future progress in understanding the origin of seismic anisotropy in the deep mantle

  18. Rotational modes of a simple Earth model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seyed-Mahmoud, B.; Rochester, M. G.; Rogister, Y. J. G.

    2017-12-01

    We study the tilt-over mode (TOM), the spin-over mode (SOM), the free core nutation (FCN), and their relationships to each other using a simple Earth model with a homogeneous and incompressible liquid core and a rigid mantle. Analytical solutions for the periods of these modes as well as that of the Chandler wobble is found for the Earth model. We show that the FCN is the same mode as the SOM of a wobbling Earth. The reduced pressure, in terms of which the vector momentum equation is known to reduce to a scalar second order differential equation (the so called Poincaŕe equation), is used as the independent variable. Analytical solutions are then found for the displacement eigenfucntions in a meridional plane of the liquid core for the aforementioned modes. We show that the magnitude of motion in the mantle during the FCN is comparable to that in the liquid core, hence very small. The displacement eigenfunctions for these aforementioned modes as well as those for the free inner core nutation (FICN), computed numerically, are also given for a three layer Earth model which also includes a rigid but capable of wobbling inner core. We will discuss the slow convergence of the period of the FICN in terms of the characteristic surfaces of the Poincare equation.

  19. Polarity reversals and tilt of the Earth's magnetic dipole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolginov, A. Z.

    1993-01-01

    There is evidence that the terrestrial magnetic field is connected with the Earth's mantle: (1) there are magnetic anomalies that do not take part in the westward drift of the main field, but are fixed with respect to the mantle; (2) the geomagnetic pole position flips in a particular way by preferred meridional paths during a reversal; and (3) magnetic polarity reversals are correlated with the activations of geological processes. These facts may be explained if we take into account that a significant horizontal temperature gradient can exist in the top levels of the liquid core because of the different thermoconductivity of the different areas of the core-mantle boundary. These temperature inhomogeneities can penetrate the core because fluxes along the core boundary (the thermal wind) can be strongly suppressed by a small redistribution of the chemical composition in the top of the core. The nonparallel gradients of the temperature, density, and composition on the top of the core create a curled electric field that produces a current and a magnetic field. This seed-field can be amplified by motions in the core. The resulting field does not forget the seed-field distribution and in this way the field on the Earth surface (that can be created only in regions with high conductivity, i.e. in the core) is connected with the core-mantle boundary. Contrary to the usual approach to the dynamo problem, we will take into account that the seed field of thermoelectric origin is acting not only at some initial moment of time but permanently.

  20. Torsional Oscillations of the Earths's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hide, Raymond; Boggs, Dale H.; Dickey, Jean O.

    1997-01-01

    Torsional oscillations of the Earth's liquid metallic outer core are investigated by diving the core into twenty imaginary e1qui-volume annuli coaxial with the axis of ratation of the Earth and determining temproal fluctuations in the axial component of angular memonetum of each annulus under the assumption of iso-rotation on cylindrical surfaces.

  1. Evolution of the Oxidation State of the Earth's Mantle: Challenges of High Pressure Quenching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L. R.; Righter, K.; Keller, L.; Christoffersen, R.; Rahman, Z.

    2015-01-01

    The oxidation state of the Earth's mantle during formation remains an unresolved question, whether it was constant throughout planetary accretion, transitioned from reduced to oxidized, or from oxidized to reduced. We investigate the stability of Fe3+ at depth, in order to constrain processes (water, late accretion, dissociation of FeO) which may reduce or oxidize the Earth's mantle. Experiments of more mafic compositions and at higher pressures commonly form a polyphase quench intergrowth composed primarily of pyroxenes, with interstitial glass which hosts nearly all of the more volatile minor elements. In our previous experiments on shergottite compositions, variable fO2, T, and P is less than 4 GPa, Fe3+/TotFe decreased slightly with increasing P, similar to terrestrial basalt. For oxidizing experiments less than 7GPa, Fe3+/TotFe decreased as well, but it's unclear from previous modelling whether the deeper mantle could retain significant Fe3+. Our current experiments expand our pressure range deeper into the Earth's mantle and focus on compositions and conditions relevant to the early Earth. Experiments with Knippa basalt as the starting composition were conducted at 1-8 GPa and 1800 C, using a molybdenum capsule to set the fO2 near IW, by buffering with Mo-MoO3. TEM and EELS analyses revealed the run products from 7-8 GPa quenched to polycrystalline phases, with the major phase pyroxene containing approximately equal Fe3+/2+. A number of different approaches have been employed to produce glassy samples that can be measured by EELS and XANES. A more intermediate andesite was used in one experiment, and decompression during quenching was attempted after, but both resulted in a finer grained polyphase texture. Experiments are currently underway to test different capsule materials may affect quench texture. A preliminary experiment using liquid nitrogen to greatly enhance the rate of cooling of the assembly has also been attempted and this technique will be

  2. Seismological evidence for a localized mushy zone at the Earth?s inner core boundary

    OpenAIRE

    Tian, Dongdong; Wen, Lianxing

    2017-01-01

    Although existence of a mushy zone in the Earth?s inner core has been hypothesized several decades ago, no seismic evidence has ever been reported. Based on waveform modeling of seismic compressional waves that are reflected off the Earth?s inner core boundary, here we present seismic evidence for a localized 4?8?km thick zone across the inner core boundary beneath southwest Okhotsk Sea with seismic properties intermediate between those of the inner and outer core and of a mushy zone. Such a ...

  3. Application of supercomputers to 3-D mantle convection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baumgardner, J.R.

    1986-01-01

    Current generation vector machines are providing for the first time the computing power needed to treat planetary mantle convection in a fully three-dimensional fashion. A numerical technique known as multigrid has been implemented in spherical geometry using a hierarchy of meshes constructed from the regular icosahedron to yield a highly efficient three-dimensional compressible Eulerian finite element hydrodynamics formulation. The paper describes the numerical method and presents convection solutions for the mantles of both the earth and the Moon. In the case of the Earth, the convection pattern is characterized by upwelling in narrow circular plumes originating at the core-mantle boundary and by downwelling in sheets or slabs derived from the cold upper boundary layer. The preferred number of plumes appears to be on the order of six or seven. For the Moon, the numerical results indicate that development of a predominately L = 2 pattern in later lunar history is a plausible explanation for the present large second-degree non-hydrostatic component in the lunar figure

  4. Bottom-up control of geomagnetic secular variation by the Earth's inner core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aubert, Julien; Finlay, Chris; Fournier, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    of geomagnetic secular variation. Here we show that it can be reproduced provided that two mechanisms relying on the inner core are jointly considered. First, gravitational coupling5 aligns the inner core with the mantle, forcing the flow of liquid metal in the outer core into a giant, westward drifting, sheet...... release in the outer core which in turn distorts the gyre, forcing it to become eccentric, in agreement with recent core flow inversions6, 10, 11. This bottom-up heterogeneous driving of core convection dominates top-down driving from mantle thermal heterogeneities, and localizes magnetic variations......Temporal changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, known as geomagnetic secular variation, occur most prominently at low latitudes in the Atlantic hemisphere1, 2 (that is, from −90 degrees east to 90 degrees east), whereas in the Pacific hemisphere there is comparatively little activity...

  5. Some anticipated contributions to core fluid dynamics from the GRM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanvorhies, C.

    1985-01-01

    It is broadly maintained that the secular variation (SV) of the large scale geomagnetic field contains information on the fluid dynamics of Earth's electrically conducting outer core. The electromagnetic theory appropriate to a simple Earth model has recently been combined with reduced geomagnetic data in order to extract some of this information and ascertain its significance. The simple Earth model consists of a rigid, electrically insulating mantle surrounding a spherical, inviscid, and perfectly conducting liquid outer core. This model was tested against seismology by using truncated spherical harmonic models of the observed geomagnetic field to locate Earth's core-mantle boundary, CMB. Further electromagnetic theory has been developed and applied to the problem of estimating the horizontal fluid motion just beneath CMB. Of particular geophysical interest are the hypotheses that these motions: (1) include appreciable surface divergence indicative of vertical motion at depth, and (2) are steady for time intervals of a decade or more. In addition to the extended testing of the basic Earth model, the proposed GRM provides a unique opportunity to test these dynamical hypotheses.

  6. Lunar Core and Tides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.

    2004-01-01

    Variations in rotation and orientation of the Moon are sensitive to solid-body tidal dissipation, dissipation due to relative motion at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and tidal Love number k2 [1,2]. There is weaker sensitivity to flattening of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) [2,3,4] and fluid core moment of inertia [1]. Accurate Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements of the distance from observatories on the Earth to four retroreflector arrays on the Moon are sensitive to lunar rotation and orientation variations and tidal displacements. Past solutions using the LLR data have given results for dissipation due to solid-body tides and fluid core [1] plus Love number [1-5]. Detection of CMB flattening, which in the past has been marginal but improving [3,4,5], now seems significant. Direct detection of the core moment has not yet been achieved.

  7. The high-pressure phase diagram of Fe(0.94)O - A possible constituent of the earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knittle, Elise; Jeanloz, Raymond

    1991-01-01

    Electrical resistivity measurements to pressures of 83 GPa and temperatures ranging from 300 K to 4300 K confirm the presence of both crystalline and liquid metallic phases of FeO at pressures above 60-70 GPa and temperatures above 1000 K. By experimentally determinig the melting temperature of FeO to 100 GPa and of a model-core composition at 83 GPa, it is found that the solid-melt equilibria can be described by complete solid solution across the Fe-FeO system at pressures above 70 GPa. The results indicate that oxygen is a viable and likely candidate for the major light alloying element of the earth's liquid outer core. The data suggest that the temperature at the core-mantle boundary is close to 4800 K and that heat lost out of the core accounts for more than 20 percent of the heat flux observed at the surface.

  8. Average structure of the upper earth mantle and crust between Albuquerque and the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garbin, H.D.

    1979-08-01

    Models of Earth structures were constructed by inverting seismic data obtained from nuclear events with a 1600-m-long laser strain meter. With these models the general structure of the earth's upper mantle and crust between Albuquerque and the Nevada Test Site was determined. 3 figures, 3 tables

  9. High accuracy mantle convection simulation through modern numerical methods

    KAUST Repository

    Kronbichler, Martin

    2012-08-21

    Numerical simulation of the processes in the Earth\\'s mantle is a key piece in understanding its dynamics, composition, history and interaction with the lithosphere and the Earth\\'s core. However, doing so presents many practical difficulties related to the numerical methods that can accurately represent these processes at relevant scales. This paper presents an overview of the state of the art in algorithms for high-Rayleigh number flows such as those in the Earth\\'s mantle, and discusses their implementation in the Open Source code Aspect (Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth\\'s ConvecTion). Specifically, we show how an interconnected set of methods for adaptive mesh refinement (AMR), higher order spatial and temporal discretizations, advection stabilization and efficient linear solvers can provide high accuracy at a numerical cost unachievable with traditional methods, and how these methods can be designed in a way so that they scale to large numbers of processors on compute clusters. Aspect relies on the numerical software packages deal.II and Trilinos, enabling us to focus on high level code and keeping our implementation compact. We present results from validation tests using widely used benchmarks for our code, as well as scaling results from parallel runs. © 2012 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2012 RAS.

  10. Geodynamo and mantle convection simulations on the Earth Simulator using the Yin-Yang grid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kageyama, Akira; Yoshida, Masaki

    2005-01-01

    We have developed finite difference codes based on the Yin-Yang grid for the geodynamo simulation and the mantle convection simulation. The Yin-Yang grid is a kind of spherical overset grid that is composed of two identical component grids. The intrinsic simplicity of the mesh configuration of the Yin-Yang grid enables us to develop highly optimized simulation codes on massively parallel supercomputers. The Yin-Yang geodynamo code has achieved 15.2 Tflops with 4096 processors on the Earth Simulator. This represents 46% of the theoretical peak performance. The Yin-Yang mantle code has enabled us to carry out mantle convection simulations in realistic regimes with a Rayleigh number of 10 7 including strongly temperature dependent viscosity with spatial contrast up to 10 6

  11. The role of upper mantle mineral phase transitions on the current structure of large-scale Earth's mantle convection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoraval, C.

    2017-12-01

    Describing the large-scale structures of mantle convection and quantifying the mass transfer between upper and lower mantle request to account for the role played by mineral phase transitions in the transition zone. We build a density distribution within the Earth mantle from velocity anomalies described by global seismic tomographic models. The density distribution includes thermal anomalies and topographies of the phase transitions at depths of 410 and 660 km. We compute the flow driven by this density distribution using a 3D spherical circulation model, which account for depth-dependent viscosity. The dynamic topographies at the surface and at the CMB and the geoid are calculated as well. Within the range of viscosity profiles allowing for a satisfying restitution of the long wavelength geoid, we perform a parametric study to decipher the role of the characteristics of phase diagrams - mainly the Clapeyron's slopes - and of the kinetics of phase transitions, which may modify phase transition topographies. Indeed, when a phase transition is delayed, the boundary between two mineral phases is both dragged by the flow and interfere with it. The results are compared to recent estimations of surface dynamic topography and to the phase transition topographies as revealed by seismic studies. The consequences are then discussed in terms of structure of mantle flow. Comparisons between various tomographic models allow us to enlighten the most robust features. At last, the role played by the phase transitions on the lateral variations of mass transfer between upper and lower mantle are quantified by comparison to cases with no phase transitions and confronted to regional tomographic models, which reflect the variability of the behaviors of the descending slabs in the transition zone.

  12. Rapidly changing flows in the Earth's core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Nils; Mandea, M.

    2008-01-01

    A large part of the Earth's magnetic field is generated by fluid motion in the molten outer core(1). As a result of continuous satellite measurements since 1999, the core magnetic field and its recent variations can now be described with a high resolution in space and time(2). These data have...... field occurring over only a few months, indicative of fluid flow at the top of the core, can in fact be resolved. Using nine years of magnetic field data obtained by satellites as well as Earth-based observatories, we determine the temporal changes in the core magnetic field and flow in the core. We...

  13. Constraining the composition and thermal state of the mantle beneath Europe from inversion of long-period electromagnetic sounding data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Amir; Connolly, J.A.D.; Olsen, Nils

    2006-01-01

    We reexamine the problem of inverting C responses, covering periods between 1 month and 1 year collected from 42 European observatories, to constrain the internal structure of the Earth. Earlier studies used the C responses, which connect the magnetic vertical component and the horizontal gradient...... of the horizontal components of electromagnetic variations, to obtain the conductivity profile of the Earth's mantle. Here, we go beyond this approach by inverting directly for chemical composition and thermal state of the Earth, rather than subsurface electrical conductivity structure. The primary inversion...... of geophysical data for compositional parameters, planetary composition, and thermal state is feasible. The inversion indicates most probable lower mantle geothermal gradients of similar to 0.58 K/km, core mantle boundary temperatures of similar to 2900 degrees C, bulk Earth molar Mg/Si ratios of similar to 1...

  14. Plate Tectonic Cycling and Whole Mantle Convection Modulate Earth's 3He/22Ne Ratio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dygert, N. J.; Jackson, C.; Hesse, M. A.; Tremblay, M. M.; Shuster, D. L.; Gu, J.

    2016-12-01

    3He and 22Ne are not produced in the mantle or fractionated by partial melting, and neither isotope is recycled back into the mantle by subduction of oceanic basalt or sediment. Thus, it is a surprise that large 3He/22Ne variations exist within the mantle and that the mantle has a net elevated 3He/22Ne ratio compared to volatile-rich planetary precursor materials. Depleted subcontinental lithospheric mantle and mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) mantle have distinctly higher 3He/22Ne compared to ocean island basalt (OIB) sources ( 4-12.5 vs. 2.5-4.5, respectively) [1,2]. The low 3He/22Ne of OIBs approaches chondritic ( 1) and solar nebula values ( 1.5). The high 3He/22Ne of the MORB mantle is not similar to solar sources or any known family of meteorites, requiring a mechanism for fractionating He from Ne in the mantle and suggesting isolation of distinct mantle reservoirs throughout geologic time. We model the formation of a MORB source with elevated and variable 3He/22Ne though diffusive exchange between dunite channel-hosted basaltic liquids and harzburgite wallrock beneath mid-ocean ridges. Over timescales relevant to mantle upwelling beneath spreading centers, He may diffuse tens to hundreds of meters into wallrock while Ne is relatively immobile, producing a regassed, depleted mantle lithosphere with elevated 3He/22Ne. Subduction of high 3He/22Ne mantle would generate a MORB source with high 3He/22Ne. Regassed, high 3He/22Ne mantle lithosphere has He concentrations 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than undegassed mantle. To preserve the large volumes of high 3He/22Ne mantle required by the MORB source, mixing between subducted and undegassed mantle reservoirs must have been limited throughout geologic time. Using the new 3He/22Ne constraints, we ran a model similar to [3] to quantify mantle mixing timescales, finding they are on the order of Gyr assuming physically reasonable seafloor spreading rates, and that Earth's convecting mantle has lost >99% of its primordial

  15. V, Cr, and Mn in the Earth, Moon, EPB, and SPB and the origin of the Moon: Experimental studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drake, M.J.; Capobianco, C.J.; Newsom, H.E.

    1989-01-01

    The abundances of V, Cr, and Mn inferred for the mantles of the Earth and Moon decrease in that order and are similar, but are distinct from those inferred for the mantles of the Eucrite Parent Body (EPB) and Shergottite Parent Body (SPB). This similarity between Earth and Moon has been used to suggest that the Moon is derived substantially or entirely from Earth mantle material following terrestrial core formation. To test this hypothesis, the authors have determined the partitioning of V, Cr, and Mn between solid iron metal, S-rich metallic liquid, and synthetic basaltic silicate liquid at 1,260 degree C and one bar pressure. The sequence of compatibility in the metallic phases is Cr > V > Mn at high oxygen fugacity and V > Cr > Mn at low oxygen fugacities. Solubilities in liquid metal always exceed solubilities in solid metal. These partition coefficients suggest that the abundances of V, Cr, and Mn do not reflect core formation in the Earth. Rather, they are consistent with the relative volatilities of these elements. The similarity in the depletion patterns of V, Cr, and Mn inferred for the mantles of the Earth and Moon is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the Moon to have been derived wholly or in part from the Earth's mantle

  16. Fortnightly Ocean Tides, Earth Rotation, and Mantle Anelasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Richard; Egbert, Gary

    2012-01-01

    The fortnightly Mf ocean tide is the largest of the long-period tides (periods between 1 week and 18.6 years), but Mf is still very small, generally 2 cm or less. All long-period tides are thought to be near equilibrium with the astronomical tidal potential, with an almost pure zonal structure. However, several lines of evidence point to Mf having a significant dynamic response to forcing. We use a combination of numerical modeling, satellite altimetry, and observations of polar motion to determine the Mf ocean tide and to place constraints on certain global properties, such as angular momentum. Polar motion provides the only constraints on Mf tidal currents. With a model of the Mf ocean tide in hand, we use it to remove the effects of the ocean from estimates of fortnightly variations in length-of-day. The latter is dominated by the earth's body tide, but a small residual allows us to place new constraints on the anelasticity of the earth's mantle. The result gives the first experimental confirmation of theoretical predictions made by Wahr and Bergen in 1986.

  17. Historical Variations in Inner Core Rotation and Polar Motion at Decade Timescales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumberry, M.

    2005-12-01

    Exchanges of angular momentum between the mantle, the fluid core and the solid inner core result in changes in the Earth's rotation. Torques in the axial direction produce changes in amplitude, or changes in length of day, while torques in the equatorial direction lead to changes in orientation of the rotation vector with respect to the mantle, or polar motion. In this work, we explore the possibility that a combination of electromagnetic and gravitational torques on the inner core can reproduce the observed decadal variations in polar motion known as the Markowitz wobble. Torsional oscillations, which involve azimuthal motions in the fluid core with typical periods of decades, entrain the inner core by electromagnetic traction. When the inner core is axially rotated, its surfaces of constant density are no longer aligned with the gravitational potential from mantle density heterogeneities, and this results in a gravitational torque between the two. The axial component of this torque has been previously described and is believed to be partly responsible for decadal changes in length of day. In this work, we show that it has also an equatorial component, which produces a tilt of the inner core and results in polar motion. The polar motion produced by this mechanism depends on the density structure in the mantle, the rheology of the inner core, and the time-history of the angle of axial misalignment between the inner core and the mantle. We reconstruct the latter using a model of torsional oscillations derived from geomagnetic secular variation. From this time-history, and by using published models of mantle density structure, we show that we can reproduce the salient characteristics of the Markowitz wobble: an eccentric decadal polar motion of 30-50 milliarcsecs oriented along a specific longitude. We discuss the implications of this result, noting that a match in both amplitude and phase of the observed Markowitz wobble allows the recovery of the historical

  18. Stagnant lids and mantle overturns: Implications for Archaean tectonics, magmagenesis, crustal growth, mantle evolution, and the start of plate tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean H. Bédard

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The lower plate is the dominant agent in modern convergent margins characterized by active subduction, as negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere sinks into the asthenosphere under its own weight. This is a strong plate-driving force because the slab-pull force is transmitted through the stiff sub-oceanic lithospheric mantle. As geological and geochemical data seem inconsistent with the existence of modern-style ridges and arcs in the Archaean, a periodically-destabilized stagnant-lid crust system is proposed instead. Stagnant-lid intervals may correspond to periods of layered mantle convection where efficient cooling was restricted to the upper mantle, perturbing Earth's heat generation/loss balance, eventually triggering mantle overturns. Archaean basalts were derived from fertile mantle in overturn upwelling zones (OUZOs, which were larger and longer-lived than post-Archaean plumes. Early cratons/continents probably formed above OUZOs as large volumes of basalt and komatiite were delivered for protracted periods, allowing basal crustal cannibalism, garnetiferous crustal restite delamination, and coupled development of continental crust and sub-continental lithospheric mantle. Periodic mixing and rehomogenization during overturns retarded development of isotopically depleted MORB (mid-ocean ridge basalt mantle. Only after the start of true subduction did sequestration of subducted slabs at the core-mantle boundary lead to the development of the depleted MORB mantle source. During Archaean mantle overturns, pre-existing continents located above OUZOs would be strongly reworked; whereas OUZO-distal continents would drift in response to mantle currents. The leading edge of drifting Archaean continents would be convergent margins characterized by terrane accretion, imbrication, subcretion and anatexis of unsubductable oceanic lithosphere. As Earth cooled and the background oceanic lithosphere became denser and stiffer, there would be an increasing

  19. A uranium core for the Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouat, S.

    2003-01-01

    According to the theory of M. Herndon, a US independent geophysicist, the center of the Earth's core should be made of a uranium sphere of about 8 km of diameter. This natural reactor, or 'geo-reactor', should be at the origin of the internal heat and of the magnetic field of the Earth. M. Herndon has extended his theory to the other planets of the solar system. This theory contradicts the one adopted since the 1940's by the community of geophysicists and which involves a crystallized iron and nickel internal core inside a liquid iron external core. Herndon's theory can explain also the geomagnetic field reversals. (J.S.)

  20. Lunar Fluid Core and Solid-Body Tides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.

    2005-01-01

    Variations in rotation and orientation of the Moon are sensitive to solid-body tidal dissipation, dissipation due to relative motion at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and tidal Love number k2 [1,2]. There is weaker sensitivity to flattening of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) [2-5] and fluid core moment of inertia [1]. Accurate Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements of the distance from observatories on the Earth to four retroreflector arrays on the Moon are sensitive to lunar rotation and orientation variations and tidal displacements. Past solutions using the LLR data have given results for dissipation due to solid-body tides and fluid core [1] plus Love number [1-5]. Detection of CMB flattening has been improving [3,5] and now seems significant. This strengthens the case for a fluid lunar core.

  1. The effects of mantle and anelasticity on nutations, earth tides, and tidal variations in rotation rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahr, John; Bergen, Zachary

    1986-01-01

    The paper models the effects of mantle anelasticity on luni-solar nutations, on tidal deformation, on tidal variations in rotation rate, and on the eigenfrequency of the free core nutation. The results can be used to invert observations to solve for the anelastic contributions to the shear and bulk moduli of the upper and lower mantle. Specific anelastic models are used to numerically estimate the effects of anelasticity on these geodetic observables. The nutation estimates are compared with observational results. Among the conclusions: (1) mantle anelasticity is likely to be the most important source of damping for the free core nutation; (2) present VLBI nutation results are, in principle, accurate enough to usefully bound anelasticity at diurnal periods. But the discrepancy between the VLBI observed nutations and the 1984 IAU nutation model cannot be explained by anelasticity and is not yet well enough understood to allow anelasticity to be determined from the data.

  2. Use of mineral physics, with geodynamic modelling and seismology, to investigate flow in the Earth's mantle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blackman, D K

    2007-01-01

    Seismologists and mineral physicists have known for decades that anisotropy inherent in mantle minerals could provide a means to relate surface seismic measurements to deformation patterns at great depth in the Earth, where direct geologic observations would never be possible. Prior to the past decade, only qualitative relationships or simple symmetry assumptions between mantle flow (deformation), mineral alignment and seismic anisotropy were possible. Recent numerical methods now allow quantitative incorporation of constraints from mineral physics to flow/deformation models and, thereby, direct estimates of the resulting pattern of seismic anisotropy can be made and compared with observed signatures. Numerical methods for simulating microstructural deformation within an aggregate of minerals subjected to an arbitrary stress field make it possible to quantitatively link crystal-scale processes with large-scale Earth processes of mantle flow and seismic wave propagation, on regional (100s of kilometres) and even global scales. Such linked numerical investigations provide a rich field for exploring inter-dependences of micro and macro processes, as well as a means to determine the extents to which viable seismic experiments could discern between different models of Earth structure and dynamics. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of why and how linked numerical models are useful for exploring processes in the mantle and how they relate to surface tectonics. A brief introduction to the basic concepts of deformation of mantle minerals and the limits of knowledge currently available are designed to serve both the subsequent discussions in this review and as an entry point to more detailed literature for readers interested in pursuing the topic further. The reference list includes both primary sources and pertinent review articles on individual aspects of the combined subjects covered in the review. A series of flow/texturing models illustrate the

  3. Core rotational dynamics and geological events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greff-Lefftz; Legros

    1999-11-26

    A study of Earth's fluid core oscillations induced by lunar-solar tidal forces, together with tidal secular deceleration of Earth's axial rotation, shows that the rotational eigenfrequency of the fluid core and some solar tidal waves were in resonance around 3.0 x 10(9), 1.8 x 10(9), and 3 x 10(8) years ago. The associated viscomagnetic frictional power at the core boundaries may be converted into heat and would destabilize the D" thermal layer, leading to the generation of deep-mantle plumes, and would also increase the temperature at the fluid core boundaries, perturbing the core dynamo process. Such phenomena could account for large-scale episodes of continental crust formation, the generation of flood basalts, and abrupt changes in geomagnetic reversal frequency.

  4. The Evolution of the Earth's Magnetic Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloxham, Jeremy; Gubbins, David

    1989-01-01

    Describes the change of earth's magnetic field at the boundary between the outer core and the mantle. Measurement techniques used during the last 300 years are considered. Discusses the theories and research for explaining the field change. (YP)

  5. Spin crossover and Mott—Hubbard transition under high pressure and high temperature in the low mantle of the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovchinnikov, S. G.; Ovchinnikova, T. M.; Plotkin, V. V.; Dyad'kov, P. G.

    2015-11-01

    Effect of high pressure induced spin crossover on the magnetic, electronic and structural properties of the minerals forming the Earth's low mantle is discussed. The low temperature P, T phase diagram of ferropericlase has the quantum phase transition point Pc = 56 GPa at T = 0 confirmed recently by the synchrotron Mössbauer spectroscopy. The LDA+GTB calculated phase diagram describes the experimental data. Its extension to the high temperature resulted earlier in prediction of the metallic properties of the Earth's mantle at the depth 1400 km insulator transition and compare them with the experimental seismic and geomagnetic field data.

  6. The steady part of the secular variation of the Earth's magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloxham, Jeremy

    1992-01-01

    The secular variation of the Earth's magnetic field results from the effects of magnetic induction in the fluid outer core and from the effects of magnetic diffusion in the core and the mantle. Adequate observations to map the magnetic field at the core-mantle boundary extend back over three centuries, providing a model of the secular variation at the core-mantle boundary. Here we consider how best to analyze this time-dependent part of the field. To calculate steady core flow over long time periods, we introduce an adaptation of our earlier method of calculating the flow in order to achieve greater numerical stability. We perform this procedure for the periods 1840-1990 and 1690-1840 and find that well over 90 percent of the variance of the time-dependent field can be explained by simple steady core flow. The core flows obtained for the two intervals are broadly similar to each other and to flows determined over much shorter recent intervals.

  7. Plate tectonics, mantle convection and D'' seismic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Lianxing

    This thesis adopts multidisciplinary (geodynamical and seismological) approaches toward understanding dynamics of the Earth's mantle. My geodynamical approach is directed at understanding the relationship between large-scale surface observables (geoid, topography, plate motions) and mantle rheology and convection of the present-day Earth. In chapter 2, I remove shallow mantle structure of various tectonic features to generate "residual tomography." In chapter 3, I show that the pattern, spectrum and amplitude of the "residual topography" are consistent with shallow origin of the "Earth surface dynamic topography;" the long wavelength geoid and topography (l = 2-3) are successfully explained by density models inferred from the "residual tomography," assuming layered mantle convection stratified at the "920 km seismic discontinuity." In chapter 4, I develop a new method to calculate mantle flow with lateral variation of viscosity. The viscosity contrast between continental and oceanic regions is identified to have dominating effects on both the observed poloidal/toroidal ratio and pattern of toroidal motions at long wavelengths. My seismological approach is focused on exploring fine structures near the core-mantle boundary (CMB) and developing new seismic techniques. I discuss the method development and strategies to explore fine structures in the following chapters. In chapter 5, I develop a hybrid method, a combination of analytical and numerical methods, with numerical methods applied in heterogeneous regions only. In chapter 6, I constrain the general structures of the ultra low velocity zones (ULVZ) near the CMB under the south-east Pacific and Iceland. The SKS-SPdKS data are explained by ULVZ with P-velocity reduction of 10%, horizontal length-scales of about 250 km and height of about 40 km. S-velocity reduction of 30% is consistent with the data. In chapter 7, I constrain the detailed structures of the ULVZ near the CMB from observed broadband PKP precursors

  8. Study of the plasma mantle in the Earth magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pisarenko, N.F.; Dubinin, Eh.M.; Zakharov, A.V.; Lundin, R.; Khultkvist, B.

    1983-01-01

    Investigations of ionospheric ion acceleration processes are performed according to the ''Promix-1'' experimental data at the ''Prognoz-7''satellite. In many cases energies of O + , He + , H + ionospheric ions considerably exceed energies of corresponding ions at approximately 1 Rsub(E) heights (where Rsub(E) is the Earth radius). There are conical ion dastrib-tions of an ionospheric origiq. Such values of angu-- tar characteristics cannot be expiaaned %n the framework of adiabatic ion motion. Conical distributions of H + and He ++ ions from solar wind also exist. From the analysis of angular distributions of ion fluxes in the plasma mantle it follows that scattering of ions in pitch angles and ion acceleration in a transverse direction take place

  9. THE INFLUENCE OF PRESSURE-DEPENDENT VISCOSITY ON THE THERMAL EVOLUTION OF SUPER-EARTHS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stamenkovic, Vlada; Noack, Lena; Spohn, Tilman [Institute of Planetology, Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster, Wilhelm-Klemm-Str. 10, 48149 Muenster (Germany); Breuer, Doris, E-mail: Vlada.Stamenkovic@dlr.de, E-mail: Lena.Noack@dlr.de, E-mail: Doris.Breuer@dlr.de, E-mail: Tilman.Spohn@dlr.de [Institute of Planetary Research, German Aerospace Center DLR, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489 Berlin (Germany)

    2012-03-20

    We study the thermal evolution of super-Earths with a one-dimensional (1D) parameterized convection model that has been adopted to account for a strong pressure dependence of the viscosity. A comparison with a 2D spherical convection model shows that the derived parameterization satisfactorily represents the main characteristics of the thermal evolution of massive rocky planets. We find that the pressure dependence of the viscosity strongly influences the thermal evolution of super-Earths-resulting in a highly sluggish convection regime in the lower mantles of those planets. Depending on the effective activation volume and for cooler initial conditions, we observe with growing planetary mass even the formation of a conductive lid above the core-mantle boundary (CMB), a so-called CMB-lid. For initially molten planets our results suggest no CMB-lids but instead a hot lower mantle and core as well as sluggish lower mantle convection. This implies that the initial interior temperatures, especially in the lower mantle, become crucial for the thermal evolution-the thermostat effect suggested to regulate the interior temperatures in terrestrial planets does not work for massive planets if the viscosity is strongly pressure dependent. The sluggish convection and the potential formation of the CMB-lid reduce the convective vigor throughout the mantle, thereby affecting convective stresses, lithospheric thicknesses, and heat fluxes. The pressure dependence of the viscosity may therefore also strongly affect the propensity of plate tectonics, volcanic activity, and the generation of a magnetic field of super-Earths.

  10. Re-Os Isotopic Constraints on the Chemical Evolution and Differentiation of the Martian Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Alan D.; Walker, Richard J.

    2002-01-01

    The (187)Re-187Os isotopic systematics of SNC meteorites, thought to be from Mars, provide valuable information regarding the chemical processes that affected the Martian mantle, particularly with regard to the relative abundances of highly siderophile elements (HSE). Previously published data (Birck and Allegre 1994, Brandon et al. 2000), and new data obtained since these studies, indicate that the HSE and Os isotopic composition of the Martian mantle was primarily set in its earliest differentiation history. If so, then these meteorites provide key constraints on the processes that lead to variation in HSE observed in not only Mars, but also Earth, the Moon and other rocky bodies in the Solar System. Processes that likely have an effect on the HSE budgets of terrestrial mantles include core formation, magma ocean crystallization, development of juvenile crust, and the addition of a late veneer. Each of these processes will result in different HSE variation and the isotopic composition of mantle materials and mantle derived lavas. Two observations on the SNC data to present provide a framework for which to test the importance of each of these processes. First, the concentrations of Re and Os in SNC meteorites indicate that they are derived from a mantle that has similar concentrations to the Earth's mantle. Such an observation is consistent with a model where a chondritic late veneer replenished the Earth and Martian mantles subsequent to core formation on each planet. Alternative models to explain this observation do exist, but will require additional data to test the limitations of each. Second, Re-Os isotopic results from Brandon et al. (2000) and new data presented here, show that initial yos correlates with variations in the short-lived systems of (182)Hf- (182)W and (142)Sm-142Nd in the SNC meteorites (epsilon(sub W) and epsilon(sub 142Nd)). These systematics require an isolation of mantle reservoirs during the earliest differentiation history of Mars, and

  11. Electromagnetically driven westward drift and inner-core superrotation in Earth's core.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livermore, Philip W; Hollerbach, Rainer; Jackson, Andrew

    2013-10-01

    A 3D numerical model of the earth's core with a viscosity two orders of magnitude lower than the state of the art suggests a link between the observed westward drift of the magnetic field and superrotation of the inner core. In our model, the axial electromagnetic torque has a dominant influence only at the surface and in the deepest reaches of the core, where it respectively drives a broad westward flow rising to an axisymmetric equatorial jet and imparts an eastward-directed torque on the solid inner core. Subtle changes in the structure of the internal magnetic field may alter not just the magnitude but the direction of these torques. This not only suggests that the quasi-oscillatory nature of inner-core superrotation [Tkalčić H, Young M, Bodin T, Ngo S, Sambridge M (2013) The shuffling rotation of the earth's inner core revealed by earthquake doublets. Nat Geosci 6:497-502.] may be driven by decadal changes in the magnetic field, but further that historical periods in which the field exhibited eastward drift were contemporaneous with a westward inner-core rotation. The model further indicates a strong internal shear layer on the tangent cylinder that may be a source of torsional waves inside the core.

  12. Mantle superplumes induce geomagnetic superchrons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eOlson

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available We use polarity reversal systematics from numerical dynamos to quantify the hypothesis that the modulation of geomagnetic reversal frequency, including geomagnetic superchrons, results from changes in core heat flux related to growth and collapse of lower mantle superplumes. We parameterize the reversal frequency sensitivity from numerical dynamos in terms of average core heat flux normalized by the difference between the present-day core heat flux and the core heat flux at geomagnetic superchron onset. A low-order polynomial fit to the 0-300 Ma Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (GPTS reveals that a decrease in core heat flux relative to present-day of approximately 30% can account for the Cretaceous Normal Polarity and Kiaman Reverse Polarity Superchrons, whereas the hyper-reversing periods in the Jurassic require a core heat flux equal to or higher than present-day. Possible links between GPTS transitions, large igneous provinces (LIPs, and the two lower mantle superplumes are explored. Lower mantle superplume growth and collapse induce GPTS transitions by increasing and decreasing core heat flux, respectively. Age clusters of major LIPs postdate transitions from hyper-reversing to superchron geodynamo states by 30-60 Myr, suggesting that superchron onset may be contemporaneous with LIP-forming instabilities produced during collapses of lower mantle superplumes.

  13. X-ray Raman scattering study of MgSiO₃ glass at high pressure: Implication for triclustered MgSiO₃ melt in Earth's mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Sung Keun; Lin, Jung-Fu; Cai, Yong Q.; Hiraoka, Nozomu; Eng, Peter J.; Okuchi, Takuo; Mao, Ho-kwang; Meng, Yue; Hu, Michael Y.; Chow, Paul; Shu, Jinfu; Li, Baosheng; Fukui, Hiroshi; Lee, Bum Han; Kim, Hyun Na; Yoo, Choong-Shik [SNU; (LLNL); (NSRRC); (Okayama); (UC); (CIW); (Wash State U); (Nagoya); (SBU)

    2015-02-09

    Silicate melts at the top of the transition zone and the core-mantle boundary have significant influences on the dynamics and properties of Earth's interior. MgSiO3-rich silicate melts were among the primary components of the magma ocean and thus played essential roles in the chemical differentiation of the early Earth. Diverse macroscopic properties of silicate melts in Earth's interior, such as density, viscosity, and crystal-melt partitioning, depend on their electronic and short-range local structures at high pressures and temperatures. Despite essential roles of silicate melts in many geophysical and geodynamic problems, little is known about their nature under the conditions of Earth's interior, including the densification mechanisms and the atomistic origins of the macroscopic properties at high pressures. Here, we have probed local electronic structures of MgSiO3 glass (as a precursor to Mg-silicate melts), using high-pressure x-ray Raman spectroscopy up to 39 GPa, in which high-pressure oxygen K-edge features suggest the formation of tricluster oxygens (oxygen coordinated with three Si frameworks; [3]O) between 12 and 20 GPa. Our results indicate that the densification in MgSiO3 melt is thus likely to be accompanied with the formation of triculster, in addition to a reduction in nonbridging oxygens. The pressure-induced increase in the fraction of oxygen triclusters >20 GPa would result in enhanced density, viscosity, and crystal-melt partitioning, and reduced element diffusivity in the MgSiO3 melt toward deeper part of the Earth's lower mantle.

  14. The theory of Earth constructed by the method of full energy minimisation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasiliev, B.V.

    1999-01-01

    The problem of whether the appearance of electrical polarization of the core of a planet can be energetically advantageous is discussed. It is shown that for the Earth, this is energetically advantageous if it is connected with metallizing of the core and is accompanied by a pressure and density jump on the core-mantle interface. This makes is possible to construct an intrinsic self-consistent theory of the Earth. The calculate density distributions, the moment of inertia, and the magnetic moment of the Earth evaluated in the framework of the discussed theory are in a agreement with measurement results

  15. Thermodynamics of the Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stacey, Frank D

    2010-01-01

    Applications of elementary thermodynamic principles to the dynamics of the Earth lead to robust, quantitative conclusions about the tectonic effects that arise from convection. The grand pattern of motion conveys deep heat to the surface, generating mechanical energy with a thermodynamic efficiency corresponding to that of a Carnot engine operating over the adiabatic temperature gradient between the heat source and sink. Referred to the total heat flux derived from the Earth's silicate mantle, the efficiency is 24% and the power generated, 7.7 x 10 12 W, causes all the material deformation apparent as plate tectonics and the consequent geological processes. About 3.5% of this is released in seismic zones but little more than 0.2% as seismic waves. Even major earthquakes are only localized hiccups in this motion. Complications that arise from mineral phase transitions can be used to illuminate details of the motion. There are two superimposed patterns of convection, plate subduction and deep mantle plumes, driven by sources of buoyancy, negative and positive respectively, at the top and bottom of the mantle. The patterns of motion are controlled by the viscosity contrasts (>10 4 : 1) at these boundaries and are self-selected as the least dissipative mechanisms of heat transfer for convection in a body with very strong viscosity variation. Both are subjects of the thermodynamic efficiency argument. Convection also drives the motion in the fluid outer core that generates the geomagnetic field, although in that case there is an important energy contribution by compositional separation, as light solute is rejected by the solidifying inner core and mixed into the outer core, a process referred to as compositional convection. Uncertainty persists over the core energy balance because thermal conduction is a drain on core energy that has been a subject of diverse estimates, with attendant debate over the need for radiogenic heat in the core. The geophysical approach to

  16. MANTLE SOURCES OF GENERATION OF HYDROCARBONS: GEOLOGY-PHYSICAL SIGNS AND FORECAST-SEARCHING CRITERIONS OF MAPPING; REGULARITY OF AN OIL-AND-GAS-BEARING CAPACITY AS UNLOADING REFLEX OF MANTLE HYDROCARBON-SYSTEMS IN THE CRUST OF THE EARTH

    OpenAIRE

    Тімурзіїв, А.І.

    2017-01-01

    In the conditions of the developed uncertainty concerning the nature of primary sources (donors) and the generation focal (reactionary chambers) of deep hydrocarbons, questions of the nature of donors and the sources of generation of deep hydrocarbons systems, the mechanism and ways of generation and in-source mobilization of hydrocarbons in the top mantle of the Earth and evacuation (vertical migration) of hydrocarbon-systems from the generation sources in the mantle of the Earth into the ac...

  17. Research on Earth's rotation and the effect of atmospheric pressure on vertical deformation and sea level variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahr, John

    1993-01-01

    The work done under NASA grant NAG5-485 included modelling the deformation of the earth caused by variations in atmospheric pressure. The amount of deformation near coasts is sensitive to the nature of the oceanic response to the pressure. The PSMSL (Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level) data suggest the response is inverted barometer at periods greater than a couple months. Green's functions were constructed to describe the perturbation of the geoid caused by atmospheric and oceanic loading and by the accompanying load-induced deformation. It was found that perturbation of up to 2 cm are possible. Ice mass balance data was used for continental glaciers to look at the glacial contributions to time-dependent changes in polar motion, the lod, the earth's gravitational field, the position of the earth's center-of-mass, and global sea level. It was found that there can be lateral, non-hydrostatic structure inside the fluid core caused by gravitational forcing from the mantle, from the inner core, or from topography at the core/mantle or inner core/outer core boundaries. The nutational and tidal response of a non-hydrostatic earth with a solid inner core was modeled. Monthly, global tide gauge data from PSMSL was used to look at the 18.6-year ocean tide, the 14-month pole tide, the oceanic response to pressure, the linear trend and inter-annual variability in the earth's gravity field, the global sea level rise, and the effects of post glacial rebound. The effects of mantle anelasticity on nutations, earth tides, and tidal variation in the lod was modeled. Results of this model can be used with Crustal Dynamics observations to look at the anelastic dissipation and dispersion at tidal periods. The effects of surface topography on various components of crustal deformation was also modeled, and numerical models were developed of post glacial rebound.

  18. THE RIGIDITY OF THE EARTH'S INNER CORE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. E. BULLEN

    1953-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to examine and assess, in the
    light of recent evidence, the theory lliat the Earth's inner core has
    a significant rigidity.
    The presenee of an inner core in the Earth is revealed from
    observations of the seismie pliase PKP in the « sliadow zone » for
    which the epicentral distance A lies in the range 105" < A < 143".
    Miss I. Lehmann (r in 1936, followed by Gutenberg and Richter (2
    in 1938, atlrihuted these observations to tlie presence of an inner
    core; and Jeffreys (3 in 1939 applied Airy's theory of diffraetion
    near a caustic to sliow that the alternative theory of diffraetion
    round the outer boundary of the centrai core was not capable of
    explaining tlie observations in the shadow zone. The existence of the
    inner core has been fairly generallv accepted sinee tliis ealculation
    of Jeffreys.

  19. Deep-Earth Equilibration between Molten Iron and Solid Silicates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, M.; Zurkowski, C. C.; Chidester, B.; Campbell, A.

    2017-12-01

    Elemental partitioning between iron-rich metals and silicate minerals influences the properties of Earth's deep interior, and is ultimately responsible for the nature of the core-mantle boundary. These interactions between molten iron and solid silicates were influential during planetary accretion, and persist today between the mantle and liquid outer core. Here we report the results of diamond anvil cell experiments at lower mantle conditions (40 GPa, >2500 K) aimed at examining systems containing a mixture of metals (iron or Fe-16Si alloy) and silicates (peridotite). The experiments were conducted at pressure-temperature conditions above the metallic liquidus but below the silicate solidus, and the recovered samples were analyzed by FIB/SEM with EDS to record the compositions of the coexisting phases. Each sample formed a three-phase equilibrium between bridgmanite, Fe-rich metallic melt, and an oxide. In one experiment, using pure Fe, the quenched metal contained 6 weight percent O, and the coexisting oxide was ferropericlase. The second experiment, using Fe-Si alloy, was highly reducing; its metal contained 10 wt% Si, and the coexisting mineral was stishovite. The distinct mineralogies of the two experiments derived from their different starting metals. These results imply that metallic composition is an important factor in determining the products of mixed phase iron-silicate reactions. The properties of deep-Earth interfaces such as the core-mantle boundary could be strongly affected by their metallic components.

  20. Survival of the primitive mantle reservoir?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, S.; Jacobsen, S. B.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2010-12-01

    is well accepted that the Koolau source is not primitive mantle. 4. Different suites of OIBs form different 207Pb*/206Pb*-4He/3He trends and importantly, they do not converge to a single point, implying that there is no single high-3He mantle source “parental to all mantle reservoirs”. In addition, some OIBs plot to the left of the 4.567 Gyr geochron. If the OIB Pb isotopes yield age information of their sources, these sources are inferred to be older than the Solar System. We suggest a simpler and alternative explanation: the 3He-rich mantle sources are mixtures of the primitive mantle and later recycled components. Because the recycled components have lower He/Pb than the primitive mantle, the low 4He/3He will not be erased by this mixing process, but the Pb budget could be completely dominated by the recycled components. 5. Single-stage Pb model ages relative to the initial Solar System Pb isotope composition should be interpreted with care. They are not strictly valid unless i) the whole Earth has a very low U/Pb, so that there is essentially no Pb isotopic evolution in the mantle until the core formation, and ii) the core formed in a single event rather than by continuous metal segregation. Jackson M. G. et al (2010) Nature 466, 853-856.

  1. Inner core tilt and polar motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumberry, Mathieu; Bloxham, Jeremy

    2002-11-01

    A tilted inner core permits exchange of angular momentum between the core and the mantle through gravitational and pressure torques and, as a result, changes in the direction of Earth's axis of rotation with respect to the mantle. We have developed a model to calculate the amplitude of the polar motion that results from an equatorial torque at the inner core boundary which tilts the inner core out of alignment with the mantle. We specifically address the issue of the role of the inner core tilt in the decade polar motion known as the Markowitz wobble. We show that a decade polar motion of the same amplitude as the observed Markowitz wobble requires a torque of 1020 N m which tilts the inner core by 0.07 degrees. This result critically depends on the viscosity of the inner core; for a viscosity less than 5 × 1017 Pa s, larger torques are required. We investigate the possibility that a torque of 1020 N m with decadal periodicity can be produced by electromagnetic coupling between the inner core and torsional oscillations of the flow in the outer core. We demonstrate that a radial magnetic field at the inner core boundary of 3 to 4 mT is required to obtain a torque of such amplitude. The resulting polar motion is eccentric and polarized, in agreement with the observations. Our model suggests that equatorial torques at the inner core boundary might also excite the Chandler wobble, provided there exists a physical mechanism that can generate a large torque at a 14 month period.

  2. Effect of Silicon on Activity Coefficients of Platinum in Liquid Fe-Si, With Application to Core Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Danielson, L. R.; Humayun, M.

    2017-01-01

    Earth's core contains approximately 10% of a light element that is likely a combination of S, C, Si, and O, with Si possibly being the most abundant light element. Si dissolved into Fe liquids can have a large effect on the magnitude of the activity coefficient of siderophile elements (SE) in Fe liquids, and thus the partitioning behavior of those elements between core and mantle. The effect of Si can be small such as for Ni and Co, or large such as for Mo, Ge, Sb, As. The effect of Si on many siderophile elements is unknown yet could be an important, and as yet unquantified, influence on the core-mantle partitioning of SE. Here we report new experiments designed to quantify the effect of Si on the partitioning of Pt (with Re and Ru in progress or planned) between metal and silicate melt. The results will be applied to Earth, for which we have excellent constraints on the mantle Pt concentrations.

  3. Preface: Deep Slab and Mantle Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suetsugu, Daisuke; Bina, Craig R.; Inoue, Toru; Wiens, Douglas A.

    2010-11-01

    We are pleased to publish this special issue of the journal Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors entitled "Deep Slab and Mantle Dynamics". This issue is an outgrowth of the international symposium "Deep Slab and Mantle Dynamics", which was held on February 25-27, 2009, in Kyoto, Japan. This symposium was organized by the "Stagnant Slab Project" (SSP) research group to present the results of the 5-year project and to facilitate intensive discussion with well-known international researchers in related fields. The SSP and the symposium were supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (16075101) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the Japanese Government. In the symposium, key issues discussed by participants included: transportation of water into the deep mantle and its role in slab-related dynamics; observational and experimental constraints on deep slab properties and the slab environment; modeling of slab stagnation to constrain its mechanisms in comparison with observational and experimental data; observational, experimental and modeling constraints on the fate of stagnant slabs; eventual accumulation of stagnant slabs on the core-mantle boundary and its geodynamic implications. This special issue is a collection of papers presented in the symposium and other papers related to the subject of the symposium. The collected papers provide an overview of the wide range of multidisciplinary studies of mantle dynamics, particularly in the context of subduction, stagnation, and the fate of deep slabs.

  4. An Equation Governing Ultralow-Velocity Zones: Implications for Holes in the ULVZ, Lateral Chemical Reactions at the Core-Mantle Boundary, and Damping of Heat Flux Variations in the Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernlund, J. W.; Matsui, H.

    2017-12-01

    Ultralow-velocity zones (ULVZ) are increasingly illuminated by seismology, revealing surprising diversity in size, shape, and physical characteristics. The only viable hypotheses are that ULVZs are a compositionally distinct FeO-enriched dense material, which could have formed by fractional crystallization of a basal magma ocean, segregation of subducted banded iron formations, precipitation of solids from the outer core, partial melting and segregation of iron-rich melts from subducted basalts, or most likely a combination of many different processes. But many questions remain: Are ULVZ partially molten in some places, and not in others? Are ULVZ simply the thicker portions of an otherwise global thin layer, covering the entire CMB and thus blocking or moderating chemical interactions between the core and overlying mantle? Is such a layer inter-connected and able to conduct electrical currents that allow electro-magnetic coupling of core and mantle angular momentum? Are they being eroded and shrinking in size due to viscous entrainment, or is more material being added to ULVZ over time? Here we derive an advection-diffusion-like equation that governs the dynamical evolution of a chemically distinct ULVZ. Analysis of this equation shows that ULVZ should become readily swept aside by viscous mantle flows at the CMB, exposing "ordinary mantle" to the top of the core, thus inducing chemical heterogeneity that drives lateral CMB chemical reactions. These reactions are correlated with heat flux, thus maintaining large-scale pressure variations atop the core that induce cyclone-like flows centered around ULVZ and ponded subducted slabs. We suggest that turbulent diffusion across adjacent cyclone streams inside a stratified region atop the core readily accommodates lateral transport and re-distribution of components such as O and Si, in addition to heat. Our model implies that the deeper core is at least partly shielded from the influence of strong heat flux variations at

  5. Numerical experiments on thermal convection of highly compressible fluids with variable viscosity and thermal conductivity: Implications for mantle convection of super-Earths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kameyama, Masanori; Yamamoto, Mayumi

    2018-01-01

    We conduct a series of numerical experiments of thermal convection of highly compressible fluids in a two-dimensional rectangular box, in order to study the mantle convection on super-Earths. The thermal conductivity and viscosity are assumed to exponentially depend on depth and temperature, respectively, while the variations in thermodynamic properties (thermal expansivity and reference density) with depth are taken to be relevant for the super-Earths with 10 times the Earth's. From our experiments we identified a distinct regime of convecting flow patterns induced by the interplay between the adiabatic temperature change and the spatial variations in viscosity and thermal conductivity. That is, for the cases with strong temperature-dependent viscosity and depth-dependent thermal conductivity, a "deep stratosphere" of stable thermal stratification is formed at the base of the mantle, in addition to thick stagnant lids at their top surfaces. In the "deep stratosphere", the fluid motion is insignificant particularly in the vertical direction in spite of smallest viscosity owing to its strong dependence on temperature. Our finding may further imply that some of super-Earths which are lacking in mobile tectonic plates on their top surfaces may have "deep stratospheres" at the base of their mantles.

  6. 186Os and 187Os enrichments and high-3He/4He sources in the Earth's mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandon, A.D.; Graham, D.W.; Waight, Tod Earle

    2007-01-01

    at present remains core-mantle interaction. While some plumes with high 3He/4He, such as Hawaii, appear to have been subjected to detectable addition of Os (and possibly He) from the outer core, others such as Iceland do not. A positive correlation between 187Os/188Os and 3He/4He from 9.6 to 19 Ra in Iceland...

  7. Influence of core flows on the decade variations of the polar motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulot, G.; Le Huy, M.; Le Mouël, J.-L.

    We address the possibility for the core flows that generate the geomagnetic field to contribute significantly to the decade variations of the mean pole position (generally called the Markowitz wobble). This assumption is made plausible by the observation that the flow at the surface of the core-estimated from the geomagnetic secular variation models-experiences important changes on this time scale. We discard the viscous and electromagnetic core-mantle couplings and consider only the pressure torque pf resulting from the fluid flow overpressure acting on the non-spherical core-mantle boundary (CMB) at the bottom of the mantle, and the gravity torque gf due to the density heterogeneity driving the core flow. We show that forces within the core balance each other on the time scale considered and, using global integrals over the core, the mantle and the whole Earth, we write Euler's equation for the mantle in terms of two more useful torques Pgeo and . The "geostrophic torque", γ Pgeo incorporates γpf and part of γgf, while γ is another fraction of γgf. We recall how the geostrophic pressure pgeo, and thus γPgeo for a given topography, can be derived from the flow at the CMB and compute the motion of the mean pole from 1900 to 1990, assuming in a first approach that the unknown γ can be neglected. The amplitude of the computed pole motion is three to ten times less than the observed one and out of the phase with it. In order to estimate the possible contribution of γ we then use a second approach and consider the case in which the reference state for the Earth is assumed to be the classical axisymmetric ellipsoidal figure with an almost constant ellipticity within the core. We show that (γPgeo + γ) is then equal to a pseudo-electromagnetic torque γL3, the torque exerted on the core by the component of the Lorentz force along the axis of rotation (this torque exists even though the mantle is assumed insulating). This proves that, at least in this case and

  8. Thermal History of Planetary Objects: From Asteroids to super-Earths, from plate-tectonics to life (Runcorn-Florensky Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spohn, Tilman

    2013-04-01

    Convection in the interiors of planetesimals (asteroids), planets, and satellites is driving the thermal and chemical evolution of these bodies including the generation of possible magnetic fields. The wide size range induces a wide of range of time scales from hundreds of thousands of years for small planetesimals to a few tens of Gigayears for massive super-Earths. Evolution calculations are often based on energy (and entropy) balances parameterizing the transport properties of the interior in suitable ways. These thereby allow incorporating (in parameterized forms) interesting physical processes that depend in one way or another on the transport properties of the interior. The interior will usually be chemically layered in mantles and cores and include ice layers if icy satellites are considered. In addition to magnetic field generation calculated via energy balances of the core and using semi-empirical dynamo strength relations, processes that can be considered include sintering and compaction for small bodies and mantle (or ice) melting, differentiation and even continental growth for full-scaled terrestrial planets. The rheology of the interior is considered temperature and pressure dependent and the concentration of volatiles can be important. For super-Earths, probably the most critical consideration is how the mantle rheology would vary with pressure and thus with depth. It is possible that the increasing pressure will frustrate deep mantle convection thereby reducing the vigor of mantle convection. Possibly, the generation of a magnetic field in a putative iron-rich core will be impossible, if super-Earths at all have earth-like cores. On a much smaller scale, the decay of short-lived radioactives suffices to heat and melt planetesimals, the melting being helped by the low thermal conductivity of the initially porous body. This allows planets to form from pre-differentiated planetesimals thus helping to differentiate and form cores rapidly. On active

  9. Constraining the Composition of the Earth from Long-period Electromagnetic Sounding of the Lower Mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, A.; Connolly, J.; Olsen, Nils

    We reexamine the problem of inverting global transfer functions to constrain the internal structure of the Earth. We go beyond the conventional approach of inverting electromagnetic induction data by inverting directly for chemical composition and thermal state, using the model system CaO-FeO-MgO......We reexamine the problem of inverting global transfer functions to constrain the internal structure of the Earth. We go beyond the conventional approach of inverting electromagnetic induction data by inverting directly for chemical composition and thermal state, using the model system Ca...... and experimental mineral electrical conductivity data are consistent with a silicate earth, with a composition close to the pyrolite model and additionally seem to require a low temperature mantle geotherm....

  10. Revised predictions of long-period ocean tidal effects on Earth's rotation rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, S. R.; Nam, Young S.

    1995-01-01

    The rotational response of Earth to long-period tidal forces, embodied in a 'zonal response function,' can be expected to vary with frequency because of variable contributions by the oceans, mantle, and core. The zonal response function has been estimated from 9 years of International Radio Interferometric Surveying (IRIS) universal time (UT1) data and compared with theoretical predictions, using a spherical harmonic tide model to compute the oceans' dynamic response, at semiannual, monthly, fortnightly, and 9-day lunisolar tidal frequencies. Different amounts of mantle anelasticity have been considered for both the oceanic and soild earth responses; predictions have been made assuming axial core-mantle coupling which is either complete or absent. Additionally, an extensive recalibration of the ocean model's frictional parameters was performed using constraints derived in part from Space92 polar motion data; zonal response function predictions have also been made employing this recalibrated ocean tide model. Our results indicate that any amount of core coupling can be ruled out at a fortnightly period and probably at a 9-day period, but not at a monthly period. Our results also suggest that the mantle responds purely elastically at a 9-day period but may behave increasingly anelastically at longer periods. A simple dispersive rule is postulated for periods ranging up to the 14-month Chandler wobble period.

  11. Archean greenstone-tonalite duality: Thermochemical mantle convection models or plate tectonics in the early Earth global dynamics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerrich, Robert; Polat, Ali

    2006-03-01

    Mantle convection and plate tectonics are one system, because oceanic plates are cold upper thermal boundary layers of the convection cells. As a corollary, Phanerozoic-style of plate tectonics or more likely a different version of it (i.e. a larger number of slowly moving plates, or similar number of faster plates) is expected to have operated in the hotter, vigorously convecting early Earth. Despite the recent advances in understanding the origin of Archean greenstone-granitoid terranes, the question regarding the operation of plate tectonics in the early Earth remains still controversial. Numerical model outputs for the Archean Earth range from predominantly shallow to flat subduction between 4.0 and 2.5 Ga and well-established steep subduction since 2.5 Ga [Abbott, D., Drury, R., Smith, W.H.F., 1994. Flat to steep transition in subduction style. Geology 22, 937-940], to no plate tectonics but rather foundering of 1000 km sectors of basaltic crust, then "resurfaced" by upper asthenospheric mantle basaltic melts that generate the observed duality of basalts and tonalities [van Thienen, P., van den Berg, A.P., Vlaar, N.J., 2004a. Production and recycling of oceanic crust in the early earth. Tectonophysics 386, 41-65; van Thienen, P., Van den Berg, A.P., Vlaar, N.J., 2004b. On the formation of continental silicic melts in thermochemical mantle convection models: implications for early Earth. Tectonophysics 394, 111-124]. These model outputs can be tested against the geological record. Greenstone belt volcanics are composites of komatiite-basalt plateau sequences erupted from deep mantle plumes and bimodal basalt-dacite sequences having the geochemical signatures of convergent margins; i.e. horizontally imbricated plateau and island arc crust. Greenstone belts from 3.8 to 2.5 Ga include volcanic types reported from Cenozoic convergent margins including: boninites; arc picrites; and the association of adakites-Mg andesites- and Nb-enriched basalts. Archean cratons

  12. Dehydration of δ-AlOOH in the lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piet, H.; Shim, S. H.; Tappan, J.; Leinenweber, K. D.; Greenberg, E.; Prakapenka, V. B.

    2017-12-01

    Hydrous phase δ-AlOOH is an important candidate for water transport and storage in the Earth's deep mantle [1]. Knowing the conditions, under which it is stable and dehydrated, is therefore important for understanding the water transportation to the deep mantle or even to the core. A few experimental studies [1, 2] have shown that δ-AlOOH may be stable in cold descending slabs while it is dehydrated into a mixture of corundum and water under normal mantle conditions, up to 25 GPa. A subsequent study [3] reported the stability of δ-AlOOH in cold descending slabs to the core-mantle boundary conditions (2300 K at 135 GPa). However, the dehydration of δ-AlOOH has not bee directly observed in the experiments conducted at pressures above 25 GPa. We have synthesized δ-AlOOH from diaspore and Al(OH)3 in multi-anvil press at ASU. The sample was mixed with Au for coupling with near IR laser beams and loaded in diamond-anvil cells. We performed the laser-heated diamond anvil cell experiments at the 13IDD beamline of the Advanced Photon Source and ASU. At APS, we measured X-ray diffraction patterns at in situ high pressure and temperature. We observed the appearance of the corundum diffraction lines at 1700-2000 K and 55-90 GPa, indicating the dehydration of δ-AlOOH to Al2O3+ H2O. We found that the transition occurs over a broad range of temperature (500 K). We also observed that the dehydration of δ-AlOOH was accompanied by sudden change in laser coupling, most likely due to the release of fluids. The property change also helps us to determine the dehydration at ASU without in situ XRD. Our new experimental results indicate that δ-AlOOH would be stable in most subducting slabs in the deep mantle. However, because the dehydration occurs very close to the temperatures expected for the lower mantle, its stability is uncertain in the normal mantle. [1] Ohtani et al. 2001, Stability field of new hydrous phase, delta-AlOOH, Geophysical Research Letters 28, 3991-3993. [2

  13. Hf isotope evidence for a hidden mantle reservoir

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bizzarro, Martin; Simonetti, A.; Stevenson, R.K.

    2002-01-01

    High-precision Hf isotopic analyses and U-Pb ages of carbonatites and kimberlites from Greenland and eastern North America, including Earth's oldest known carbonatite (3 Ga), indicate derivation from an enriched mantle source. This previously unidentified mantle reservoir-marked by an unradiogenic...... Hf isotopic composition and preserved in the deep mantle for at least 3 b.y.-may account for the mass imbalance in Earth's Hf-Nd budget. The Hf isotopic data presented here support a common mantle source region and genetic link between carbonatite and some oceanic-island basalt volcanoes....

  14. Effect of Silicon on the Activity Coefficient of Rhenium in Fe-Si Liquids: Implications for HSE and Os Isotopes in Planetary Mantles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Yang, S.; Humayun, M.

    2018-01-01

    Metallic cores contain light alloying elements that can be a combination of S, C, Si, and O, all of which have important chemical and physical influences. For Earth, Si may be the most abundant light element in the core. Si dissolved into Fe liquids can have a large effect on the magnitude of the activity coefficient of siderophile elements (SE), and thus the partitioning behavior of those elements between core and mantle. The effect of Si on the highly siderophile elements is only beginning to be studied and the effects on Au, Pd and Pt are significant. Here we report new experiments designed to quantify the effect of Si on the partitioning of Re between metal and silicate melt. A solid understanding of Re partitioning is required for a complete understanding of the Re-Os isotopic systems. The results will be applied to understanding the HSEs and Os isotopic data for planetary mantles, and especially Earth.

  15. Mantle Circulation Models with variational data assimilation: Inferring past mantle flow and structure from plate motion histories and seismic tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunge, H.; Hagelberg, C.; Travis, B.

    2002-12-01

    EarthScope will deliver data on structure and dynamics of continental North America and the underlying mantle on an unprecedented scale. Indeed, the scope of EarthScope makes its mission comparable to the large remote sensing efforts that are transforming the oceanographic and atmospheric sciences today. Arguably the main impact of new solid Earth observing systems is to transform our use of geodynamic models increasingly from conditions that are data poor to an environment that is data rich. Oceanographers and meteorologists already have made substantial progress in adapting to this environment, by developing new approaches of interpreting oceanographic and atmospheric data objectively through data assimilation methods in their models. However, a similarly rigorous theoretical framework for merging EarthScope derived solid Earth data with geodynamic models has yet to be devised. Here we explore the feasibility of data assimilation in mantle convection studies in an attempt to fit global geodynamic model calculations explicitly to tomographic and tectonic constraints. This is an inverse problem not quite unlike the inverse problem of finding optimal seismic velocity structures faced by seismologists. We derive the generalized inverse of mantle convection from a variational approach and present the adjoint equations of mantle flow. The substantial computational burden associated with solutions to the generalized inverse problem of mantle convection is made feasible using a highly efficient finite element approach based on the 3-D spherical fully parallelized mantle dynamics code TERRA, implemented on a cost-effective topical PC-cluster (geowulf) dedicated specifically to large-scale geophysical simulations. This dedicated geophysical modeling computer allows us to investigate global inverse convection problems having a spatial discretization of less than 50 km throughout the mantle. We present a synthetic high-resolution modeling experiment to demonstrate that mid

  16. The last stage of Earth's formation: Increasing the pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lock, S. J.; Stewart, S. T.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2017-12-01

    A range of high-energy, high-angular momentum (AM) giant impacts have been proposed as a potential trigger for lunar origin. High-energy, high-AM collisions create a previously unrecognized planetary object, called a synestia. Terrestrial synestias exceed the corotation limit for a rocky planet, forming an extended structure with a corotating inner region and disk-like outer region. We demonstrate that the internal pressures of Earth-like planets do not increase monotonically during the giant impact stage, but can vary substantially in response to changes in rotation and thermal state. The internal pressures in an impact-generated synestia are much lower than in condensed, slowly rotating planets of the same mass. For example, the core-mantle boundary (CMB) pressure can be as low as 60 GPa for a synestia with Earth mass and composition, compared to 136 GPa in the present-day Earth. The lower pressures are due to the low density and rapid rotation of the post-impact structure. After a high-AM Moon-forming impact, the internal pressures in the interior of the synestia would have increased to present-day Earth values in two stages: first by vapor condensation and second by removal of AM from the Earth during the tidal evolution of the Moon. The pressure evolution of the Earth has several implications. Metal-silicate equilibration after the impact would have occurred at much lower pressures than has previously been assumed. The observed moderately siderophile element abundances in the mantle may be consistent with equilibration at the bottom of a deep, lower-pressure magma ocean. In addition, the pressure at the CMB during cooling is coincident with, or lower than, the proposed intersection of liquid adiabats with the mantle liquidus. The mantle would hence freeze from the bottom up and there would be no basal magma ocean. The subsequent pressure increase and tidal heating due to the Moon's orbital evolution likely induces melting in the lowermost mantle. Increasing

  17. Magnetohydrodynamics and the earth's core selected works by Paul Roberts

    CERN Document Server

    Soward, Andrew M

    2003-01-01

    Paul Roberts'' research contributions are remarkable in their diversity, depth and international appeal. Papers from the Paul Roberts'' Anniversary meeting at the University of Exeter are presented in this volume. Topics include geomagnetism and dynamos, fluid mechanics and MHD, superfluidity, mixed phase regions, mean field electrodynamics and the Earth''s inner core. An incisive commentary of the papers puts the work of Paul Roberts into historical context. Magnetohydrodynamics and the Earth''s Core provides a valuable source of reference for graduates and researchers working in this area of geoscience.

  18. Pillars of the Mantle

    KAUST Repository

    Pugmire, David

    2017-07-05

    In this work, we investigate global seismic tomographic models obtained by spectral-element simulations of seismic wave propagation and adjoint methods. Global crustal and mantle models are obtained based on an iterative conjugate-gradient type of optimization scheme. Forward and adjoint seismic wave propagation simulations, which result in synthetic seismic data to make measurements and data sensitivity kernels to compute gradient for model updates, respectively, are performed by the SPECFEM3D-GLOBE package [1] [2] at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) to study the structure of the Earth at unprecedented levels. Using advances in solver techniques that run on the GPUs on Titan at the OLCF, scientists are able to perform large-scale seismic inverse modeling and imaging. Using seismic data from global and regional networks from global CMT earthquakes, scientists are using SPECFEM3D-GLOBE to understand the structure of the mantle layer of the Earth. Visualization of the generated data sets provide an effective way to understand the computed wave perturbations which define the structure of mantle in the Earth.

  19. Fluid flow near the surface of earth's outer core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloxham, Jeremy; Jackson, Andrew

    1991-01-01

    This review examines the recent attempts at extracting information on the pattern of fluid flow near the surface of the outer core from the geomagnetic secular variation. Maps of the fluid flow at the core surface are important as they may provide some insight into the process of the geodynamo and may place useful constraints on geodynamo models. In contrast to the case of mantle convection, only very small lateral variations in core density are necessary to drive the flow; these density variations are, by several orders of magnitude, too small to be imaged seismically; therefore, the geomagnetic secular variation is utilized to infer the flow. As substantial differences exist between maps developed by different researchers, the possible underlying reasons for these differences are examined with particular attention given to the inherent problems of nonuniqueness.

  20. Origin of the Early Sial Crust and U-Pb Isotope-Geochemical Heterogeneity of the Earth's Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishkin, M. A.; Nozhkin, A. D.; Vovna, G. M.; Sakhno, V. G.; Veldemar, A. A.

    2018-02-01

    It is shown that presence of the Early Precambrian sial crust in the Indo-Atlantic segment of the Earth and its absence in the Pacific has been caused by geochemical differences in the mantle underlying these segments. These differences were examined on the basis of Nd-Hf and U-Pb isotopes in modern basalts. The U-Pb isotope system is of particular interest, since uranium is a member of a group of heat-generating radioactive elements providing heat for plumes. It is shown that in the Indo-Atlantic segment, a distribution of areas of the modern HIMU type mantle is typical, while it is almost completely absent in the Pacific segment. In the Archean, in the upper HIMU type paleo-mantle areas, plume generation and formation of the primordial basic crust occurred; this was followed by its remelting resulting in the appearance of an early sial crust forming cratons of the Indo-Atlantic segment.

  1. Nitrogen solubility in the deep mantle and the origin of Earth's primordial nitrogen budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshioka, Takahiro; Wiedenbeck, Michael; Shcheka, Svyatoslav; Keppler, Hans

    2018-04-01

    The solubility of nitrogen in the major minerals of the Earth's transition zone and lower mantle (wadsleyite, ringwoodite, bridgmanite, and Ca-silicate perovskite) coexisting with a reduced, nitrogen-rich fluid phase was measured. Experiments were carried out in multi-anvil presses at 14 to 24 GPa and 1100 to 1800 °C close to the Fe-FeO buffer. Starting materials were enriched in 15N and the nitrogen concentrations in run products were measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry. Observed nitrogen (15N) solubilities in wadsleyite and ringwoodite typically range from 10 to 250 μg/g and strongly increase with temperature. Nitrogen solubility in bridgmanite is about 20 μg/g, while Ca-silicate perovskite incorporates about 30 μg/g under comparable conditions. Partition coefficients of nitrogen derived from coexisting phases are DNwadsleyite/olivine = 5.1 ± 2.1, DNringwoodite/wadsleyite = 0.49 ± 0.29, and DNbridgmanite/ringwoodite = 0.24 (+ 0.30 / - 0.19). Nitrogen solubility in the solid, iron-rich metal phase coexisting with the silicates was also measured and reached a maximum of nearly 1 wt.% 15N at 23 GPa and 1400 °C. These data yield a partition coefficient of nitrogen between iron metal and bridgmanite of DNmetal/bridgmanite ∼ 98, implying that in a lower mantle containing about 1% of iron metal, about half of the nitrogen still resides in the silicates. The high nitrogen solubility in wadsleyite and ringwoodite may be responsible for the low nitrogen concentrations often observed in ultradeep diamonds from the transition zone. Overall, the solubility data suggest that the transition zone and the lower mantle have the capacity to store at least 33 times the mass of nitrogen presently residing in the atmosphere. By combining the nitrogen solubility data in minerals with data on nitrogen solubility in silicate melts, mineral/melt partition coefficients of nitrogen can be estimated, from which the behavior of nitrogen during magma ocean crystallization can

  2. THE INFLUENCE OF PRESSURE-DEPENDENT VISCOSITY ON THE THERMAL EVOLUTION OF SUPER-EARTHS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stamenković, Vlada; Noack, Lena; Spohn, Tilman; Breuer, Doris

    2012-01-01

    We study the thermal evolution of super-Earths with a one-dimensional (1D) parameterized convection model that has been adopted to account for a strong pressure dependence of the viscosity. A comparison with a 2D spherical convection model shows that the derived parameterization satisfactorily represents the main characteristics of the thermal evolution of massive rocky planets. We find that the pressure dependence of the viscosity strongly influences the thermal evolution of super-Earths—resulting in a highly sluggish convection regime in the lower mantles of those planets. Depending on the effective activation volume and for cooler initial conditions, we observe with growing planetary mass even the formation of a conductive lid above the core-mantle boundary (CMB), a so-called CMB-lid. For initially molten planets our results suggest no CMB-lids but instead a hot lower mantle and core as well as sluggish lower mantle convection. This implies that the initial interior temperatures, especially in the lower mantle, become crucial for the thermal evolution—the thermostat effect suggested to regulate the interior temperatures in terrestrial planets does not work for massive planets if the viscosity is strongly pressure dependent. The sluggish convection and the potential formation of the CMB-lid reduce the convective vigor throughout the mantle, thereby affecting convective stresses, lithospheric thicknesses, and heat fluxes. The pressure dependence of the viscosity may therefore also strongly affect the propensity of plate tectonics, volcanic activity, and the generation of a magnetic field of super-Earths.

  3. Core Angular Momentum and the IERS Sub-Centers Activity for Monitoring Global Geophysical Fluids. Part 1; Core Angular Momentum and Earth Rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xia-Dong; Chao, Benjamin (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    The part of the grant was to use recordings of seismic waves travelling through the earth's core (PKP waves) to study the inner core rotation and constraints on possible density anomalies in the fluid core. The shapes and relative arrival times of such waves associated with a common source were used to reduce the uncertainties in source location and excitation and the effect of unknown mantle structure. The major effort of the project is to assemble historical seismograms with long observing base lines. We have found original paper records of SSI earthquakes at COL between 1951 and 1966 in a warehouse of the U.S. Geological Survey office in Golden, Colorado, extending the previous measurements at COL by Song and Richards [1996] further back 15 years. Also in Alaska, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Geophysical Institute (UAFGI) has been operating the Alaskan Seismic Network with over 100 stations since the late 1960s. Virtually complete archives of seismograms are still available at UAFGI. Unfortunately, most of the archives are in microchip form (develocorders), for which the use of waveforms is impossible. Paper seismograms (helicorders) are available for a limited number of stations, and digital recordings of analog signals started around 1989. Of the paper records obtained, stations at Gilmore Dome (GLM, very close to COL), Yukon (FYU), McKinley (MCK), and Sheep Creek Mountain (SCM) have the most complete continuous recordings.

  4. Three Types of Earth's Inner Core Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, D.; Wen, L.

    2017-12-01

    The Earth's inner core boundary (ICB) is the site where the liquid outer core solidifies and the solid inner core grows. Thus, the fine-scale structure of the ICB is important for our understanding of the thermo-compositional state of the Earth's core. In this study, we collect a large set of seismic records with high-quality pre-critical PKiKP and PcP phase pairs, recorded by two dense seismic arrays, Hi-net in Japan and USArray in US. This dataset samples the ICB regions beneath East Asia, Mexico and the Bering Sea. We use differential travel times, amplitude ratios and waveform differences between PKiKP and PcP phases to constrain fine-scale structure of the ICB. The sampled ICB can be grouped into three types based on their seismic characteristics: (1) a simple ICB with a flat and sharp boundary, (2) a bumpy ICB with topographic height changes of 10 km, and (3) a localized mushy ICB with laterally varying thicknesses of 4-8 km. The laterally varying fine-scale structure of the ICB indicates existence of complex small-scale forces at the surface and a laterally varying solidification process of the inner core due to lateral variation of thermo-compositional condition near the ICB.

  5. Water in geodynamical models of mantle convection and plate tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-González, J.; Van Hunen, J.; Chotalia, K.; Lithgow-Bertelloni, C. R.; Rozel, A.; Tackley, P. J.; Nakagawa, T.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of water in the the mantle has a significant effect in the dynamical and thermal evolution of Earth, which partially explains the differences with other planets and is a key factor for the presence of life on Earth. First, a small amount of water can decrease the mantle viscosity by a several orders of magnitude, thereby changing the convection regime and affecting the thermal evolution. Second, the presence of water significantly changes the solidus curve, with crucial implications for melting. Third, water in the mantle can change the Clapeyron slope of mantle materials, which changes the depth at which phase transitions take place. The thermal and dynamical evolution of Earth under the presence of water in the mantle has been the focus of recent studies, but many questions remain unanswered. In this project we intend to investigate how the maximum water capacity of different mantle regions affects water transport and Earth's convective regime. We will study the effect phase transitions under the presence of water, which can change the buoyancy of slabs in the transition zone. We present preliminary results numerical models of global mantle convection for the whole history of earth using the numerical geodynamics software tool StagYY. We will use a new parametrisation of dehydration processes, obtained from high-resolution numerical simulations, to implement a more accurate description of the water released from the slab as it travels through the mantle. We have integrated recent experimental results of the water capacity of deep mantle minerals to study the water circulation and the total water budget. We use data from the most recent experiments and ab-inito calculations to implement a realistic rheology.

  6. The Influence of Heat Flux Boundary Heterogeneity on Heat Transport in Earth's Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, C. J.; Mound, J. E.

    2017-12-01

    Rotating convection in planetary systems can be subjected to large lateral variations in heat flux from above; for example, due to the interaction between the metallic cores of terrestrial planets and their overlying silicate mantles. The boundary anomalies can significantly reorganise the pattern of convection and influence global diagnostics such as the Nusselt number. We have conducted a suite of numerical simulations of rotating convection in a spherical shell geometry comparing convection with homogeneous boundary conditions to that with two patterns of heat flux variation at the outer boundary: one hemispheric pattern, and one derived from seismic tomographic imaging of Earth's lower mantle. We consider Ekman numbers down to 10-6 and flux-based Rayleigh numbers up to 800 times critical. The heterogeneous boundary conditions tend to increase the Nusselt number relative to the equivalent homogeneous case by altering both the flow and temperature fields, particularly near the top of the convecting region. The enhancement in Nusselt number tends to increase as the amplitude and wavelength of the boundary heterogeneity is increased and as the system becomes more supercritical. In our suite of models, the increase in Nusselt number can be as large as 25%. The slope of the Nusselt-Rayleigh scaling also changes when boundary heterogeneity is included, which has implications when extrapolating to planetary conditions. Additionally, regions of effective thermal stratification can develop when strongly heterogeneous heat flux conditions are applied at the outer boundary.

  7. Origin and mixing timescale of Earth's late veneer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescher, C.; Allu Peddinti, D.; Bell, E. A.; Bello, L.; Cernok, A.; Ghosh, N.; Tucker, J.; Wielicki, M. M.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2012-12-01

    Experimental studies on the partitioning behavior of highly siderophile elements (HSE) between silicate and metallic melts imply that the Earth's mantle should have been highly depleted in these elements by core formation in an early magma ocean. However, present HSE contents of the Earth's mantle are ~3 orders of magnitude higher than that expected by experiments. The apparent over-abundance of HSE has commonly been explained by the addition of meteoritic material in the "late veneer" which describes the exogenous mass addition following the moon forming impact and concluding with the late heavy bombardment at ~3.8-3.9 Ga. The strongest evidence for this theory is that the platinum group element (PGE) contents in today's mantle are present in chondritic relative abundances, as opposed to a fractionated pattern expected with metal-silicate partitioning. Archean komatiites indicate that the PGE content of the Earth's mantle increased from about half their present abundances at 3.5 Ga to their present abundances at 2.9 Ga. This secular increase in PGE content suggests a progressive mixing of the late veneer material into the Earth's mantle. However, this time scale also implies that the whole mantle was relatively well mixed by 2.9 Ga. We use a compilation of existing isotopic and trace element data in order to constrain the origin and composition of the late veneer. We use PGE abundances, W abundances and W isotopic compositions in chondritic meteorites and the primitive upper mantle to compute the amount of mass delivered during the late veneer and find the late veneer mass to be ~0.6 % the mass of the bulk silicate Earth (consistent with earlier estimates). We also use the 187Re-187Os and 190Pt-186Os systems to constrain the composition and timing of delivery of the impacting population. We model the efficiency of mantle mixing in this time frame by using 3-dimensional numerical geodynamical simulations and geochemical constraints. Initial parameters include the

  8. The ab initio simulation of the Earth's core.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfè, D; Gillan, M J; Vocadlo, L; Brodholt, J; Price, G D

    2002-06-15

    The Earth has a liquid outer and solid inner core. It is predominantly composed of Fe, alloyed with small amounts of light elements, such as S, O and Si. The detailed chemical and thermal structure of the core is poorly constrained, and it is difficult to perform experiments to establish the properties of core-forming phases at the pressures (ca. 300 GPa) and temperatures (ca. 5000-6000 K) to be found in the core. Here we present some major advances that have been made in using quantum mechanical methods to simulate the high-P/T properties of Fe alloys, which have been made possible by recent developments in high-performance computing. Specifically, we outline how we have calculated the Gibbs free energies of the crystalline and liquid forms of Fe alloys, and so conclude that the inner core of the Earth is composed of hexagonal close packed Fe containing ca. 8.5% S (or Si) and 0.2% O in equilibrium at 5600 K at the boundary between the inner and outer cores with a liquid Fe containing ca. 10% S (or Si) and 8% O.

  9. How Inge Lehmann Discovered the Inner Core of the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Christiane

    2013-01-01

    The mathematics behind Inge Lehmann's discovery that the inner core of the Earth is solid is explained using data collected around the Earth on seismic waves and their travel time through the Earth.

  10. Thermally-Driven Mantle Plumes Reconcile Hot-spot Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, D.; Davies, J.

    2008-12-01

    Hot-spots are anomalous regions of magmatism that cannot be directly associated with plate tectonic processes (e.g. Morgan, 1972). They are widely regarded as the surface expression of upwelling mantle plumes. Hot-spots exhibit variable life-spans, magmatic productivity and fixity (e.g. Ito and van Keken, 2007). This suggests that a wide-range of upwelling structures coexist within Earth's mantle, a view supported by geochemical and seismic evidence, but, thus far, not reproduced by numerical models. Here, results from a new, global, 3-D spherical, mantle convection model are presented, which better reconcile hot-spot observations, the key modification from previous models being increased convective vigor. Model upwellings show broad-ranging dynamics; some drift slowly, while others are more mobile, displaying variable life-spans, intensities and migration velocities. Such behavior is consistent with hot-spot observations, indicating that the mantle must be simulated at the correct vigor and in the appropriate geometry to reproduce Earth-like dynamics. Thermally-driven mantle plumes can explain the principal features of hot-spot volcanism on Earth.

  11. Mantle temperature under drifting deformable continents during the supercontinent cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki

    2013-04-01

    The thermal heterogeneity of the Earth's mantle under the drifting continents during a supercontinent cycle is a controversial issue in earth science. Here, a series of numerical simulations of mantle convection are performed in 3D spherical-shell geometry, incorporating drifting deformable continents and self-consistent plate tectonics, to evaluate the subcontinental mantle temperature during a supercontinent cycle. Results show that the laterally averaged temperature anomaly of the subcontinental mantle remains within several tens of degrees (±50 °C) throughout the simulation time. Even after the formation of the supercontinent and the development of subcontinental plumes due to the subduction of the oceanic plates, the laterally averaged temperature anomaly of the deep mantle under the continent is within +10 °C. This implies that there is no substantial temperature difference between the subcontinental and suboceanic mantles during a supercontinent cycle. The temperature anomaly immediately beneath the supercontinent is generally positive owing to the thermal insulation effect and the active upwelling plumes from the core-mantle boundary. In the present simulation, the formation of a supercontinent causes the laterally averaged subcontinental temperature to increase by a maximum of 50 °C, which would produce sufficient tensional force to break up the supercontinent. The periodic assembly and dispersal of continental fragments, referred to as the supercontinent cycle, bear close relation to the evolution of mantle convection and plate tectonics. Supercontinent formation involves complex processes of introversion, extroversion or a combination of these in uniting dispersed continental fragments, as against the simple opening and closing of individual oceans envisaged in Wilson cycle. In the present study, I evaluate supercontinent processes in a realistic mantle convection regime. Results show that the assembly of supercontinents is accompanied by a

  12. The mantle-plume model, its feasibility and consequences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calsteren, van P.W.C.

    1981-01-01

    High beat-flow foci on the Earth have been named ‘hot-spots’ and are commonly correlated with ‘mantle-plumes’ in the deep. A mantle plume may be described as a portion of mantle material with a higher heat content than its surroundings. The intrusion of a mantle-plume is inferred to be similar to

  13. Effect of Silicon on Activity Coefficients of P, Bl, CD, SN, and AG in Liquid Fe-Si, and Implications for Differentiation and Core Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Ross, D. K.

    2017-01-01

    Cores of differentiated bodies (Earth, Mars, Mercury, Moon, Vesta) contain light elements such as S, C, Si, and O. We have previously measured small effects of Si on metal-silicate partitioning of Ni and Co [1,2], and larger effects for Mo, Ge, Sb, As [2]. The effect of Si on many siderophile elements could be an important, and as yet unquantified, influence on the core-mantle partitioning of SE. Here we report new experiments designed to quantify the effect of Si on the partitioning of Bi, Cd, Sn, Ag, and P between metal and silicate melt. The results will be applied to Earth, Mars, Mercury, Moon, and Vesta, for which we have excellent constraints on the mantle Bi, Cd, Sn, Ag, and P concentrations from mantle and/or basalt samples.

  14. Convectively driven decadal zonal accelerations in Earth's fluid core

    Science.gov (United States)

    More, Colin; Dumberry, Mathieu

    2018-04-01

    Azimuthal accelerations of cylindrical surfaces co-axial with the rotation axis have been inferred to exist in Earth's fluid core on the basis of magnetic field observations and changes in the length-of-day. These accelerations have a typical timescale of decades. However, the physical mechanism causing the accelerations is not well understood. Scaling arguments suggest that the leading order torque averaged over cylindrical surfaces should arise from the Lorentz force. Decadal fluctuations in the magnetic field inside the core, driven by convective flows, could then force decadal changes in the Lorentz torque and generate zonal accelerations. We test this hypothesis by constructing a quasi-geostrophic model of magnetoconvection, with thermally driven flows perturbing a steady, imposed background magnetic field. We show that when the Alfvén number in our model is similar to that in Earth's fluid core, temporal fluctuations in the torque balance are dominated by the Lorentz torque, with the latter generating mean zonal accelerations. Our model reproduces both fast, free Alfvén waves and slow, forced accelerations, with ratios of relative strength and relative timescale similar to those inferred for the Earth's core. The temporal changes in the magnetic field which drive the time-varying Lorentz torque are produced by the underlying convective flows, shearing and advecting the magnetic field on a timescale associated with convective eddies. Our results support the hypothesis that temporal changes in the magnetic field deep inside Earth's fluid core drive the observed decadal zonal accelerations of cylindrical surfaces through the Lorentz torque.

  15. Investigating the translation of Earth's inner core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Day, Elizabeth A; Cormier, Vernon F; Geballe, Zachary M

    2012-01-01

    The Earth’s inner core provides unique insights into processes that are occurring deep within our Earth today, as well as processes that occurred in the past. The seismic structure of the inner core is complex, and is dominated by anisotropic and isotropic differences between the Eastern...... for models of a translating inner core. Additionally, we investigate the structure at the base of the outer core and the inner core boundary by analyzing PKP-Cdiff waves. The search for observable PKP-Cdiff is particularly concentrated in regions that are predicted to be actively freezing and melting...... and Western ‘hemispheres’ of the inner core. Recent geodynamical models suggest that this hemispherical dichotomy can be explained by a fast translation of the inner core. In these models one side of the inner core is freezing, while the other side is melting, leading to the development of different seismic...

  16. The Earth's core: its composition, formation and bearing upon the origin of the Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ringwood, A.E.

    1984-01-01

    The density of the outer core is about 3% smaller than pure iron, which implies that the core contains a substantial amount of one or more low atomic mass elements. New experimental data on the solubility of FeO in molten iron are compatible with oxygen being the other element. At atmospheric pressure FeO is extensively soluble in iron at 2500 0 C, completely miscible above 2800 0 C. Also the solubility of FeO in molten iron is considerably increased at higher pressures. The density measurements can be explained if the core contains about 35% FeO; the new data show this to be possible. A model for the formation of the core based on a high FeO content in the Bulk Earth can be explained if the Earth accreted from a mixture of two components: A, a highly reduced, metal-rich devolatilized assemblage and B, a highly oxidized, volatile-rich assemblage similar to Cl chondrites. The formation of these components in the solar nebula is discussed. The large amount of FeO now inferred to be present in the Earth was mainly produced during accretion by oxidation of metallic iron from component A by water from component B. (U.K.)

  17. Effect of Silicon on Activity Coefficients of Siderophile Elements (P, Au, Pd, As, Ge, Sb, and In) in Liquid Fe, with Application to Core Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Danielson, L. R.; Humayun, M.; Righter, M.; Lapen, T.; Boujibar, A.

    2016-01-01

    Earth's core contains approximately 10 percent light elements that are likely a combination of S, C, Si, and O, with Si possibly being the most abundant. Si dissolved into Fe liquids can have a large effect on the magnitude of the activity coefficient of siderophile elements (SE) in Fe liquids, and thus the partitioning behavior of those elements between core and mantle. The effect of Si can be small such as for Ni and Co, or large such as for Mo, Ge, Sb, As. The effect of Si on many siderophile elements is unknown yet could be an important, and as yet unquantified, influence on the core-mantle partitioning of SE. Here we report new experiments designed to quantify the effect of Si on the partitioning of P, Au, Pd, and many other SE between metal and silicate melt. The results will be applied to Earth, for which we have excellent constraints on the mantle siderophile element concentrations.

  18. Mixing properties of thermal convection in the earth's mantle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmalzl, J.T.

    1996-01-01

    The structure of mantle convection will greatly influence the generation and the survival of compositional heterogeneities. Conversely, geochemical observations can be used to obtain information about heterogeneities in the mantle and then, with certain model assumptions, information about the

  19. 186Os- 187Os systematics of Gorgona Island komatiites: implications for early growth of the inner core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Alan D.; Walker, Richard J.; Puchtel, Igor S.; Becker, Harry; Humayun, Munir; Revillon, Sidonie

    2003-02-01

    The presence of coupled enrichments in 186Os/ 188Os and 187Os/ 188Os in some mantle-derived materials reflects long-term elevation of Pt/Os and Re/Os relative to the primitive upper mantle. New Os data for the 89 Ma Gorgona Island, Colombia komatiites indicate that these lavas are also variably enriched in 186Os and 187Os, with 186Os/ 188Os ranging between 0.1198397±22 and 0.1198470±38, and with γOs correspondingly ranging from +0.15 to +4.4. These data define a linear trend that converges with the previously reported linear trend generated from data for modern Hawaiian picritic lavas and a sample from the ca. 251 Ma Siberian plume, to a common component with a 186Os/ 188Os of approximately 0.119870 and γOs of +17.5. The convergence of these data to this Os isotopic composition may imply a single ubiquitous source in the Earth's interior that mixes with a variety of different mantle compositions distinguished by variations in γOs. The 187Os- and 186Os-enriched component may have been generated via early crystallization of the solid inner core and consequent increases in Pt/Os and Re/Os in the liquid outer core, with time leading to suprachondritic 186Os/ 188Os and γOs in the outer core. The presence of Os from the outer core in certain portions of the mantle would require a mechanism that could transfer Os from the outer core to the lower mantle, and thence to the surface. If this is the process that generated the isotopic enrichments in the mantle sources of these plume-derived systems, then the current understanding of solid metal-liquid metal partitioning of Pt, Re and Os requires that crystallization of the inner core began prior to 3.5 Ga. Thus, the Os isotopic data reported here provide a new source of data to better constrain the timing of inner core formation, complementing magnetic field paleo-intensity measurements as data sources that constrain models based on secular cooling of the Earth.

  20. Stability of earth dam with a vertical core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orekhov Vyacheslav Valentinovich

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Earth dam with impervious element in the form of asphaltic concrete core is currently the most promising type of earth dams (due to simple construction technology and universal service properties of asphaltic concrete and is widely used in the world. However, experience in the construction and operation of high dams (above 160 m is not available, and their work is scarcely explored. In this regard, the paper discusses the results of computational prediction of the stress-strain state and stability of a high earth dam (256 m high with the core. The authors considered asphaltic concrete containing 7 % of bitumen as the material of the core. Gravel was considered as the material of resistant prisms. Design characteristics of the rolled asphaltic concrete and gravel were obtained from the processing of the results of triaxial tests. The calculations were performed using finite element method in elastoplastic formulation and basing on the phased construction of the dam and reservoir filling. The research shows, that the work of embankment dam with vertical core during filling of the reservoir is characterized by horizontal displacement of the lower resistant prism in the tailrace and the formation of a hard wedge prism descending along the core in the upper resistant prism. The key issue of the safety assessment is to determine the safety factor of the overall stability of the dam, for calculation of which the destruction of the earth dam is necessary, which can be done by reducing the strength properties of the dam materials. As a results of the calculations, the destruction of the dam occurs with a decrease in the strength characteristics of the materials of the dam by 2.5 times. The dam stability depends on the stability of the lower resistant prism. The destruction of its slope occurs on the classical circular-cylindrical surface. The presence of a potential collapse surface in the upper resistant prism (on the edges of the descending wedge does

  1. Dynamical geochemistry of the mantle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. F. Davies

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The reconciliation of mantle chemistry with the structure of the mantle inferred from geophysics and dynamical modelling has been a long-standing problem. This paper reviews three main aspects. First, extensions and refinements of dynamical modelling and theory of mantle processing over the past decade. Second, a recent reconsideration of the implications of mantle heterogeneity for melting, melt migration, mantle differentiation and mantle segregation. Third, a recent proposed shift in the primitive chemical baseline of the mantle inferred from observations of non-chondritic 142Nd in the Earth. It seems most issues can now be resolved, except the level of heating required to maintain the mantle's thermal evolution.

    A reconciliation of refractory trace elements and their isotopes with the dynamical mantle, proposed and given preliminary quantification by Hofmann, White and Christensen, has been strengthened by work over the past decade. The apparent age of lead isotopes and the broad refractory-element differences among and between ocean island basalts (OIBs and mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs can now be quantitatively accounted for with some assurance.

    The association of the least radiogenic helium with relatively depleted sources and their location in the mantle have been enigmatic. The least radiogenic helium samples have recently been recognised as matching the proposed non-chondritic primitive mantle. It has also been proposed recently that noble gases reside in a so-called hybrid pyroxenite assemblage that is the result of melt from fusible pods reacting with surrounding refractory peridotite and refreezing. Hybrid pyroxenite that is off-axis may not remelt and erupt at MORs, so its volatile constituents would recirculate within the mantle. Hybrid pyroxenite is likely to be denser than average mantle, and thus some would tend to settle in the D" zone at the base of the mantle, along with some old subducted

  2. Towards a New Framework for Interpreting Relations Between Mantle Dynamics and Processes at the Earth's Surface: A Case Study Involving the Deccan Traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glisovic, P.; Forte, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    An outstanding challenge in modern geodynamics is the utilization of mantle convection models and geophysical data to successfully explain geological events and processes that alter Earth's biosphere, climate, and surface. A key challenge in this modelling is the determination of the initial (and unknown) configuration of mantle heterogeneity in the geological past. The first step in addressing this challenge is recognizing that seismic tomography is our most powerful tool for mapping the present-day, internal structure of the mantle. We, therefore, implemented a new back-and-forth iterative method for time-reversed, tomography-based convection modelling to reconstruct Earth's internal 3-D structure and dynamics over the Cenozoic [Glisovic & Forte 2016 (JGR)]. This backward convection modelling also includes another key input - the depth variation of mantle viscosity inferred from joint inversions of the global convection-related observables and a suite of glacial isostatic adjustments (GIA) data [Mitrovica & Forte 2004 (EPSL), Forte et al. 2010 (EPSL)]. This state-of-the-art, time-reversed convection model is able to show that massive outpourings of basalt in west-central India, known as the Deccan Traps, about 65 million years ago can be directly linked to the presence of two different deep-mantle hotspots: Réunion and Comores [Glisovic & Forte 2017 (Science)]. This work constitutes case study showing how time-reversed convection modelling provides a new framework for interpreting the relations between mantle dynamics and changing paleogeography and it provides a roadmap for a new series of studies that will elucidate these linkages.

  3. A mantle plume model for the Equatorial Highlands of Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Walter S.; Hager, Bradford H.

    1991-01-01

    The possibility that the Equatorial Highlands are the surface expressions of hot upwelling mantle plumes is considered via a series of mantle plume models developed using a cylindrical axisymmetric finite element code and depth-dependent Newtonian rheology. The results are scaled by assuming whole mantle convection and that Venus and the earth have similar mantle heat flows. The best model fits are for Beta and Atla. The common feature of the allowed viscosity models is that they lack a pronounced low-viscosity zone in the upper mantle. The shape of Venus's long-wavelength admittance spectrum and the slope of its geoid spectrum are also consistent with the lack of a low-viscosity zone. It is argued that the lack of an asthenosphere on Venus is due to the mantle of Venus being drier than the earth's mantle. Mantle plumes may also have contributed to the formation of some smaller highland swells, such as the Bell and Eistla regions and the Hathor/Innini/Ushas region.

  4. Pressure-induced structural change in MgSiO3 glass at pressures near the Earth's core-mantle boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, Yoshio; Shibazaki, Yuki; Kenney-Benson, Curtis; Wang, Yanbin; Shen, Guoyin

    2018-02-20

    Knowledge of the structure and properties of silicate magma under extreme pressure plays an important role in understanding the nature and evolution of Earth's deep interior. Here we report the structure of MgSiO 3 glass, considered an analog of silicate melts, up to 111 GPa. The first (r1) and second (r2) neighbor distances in the pair distribution function change rapidly, with r1 increasing and r2 decreasing with pressure. At 53-62 GPa, the observed r1 and r2 distances are similar to the Si-O and Si-Si distances, respectively, of crystalline MgSiO 3 akimotoite with edge-sharing SiO 6 structural motifs. Above 62 GPa, r1 decreases, and r2 remains constant, with increasing pressure until 88 GPa. Above this pressure, r1 remains more or less constant, and r2 begins decreasing again. These observations suggest an ultrahigh-pressure structural change around 88 GPa. The structure above 88 GPa is interpreted as having the closest edge-shared SiO 6 structural motifs similar to those of the crystalline postperovskite, with densely packed oxygen atoms. The pressure of the structural change is broadly consistent with or slightly lower than that of the bridgmanite-to-postperovskite transition in crystalline MgSiO 3 These results suggest that a structural change may occur in MgSiO 3 melt under pressure conditions corresponding to the deep lower mantle.

  5. Mantle dynamics in Mars and Venus: Influence of an immobile lithosphere on three-dimensional mantle convection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schubert, G.; Bercovici; Glatzmaier, G.A.

    1990-01-01

    Numerical calculations of fully three-dimensional convection in constant viscosity, compressible spherical shells are interpreted in terms of possible convective motions in the mantles of Venus and Mars. The shells are heated both internally and from below to account for radiogenic heating, secular cooling, and heat flow from the core. The lower boundary of each of the shells is isothermal and shear stress free, as appropriate to the interface between a mantle and a liquid outer core. The upper boundary of each of the shells is rigid and isothermal, as appropriate to the base of a thick immobile lithosphere. Calculations with shear stress-free upper boundaries are also carried out to assess the role of the rigid surface condition. The ratio of the inner radius of each shell to its outer radius is in accordance with possible core sizes in both Venus and Mars. A calculation is also carried out for a Mars model with a small core to simulate mantle convection during early core formation. Different relative proportions of internal and bottom heating are investigated, ranging from nearly complete heating from within to almost all heating from below. The Rayleigh numbers of all the cases are approximately 100 times the critical Rayleigh numbers for the onset of convection. Cylindrical plumes are the prominent form of upwelling in the models independent of the surface boundary condition so long as sufficient heat derives from the core. Thus major volcanic centers on Mars, such as Tharsis and Elysium, and the coronae and some equatorial highlands on Venus may be the surface expressions of cylindrical mantle plumes

  6. Free convective boundary layers in variable-viscosity fluids by the method of local nonsimilarity: application to plumes in the earth's mantle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quareni, F.; Yuen, D.A.; Eby, H.E.

    1983-01-01

    The effects due to departures from local similarity in steady-state boundary layers ascending through a fluid with strongly variable viscosity are examined with the local-nonsimilarity method. Both the absolute temperature and the hydrostatic pressure appear in the argument of an exponential in the viscosity function. The fluid-dynamical system studied here is that which characterizes plume structures in the Earth's mantle. By means of an iterative approach, two successive nonlinear boundary value problems are solved simultaneously and the errors incurred in the locally similar solutions are then assessed from a comparison between the first (locally similar) and the second level of a system of truncated equations. Three different sources of nonsimilarity have been considered: 1) localized radiogenic hearting within the plume, 2) ambient thermal stratification, 3) pressure dependence of mantle rheology. Of particular interest is an appraisal of the degree of accuracy of the locally similar solutions as a function of viscosity contrast within the boundary layer. For the range of viscosity contrast examined, up to 10 8 , the velocity and temperature fields between the first- and second-level solutions differ at most by 20 to 30%, for the rheological parameter values relevant to the Earth's mantle

  7. Internal loading of an inhomogeneous compressible Earth with phase boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defraigne, P.; Dehant, V.; Wahr, J. M.

    1996-01-01

    The geoid and the boundary topography caused by mass loads inside the earth were estimated. It is shown that the estimates are affected by compressibility, by a radially varying density distribution, and by the presence of phase boundaries with density discontinuities. The geoid predicted in the chemical boundary case is 30 to 40 percent smaller than that predicted in the phase case. The effects of compressibility and radially varying density are likely to be small. The inner core-outer core topography for loading inside the mantle and for loading inside the inner core were computed.

  8. The neodymium stable isotope composition of the silicate Earth and chondrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy-West, Alex J.; Millet, Marc-Alban; Burton, Kevin W.

    2017-12-01

    The non-chondritic neodymium (Nd) 142Nd/144Nd ratio of the silicate Earth potentially provides a key constraint on the accretion and early evolution of the Earth. Yet, it is debated whether this offset is due to the Earth being formed from material enriched in s-process Nd isotopes or results from an early differentiation process such as the segregation of a late sulfide matte during core formation, collisional erosion or a some combination of these processes. Neodymium stable isotopes are potentially sensitive to early sulfide segregation into Earth's core, a process that cannot be resolved using their radiogenic counterparts. This study presents the first comprehensive Nd stable isotope data for chondritic meteorites and terrestrial rocks. Stable Nd measurements were made using a double spike technique coupled with thermal ionisation mass spectrometry. All three of the major classes of chondritic meteorites, carbonaceous, enstatite and ordinary chondrites have broadly similar isotopic compositions allowing calculation of a chondritic mean of δ146/144Nd = -0.025 ± 0.025‰ (±2 s.d.; n = 39). Enstatite chondrites yield the most uniform stable isotope composition (Δ146/144Nd = 26 ppm), with considerably more variability observed within ordinary (Δ146/144Nd = 72 ppm) and carbonaceous meteorites (Δ146/144Nd = 143 ppm). Terrestrial weathering, nucleosynthetic variations and parent body thermal metamorphism appear to have little measurable effect on δ146/144Nd in chondrites. The small variations observed between ordinary chondrite groups most likely reflect inherited compositional differences between parent bodies, with the larger variations observed in carbonaceous chondrites being linked to varying modal proportions of calcium-aluminium rich inclusions. The terrestrial samples analysed here include rocks ranging from basaltic to rhyolitic in composition, MORB glasses and residual mantle lithologies. All of these terrestrial rocks possess a broadly similar Nd

  9. Absorption band Q model for the earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, D.L.; Given, J.W.

    1982-01-01

    Body wave, surface wave, and normal mode data are used to place constraints on the frequency dependence of Q in the mantle. With a simple absorption band model it is possible to satisfy the shear sensitive data over a broad frequency range. The quality factor Q/sub s/(ω) is proportional to ω/sup α/ in the band and to ω and ω -1 at higher and lower frequencies, respectively, as appropriate for a relaxation mechanism with a spectrum of relaxation time. The parameters of the band are Q(min) = 80, α = 0.15, and width, 5 decades. The center of the band varies from 10 1 seconds in the upper mantle, to 1.6 x 10 3 seconds in the lower mantle. The shift of the band with depth is consistent with the expected effects of temperature, pressure and stress. High Q, regions of the mantle are attributed to a shift of the absorption band to longer periods. To satisfy the gravest fundamental spheroidal modes and the ScS data, the absorption band must shift back into the short-period seismic band at the base of the mantle. This may be due to a high temperature gradient or high shear stresses. A preliminary attempt is also made to specify bulk dissipation in the mantle and core. Specific features of the absorption band model are low Q in the body wave band at both the top and the base of the mantle, low Q for long-period body waves in the outer core, an inner core Q 2 that increases with period, and low Q/sub p//Q/sub s/ at short periods in the middle mantel. The short-period Q/sub s/ increases rapidly at 400 km and is relatively constant from this depth to 2400 km. The deformational Q of the earth at a period of 14 months is predicted to be 463

  10. Global Transition Zone Anisotropy and Consequences for Mantle Flow and Earth's Deep Water Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beghein, C.; Yuan, K.

    2011-12-01

    The transition zone has long been at the center of the debate between multi- and single-layered convection models that directly relate to heat transport and chemical mixing throughout the mantle. It has also been suggested that the transition zone is a reservoir that collects water transported by subduction of the lithosphere into the mantle. Since water lowers mantle minerals density and viscosity, thereby modifying their rheology and melting behavior, it likely affects global mantle dynamics and the history of plate tectonics. Constraining mantle flow is therefore important for our understanding of Earth's thermochemical evolution and deep water cycle. Because it can result from deformation by dislocation creep during convection, seismic anisotropy can help us model mantle flow. It is relatively well constrained in the uppermost mantle, but its presence in the transition zone is still debated. Its detection below 250 km depth has been challenging to date because of the poor vertical resolution of commonly used datasets. In this study, we used global Love wave overtone phase velocity maps, which are sensitive to structure down to much larger depths than fundamental modes alone, and have greater depth resolution than shear wave-splitting data. This enabled us to obtain a first 3-D model of azimuthal anisotropy for the upper 800km of the mantle. We inverted the 2Ψ terms of anisotropic phase velocity maps [Visser, et al., 2008] for the first five Love wave overtones between 35s and 174s period. The resulting model shows that the average anisotropy amplitude for vertically polarized shear waves displays two main stable peaks: one in the uppermost mantle and, most remarkably, one in the lower transition zone. F-tests showed that the presence of 2Ψ anisotropy in the transition zone is required to improve the third, fourth, and fifth overtones fit. Because of parameter trade-offs, however, we cannot exclude that the anisotropy is located in the upper transition zone as

  11. Gravitational mechanism of active life of the Earth, planets and satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yury

    2010-05-01

    From positions of geodynamic model of the forced gravitational swing, wobble and displacements of shells of a planet are studied and fundamental problems of geodynamics, geology, geophysics, planetary sciences are solved etc.: 1) The mechanism of cyclic variations of activity of natural processes in various time scales. 2) The power of endogenous activity of planetary natural processes on planets and satellites. 3) The phenomenon of polar inversion of natural processes on planets and satellites. 4) Spasmodic and catastrophic changes of activity of natural processes. 5) The phenomenon of twisting of hemispheres (latitude zones or belts) of celestial bodies. 6) Formation of the pear-shaped form of celestial bodies and the mechanism of its change. 7) The ordered planetary structures of geological formations. 8) The phenomena of bipolarity of celestial bodies and antipodality of geology formations. Mechanism. The fundamental feature of a structure of celestial bodies is their shell structure. The most investigated is the internal structure of the Earth. For the Moon and wide set of other bodies of solar system models of an internal structure have been constructed on the basis of the data of observations obtained at studying of their gravitational fields as a result of realization of the appropriate space missions. The basic components for the majority of celestial bodies are the core, the mantle and the crust. To other shells we concern atmospheres (for example, at Venus, Mars, the Titan etc.) and oceanic shells (the Titan, the Earth, Enceladus etc.). Shells are the complex (composite) formations. Planets and satellites are not spherical celestial bodies. The centers of mass of shells of the given planet (or the satellite) and their appropriate principal axes of inertia do not coincide. Accordingly, all their shells are characterized by the certain dynamic oblatenesses. Differences of dynamical oblatenesses results in various forced influences of external celestial

  12. On the thermo-chemical origin of the stratified region at the top of the Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, Takashi

    2018-03-01

    I developed a combined model of the thermal and chemical evolution of the Earth's core and investigated its influence on a thermochemically stable region beneath the core-mantle boundary (CMB). The chemical effects of the growing stable region are caused by the equilibrium chemical reaction between silicate and the metallic core. The thermal effects can be characterized by the growth of the sub-isentropic shell, which may have a rapid growth rate compared to that of the chemically stable region. When the present-day CMB heat flow was varied, the origin of the stable region changed from chemical to thermochemical to purely thermal because the rapid growth of the sub-isentropic shell can replace the chemically stable region. Physically reasonable values of the present-day CMB heat flow that can maintain the geodynamo action over 4 billion years should be between 8 and 11 TW. To constrain the thickness of the thermochemically stable region beneath the CMB, the chemical diffusivity is important and should be ∼O(10-8) m2/s to obtain a thickness of the thermochemically stable region beneath the CMB consistent with that inferred from geomagnetic secular variations (140 km). However, the strength of the stable region found in this study is too high to be consistent with the constraint on the stability of the stable region inferred from geomagnetic secular variations.

  13. Is the nutation of the solid inner core responsible for the 24-year libration of the pole

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kakuta, Chuichi; Okamoto, Isao; Sasao, Tetsuo

    1975-01-01

    BUSSE's (1970) theory of the dynamical coupling between the rigid inner core and mantle of the Earth through the pressure reactions in the fluid outer core is examined. It is confirmed that the rigid inner core has the eigenfrequency, (1-rhosub(t)/rhosub(r))esub(r)Ω 0 , of nutation (Ω 0 : the mean rotation rate of the Earth, esub(r): ellipticity of the rigid inner core, and rhosub(t), rhosub(r): the densities of the fluid outer and rigid inner cores, respectively), but it is concluded to be extremely difficult to interpret the 24-yr libration of the pole suggested by MARKOWITZ (1960, 1968) in terms of the nutation with this frequency. (auth.)

  14. The density jump at the inner core boundary using underground nuclear explosion records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krasnoshchekov, D.N.; Ovchinnikov, V.M.

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents the estimation of the minimum jump value using experimental wave forms reflected from the boundary between the Earth core and mantle (PcP) and the one between the inner and outer core (PKiKP) at a distance of 6 deg. Digital seismic records of underground nuclear tests conducted at the Semipalatinsk test site in 70s by Zerenda-Vostochny-Chkalovo seismic array have been used. (author)

  15. First-order theory for Earth's inner-core anisotropy due to super ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    inner core) and lower (close to inner core) sections ...... in the radar, for example, the velocities are at least ..... Earth's inner core cross sections from the north .... Arunan E 1999 Hydrogen bonding: A fascination forever!; Curr. Sci. 77 1233.

  16. Little Earth Experiment: An instrument to model planetary cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aujogue, Kélig; Pothérat, Alban; Bates, Ian; Debray, François; Sreenivasan, Binod

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, we present a new experimental facility, Little Earth Experiment, designed to study the hydrodynamics of liquid planetary cores. The main novelty of this apparatus is that a transparent electrically conducting electrolyte is subject to extremely high magnetic fields (up to 10 T) to produce electromagnetic effects comparable to those produced by moderate magnetic fields in planetary cores. This technique makes it possible to visualise for the first time the coupling between the principal forces in a convection-driven dynamo by means of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) in a geometry relevant to planets. We first present the technology that enables us to generate these forces and implement PIV in a high magnetic field environment. We then show that the magnetic field drastically changes the structure of convective plumes in a configuration relevant to the tangent cylinder region of the Earth's core.

  17. Electromagnetic torques in the core and resonant excitation of decadal polar motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mound, Jon E.

    2005-02-01

    Motion of the rotation axis of the Earth contains decadal variations with amplitudes on the order of 10 mas. The origin of these decadal polar motions is unknown. A class of rotational normal modes of the core-mantle system termed torsional oscillations are known to affect the length of day (LOD) at decadal periods and have also been suggested as a possible excitation source for the observed decadal polar motion. Torsional oscillations involve relative motion between the outer core and the surrounding solid bodies, producing electromagnetic torques at the inner-core boundary (ICB) and core-mantle boundary (CMB). It has been proposed that the ICB torque can explain the excitation of the approximately 30-yr-period polar motion termed the Markowitz wobble. This paper uses the results of a torsional oscillation model to calculate the torques generated at Markowitz and other decadal periods and finds, in contrast to previous results, that electromagnetic torques at the ICB can not explain the observed polar motion.

  18. Whole-mantle P-wave velocity structure and azimuthal anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y.; Zhao, D.

    2009-12-01

    There are some hotspot volcanoes on Earth, such as Hawaii and Iceland. The mantle plume hypothesis was proposed forty years ago to explain hotspot volcanoes (e.g., Wilson, 1963; Morgan, 1971). Seismic tomography is a powerful technique to detect mantle plumes and determine their detailed structures. We determined a new whole-mantle 3-D P-wave velocity model (Tohoku model) using a global tomography method (Zhao, 2004, 2009). A flexible-grid approach with a grid interval of ~200 km is adopted to conduct the tomographic inversion. Our model shows that low-velocity (low-V) anomalies with diameters of several hundreds of kilometers are visible from the core-mantle boundary (CMB) to the surface under the major hotspot regions. Under South Pacific where several hotspots including Tahiti exist, there is a huge low-V anomaly from the CMB to the surface. This feature is consistent with the previous models. We conducted extensive resolution tests in order to understand whether this low-V anomaly shows a single superplume or a plume cluster. Unfortunately this problem is still not resolved because the ray path coverage in the mantle under South Pacific is not good enough. A network of ocean bottom seismometers is necessary to solve this problem. To better understand the whole-mantle structure and dynamics, we also conducted P-wave tomographic inversions for the 3-D velocity structure and azimuthal anisotropy. At each grid node there are three unknown parameters: one represents the isotropic velocity, the other two represent the azimuthal anisotropy. Our results show that in the shallow part of the mantle (Japan trench axis. In the Tonga subduction zone, the FVD is also perpendicular to the trench axis. Under the Tibetan region the FVD is NE-SW, which is parallel to the direction of the India-Asia collision. In the deeper part of the upper mantle and in the lower mantle, the amplitude of anisotropy is reduced. One interesting feature is that the FVD aligns in a radiated fashion

  19. The 2016 Case for Mantle Plumes and a Plume-Fed Asthenosphere (Augustus Love Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Jason P.

    2016-04-01

    The process of science always returns to weighing evidence and arguments for and against a given hypothesis. As hypotheses can only be falsified, never universally proved, doubt and skepticism remain essential elements of the scientific method. In the past decade, even the hypothesis that mantle plumes exist as upwelling currents in the convecting mantle has been subject to intense scrutiny; from geochemists and geochronologists concerned that idealized plume models could not fit many details of their observations, and from seismologists concerned that mantle plumes can sometimes not be 'seen' in their increasingly high-resolution tomographic images of the mantle. In the place of mantle plumes, various locally specific and largely non-predictive hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origins of non-plate boundary volcanism at Hawaii, Samoa, etc. In my opinion, this debate has now passed from what was initially an extremely useful restorative from simply 'believing' in the idealized conventional mantle plume/hotspot scenario to becoming an active impediment to our community's ability to better understand the dynamics of the solid Earth. Having no working hypothesis at all is usually worse for making progress than having an imperfect and incomplete but partially correct one. There continues to be strong arguments and strong emerging evidence for deep mantle plumes. Furthermore, deep thermal plumes should exist in a mantle that is heated at its base, and the existence of Earth's (convective) geodynamo clearly indicates that heat flows from the core to heat the mantle's base. Here I review recent seismic evidence by French, Romanowicz, and coworkers that I feel lends strong new observational support for the existence of deep mantle plumes. I also review recent evidence consistent with the idea that secular core cooling replenishes half the mantle's heat loss through its top surface, e.g. that the present-day mantle is strongly bottom heated. Causes for

  20. Siderophile Volatile Element Partitioning during Core Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loroch, D. C.; Hackler, S.; Rohrbach, A.; Klemme, S.

    2017-12-01

    Since the nineteen sixties it is known, that the Earth's mantle is depleted relative to CI chondrite in numerous elements as a result of accretion and core-mantle differentiation. Additionally, if we take the chondritic composition as the initial solar nebular element abundances, the Earth lacks 85 % of K and up to 98 % of other volatiles. However one potentially very important group of elements has received considerably less attention in this context and these elements are the siderophile but volatile elements (SVEs). SVEs perhaps provide important information regarding the timing of volatile delivery to Earth. Especially for the SVEs the partitioning between metal melt and silicate melt (Dmetal/silicate) at core formation conditions is poorly constrained, never the less they are very important for most of the core formation models. This study is producing new metal-silicate partitioning data for a wide range of SVEs (S, Se, Te, Tl, Ag, As, Au, Cd, Bi, Pb, Sn, Cu, Ge, Zn, In and Ga) with a focus on the P, T and fO2dependencies. The initial hypothesis that we are aiming to test uses the accretion of major portions of volatile elements while the core formation was still active. The key points of this study are: - What are the effects of P, T and fO2 on SVE metal-silicate partioning? - What is the effect of compositional complexity on SVE metal-silicate partioning? - How can SVE's D-values fit into current models of core formation? The partitioning experiments will be performed using a Walker type multi anvil apparatus in a pressure range between 10 and 20 GPa and temperatures of 1700 up to 2100 °C. To determine the Dmetal/silicate values we are using a field emission high-resolution JEOL JXA-8530F EPMA for major elements and a Photon Machines Analyte G2 Excimer laser (193 nm) ablation system coupled to a Thermo Fisher Element 2 single-collector ICP-MS (LA-ICP-MS) for the trace elements. We recently finished the first sets of experiments and can provide the

  1. Mass-radius relations and core-envelope decompositions of super-Earths and sub-Neptunes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howe, Alex R.; Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Peyton Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Verne, Wesley, E-mail: arhowe@astro.princeton.edu, E-mail: burrows@astro.princeton.edu [Department of Computer Science, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)

    2014-06-01

    Many exoplanets have been discovered with radii of 1-4 R {sub ⊕}, between that of Earth and Neptune. A number of these are known to have densities consistent with solid compositions, while others are 'sub-Neptunes' likely to have significant H{sub 2}-He envelopes. Future surveys will no doubt significantly expand these populations. In order to understand how the measured masses and radii of such planets can inform their structures and compositions, we construct models both for solid layered planets and for planets with solid cores and gaseous envelopes, exploring a range of core masses, H{sub 2}-He envelope masses, and associated envelope entropies. For planets in the super-Earth/sub-Neptune regime for which both radius and mass are measured, we estimate how each is partitioned into a solid core and gaseous envelope, associating a specific core mass and envelope mass with a given exoplanet. We perform this decomposition for both ''Earth-like'' rock-iron cores and pure ice cores, and find that the necessary gaseous envelope masses for this important sub-class of exoplanets must range very widely from zero to many Earth masses, even for a given core mass. This result bears importantly on exoplanet formation and envelope evaporation processes.

  2. Mass-radius relations and core-envelope decompositions of super-Earths and sub-Neptunes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, Alex R.; Burrows, Adam; Verne, Wesley

    2014-01-01

    Many exoplanets have been discovered with radii of 1-4 R ⊕ , between that of Earth and Neptune. A number of these are known to have densities consistent with solid compositions, while others are 'sub-Neptunes' likely to have significant H 2 -He envelopes. Future surveys will no doubt significantly expand these populations. In order to understand how the measured masses and radii of such planets can inform their structures and compositions, we construct models both for solid layered planets and for planets with solid cores and gaseous envelopes, exploring a range of core masses, H 2 -He envelope masses, and associated envelope entropies. For planets in the super-Earth/sub-Neptune regime for which both radius and mass are measured, we estimate how each is partitioned into a solid core and gaseous envelope, associating a specific core mass and envelope mass with a given exoplanet. We perform this decomposition for both ''Earth-like'' rock-iron cores and pure ice cores, and find that the necessary gaseous envelope masses for this important sub-class of exoplanets must range very widely from zero to many Earth masses, even for a given core mass. This result bears importantly on exoplanet formation and envelope evaporation processes.

  3. Extreme Hf and light Fe isotopes in Archean komatiites - a remnant of very early mantle depletion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nebel, O.; Sossi, P.; Campbell, I. H.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Hafnium isotope signatures in some Archean komatiites (ca. 3.5-3.0 billion years old) require a mantle source with a time-integrated Lu/Hf that exceeds average modern depleted mantle. Investigation of the timing and locus of parent-daughter fractionation in their mantle sources potentially constrains differentiation processes in the early Earth and their subsequent distribution and storage. In addition, they may help to constrain the Hf isotope evolution of the greater depleted mantle. In order to shed light on these processes, we discuss radiogenic Hf isotopes in conjunction with stable Fe isotope systematics in Archean komatiites from the Pilbara craton in Western Australia. Our findings indicate that, after careful evaluation of the effects of alteration, pristine samples are characterised by initial 176Hf/177Hf, which lie above the age-corrected depleted mantle, as a consequence of ancient melt extraction. Iron isotope systematics for these samples further point to a mantle source that is isotopically lighter than average modern depleted mantle, which is also consistent with melt-depletion. Taken together, these observations require a component of an old, super-depleted reservoir in the komatiite mantle source(s) that survived in the mantle for possibly hundreds of millions of years. The Lu/Hf of this refractory mantle appears to be complementary to, and therefore contemporaneous with, the first terrestrial crust, as preserved in Hadean (i.e., > 4 Ga) detrital zircon cores, which may indicate a causal relationship between them. We will discuss implications for very early mantle dynamics and the formation of very early mantle reservoirs.

  4. Deep mantle seismic heterogeneities in Western Pacific subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentham, H. L. M.; Rost, S.

    2012-04-01

    In recent years array seismology has been used extensively to image the small scale (~10 km) structure of the Earth. In the mantle, small scale structure likely represents chemical heterogeneity and is essential in our understanding of mantle convection and especially mantle mixing. As subduction is the main source of introducing crustal material into the Earth's mantle, it is of particular interest to track the transport of subducted crust through the mantle to resolve details of composition and deformation of the crust during the subduction process. Improved knowledge of subduction can help provide constraints on the mechanical mixing process of crustal material into the ambient mantle, as well as constraining mantle composition and convection. This study uses seismic array techniques to map seismic heterogeneities associated with Western Pacific subduction zones, where a variety of slab geometries have been previously observed. We use seismic energy arriving prior to PP, a P-wave underside reflection off the Earth's surface halfway between source and receiver, to probe the mantle for small-scale heterogeneities. PP precursors were analysed at Eielson Array (ILAR), Alaska using the recently developed Toolkit for Out-of-Plane Coherent Arrival Tracking (TOPCAT) algorithm. The approach combines the calculated optimal beampower and an independent semblance (coherency) measure, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of coherent arrivals. 94 earthquakes with sufficient coherent precursory energy were selected and directivity information of the arrivals (i.e. slowness and backazimuth) was extracted from the data. The scattering locations for 311 out-of-plane precursors were determined by ray-tracing and minimising the slowness, backazimuth and differential travel time misfit. Initial analyses show that deep scattering (>1000 km) occurs beneath the Izu-Bonin subduction zone, suggesting that subducted crust does continue into the lower mantle in this location. Other

  5. Gravitational torque on the inner core and decadal polar motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumberry, Mathieu

    2008-03-01

    A decadal polar motion with an amplitude of approximately 25 milliarcsecs (mas) is observed over the last century, a motion known as the Markowitz wobble. The origin of this motion remains unknown. In this paper, we investigate the possibility that a time-dependent axial misalignment between the density structures of the inner core and mantle can explain this signal. The longitudinal displacement of the inner core density structure leads to a change in the global moment of inertia of the Earth. In addition, as a result of the density misalignment, a gravitational equatorial torque leads to a tilt of the oblate geometric figure of the inner core, causing a further change in the global moment of inertia. To conserve angular momentum, an adjustment of the rotation vector must occur, leading to a polar motion. We develop theoretical expressions for the change in the moment of inertia and the gravitational torque in terms of the angle of longitudinal misalignment and the density structure of the mantle. A model to compute the polar motion in response to time-dependent axial inner core rotations is also presented. We show that the polar motion produced by this mechanism can be polarized about a longitudinal axis and is expected to have decadal periodicities, two general characteristics of the Markowitz wobble. The amplitude of the polar motion depends primarily on the Y12 spherical harmonic component of mantle density, on the longitudinal misalignment between the inner core and mantle, and on the bulk viscosity of the inner core. We establish constraints on the first two of these quantities from considerations of the axial component of this gravitational torque and from observed changes in length of day. These constraints suggest that the maximum polar motion from this mechanism is smaller than 1 mas, and too small to explain the Markowitz wobble.

  6. Atomic scale study of vacancies in Earth's inner core: effect of pressure and chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritterbex, S.; Tsuchiya, T.

    2017-12-01

    Seismic observations of the Earth's inner core [1] remain ambiguously related to mineral physics studies of the inner core stable crystalline iron phase [2,3,4,5]. This makes it difficult to clarify the role of plastic deformation as one of the primary candidates responsible for the observed seismic anisotropy of Earth's inner core. Nonetheless, atomic self-diffusion mechanisms provide a direct link between plastic deformation and the mechanical properties of Earth's inner core stable iron phase(s). Using first-principles density functional based calculation techniques, we have studied the conjugate effect of pressure and chemistry on vacancy diffusion in HCP-, BCC- and FCC-iron by taking into account potential light alloying elements as hydrogen, silicon and sulfur. Our results show that inner core pressure highly inhibits the rate of intrinsic self-diffusion by suppressing defect concentration rather than by effecting the mobility of the defects. Moreover, we found light elements to be able to affect metallic bonding which allows for extrinsic diffusion mechanisms in iron under inner core conditions. The latter clearly enables to enhance defect concentration and hence to enhance the rate of plastic deformation. This suggests that inner core chemistry affects the rheological properties (e.g.viscosity) of iron alloys which finally should match with seismic observations. references: [1] Deuss, A., 2014. Heterogeneity and Anisotropy of Earth's inner core. An. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 42, 103-126. [2] Anzellini, S., Dewaele, A., Mezouar, M., Loubeyre, P., Morard, G., 2013. Melting of iron at Earth's inner core boundary based on fast X-ray diffraction. Science 340, 464-466. [3] Godwal, B.K., Gonzales-Cataldo, F., Verma, A.K., Stixrude, L., Jeanloz, R., 2015. Stability of iron crystal structures at 0.3-1.5 TPa. [4] Vocadlo, L., 2007. Ab initio calculations of the elasticity of iron and iron alloys at inner core conditions: evidence for a partially molten inner core

  7. How to fully exploit frequency-dependent S-wave travel times for refining the Earth's mantle imaging?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaroli, C.; Nolet, G.; Charlety, J.; Debayle, E.; Sambridge, M.

    2011-12-01

    To better constrain the structure of the Earth's interior, new theoretical developments on seismic wave propagation have emerged in recent years, and received increasing attention in global tomography. A recent focus has been to take into account the "Finite-Frequency" (FF) behaviour of seismic waves (e.g. wavefront-healing). We have chosen to use the FF approach by Dahlen et al. (2000) in multiple frequency bands, based on a ray-Born approximation, also known as Multiple-Frequency Tomography (MFT). The principle of MFT is to invert delay times measured in several frequency bands, using 3-D FF sensitivity kernels for modeling single-scattering phenomena undergone by seismic waves. Such FF effects are intrinsically always present in delay times measured by waveform cross-correlation (as opposed to onset measurements in ray theory). In this study, we pose the question how much MFT really contributes to improving the 3-D imaging of the deep Earth structure? We investigate the role of the model parameterization and regularization when using MFT, in our ability/unability to map the structural dispersion present in the data into a tomographic model. Our data consist of 274 066 globally distributed S, ScS and SS time residuals measured at 10, 15, 22 and 34 s period (Zaroli et al., 2010). Two ways of parameterizing the Earth's mantle, and their implications on the model obtained using MFT, are presented. One is based on irregularly spaced spherical triangular prisms, with nodes spacing ranging from 200 to 900 km, i.e. a "coarse" parameterization. The other is based on a "cubed Earth", that consists of cubic cells of 70 km size near the top, down to 35 km near the base of the mantle, i.e. a "fine" parameterization. We also investigate how the model regularization (i.e. choice of the damping parameter in the inversion) may prevent us from fully exploiting the extra information, on the 3-D structure, present in our multi-band dataset. We present a comparison of a multi

  8. The Solid Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, C. M. R.

    2005-02-01

    The second edition of this acclaimed textbook has been brought fully up-to-date to reflect the latest advances in geophysical research. It is designed for students in introductory geophysics courses who have a general background in the physical sciences, including introductory calculus. New to this edition are a section of color plates and separate sections on the earth's mantle and core. The book also contains an extensive glossary of terms, and includes numerous exercises for which solutions are available to instructors from solutions@cambridge.org. First Edition Hb (1990): 0-521-37025-6 First Edition Pb (1990): 0-521-38590-3

  9. The proto-Earth geo-reactor: Reassessing the hypotheses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude Degueldre

    2016-09-01

    The present paper focuses on the geo-reactor hypothetical conditions including history, spatial extension and regimes. The discussion based on recent calculations involves investigations on the limits in term of fissile inventory, size and power, based on coupling of geochemical reactions and stratification through the gravitational field considering behavior through the inner mantle, the boundary with the core and the core. The reconstruction allows to formulating that from the history point of view it would have been possible that the geo-reactor reached criticality in a proto-Earth period as a reactor triggered by 235-uranium and that thorium may have worked as an absorber if the actinide concentration was locally large enough. Without actinide separation the initiation of the criticality is unlikely. However did the segregation of actinides occur in any Earth layer?

  10. Changes in Earth's core-generated magnetic field, as observed by Swarm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finlay, Chris; Olsen, Nils; Gillet, Nicolas

    By far the largest part of the Earth's magnetic field is generated by motions taking place within our planet's liquid metal outer core. Variations of this core-generated field thus provide us with a unique means of probing the dynamics taking place in the deepest reaches of the Earth....... In this contribution, we will present the core-generated magnetic field, and its recent time changes, as seen by ESA's Earth explorer mission Swarm. We will present a new time-dependent geomagnetic field model, called CHAOS-6, derived from satellite data collected by the Swarm constellation, as well as data from...... the previous missions CHAMP and Oersted together with ground observatory data. Advantage is taken of the constellation aspect of the Swarm mission by ingesting field differences along track and across track between the lower pair of Swarm satellites. Evaluating the global field model at the outer boundary...

  11. What can the Hf–W System tell Us About the Mechanism and Timing of Earth's Core Formation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, R. A.; Nimmo, F.; O'Brien, D. P.

    2018-05-01

    Strong tradeoff between effects of depth and extent of metal-silicate equilibration and formation timescale on the Hf-W system. Whole mantle equilibration requires k = 0.4. Later formation times require less equilibration to match Earth's anomaly.

  12. Magnetic field of the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Aleksey

    2013-04-01

    The magnetic field of the Earth has global meaning for a life on the Earth. The world geophysical science explains: - occurrence of a magnetic field of the Earth it is transformation of kinetic energy of movements of the fused iron in the liquid core of Earth - into the magnetic energy; - the warming up of a kernel of the Earth occurs due to radioactive disintegration of elements, with excretion of thermal energy. The world science does not define the reasons: - drift of a magnetic dipole on 0,2 a year to the West; - drift of lithospheric slabs and continents. The author offers: an alternative variant existing in a world science the theories "Geodynamo" - it is the theory « the Magnetic field of the Earth », created on the basis of physical laws. Education of a magnetic field of the Earth occurs at moving the electric charge located in a liquid kernel, at rotation of the Earth. At calculation of a magnetic field is used law the Bio Savara for a ring electric current: dB = . Magnetic induction in a kernel of the Earth: B = 2,58 Gs. According to the law of electromagnetic induction the Faradey, rotation of a iron kernel of the Earth in magnetic field causes occurrence of an electric field Emf which moves electrons from the center of a kernel towards the mantle. So of arise the radial electric currents. The magnetic field amplifies the iron of mantle and a kernel of the Earth. As a result of action of a radial electric field the electrons will flow from the center of a kernel in a layer of an electric charge. The central part of a kernel represents the field with a positive electric charge, which creates inverse magnetic field Binv and Emfinv When ?mfinv = ?mf ; ?inv = B, there will be an inversion a magnetic field of the Earth. It is a fact: drift of a magnetic dipole of the Earth in the western direction approximately 0,2 longitude, into a year. Radial electric currents a actions with the basic magnetic field of a Earth - it turn a kernel. It coincides with laws

  13. Insights into Earth's Accretion and Mantle Structure from Neon and Xenon in Icelandic Basalt (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2010-12-01

    The noble gases provide important constraints for planet accretion models and understanding mantle structure and dynamics. Recent work based on continental well gases indicate that the MORB source 20Ne/22Ne ratio is similar to the Ne-B component in chondrites [1,2]. However, ratios higher than Ne-B have been reported in plume-derived Devonian rocks form the Kola Peninsula [3]. Here I report high-precision noble gas data in an Icelandic basaltic glass that demonstrate plumes have a different 20Ne/22Ne ratio than the MORB source. The highest measured 20Ne/22Ne ratio from Iceland is ~12.9, very similar to values in the Kola plume, but quite distinct from the convecting upper mantle as constrained from the well gases [1,2]. Hence, the Icelandic and Kola plume data indicate that OIBs and MORBs have different 20Ne/22Ne ratios. Since 20Ne/22Ne ratios in the mantle cannot change, Earth must have accreted volatiles from at least two separate reservoirs. The differences in 20Ne/22Ne ratios between OIBs and MORBs further indicate that early heterogeneities in the Earth’s mantle have not been wiped away by 4.5 Gyrs of mantle convection, placing strong constraints on mixing and mass flow in the mantle. The requirement of limited direct mixing between plumes and MORB source is supported by 129Xe, formed through radioactive decay of now extinct 129I. Combined He, Ne, and Xe measurements demonstrate that the Iceland plume has a lower 129Xe/130Xe ratio than MORBs because it evolved with a I/Xe ratio distinct from the MORB source and not because of recycled atmosphere (which has low 129/130Xe) in the plume source. Since 129I became extinct 80 Myrs after solar system formation, limited mixing between plume and MORB source is a stringent requirement. Additionally, the high-precision Xe measurements reveal for the first time that the Iceland plume source has significantly higher proportion of plutonium derived fission xenon than MORBs, requiring the plume source to be less degassed

  14. An anisotropic shear velocity model of the Earth's mantle using normal modes, body waves, surface waves and long-period waveforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulik, P.; Ekström, G.

    2014-12-01

    We use normal-mode splitting functions in addition to surface wave phase anomalies, body wave traveltimes and long-period waveforms to construct a 3-D model of anisotropic shear wave velocity in the Earth's mantle. Our modelling approach inverts for mantle velocity and anisotropy as well as transition-zone discontinuity topographies, and incorporates new crustal corrections for the splitting functions that are consistent with the non-linear corrections we employ for the waveforms. Our preferred anisotropic model, S362ANI+M, is an update to the earlier model S362ANI, which did not include normal-mode splitting functions in its derivation. The new model has stronger isotropic velocity anomalies in the transition zone and slightly smaller anomalies in the lowermost mantle, as compared with S362ANI. The differences in the mid- to lowermost mantle are primarily restricted to features in the Southern Hemisphere. We compare the isotropic part of S362ANI+M with other recent global tomographic models and show that the level of agreement is higher now than in the earlier generation of models, especially in the transition zone and the lower mantle. The anisotropic part of S362ANI+M is restricted to the upper 300 km in the mantle and is similar to S362ANI. When radial anisotropy is allowed throughout the mantle, large-scale anisotropic patterns are observed in the lowermost mantle with vSV > vSH beneath Africa and South Pacific and vSH > vSV beneath several circum-Pacific regions. The transition zone exhibits localized anisotropic anomalies of ˜3 per cent vSH > vSV beneath North America and the Northwest Pacific and ˜2 per cent vSV > vSH beneath South America. However, small improvements in fits to the data on adding anisotropy at depth leave the question open on whether large-scale radial anisotropy is required in the transition zone and in the lower mantle. We demonstrate the potential of mode-splitting data in reducing the trade-offs between isotropic velocity and

  15. Total meltwater volume since the Last Glacial Maximum and viscosity structure of Earth's mantle inferred from relative sea level changes at Barbados and Bonaparte Gulf and GIA-induced J˙2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakada, Masao; Okuno, Jun'ichi; Yokoyama, Yusuke

    2016-02-01

    Inference of globally averaged eustatic sea level (ESL) rise since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) highly depends on the interpretation of relative sea level (RSL) observations at Barbados and Bonaparte Gulf, Australia, which are sensitive to the viscosity structure of Earth's mantle. Here we examine the RSL changes at the LGM for Barbados and Bonaparte Gulf ({{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}}} and {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bon}}}), differential RSL for both sites (Δ {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}},{{Bon}}}) and rate of change of degree-two harmonics of Earth's geopotential due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) process (GIA-induced J˙2) to infer the ESL component and viscosity structure of Earth's mantle. Differential RSL, Δ {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}},{{Bon}}} and GIA-induced J˙2 are dominantly sensitive to the lower-mantle viscosity, and nearly insensitive to the upper-mantle rheological structure and GIA ice models with an ESL component of about (120-130) m. The comparison between the predicted and observationally derived Δ {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}},{{Bon}}} indicates the lower-mantle viscosity higher than ˜2 × 1022 Pa s, and the observationally derived GIA-induced J˙2 of -(6.0-6.5) × 10-11 yr-1 indicates two permissible solutions for the lower mantle, ˜1022 and (5-10) × 1022 Pa s. That is, the effective lower-mantle viscosity inferred from these two observational constraints is (5-10) × 1022 Pa s. The LGM RSL changes at both sites, {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bar}}} and {{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bon}}}, are also sensitive to the ESL component and upper-mantle viscosity as well as the lower-mantle viscosity. The permissible upper-mantle viscosity increases with decreasing ESL component due to the sensitivity of the LGM sea level at Bonaparte Gulf ({{RSL}}_{{L}}^{{{Bon}}}) to the upper-mantle viscosity, and inferred upper-mantle viscosity for adopted lithospheric thicknesses of 65 and 100 km is (1-3) × 1020 Pa s for ESL˜130 m and (4-10) × 1020 Pa s for ESL˜125 m. The former solution of (1-3) × 1020

  16. Tectonic predictions with mantle convection models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coltice, Nicolas; Shephard, Grace E.

    2018-04-01

    Over the past 15 yr, numerical models of convection in Earth's mantle have made a leap forward: they can now produce self-consistent plate-like behaviour at the surface together with deep mantle circulation. These digital tools provide a new window into the intimate connections between plate tectonics and mantle dynamics, and can therefore be used for tectonic predictions, in principle. This contribution explores this assumption. First, initial conditions at 30, 20, 10 and 0 Ma are generated by driving a convective flow with imposed plate velocities at the surface. We then compute instantaneous mantle flows in response to the guessed temperature fields without imposing any boundary conditions. Plate boundaries self-consistently emerge at correct locations with respect to reconstructions, except for small plates close to subduction zones. As already observed for other types of instantaneous flow calculations, the structure of the top boundary layer and upper-mantle slab is the dominant character that leads to accurate predictions of surface velocities. Perturbations of the rheological parameters have little impact on the resulting surface velocities. We then compute fully dynamic model evolution from 30 and 10 to 0 Ma, without imposing plate boundaries or plate velocities. Contrary to instantaneous calculations, errors in kinematic predictions are substantial, although the plate layout and kinematics in several areas remain consistent with the expectations for the Earth. For these calculations, varying the rheological parameters makes a difference for plate boundary evolution. Also, identified errors in initial conditions contribute to first-order kinematic errors. This experiment shows that the tectonic predictions of dynamic models over 10 My are highly sensitive to uncertainties of rheological parameters and initial temperature field in comparison to instantaneous flow calculations. Indeed, the initial conditions and the rheological parameters can be good enough

  17. Highly Sideophile Element Abundance Constraints on the Nature of the Late Accretionary Histories of Earth, Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, R. J.; Puchtel, I. S.; Brandon, A. D.; Horan, M. F.; James, O. B.

    2007-01-01

    The highly siderophile elements (HSE) include Re, Os, Ir, Ru, Pt and Pd. These elements are initially nearly-quantitatively stripped from planetary silicate mantles during core segregation. They then may be re-enriched in mantles via continued accretion sans continued core segregation. This suite of elements and its included long-lived radiogenic isotopes systems (Re-187 (right arrow) Os-187; Pt-190 (right arrow) Os-186) can potentially be used to fingerprint the characteristics of late accreted materials. The fingerprints may ultimately be useful to constrain the prior nebular history of the dominant late accreted materials, and to compare the proportion and genesis of late accretionary materials added to the inner planets. The past ten years have seen considerable accumulation of isotopic and compositional data for HSE present in the Earth's mantle, lunar mantle and impact melt breccias, and Martian meteorites. Here we review some of these data and consider the broader implications of the compiled data.

  18. Atmospheric neutrino oscillations for earth tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winter, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Modern proposed atmospheric neutrino oscillation experiments, such as PINGU in the Antarctic ice or ORCA in Mediterranean sea water, aim for precision measurements of the oscillation parameters including the ordering of the neutrino masses. They can, however, go far beyond that: Since neutrino oscillations are affected by the coherent forward scattering with matter, neutrinos can provide a new view on the interior of the earth. We show that the proposed atmospheric oscillation experiments can measure the lower mantle density of the earth with a precision at the level of a few percent, including the uncertainties of the oscillation parameters and correlations among different density layers. While the earth's core is, in principle, accessible by the angular resolution, new technology would be required to extract degeneracy-free information.

  19. Changes in earth's dipole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Peter; Amit, Hagay

    2006-11-01

    The dipole moment of Earth's magnetic field has decreased by nearly 9% over the past 150 years and by about 30% over the past 2,000 years according to archeomagnetic measurements. Here, we explore the causes and the implications of this rapid change. Maps of the geomagnetic field on the core-mantle boundary derived from ground-based and satellite measurements reveal that most of the present episode of dipole moment decrease originates in the southern hemisphere. Weakening and equatorward advection of normal polarity magnetic field by the core flow, combined with proliferation and growth of regions where the magnetic polarity is reversed, are reducing the dipole moment on the core-mantle boundary. Growth of these reversed flux regions has occurred over the past century or longer and is associated with the expansion of the South Atlantic Anomaly, a low-intensity region in the geomagnetic field that presents a radiation hazard at satellite altitudes. We address the speculation that the present episode of dipole moment decrease is a precursor to the next geomagnetic polarity reversal. The paleomagnetic record contains a broad spectrum of dipole moment fluctuations with polarity reversals typically occurring during dipole moment lows. However, the dipole moment is stronger today than its long time average, indicating that polarity reversal is not likely unless the current episode of moment decrease continues for a thousand years or more.

  20. Dust evolution, a global view: III. Core/mantle grains, organic nano-globules, comets and surface chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Within the framework of The Heterogeneous dust Evolution Model for Interstellar Solids (THEMIS), this work explores the surface processes and chemistry relating to core/mantle interstellar and cometary grain structures and their influence on the nature of these fascinating particles. It appears that a realistic consideration of the nature and chemical reactivity of interstellar grain surfaces could self-consistently and within a coherent framework explain: the anomalous oxygen depletion, the nature of the CO dark gas, the formation of ‘polar ice’ mantles, the red wing on the 3 μm water ice band, the basis for the O-rich chemistry observed in hot cores, the origin of organic nano-globules and the 3.2 μm ‘carbonyl’ absorption band observed in comet reflectance spectra. It is proposed that the reaction of gas phase species with carbonaceous a-C(:H) grain surfaces in the interstellar medium, in particular the incorporation of atomic oxygen into grain surfaces in epoxide functional groups, is the key to explaining these observations. Thus, the chemistry of cosmic dust is much more intimately related with that of the interstellar gas than has previously been considered. The current models for interstellar gas and dust chemistry will therefore most likely need to be fundamentally modified to include these new grain surface processes. PMID:28083090

  1. Circulation of carbon dioxide in the mantle: multiscale modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morra, G.; Yuen, D. A.; Lee, S.

    2012-12-01

    Much speculation has been put forward on the quantity and nature of carbon reservoirs in the deep Earth, because of its involvement in the evolution of life at the surface and inside planetary interiors. Carbon penetrates into the Earth's mantle mostly during subduction of oceanic crust, which contains carbonate deposits [1], however the form that it assumes at lower mantle depths is scarcely understood [2], hampering our ability to estimate the amount of carbon in the entire mantle by orders of magnitude. We present simulations of spontaneous degassing of supercritical CO2 using in-house developed novel implementations of the Fast-Multipole Boundary Element Method suitable for modeling two-phase flow (here mantle mineral and free CO2 fluid) through disordered materials such as porous rocks. Because the mutual interaction of droplets immersed either in a fluid or a solid matrix and their weakening effect to the host rock alters the strength of the mantle rocks, at the large scale the fluid phases in the mantle may control the creeping of mantle rocks [3]. In particular our study focuses on the percolation of supercritical CO2, estimated through the solution of the Laplace equation in a porous system, stochastically generated through a series of random Karhunen-Loeve decomposition. The model outcome is employed to extract the transmissivity of supercritical fluids in the mantle from the lowest scale up to the mantle scale and in combination with the creeping flow of the convecting mantle. The emerging scenarios on the global carbon cycle are finally discussed. [1] Boulard, E., et al., New host for carbon in the deep Earth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011. 108(13): p. 5184-5187. [2] Walter, M.J., et al., Deep Mantle Cycling of Oceanic Crust: Evidence from Diamonds and Their Mineral Inclusions. Science, 2011. 334(6052): p. 54-57. [3] Morra, G., et al., Ascent of Bubbles in Magma Conduits Using Boundary Elements and Particles. Procedia Computer

  2. Modelling the core magnetic field of the earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, C. G. A.; Carle, H. M.

    1982-01-01

    It is suggested that radial off-center dipoles located within the core of the earth be used instead of spherical harmonics of the magnetic potential in modeling the core magnetic field. The off-center dipoles, in addition to more realistically modeling the physical current systems within the core, are if located deep within the core more effective at removing long wavelength signals of either potential or field. Their disadvantage is that their positions and strengths are more difficult to compute, and such effects as upward and downward continuation are more difficult to manipulate. It is nevertheless agreed with Cox (1975) and Alldredge and Hurwitz (1964) that physical realism in models is more important than mathematical convenience. A radial dipole model is presented which agrees with observations of secular variation and excursions.

  3. Deep and persistent melt layer in the Archaean mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrault, Denis; Pesce, Giacomo; Manthilake, Geeth; Monteux, Julien; Bolfan-Casanova, Nathalie; Chantel, Julien; Novella, Davide; Guignot, Nicolas; King, Andrew; Itié, Jean-Paul; Hennet, Louis

    2018-02-01

    The transition from the Archaean to the Proterozoic eon ended a period of great instability at the Earth's surface. The origin of this transition could be a change in the dynamic regime of the Earth's interior. Here we use laboratory experiments to investigate the solidus of samples representative of the Archaean upper mantle. Our two complementary in situ measurements of the melting curve reveal a solidus that is 200-250 K lower than previously reported at depths higher than about 100 km. Such a lower solidus temperature makes partial melting today easier than previously thought, particularly in the presence of volatiles (H2O and CO2). A lower solidus could also account for the early high production of melts such as komatiites. For an Archaean mantle that was 200-300 K hotter than today, significant melting is expected at depths from 100-150 km to more than 400 km. Thus, a persistent layer of melt may have existed in the Archaean upper mantle. This shell of molten material may have progressively disappeared because of secular cooling of the mantle. Crystallization would have increased the upper mantle viscosity and could have enhanced mechanical coupling between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere. Such a change might explain the transition from surface dynamics dominated by a stagnant lid on the early Earth to modern-like plate tectonics with deep slab subduction.

  4. Introduction. Progress in Earth science and climate studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, J Michael T

    2008-12-28

    In this introductory paper, I review the 'visions of the future' articles prepared by top young scientists for the second of the two Christmas 2008 Triennial Issues of Phil. Trans. R. Soc.A, devoted respectively to astronomy and Earth science. Topics covered in the Earth science issue include: trace gases in the atmosphere; dynamics of the Antarctic circumpolar current; a study of the boundary between the Earth's rocky mantle and its iron core; and two studies of volcanoes and their plumes. A final section devoted to ecology and climate covers: the mathematical modelling of plant-soil interactions; the effects of the boreal forests on the Earth's climate; the role of the past palaeoclimate in testing and calibrating today's numerical climate models; and the evaluation of these models including the quantification of their uncertainties.

  5. The effects of the solid inner core and nonhydrostatic structure on the earth's forced nutations and earth tides

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vries, Dan; Wahr, John M.

    1991-01-01

    This paper computes the effects of the solid inner core (IC) on the forced nutations and earth tides, and on certain of the earth's rotational normal modes. The theoretical results are extended to include the effects of a solid IC and of nonhydrostatic structure. The presence of the IC is responsible for a new, almost diurnal, prograde normal mode which involves a relative rotation between the IC and fluid outer core about an equatorial axis. It is shown that the small size of the IC's effects on both nutations and tides is a consequence of the fact that the IC's moments of inertia are less than 1/1000 of the entire earth's.

  6. Numerical modelling of volatiles in the deep mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichheimer, Philipp; Thielmann, Marcel; Golabek, Gregor J.

    2017-04-01

    The transport and storage of water in the mantle significantly affects several material properties of mantle rocks and thus water plays a key role in a variety of geodynamical processes (tectonics, magmatism etc.). The processes driving transport and circulation of H2O in subduction zones remain a debated topic. Geological and seismological observations suggest different inflow mechanisms of water e.g. slab bending, thermal cracking and serpentinization (Faccenda et al., 2009; Korenaga, 2017), followed by dehydration of the slab. On Earth both shallow and steep subduction can be observed (Li et al., 2011). However most previous models (van Keken et al., 2008; Wilson et al., 2014) did not take different dip angles and subduction velocities of slabs into account. To which extent these parameters and processes influence the inflow of water still remains unclear. We present 2D numerical models simulating the influence of the various water inflow mechanisms on the mantle with changing dip angle and subduction velocity of the slab over time. The results are used to make predictions regarding the rheological behavior of the mantle wedge, dehydration regimes and volcanism at the surface. References: van Keken, P. E., et al. A community benchmark for subduction zone modeling. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 171, 187-197 (2008). Faccenda, M., T.V. Gerya, and L. Burlini. Deep slab hydration induced by bending-related variations in tectonic pressure. Nat. Geosci. 2, 790-793 (2009). Korenaga, J. On the extent of mantle hydration caused by plate bending. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 457, 1-9 (2017). Wilson, C. R., et al. Fluid flow in subduction zones: The role of solid rheology and compaction pressure. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 401, 261-274 (2014). Li, Z. H., Z. Q. Xu, and T. V. Gerya. Flat versus steep subduction: Contrasting modes for the formation and exhumation of high- to ultrahigh-pressure rocks in continental collision zones. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 301, 65-77 (2011).

  7. Earth Rotation Dynamics: Review and Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Benjamin F.

    2004-01-01

    Modem space geodetic measurement of Earth rotation variations, particularly by means of the VLBI technique, has over the years allowed studies of Earth rotation dynamics to advance in ever-increasing precision, accuracy, and temporal resolution. A review will be presented on our understanding of the geophysical and climatic causes, or "excitations", for length-of-day change, polar motion, and nutations. These excitations sources come from mass transports that constantly take place in the Earth system comprised of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, mantle, and the cores. In this sense, together with other space geodetic measurements of time-variable gravity and geocenter motion, Earth rotation variations become a remote-sensing tool for the integral of all mass transports, providing valuable information about the latter on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Future prospects with respect to geophysical studies with even higher accuracy and resolution will be discussed.

  8. Secular change of LOD caused by core evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis, C.; Rybicki, K. R.; Varga, P.

    2003-04-01

    Fossils and tidal deposits suggest that, on the average, the Earth's despinning rate had been five times less in the Proterozoic than in the Phanerozoic. This difference is probably due, for the major part, to the existence of a Proterozoic supercontinent. Nevertheless, core formation and core evolution should have compensated to some extent the effect of tidal friction, by diminishing the Earth's inertia moment. We have investigated quantitatively this contribution of the evolving core to the change of LOD. For the present epoch, we find that the solidification of the inner core causes a relative secular decrease of LOD of approximately 3 μs per century, whereas the macrodiffusion of iron oxides and sulfides from the D" into the outer core across the CMB (inasfar as Majewski's theory holds) leads to a relative secular decrease of LOD by about 15 μs per century. On the other hand, the theory of slow core formation developped by Runcorn in the early 1960s as a by-product of his theory of mantle-wide convection, leads to a relative secular decrease of LOD during most of the Proterozoic of about 0.25 ms per century. Although core formation is now widely assumed to have been a thermal run-away process that occurred shortly after the Earth itself had formed, Runcorn's theory of the growing core would nicely explain the observed palaeo-LOD curve. In any case, formation of the core implies, all in all, a relative decrease of LOD of typically 3 hours.

  9. Considering bioactivity in modelling continental growth and the Earth's evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höning, D.; Spohn, T.

    2013-09-01

    The complexity of planetary evolution increases with the number of interacting reservoirs. On Earth, even the biosphere is speculated to interact with the interior. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. Through plate tectonics, the surface biosphere can impact deep subduction zone processes and the interior of the Earth. Subducted sediments are particularly important, because they influence the Earth's interior in several ways, and in turn are strongly influenced by the Earth's biosphere. In our model, we use the assumption that a thick sedimentary layer of low permeability on top of the subducting oceanic crust, caused by a biologically enhanced weathering rate, can suppress shallow dewatering. This in turn leads to greater vailability of water in the source region of andesitic partial melt, resulting in an enhanced rate of continental production and regassing rate into the mantle. Our model includes (i) mantle convection, (ii) continental erosion and production, and (iii) mantle water degassing at mid-ocean ridges and regassing at subduction zones. The mantle viscosity of our model depends on (i) the mantle water concentration and (ii) the mantle temperature, whose time dependency is given by radioactive decay of isotopes in the Earth's mantle. Boundary layer theory yields the speed of convection and the water outgassing rate of the Earth's mantle. Our results indicate that present day values of continental surface area and water content of the Earth's mantle represent an attractor in a phase plane spanned by both parameters. We show that the biologic enhancement of the continental erosion rate is important for the system to reach this fixed point. An abiotic Earth tends to reach an alternative stable fixed point with a smaller

  10. Upper mantle dynamics of Bangladesh by splitting analysis of core-mantle refracted SKS, PKS, and SKKS phases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, Ashwani Kant; Bhushan, Kirti; Eken, Tuna; Singh, Arun

    2018-06-01

    New shear wave splitting measurements are obtained from the Bengal Basin using core-mantle refracted SKS, PKS, and SKKS phases. The splitting parameters, namely time delays (δ t) and fast polarization directions (ϕ), were estimated through analysis of 54 high-quality waveforms (⩾ 2.5 signal to noise ratio) from 30 earthquakes with magnitude ⩾ 5.5 recorded at ten seismic stations deployed over Bangladesh. No evidence of splitting was found, which indicates azimuthal isotropy beneath the region. These null measurements can be explained by either vertically dipping anisotropic fast axes or by the presence of multiple horizontal anisotropic layers with different fast polarization directions, where the combined effect results in a null characterization. The anisotropic fabric preserved from rifting episodes of Antarctica and India, subduction-related dynamics of the Indo-Burmese convergence zone, and northward movement of the Indian plate creating shear at the base of the lithosphere can explain the observed null measurements. The combined effect of all these most likely results in a strong vertical anisotropic heterogeneity, creating the observed null results.

  11. An analytical solution for the elastic response to surface loads imposed on a layered, transversely isotropic and self-gravitating Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, E.; Chen, J. Y.; Bevis, M.; Bordoni, A.; Barletta, V. R.; Molavi Tabrizi, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present an analytical solution for the elastic deformation of an elastic, transversely isotropic, layered and self-gravitating Earth by surface loads. We first introduce the vector spherical harmonics to express the physical quantities in the layered Earth. This reduces the governing equations to a linear system of equations for the expansion coefficients. We then solve for the expansion coefficients analytically under the assumption (i.e. approximation) that in the mantle, the density in each layer varies as 1/r (where r is the radial coordinate) while the gravity is constant and that in the core the gravity in each layer varies linearly in r with constant density. These approximations dramatically simplify the subsequent mathematical analysis and render closed-form expressions for the expansion coefficients. We implement our solution in a MATLAB code and perform a benchmark which shows both the correctness of our solution and the implementation. We also calculate the load Love numbers (LLNs) of the PREM Earth for different degrees of the Legendre function for both isotropic and transversely isotropic, layered mantles with different core models, demonstrating for the first time the effect of Earth anisotropy on the LLNs.

  12. An analytical solution for the elastic response to surface loads imposed on a layered, transversely isotropic and self-gravitating Earth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pan, E.; Chen, J.Y.; Bevis, M.

    2015-01-01

    to a linear system of equations for the expansion coefficients. We then solve for the expansion coefficients analytically under the assumption (i.e. approximation) that in the mantle, the density in each layer varies as 1/r (where r is the radial coordinate) while the gravity is constant and that in the core...... the gravity in each layer varies linearly in r with constant density. These approximations dramatically simplify the subsequent mathematical analysis and render closed-form expressions for the expansion coefficients. We implement our solution in a MATLAB code and perform a benchmark which shows both...... the correctness of our solution and the implementation. We also calculate the load Love numbers (LLNs) of the PREM Earth for different degrees of the Legendre function for both isotropic and transversely isotropic, layered mantles with different core models, demonstrating for the first time the effect of Earth...

  13. Effects of mantle rheologies on viscous heating induced by glacial isostatic adjustment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, Ping Ping; Wu, Patrick; van der Wal, W.

    2018-01-01

    It has been argued that viscous dissipation from mantle flow in response to surface loading during glacial cycles can result in short-term heating and thus trigger transient volcanism or changes in mantle properties, which may in turn affect mantle dynamics. Furthermore, heating near the Earth's

  14. The Importance of Mars Samples in Constraining the Geological and Geophysical Processes on Mars and the Nature of its Crust, Mantle, and Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; Herd, C. D. K.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Debaille, V.; Hallis, L. J.; McCubbin, F. M.; Schmitz, N.; Usui, T.; Weiss, B. P.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Czaja, A. D.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mangold, N.; Mackelprang, R.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCoy, J. T.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Ori, G. G.; Raulin, F.; Rettberg, P.; Rucker, M. A.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Smith, C. L.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Tosca, N. J.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    We present the main sample types from any potential Mars Sample Return landing site that would be required to constrain the geological and geophysical processes on Mars, including the origin and nature of its crust, mantle, and core.

  15. Elasticity of superhydrous phase B at the mantle temperature and pressure: Implications for 800-km discontinuity and water flow into lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, D.; Wang, W.; Wu, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Plate subduction can transport the water to the Earth's interior by forming hydrous phases and water can exert important effects on global dynamics and many processes within the deep Earth. Superhydrous phase B (ShyB), as an important candidate for transporting water into the mantle transition zone and lower mantle, is stable up to 31 GPa and will decompose into bridgmanite, periclase and water at a depth of 800 km [Komabayashi and Omori, 2006]. The decomposition of ShyB may be related to the seismic discontinuity at the depth of 800 km in Western-Pacific Subduction Zones [Liu et al., 2016; Porritt and Yoshioka, 2016]. The detail discussions on this topic require the elasticity of ShyB at the P-T conditions of the transition zone and lower mantle. In this contribution, we obtained the thermal elasticity of ShyB using first-principles calculations. ShyB shows a very low velocity and density compared to the bridgmanite and periclase, the major minerals in the lower mantle. The accumulation of ShyB will generate the low-velocity anomaly in the uppermost lower mantle. The dehydration of ShyB will cause the Vp, Vs, and density increase by 7.5%, 15.0% and 12%, respectively. It means that a slab with 10% ShyB could cause an impedance contrast of 2.7% at a depth of 800 km for shear wave. Furthermore, the released waters by the dehydration of ShyB probably migrate upward and promote the partial melt to reduce the sound velocity at shallower depth, which can further explain the low-velocity zones just above 800-km discontinuity in Western-Pacific Subduction Zones [Liu et al., 2016]. Komabayashi, T., and S. Omori (2006), Internally consistent thermodynamic data set for dense hydrous magnesium silicates up to 35GPa, 1600°C: Implications for water circulation in the Earth's deep mantle, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 156(1-2), 89-107. Liu, Z., J. Park, and S. I. Karato (2016), Seismological detection of low-velocity anomalies surrounding the mantle transition

  16. Upper mantle fluids evolution, diamond formation, and mantle metasomatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, F.; Sverjensky, D. A.

    2017-12-01

    During mantle metasomatism, fluid-rock interactions in the mantle modify wall-rock compositions. Previous studies usually either investigated mineral compositions in xenoliths and xenocrysts brought up by magmas, or examined fluid compositions preserved in fluid inclusions in diamonds. However, a key study of Panda diamonds analysed both mineral and fluid inclusions in the diamonds [1] which we used to develop a quantitative characterization of mantle metasomatic processes. In the present study, we used an extended Deep Earth Water model [2] to simulate fluid-rock interactions at upper mantle conditions, and examine the fluids and mineral assemblages together simultaneously. Three types of end-member fluids in the Panda diamond fluid inclusions include saline, rich in Na+K+Cl; silicic, rich in Si+Al; and carbonatitic, rich in Ca+Mg+Fe [1, 3]. We used the carbonatitic end-member to represent fluid from a subducting slab reacting with an excess of peridotite + some saline fluid in the host environment. During simultaneous fluid mixing and reaction with the host rock, the logfO2 increased by about 1.6 units, and the pH increased by 0.7 units. The final minerals were olivine, garnet and diamond. The Mg# of olivine decreased from 0.92 to 0.85. Garnet precipitated at an early stage, and its Mg# also decreased with reaction progress, in agreement with the solid inclusions in the Panda diamonds. Phlogopite precipitated as an intermediate mineral and then disappeared. The aqueous Ca, Mg, Fe, Si and Al concentrations all increased, while Na, K, and Cl concentrations decreased during the reaction, consistent with trends in the fluid inclusion compositions. Our study demonstrates that fluids coming from subducting slabs could trigger mantle metasomatism, influence the compositions of sub-lithospherc cratonic mantle, precipitate diamonds, and change the oxygen fugacity and pH of the upper mantle fluids. [1] Tomlinson et al. EPSL (2006); [2] Sverjensky, DA et al., GCA (2014

  17. Dynamical links between small- and large-scale mantle heterogeneity: Seismological evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Daniel A.; Garnero, Edward J.; Rost, Sebastian

    2018-01-01

    We identify PKP • PKP scattered waves (also known as P‧ •P‧) from earthquakes recorded at small-aperture seismic arrays at distances less than 65°. P‧ •P‧ energy travels as a PKP wave through the core, up into the mantle, then scatters back down through the core to the receiver as a second PKP. P‧ •P‧ waves are unique in that they allow scattering heterogeneities throughout the mantle to be imaged. We use array-processing methods to amplify low amplitude, coherent scattered energy signals and resolve their incoming direction. We deterministically map scattering heterogeneity locations from the core-mantle boundary to the surface. We use an extensive dataset with sensitivity to a large volume of the mantle and a location method allowing us to resolve and map more heterogeneities than have previously been possible, representing a significant increase in our understanding of small-scale structure within the mantle. Our results demonstrate that the distribution of scattering heterogeneities varies both radially and laterally. Scattering is most abundant in the uppermost and lowermost mantle, and a minimum in the mid-mantle, resembling the radial distribution of tomographically derived whole-mantle velocity heterogeneity. We investigate the spatial correlation of scattering heterogeneities with large-scale tomographic velocities, lateral velocity gradients, the locations of deep-seated hotspots and subducted slabs. In the lowermost 1500 km of the mantle, small-scale heterogeneities correlate with regions of low seismic velocity, high lateral seismic gradient, and proximity to hotspots. In the upper 1000 km of the mantle there is no significant correlation between scattering heterogeneity location and subducted slabs. Between 600 and 900 km depth, scattering heterogeneities are more common in the regions most remote from slabs, and close to hotspots. Scattering heterogeneities show an affinity for regions close to slabs within the upper 200 km of the

  18. Magnesium isotopic composition of the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, F.; Li, W.; Ke, S.; Marty, B.; Huang, S.; Dauphas, N.; Wu, F.; Helz, R. L.

    2009-12-01

    Studies of Mg isotopic composition of the Earth not only are important for understanding its geochemistry but also can shed light on the accretion history of the Earth as well as the evolution of the Earth-Moon system. However, to date, the Mg isotopic composition of the Earth is still poorly constrained and highly debated. There is uncertainty in the magnitude of Mg isotope fractionation at mantle temperatures and whether the Earth has a chondritic Mg isotopic composition or not. To constrain further the Mg isotopic composition of the mantle and investigate the behavior of Mg isotopes during igneous differentiation, we report >200 high-precision (δ26Mg French Polynesian volcanoes (Society island and Cook Austral chain); 3) olivine grains from Hawaiian volcanoes (Kilauea, Koolau and Loihi) and 4) peridotite xenoliths from Australia, China, France, Tanzania and USA. Global oceanic basalts and peridotite xenoliths have a limited (<0.2 ‰) variation in Mg isotopic composition, with an average δ26Mg = -0.25 relative to DSM3. Olivines from Hawaiian lavas have δ26Mg ranging from -0.43 to +0.03, with most having compositions identical to basalts and peridotites. Therefore, the mantle’s δ26Mg value is estimated to be ~ -0.25 ± 0.1 (2SD), different from that reported by Wiechert and Halliday (2007; δ26Mg = ~ 0) but similar to more recent studies (δ26Mg = -0.27 to -0.33) (Teng et al. 2007; Handler et al. 2009; Yang et al., 2009). Moreover, we suggest the Earth, as represented by the mantle, has a Mg isotopic composition similar to chondrites (δ26Mg = ~-0.33). The need for a model such as that of Wiechert and Halliday (2007) that involves sorting of chondrules and calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions in the proto planetary disc is thus not required to explain the Mg isotopic composition of the Earth.

  19. Earth's core formation due to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ida, S.; Nakagawa, Y.; Nakazawa, K.

    1987-01-01

    A protoearth accretion stage configuration consisting of an undifferentiated solid core, an intermediate metal-melt layer, and an outer silicate-melt layer, is presently taken as the initial state in an investigation of Rayleigh-Taylor instability-induced core formation. The Ida et al. (to be published) quantitative results on the instability in a self-gravitating fluid sphere are used. The instability is found to occur through the translational mode on a time-scale of about 10 hr, in the case where the metal-melt layer is greater than about 1 km; this implies that the earth's core formed due to the undifferentiated solid core's translation upon the outer layer's melting. Differentiation would then have occurred in the late accretion stage. 17 references

  20. Mantle Convection on Modern Supercomputers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weismüller, J.; Gmeiner, B.; Huber, M.; John, L.; Mohr, M.; Rüde, U.; Wohlmuth, B.; Bunge, H. P.

    2015-12-01

    Mantle convection is the cause for plate tectonics, the formation of mountains and oceans, and the main driving mechanism behind earthquakes. The convection process is modeled by a system of partial differential equations describing the conservation of mass, momentum and energy. Characteristic to mantle flow is the vast disparity of length scales from global to microscopic, turning mantle convection simulations into a challenging application for high-performance computing. As system size and technical complexity of the simulations continue to increase, design and implementation of simulation models for next generation large-scale architectures is handled successfully only in an interdisciplinary context. A new priority program - named SPPEXA - by the German Research Foundation (DFG) addresses this issue, and brings together computer scientists, mathematicians and application scientists around grand challenges in HPC. Here we report from the TERRA-NEO project, which is part of the high visibility SPPEXA program, and a joint effort of four research groups. TERRA-NEO develops algorithms for future HPC infrastructures, focusing on high computational efficiency and resilience in next generation mantle convection models. We present software that can resolve the Earth's mantle with up to 1012 grid points and scales efficiently to massively parallel hardware with more than 50,000 processors. We use our simulations to explore the dynamic regime of mantle convection and assess the impact of small scale processes on global mantle flow.

  1. A Model of Continental Growth and Mantle Degassing Comparing Biotic and Abiotic Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höning, D.; Hansen-Goos, H.; Spohn, T.

    2012-12-01

    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in

  2. Very low sound velocities in iron-rich (Mg,Fe)O: Implications for the core-mantle boundary region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wicks, J.K.; Jackson, J.M.; Sturhahn, W.

    2010-01-01

    The sound velocities of (Mg .16 Fe .84 )O have been measured to 121 GPa at ambient temperature using nuclear resonant inelastic x-ray scattering. The effect of electronic environment of the iron sites on the sound velocities were tracked in situ using synchrotron Moessbauer spectroscopy. We found the sound velocities of (Mg .16 Fe .84 )O to be much lower than those in other presumed mantle phases at similar conditions, most notably at very high pressures. Conservative estimates of the effect of temperature and dilution on aggregate sound velocities show that only a small amount of iron-rich (Mg,Fe)O can greatly reduce the average sound velocity of an assemblage. We propose that iron-rich (Mg,Fe)O be a source of ultra-low velocity zones. Other properties of this phase, such as enhanced density and dynamic stability, strongly support the presence of iron-rich (Mg,Fe)O in localized patches above the core-mantle boundary.

  3. Earth Evolution and Dynamics (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torsvik, Trond H.

    2016-04-01

    While physicists are fantasizing about a unified theory that can explain just about everything from subatomic particles (quantum mechanics) to the origin of the Universe (general relativity), Darwin already in 1858 elegantly unified the biological sciences with one grand vision. In the Earth Sciences, the description of the movement and deformation of the Earth's outer layer has evolved from Continental Drift (1912) into Sea-Floor Spreading (1962) and then to the paradigm of Plate Tectonics in the mid-to-late 1960s. Plate Tectonics has been extremely successful in providing a framework for understanding deformation and volcanism at plate boundaries, allowed us to understand how continent motions through time are a natural result of heat escaping from Earth's deep interior, and has granted us the means to conduct earthquake and volcanic hazard assessments and hydrocarbon exploration, which have proven indispensable for modern society. Plate Tectonics is as fundamentally unifying to the Earth Sciences as Darwin's Theory of Evolution is to the Life Sciences, but it is an incomplete theory that lacks a clear explanation of how plate tectonics, mantle convection and mantle plumes interact. Over the past decade, however, we have provided compelling evidence that plumes rise from explicit plume generation zones at the margins of two equatorial and antipodal large low shear-wave velocity provinces (Tuzo and Jason). These thermochemical provinces on the core-mantle boundary have been stable for at least the last 300 million years, possibly the last 540 million years, and their edges are the dominant sources of the plumes that generate large igneous provinces, hotspots and kimberlites. Linking surface and lithospheric processes to the mantle is extremely challenging and is only now becoming feasible due to breakthroughs in the estimation of ancient longitudes before the Cretaceous, greatly improved seismic tomography, recent advances in mineral physics, and new developments

  4. Stability and anisotropy of (FexNi1-x)2O under high pressure and implications in Earth's and super-Earths' core.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shengxuan; Wu, Xiang; Qin, Shan

    2018-01-10

    Oxygen is thought to be an important light element in Earth's core but the amount of oxygen in Earth's core remains elusive. In addition, iron-rich iron oxides are of great interest and significance in the field of geoscience and condensed matter physics. Here, static calculations based on density functional theory demonstrate that I4/mmm-Fe 2 O is dynamically and mechanically stable and becomes energetically favorable with respect to the assemblage of hcp-Fe and [Formula: see text]-FeO above 270 GPa, which indicates that I4/mmm-Fe 2 O can be a strong candidate phase for stable iron-rich iron oxides at high pressure, perhaps even at high temperature. The elasticity and anisotropy of I4/mmm-(Fe x Ni 1-x ) 2 O at high pressures are also determined. Based on these results, we have derived the upper limit of oxygen to be 4.3 wt% in Earth's lower outer core. On the other hand, I4/mmm-(Fe x Ni 1-x ) 2 O with high AV S is likely to exist in a super-Earth's or an ocean planet's solid core causing the locally seismic heterogeneity. Our results not only give some clues to explore and synthesize novel iron-rich iron oxides but also shed light on the fundamental information of oxygen in the planetary core.

  5. Preliminary three-dimensional model of mantle convection with deformable, mobile continental lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Masaki

    2010-06-01

    Characteristic tectonic structures such as young orogenic belts and suture zones in a continent are expected to be mechanically weaker than the stable part of the continental lithosphere with the cratonic root (or cratonic lithosphere) and yield lateral viscosity variations in the continental lithosphere. In the present-day Earth's lithosphere, the pre-existing, mechanically weak zones emerge as a diffuse plate boundary. However, the dynamic role of a weak (low-viscosity) continental margin (WCM) in the stability of continental lithosphere has not been understood in terms of geophysics. Here, a new numerical simulation model of mantle convection with a compositionally and rheologically heterogeneous, deformable, mobile continental lithosphere is presented for the first time by using three-dimensional regional spherical-shell geometry. A compositionally buoyant and highly viscous continental assemblage with pre-existing WCMs, analogous to the past supercontinent, is modeled and imposed on well-developed mantle convection whose vigor of convection, internal heating rate, and rheological parameters are appropriate for the Earth's mantle. The visco-plastic oceanic lithosphere and the associated subduction of oceanic plates are incorporated. The time integration of the advection of continental materials with zero chemical diffusion is performed by a tracer particle method. The time evolution of mantle convection after setting the model supercontinent is followed over 800 Myr. Earth-like continental drift is successfully reproduced, and the characteristic thermal interaction between the mantle and the continent/supercontinent is observed in my new numerical model. Results reveal that the WCM protects the cratonic lithosphere from being stretched by the convecting mantle and may play a significant role in the stability of the cratonic lithosphere during the geological timescale because it acts as a buffer that prevents the cratonic lithosphere from undergoing global

  6. Observation and excitation of magnetohydrodynamic waves in numerical models of Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teed, R.; Hori, K.; Tobias, S.; Jones, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    Several types of magnetohydrodynamic waves are theorised to operate in Earth's outer core but their detection is limited by the inability to probe the fluid core directly. Secular variation data and periodic changes in Earth's length-of-day provide evidence for the possible existence of waves. Numerical simulations of core dynamics enable us to search directly for waves and determine their properties. With this information it is possible to consider whether they can be the origin of features observed in observational data. We focus on two types of wave identified in our numerical experiments: i) torsional waves and ii) slow magnetic Rossby waves. Our models display periodic, Earth-like torsional waves that travel outwards from the tangent cylinder circumscribing the inner core. We discuss the properties of these waves and their similarites to observational data. Excitation is via a matching of the Alfvén frequency with that of small modes of convection focused at the tangent cylinder. The slow magnetic Rossby waves observed in our simulations show that these waves may account for some geomagnetic westward drifts observed at mid-latitudes. We present analysis showing excitation of waves by the convective instability and we discuss how the detection of these waves could also provide an estimate of the strength of the toroidal component of the magnetic field within the planetary fluid core.

  7. Earth's core convection: Boussinesq approximation or incompressible approach?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Anufriev, A. P.; Hejda, Pavel

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 104, č. 1 (2010), s. 65-83 ISSN 0309-1929 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA300120704 Grant - others:INTAS(XE) 03-51-5807 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : geodynamic models * core convection * Boussinesq approximation Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 0.831, year: 2010

  8. Experimental evidence of body centered cubic iron in Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrubiak, R.; Meng, Y.; Shen, G.

    2017-12-01

    The Earth's core is mainly composed of iron. While seismic evidence has shown a liquid outer core and a solid inner core, the crystalline nature of the solid iron at the core condition remains debated, largely due to the difficulties in experimental determination of exact polymorphs at corresponding pressure-temperature conditions. We have examined crystal structures of iron up to 220 GPa and 6000 K with x-ray diffraction using a double-sided laser heating system at HPCAT, Advanced Photon Source. The iron sample is confined in a small chamber surrounded by single crystal MgO. The laser power can be modulated together with temperature measurements. The modulated heating of iron in an MgO single crystal matrix allows for microstructure analysis during heating and after the sample is quenched. We present experimental evidence of a body-centered-cubic (BCC) iron from about 100 GPa and 3000 K to at least 220 GPa and 4000 K. The observed BCC phase may be consistent with a theoretically predicted BCC phase that is dynamically stable in similar pressure-temperature conditions [1]. We will discuss the stability region of the BCC phase and the melting curve of iron and their implications in the nature of the Earth's inner core. References: A. B. Belonoshko et al., Nat. Geosci., 1-6 (2017).

  9. Archean crust-mantle geochemical differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilton, G. R.

    Isotope measurements on carbonatite complexes and komatiites can provide information on the geochemical character and geochemical evolution of the mantle, including the sub-continental mantle. Measurements on young samples establish the validity of the method. These are based on Sr, Nd and Pb data from the Tertiary-Mesozoic Gorgona komatiite and Sr and Pb data from the Cretaceous Oka carbonatite complex. In both cases the data describe a LIL element-depleted source similar to that observed presently in MORB. Carbonatite data have been used to study the mantle beneath the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield one billion years (1 AE) ago. The framework for this investigation was established by Bell et al., who showed that large areas of the province appear to be underlain by LIL element-depleted mantle (Sr-85/Sr-86=0.7028) at 1 AE ago. Additionally Bell et al. found four complexes to have higher initial Sr ratios (Sr-87/Sr-86=0.7038), which they correlated with less depleted (bulk earth?) mantle sources, or possibly crustal contamination. Pb isotope relationships in four of the complexes have been studied by Bell et al.

  10. Archean crust-mantle geochemical differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilton, G. R.

    1983-01-01

    Isotope measurements on carbonatite complexes and komatiites can provide information on the geochemical character and geochemical evolution of the mantle, including the sub-continental mantle. Measurements on young samples establish the validity of the method. These are based on Sr, Nd and Pb data from the Tertiary-Mesozoic Gorgona komatiite and Sr and Pb data from the Cretaceous Oka carbonatite complex. In both cases the data describe a LIL element-depleted source similar to that observed presently in MORB. Carbonatite data have been used to study the mantle beneath the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield one billion years (1 AE) ago. The framework for this investigation was established by Bell et al., who showed that large areas of the province appear to be underlain by LIL element-depleted mantle (Sr-85/Sr-86=0.7028) at 1 AE ago. Additionally Bell et al. found four complexes to have higher initial Sr ratios (Sr-87/Sr-86=0.7038), which they correlated with less depleted (bulk earth?) mantle sources, or possibly crustal contamination. Pb isotope relationships in four of the complexes have been studied by Bell et al.

  11. Constraints on the thermal and compositional nature of the Earth's mantle inferred from joint inversion of compressional and shear seismic waves and mineral physics data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tesoniero, Andrea

    and by uncertainties in the sensitivity of seismic velocities to these parameters. The combination of seismic observations and information from mineral physics can help overcoming the limited resolution of the seismic data and obtaining an insight into the physical state of the Earth. This Ph.D. project summarizes......- and shear-velocity model has been delivered. The interpretation of the new model gives an insight into lateral compositional variations within the continental lithosphere and upper mantle, as well as a new interpretation of the thermo-chemical state of the lower mantle. Two manuscripts have been prepared...

  12. The problem of iron partition between Earth and Moon during simultaneous formation as a double planet system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, W. A.

    1984-01-01

    A planetary model is described which requires fractional vapor/liquid condensation, planet accumulation during condensation, a late start for accumulation of the Moon, and volatile accretion to the surfaces of each planet only near the end of the accumulation process. In the model, initial accumulation of small objects is helped if the agglomerating particles are somewhat sticky. Assuming that growth proceeds through this range, agglomeration continues. If the reservoir of vapor is being preferentially depleted in iron by fractional condensation, an iron-rich planetary core forms. As the temperature decreases, condensing material becomes progressively richer in silicates and poorer in iron, forming the silicate-rich mantle of an already differentiated Earth. A second center of agglomeration successfully forms near the growing Earth after most of the iron in the reservoir has been used up. The bulk composition of the Moon then is similar to the outer mantle of the accumulating Earth.

  13. The effect of ilmenite viscosity on the dynamics and evolution of an overturned lunar cumulate mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Nan; Dygert, Nick; Liang, Yan; Parmentier, E. M.

    2017-07-01

    Lunar cumulate mantle overturn and the subsequent upwelling of overturned mantle cumulates provide a potential framework for understanding the first-order thermochemical evolution of the Moon. Upwelling of ilmenite-bearing cumulates (IBCs) after the overturn has a dominant influence on the dynamics and long-term thermal evolution of the lunar mantle. An important parameter determining the stability and convective behavior of the IBC is its viscosity, which was recently constrained through rock deformation experiments. To examine the effect of IBC viscosity on the upwelling of overturned lunar cumulate mantle, here we conduct three-dimensional mantle convection models with an evolving core superposed by an IBC-rich layer, which resulted from mantle overturn after magma ocean solidification. Our modeling shows that a reduction of mantle viscosity by 1 order of magnitude, due to the presence of ilmenite, can dramatically change convective planform and long-term lunar mantle evolution. Our model results suggest a relatively stable partially molten IBC layer that has surrounded the lunar core to the present day.Plain Language SummaryThe Moon's mantle is locally ilmenite rich. Previous models exploring the convective evolution of the lunar mantle did not consider the effects of ilmenite viscosity. Recent rock deformation experiments demonstrate that Fe-Ti oxide (ilmenite) is a low viscosity phase compared to olivine and other silicate minerals. Our modeling shows that ilmenite changes the lunar mantle plume process. An ilmenite-rich layer around the lunar core would be highly stable throughout geologic time, consistent with a partially molten, low viscosity layer around the core inferred from seismic attenuation and tidal dissipation.

  14. Prospect of Continuous VLBI Measurement of Earth Rotation in Monitoring Geophysical Fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Benjamin F.; Ma, Chopo; Clark, Thomas

    1998-01-01

    Large-scale mass transports in the geophysical fluids of the Earth system excite Earth's rotational variations in both length-of-day and polar motion. The excitation process is via the conservation of angular momentum. Therefore Earth rotation observations contain information about the integrated angular momentum (consisting of both the mass term and the motion term) of the geophysical fluids, which include atmosphere, hydrosphere, mantle, and the outer and inner cores. Such global information is often important and otherwise unattainable depending on the nature of the mass transport, its magnitude and time scale. The last few years have seen great advances in VLBI measurement of Earth rotation in precision and temporal resolution. These advances have opened new. areas in geophysical fluid studies, such as oceanic tidal angular momentum, atmospheric tides, Earth librations, and rapid atmospheric angular momentum fluctuations. Precision of 10 microseconds in UTI and 200 microarcseconds in polar motion can now be achieved on hourly basis. Building upon this heritage, the multi-network geodetic VLBI project, Continuous Observation of the Rotation of the Earth (CORE), promises to further these studies and to make possible studies on elusive but tell-tale geophysical processes such as oscillatory modes in the core and in the atmosphere. Currently the early phase of CORE is underway. Within a few years into the new mellinnium, the upcoming space gravity missions (such as GRACE) will measure the temporal variations in Earth's gravitational field, thus providing complementary information to that from Earth rotation study for a better understanding of global geophysical fluid processes.

  15. Sintering mantle mineral aggregates with submicron grains: examples of olivine and clinopyroxene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsubokawa, Y.; Ishikawa, M.

    2017-12-01

    Physical property of the major mantle minerals play an important role in the dynamic behavior of the Earth's mantle. Recently, it has been found that nano- to sub-micron scale frictional processes might control faulting processes and earthquake instability, and ultrafine-grained mineral aggregates thus have attracted the growing interest. Here we investigated a method for preparing polycrystalline clinoyproxene and polycrystalline olivine with grain size of sub-micron scale from natural crystals, two main constituents of the upper mantle. Nano-sized powders of both minerals are sintered under argon flow at temperatures ranging from 1130-1350 °C for 0.5-20 h. After sintering at 1180 °C and 1300 °C, we successfully fabricated polycrystalline clinopyroxene and polycrystalline olivine with grain size of physical properties of Earth's mantle.

  16. Potential fields & satellite missions: what they tell us about the Earth's core?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandea, M.; Panet, I.; Lesur, V.; de Viron, O.; Diament, M.; Le Mouël, J.

    2012-12-01

    Since the advent of satellite potential field missions, the search to find information they can carry about the Earth's core has been motivated both by an interest in understanding the structure of dynamics of the Earth's interior and by the possibility of applying new space data analysis. While it is agreed upon that the magnetic field measurements from space bring interesting information on the rapid variations of the core magnetic field and flows associated with, the question turns to whether the core process can have a signature in the space gravity data. Here, we tackle this question, in the light of the recent data from the GRACE mission, that reach an unprecedented precision. Our study is based on eight years of high-resolution, high-accuracy gravity and magnetic satellite data, provided by the GRACE and CHAMP satellite missions. From the GRACE CNES/GRGS geoid solutions, we have emphasized the long-term variability by using a specific post-processing technique. From the CHAMP magnetic data we have computed models for the core magnetic field and its temporal variations, and the flow at the top of the core. A correlation analysis between the gravity and magnetic gridded series indicates that the inter-annual changes in the core magnetic field - under a region from the Atlantic to Indian Oceans - coincide with similar changes in the gravity field. These results should be considered as a constituent when planning new Earth's observation space missions and future innovations relevant to both gravity (after GRACE Follow-On) and magnetic (after Swarm) missions.

  17. Atmospheres of partially differentiated super-Earth exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Laura; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2015-11-01

    Terrestrial exoplanets have been discovered in a range of sizes, densities and orbital locations that defy our expectations based upon the Solar System. Planets discovered to date with radii less than ~1.5-1.6 Earth radii all seem to fall on an iso-density curve with the Earth [1]. However, mass and radius determinations, which depend on the known properties of the host star, are not accurate enough to distinguish between a fully differentiated three-layer planet (core, mantle, ocean/atmosphere) and an incompletely differentiated planet [2]. Full differentiation of a planet will depend upon the conditions at the time of accretion, including the abundance of short-lived radioisotopes, which will vary from system to system, as well as the number of giant impacts the planet experiences. Furthermore, separation of metal and silicates at the much larger pressures found inside super-Earths will depend on how the chemistry of these materials change at high pressures. There are therefore hints emerging that not all super-Earths will be fully differentiated. Incomplete differentiation will result in a more reduced mantle oxidation state and may have implications for the composition of an outgassed atmosphere. Here we will present the first results from a chemical equilibrium model of the composition of such an outgassed atmosphere and discuss the possibility of distinguishing between fully and incompletely differentiated planets through atmospheric observations.[1] Rogers, L. 2015. ApJ, 801, 41. [2] Zeng, L. & Sasselov, D. 2013. PASP, 125, 227.

  18. Eutectic propeties of primitive Earth's magma ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo Nigro, G.; Andrault, D.; Bolfan-Casanova, N.; Perillat, J.-P.

    2009-04-01

    It is widely accepted that the early Earth was partially molten (if not completely) due to the high energy dissipated by terrestrial accretion [1]. After core formation, subsequent cooling of the magma ocean has led to fractional crystallization of the primitive mantle. The residual liquid corresponds to what is now called the fertile mantle or pyrolite. Melting relations of silicates have been extensively investigated using the multi-anvil press, for pressures between 3 and 25 GPa [2,3]. Using the quench technique, it has been shown that the pressure affects significantly the solidus and liquidus curves, and most probably the composition of the eutectic liquid. At higher pressures, up to 65 GPa, melting studies were performed on pyrolite starting material using the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LH-DAC) technique [4]. However, the quench technique is not ideal to define melting criteria, and furthermore these studies were limited in pressure range of investigation. Finally, the use of pyrolite may not be relevant to study the melting eutectic temperature. At the core-mantle boundary conditions, melting temperature is documented by a single data point on (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 olivine, provided by shock wave experiments at around 130-140 GPa [5]. These previous results present large uncertainties of ~1000 K. The aim of this study is to determine the eutectic melting temperature in the chemically simplified system composed of the two major lower mantle phases, the MgSiO3 perovskite and MgO periclase. We investigated melting in-situ using the laser-heated diamond anvil cell coupled with angle dispersive X-ray diffraction at the ID27 beamline of the ESRF [6]. Melting relations were investigated in an extended P-T range comparable to those found in the Earth's lower mantle, i.e. from 25 to 120 GPa and up to more than 5000 K. Melting was evidenced from (a) disappearance of one of the two phases in the diffraction pattern, (b) drastic changes of the diffraction image itself, and

  19. A new model of Earth's radial conductivity structure derived from over 10 yr of satellite and observatory magnetic data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Püthe, Christoph; Kuvshinov, Alexey; Khan, Amir

    2015-01-01

    We present a newmodel of the radial (1-D) conductivity structure of Earth's mantle. This model is derived frommore than 10 yr of magnetic measurements from the satellites ørsted, CHAMP, SAC-C and the Swarm trio as well as the global network of geomagnetic observatories. After removal of core...

  20. Observation of magnetic diffusion in the Earth's outer core from Magsat, Orsted, and CHAMP data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chulliat, A.; Olsen, Nils

    2010-01-01

    The frozen flux assumption consists in neglecting magnetic diffusion in the core. It has been widely used to compute core flows from geomagnetic observations. Here we investigate the validity of this assumption over the time interval 1980-2005, using high-precision magnetic data from the Magsat......, Orsted, and CHAMP satellites. A detectable change of magnetic fluxes through patches delimited by curves of zero radial magnetic field at the core-mantle boundary is associated with a failure of the frozen flux assumption. For each epoch (1980 and 2005), we calculate spatially regularized models...... of the core field which we use to investigate the change of reversed magnetic flux at the core surface. The largest and most robust change of reversed flux is observed for two patches: one located under St. Helena Island (near 20 degrees S, 15 degrees E); the other, much larger, is located under the South...

  1. An accelerating high-latitude jet in Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livermore, P. W.; Finlay, C. C.; Hollerbach, R.

    2017-12-01

    Observations of the change in Earth's magnetic field, the secular variation, provide information on the motion of liquid metal within the core that is responsible for its generation. The very latest high-resolution observations from ESA's Swarm satellite mission show intense field change at high-latitude localised in a distinctive circular daisy-chain configuration centred on the north geographic pole. Here we explain this feature with a localised, nonaxisymmetric, westwards jet of 420 km width on the tangent cylinder, the cylinder of fluid within the core that is aligned with the rotation axis and tangent to the solid inner core. We find that the jet has increased in magnitude by a factor of three over the period 2000-2016 to about 40 km/yr, and is now much stronger than typical large-scale flows inferred for the core. The current accelerating phase may be a part of a longer term fluctuation of the jet causing both eastwards and westwards movement of magnetic features over historical periods, and may contribute to recent changes in torsional wave activity and the rotation direction of the inner core.

  2. THERMAL EVOLUTION AND LIFETIME OF INTRINSIC MAGNETIC FIELDS OF SUPER-EARTHS IN HABITABLE ZONES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tachinami, C.; Ida, S.; Senshu, H.

    2011-01-01

    We have numerically studied the thermal evolution of different-mass terrestrial planets in habitable zones, focusing on the duration of dynamo activity to generate their intrinsic magnetic fields, which may be one of the key factors in habitability of the planets. In particular, we are concerned with super-Earths, observations of which are rapidly developing. We calculated the evolution of temperature distributions in the planetary interior using Vinet equations of state, the Arrhenius-type formula for mantle viscosity, and the astrophysical mixing-length theory for convective heat transfer modified for mantle convection. After calibrating the model with terrestrial planets in the solar system, we apply it for 0.1-10 M + rocky planets with a surface temperature of 300 K (in habitable zones) and Earth-like compositions. With the criterion of heat flux at the core-mantle boundary (CMB), the lifetime of the magnetic fields is evaluated from the calculated thermal evolution. We found that the lifetime slowly increases with planetary mass (M p ), independent of the initial temperature gap at the CMB (ΔT CMB ), but beyond the critical value M c,p (∼O(1) M + ) it abruptly declines from the mantle viscosity enhancement due to the pressure effect. We derived M c,p as a function of ΔT CMB and a rheological parameter (activation volume, V*). Thus, the magnetic field lifetime of super-Earths with M p >M p,c sensitively depends on ΔT CMB , which reflects planetary accretion, and V*, which has uncertainty at very high pressure. More advanced high-pressure experiments and first-principle simulation, as well as planetary accretion simulation, are needed to discuss the habitability of super-Earths.

  3. Travel-time Tomography of the Upper Mantle using Amphibious Array Seismic Data from the Cascadia Initiative and EarthScope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cafferky, S.; Schmandt, B.

    2013-12-01

    Offshore and onshore broadband seismic data from the Cascadia Initiative and EarthScope provide a unique opportunity to image 3-D mantle structure continuously from a spreading ridge across a subduction zone and into continental back-arc provinces. Year one data from the Cascadia Initiative primarily covers the northern half of the Juan de Fuca plate and the Cascadia forearc and arc provinces. These new data are used in concert with previously collected onshore data for a travel-time tomography investigation of mantle structure. Measurement of relative teleseismic P travel times for land-based and ocean-bottom stations operating during year one was completed for 16 events using waveform cross-correlation, after bandpass filtering the data from 0.05 - 0.1 Hz with a second order Butterworth filter. Maps of travel-time delays show changing patterns with event azimuth suggesting that structural variations exist beneath the oceanic plate. The data from year one and prior onshore travel time measurements were used in a tomographic inversion for 3-D mantle P-velocity structure. Inversions conducted to date use ray paths determined by a 1-D velocity model. By meeting time we plan to present models using ray paths that are iteratively updated to account for 3-D structure. Additionally, we are testing the importance of corrections for sediment and crust thickness on imaging of mantle structure near the subduction zone. Low-velocities beneath the Juan de Fuca slab that were previously suggested by onshore data are further supported by our preliminary tomographic inversions using the amphibious array data.

  4. Possible generation of heat from nuclear fusion in Earth's inner core.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuhara, Mikio

    2016-11-23

    The cause and source of the heat released from Earth's interior have not yet been determined. Some research groups have proposed that the heat is supplied by radioactive decay or by a nuclear georeactor. Here we postulate that the generation of heat is the result of three-body nuclear fusion of deuterons confined in hexagonal FeDx core-centre crystals; the reaction rate is enhanced by the combined attraction effects of high-pressure (~364 GPa) and high-temperature (~5700 K) and by the physical catalysis of neutral pions: 2 D +  2 D +  2 D → 2 1 H +  4 He + 2  + 20.85 MeV. The possible heat generation rate can be calculated as 8.12 × 10 12  J/m 3 , based on the assumption that Earth's primitive heat supply has already been exhausted. The H and He atoms produced and the anti-neutrino are incorporated as Fe-H based alloys in the H-rich portion of inner core, are released from Earth's interior to the universe, and pass through Earth, respectively.

  5. A magma ocean and the Earth's internal water budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    There are lines of evidence which relate bounds on the primordial water content of the Earth's mantle to a magma ocean and the accompanying Earth accretion process. We assume initially (before a magma ocean could form) that as the Earth accreted, it grew from volatile- (H2O, CO2, NH3, CH4, SO2, plus noble) gas-rich planetesimals, which accreted to form an initial 'primitive accretion core' (PAC). The PAC retained the initial complement of planetesimal gaseous components. Shock wave experiments in which both solid, and more recently, the gaseous components of materials such as serpentine and the Murchison meteorite have demonstrated that planetesimal infall velocities of less than 0.5 km/sec, induce shock pressures of less than 0.5 GPa and result in virtually complete retention of planetary gases.

  6. About the article by M.A. Goncharov, Yu.N. Raznitsin, Yu.V. Barkin «SPECIFIC FEATURES OF DEFORMATION OF THE CONTINENTAL AND OCEANIC LITHOSPHERE AS A RESULT OF THE EARTH CORE NORTHERN DRIFT»

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri G. Leonov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The review summary states that studies of the hierarchical subordination of geodynamic systems is top in the scientific agenda, and researches of orientation of the Earth’s surface deformation structures in relation to the elements of the stress field are important. It is noted that the proposed classification of geological objects by ranks is ambiguous, and there is a need for a geodynamic model to provide a basis for studying relationships between the fields of forces, stresses and strains on the surface and processes which take place deep in the core and mantle of the Earth.

  7. Geoelectromagnetic investigation of the earth’s crust and mantle

    CERN Document Server

    Rokityansky, Igor I

    1982-01-01

    Electrical conductivity is a parameter which characterizes composition and physical state of the Earth's interior. Studies of the state equations of solids at high temperature and pressure indicate that there is a close relation be­ tween the electrical conductivity of rocks and temperature. Therefore, measurements of deep conductivity can provide knowledge of the present state and temperature of the Earth's crust and upper mantle matter. Infor­ mation about the temperature of the Earth's interior in the remote past is derived from heat flow data. Experimental investigation of water-containing rocks has revealed a pronounced increase of electrical conductivity in the temperature range D from 500 to 700 DC which may be attributed to the beginning of fractional melting. Hence, anomalies of electrical conductivity may be helpful in identitying zones of melting and dehydration. The studies of these zones are perspective in the scientific research of the mobile areas of the Earth's crust and upper mantle where t...

  8. Mantle viscosity structure constrained by joint inversions of seismic velocities and density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolph, M. L.; Moulik, P.; Lekic, V.

    2017-12-01

    The viscosity structure of Earth's deep mantle affects the thermal evolution of Earth, the ascent of mantle upwellings, sinking of subducted oceanic lithosphere, and the mixing of compositional heterogeneities in the mantle. Modeling the long-wavelength dynamic geoid allows us to constrain the radial viscosity profile of the mantle. Typically, in inversions for the mantle viscosity structure, wavespeed variations are mapped into density variations using a constant- or depth-dependent scaling factor. Here, we use a newly developed joint model of anisotropic Vs, Vp, density and transition zone topographies to generate a suite of solutions for the mantle viscosity structure directly from the seismologically constrained density structure. The density structure used to drive our forward models includes contributions from both thermal and compositional variations, including important contributions from compositionally dense material in the Large Low Velocity Provinces at the base of the mantle. These compositional variations have been neglected in the forward models used in most previous inversions and have the potential to significantly affect large-scale flow and thus the inferred viscosity structure. We use a transdimensional, hierarchical, Bayesian approach to solve the inverse problem, and our solutions for viscosity structure include an increase in viscosity below the base of the transition zone, in the shallow lower mantle. Using geoid dynamic response functions and an analysis of the correlation between the observed geoid and mantle structure, we demonstrate the underlying reason for this inference. Finally, we present a new family of solutions in which the data uncertainty is accounted for using covariance matrices associated with the mantle structure models.

  9. The origin of the moon and the early history of the earth - A chemical model. Part 1: The moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neill, H. St.C.

    1991-01-01

    The chemical implications of a giant impact model for the origin of the moon are examined, both for the moon and for the earth. The Impactor is taken to be an approximately Mars-sized body. It is argued that the likeliest bulk chemical composition of the moon is quite similar to that of the earth's mantle, and that this composition may be explained in detail if about 80% of the moon came from the primitive earth's mantle after segregation of the earth's core. The other 20% of the moon is modelled as coming from (a) the Impactor, which is constrained to be an oxidized, probably undifferentiated body of roughly CI chondritic composition (on a volatile free basis) and (b) a late stage veneer, with a composition and oxidation state similar to that of the H-group ordinary chondrites. This latter component is the source of all the volatile elements in the moon, which failed to condense from the earth-and Impactor-derived materials; this component constitutes about 4% of the moon. It is argued that Mo may behave as a volatile element under the relatively oxidising conditions necessary for the condensation of the proto-moon. The model accounts satisfactorily for most of the siderophile elements, including Fe, Ni, Co, W, P, and Cu. The relatively well-constrained lunar abundances of V, Cr, and Mn are also accounted for; their depletion in the moon is inherited from the earth's mantle

  10. New initiative in studies of Earth's deep interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lay, Thorne

    A multidisciplinary U.S. research community is undertaking a new coordinated effort to study the state and dynamics of the Earth's deep mantle and core. At an open meeting held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, from September 11 to 12, 1992, over 120 Earth scientists gathered to discuss this new program, which is an outgrowth of activity during the previous year by an ad hoc steering committee. The research program will be coordinated by a community-based scientific organization and supported through competitive research proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation with the aim of facilitating cooperative research projects cutting across traditional disciplinary and institutional boundaries.The new organization is the U.S. Studies of the Earth's Deep Interior (SEDI) Coordinating Committee. This committee will facilitate communication among the U.S. SEDI research community, federal funding agencies, the AGU Committee for Studies of the Earth's Interior (SEI), the Union SEDI Committee of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, and the general public (Figure 1).

  11. NiO and Fe/Mn in Fo-rich olivines from OIB, MORB, and mantle peridotites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Baker, M.; Hofmann, A. E.; Clague, D.; Stolper, E.

    2006-12-01

    regular trend from MORB/Iceland, to Baffin Isl, to mantle peridotites/Juan Fernandez, to Reunion/Hawaii. This array can't be explained by simple crystallization (all have similar Fo) or by variable degrees of partial melting of a single source. The NiO-Fe/Mn correlation can be modeled by quantitative addition of 1-2% oxidized core to depleted mantle and thus is consistent with the core-addition hypothesis. However, more complex core-mantle interactions/fractionations would still be required to explain trace siderophile and chalcophile elements and isotopes. Moreover, other hypotheses to explain the observed trend (including addition of silicic melts to peridotite) cannot be ruled out. (2) The Hawaiian data, although clearly defining with Reunion the upper end of the overall NiO-Fe/Mn array, are more complex. For example, a single Mauna Kea sample has ~Fo90 phenocrysts with NiO from 0.30 to 0.54%, all with Fe/Mn=72-80, and North Arch and Loihi olivines have relatively low NiO at Fe/Mn ratios comparable to other Hawaiian olivines. Although Loihi and North Arch lavas are low in SiO2, in detail the NiO of Hawaiian olivines are not well predicted by SiO2 contents of the host lavas. (3) The Gorgona Isl komatiites fall off the overall trend, extending to NiO >0.5 wt% at Fe/Mn ~62, perhaps reflecting different sources, processes, or anomalous degrees of melting. [1] Kelemen et al (1998) EPSL 164, 387-406 [2] Sobolev et al (2005) Nature 434, 590-597 [3] Ryabchikov (2003) Doklady Earth Sci. 389A, 437-439 [4] Humayun et al (2004) Science 306, 91-94

  12. Earth Rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickey, Jean O.

    1995-01-01

    The study of the Earth's rotation in space (encompassing Universal Time (UT1), length of day, polar motion, and the phenomena of precession and nutation) addresses the complex nature of Earth orientation changes, the mechanisms of excitation of these changes and their geophysical implications in a broad variety of areas. In the absence of internal sources of energy or interactions with astronomical objects, the Earth would move as a rigid body with its various parts (the crust, mantle, inner and outer cores, atmosphere and oceans) rotating together at a constant fixed rate. In reality, the world is considerably more complicated, as is schematically illustrated. The rotation rate of the Earth's crust is not constant, but exhibits complicated fluctuations in speed amounting to several parts in 10(exp 8) [corresponding to a variation of several milliseconds (ms) in the Length Of the Day (LOD) and about one part in 10(exp 6) in the orientation of the rotation axis relative to the solid Earth's axis of figure (polar motion). These changes occur over a broad spectrum of time scales, ranging from hours to centuries and longer, reflecting the fact that they are produced by a wide variety of geophysical and astronomical processes. Geodetic observations of Earth rotation changes thus provide insights into the geophysical processes illustrated, which are often difficult to obtain by other means. In addition, these measurements are required for engineering purposes. Theoretical studies of Earth rotation variations are based on the application of Euler's dynamical equations to the problem of finding the response of slightly deformable solid Earth to variety of surface and internal stresses.

  13. Cosmochemical Estimates of Mantle Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palme, H.; O'Neill, H. St. C.

    2003-12-01

    In 1794 the German physicist Chladni published a small book in which he suggested the extraterrestrial origin of meteorites. The response was skepticism and disbelief. Only after additional witnessed falls of meteorites did scientists begin to consider Chladni's hypothesis seriously. The first chemical analyses of meteorites were published by the English chemist Howard in 1802, and shortly afterwards by Klaproth, a professor of chemistry in Berlin. These early investigations led to the important conclusion that meteorites contained the same elements that were known from analyses of terrestrial rocks. By the year 1850, 18 elements had been identified in meteorites: carbon, oxygen, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, silicon, phosphorous, sulfur, potassium, calcium, titanium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, and tin (Burke, 1986). A popular hypothesis, which arose after the discovery of the first asteroid Ceres on January 1, 1801 by Piazzi, held that meteorites came from a single disrupted planet between Mars and Jupiter. In 1847 the French geologist Boisse (1810-1896) proposed an elaborate model that attempted to account for all known types of meteorites from a single planet. He envisioned a planet with layers in sequence of decreasing densities from the center to the surface. The core of the planet consisted of metallic iron surrounded by a mixed iron-olivine zone. The region overlying the core contained material similar to stony meteorites with ferromagnesian silicates and disseminated grains of metal gradually extending into shallower layers with aluminous silicates and less iron. The uppermost layer consisted of metal-free stony meteorites, i.e., eucrites or meteoritic basalts. About 20 years later, Daubrée (1814-1896) carried out experiments by melting and cooling meteorites. On the basis of his results, he came to similar conclusions as Boisse, namely that meteorites come from a single, differentiated planet with a metal core, a silicate mantle

  14. Titanium-bearing phases in the Earth's mantle (evidence from experiments in the MgO-SiO2-TiO2 ±Al2O3 system at 10-24 GPa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirotkina, Ekaterina; Bobrov, Andrey; Bindi, Luca; Irifune, Tetsuo

    2017-04-01

    Introduction Despite significant interest of experimentalists to the study of geophysically important phase equilibria in the Earth's mantle and a huge experimental database on a number of the model and multicomponent systems, incorporation of minor elements in mantle phases was mostly studied on a qualitative level. The influence of such elements on structural peculiarities of high-pressure phases is poorly investigated, although incorporation of even small portions of them may have a certain impact on the PT-parameters of phase transformations. Titanium is one of such elements with the low bulk concentrations in the Earth's mantle (0.2 wt % TiO2) [1]; however, Ti-rich lithologies may occur in the mantle as a result of oceanic crust subduction. Thus, the titanium content is 0.6 wt% in Global Oceanic Subducted Sediments (GLOSS) [2], and 1.5 wt% TiO2, in MORB [3]. In this regard, accumulation of titanium in the Earth's mantle is related to crust-mantle interaction during the subduction of crustal material at different depths of the mantle. Experimental methods At 10-24 GPa and 1600°C, we studied the full range of the starting materials in the MgSiO3 (En) - MgTiO3 (Gkl) system in increments of 10-20 mol% Gkl and 1-3 GPa, which allowed us to plot the phase PX diagram for the system MgSiO3-MgTiO3 and synthesize titanium-bearing phases with a wide compositional range. The experiments were performed using a 2000-t Kawai-type multi-anvil high-pressure apparatus at the Geodynamics Research Center, Ehime University (Japan). The quenched samples were examined by single-crystal X-ray diffractometer, and the composition of phases was analyzed using SEM-EDS. Results The main phases obtained in experiments were rutile, wadsleyite, MgSiO3-enstatite, MgTiO3-ilmenite, MgTiSi2O7 with the weberite structure type (Web), Mg(Si,Ti)O3 and MgSiO3 with perovskite-type structure. At a pressure of 13 GPa for Ti-poor bulk compositions, an association of En+Wad+Rt is replaced by the

  15. Geophysical and geochemical models of the Earth's shields and rift zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chung, D.H.

    1977-01-01

    This report summarizes a collection of, synthesis of, and speculation on the geophysical and geochemical models of the earth's stable shields and rift zones. Two basic crustal types, continental and oceanic, and two basic mantle types, stable and unstable, are described. It is pointed out that both the crust and upper mantle play a strongly interactive role with surface geological phenomena ranging from the occurrence of mountains, ocean trenches, oceanic and continental rifts to geographic distributions of earthquakes, faults, and volcanoes. On the composition of the mantle, there is little doubt regarding the view that olivine constitutes a major fraction of the mineralogy of the earth's upper mantle. Studies are suggested to simulate the elasticity and composition of the earth's lower crust and upper mantle

  16. Self-Consistent Generation of Primordial Continental Crust in Global Mantle Convection Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, C.; Rozel, A.; Tackley, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present the generation of primordial continental crust (TTG rocks) using self-consistent and evolutionary thermochemical mantle convection models (Tackley, PEPI 2008). Numerical modelling commonly shows that mantle convection and continents have strong feedbacks on each other. However in most studies, continents are inserted a priori while basaltic (oceanic) crust is generated self-consistently in some models (Lourenco et al., EPSL 2016). Formation of primordial continental crust happened by fractional melting and crystallisation in episodes of relatively rapid growth from late Archean to late Proterozoic eras (3-1 Ga) (Hawkesworth & Kemp, Nature 2006) and it has also been linked to the onset of plate tectonics around 3 Ga. It takes several stages of differentiation to generate Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) rocks or proto-continents. First, the basaltic magma is extracted from the pyrolitic mantle which is both erupted at the surface and intruded at the base of the crust. Second, it goes through eclogitic transformation and then partially melts to form TTGs (Rudnick, Nature 1995; Herzberg & Rudnick, Lithos 2012). TTGs account for the majority of the Archean continental crust. Based on the melting conditions proposed by Moyen (Lithos 2011), the feasibility of generating TTG rocks in numerical simulations has already been demonstrated by Rozel et al. (Nature, 2017). Here, we have developed the code further by parameterising TTG formation. We vary the ratio of intrusive (plutonic) and extrusive (volcanic) magmatism (Crisp, Volcanol. Geotherm. 1984) to study the relative volumes of three petrological TTG compositions as reported from field data (Moyen, Lithos 2011). Furthermore, we systematically vary parameters such as friction coefficient, initial core temperature and composition-dependent viscosity to investigate the global tectonic regime of early Earth. Continental crust can also be destroyed by subduction or delamination. We will investigate

  17. Measurements of the large-scale direct-current Earth potential and possible implications for the geomagnetic dynamo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-07-05

    The magnitude of the large-scale direct-current earth potential was measured on a section of a recently laid transatlantic telecommunications cable. Analysis of the data acquired on the 4476-kilometer cable yielded a mean direct-current potential drop of less than about 0.072 +/- 0.050 millivolts per kilometer. Interpreted in terms of a generation of the potential by the earth's geodynamo, such a small value of the mean potential implies that the toroidal and poloidal magnetic fields of the dynamo are approximately equal at the core-mantle boundary.

  18. An accelerating high-latitude jet in Earth's core

    OpenAIRE

    Livermore, PW; Hollerbach, R; Finlay, CC

    2017-01-01

    Observations of the change in Earth's magnetic field—the secular variation—provide information about the motion of liquid metal within the core that is responsible for the magnetic field's generation. High-resolution observations from the European Space Agency's Swarm satellite mission show intense field change at high latitude, localized in a distinctive circular daisy-chain configuration centred on the north geographic pole. Here we show that this feature can be explained by a localized, no...

  19. How large is the subducted water flux? New constraints on mantle regassing rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parai, R.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2012-02-01

    Estimates of the subducted water (H2O) flux have been used to discuss the regassing of the mantle over Earth history. However, these estimates vary widely, and some are large enough to have reduced the volume of water in the global ocean by a factor of two over the Phanerozoic. In light of uncertainties in the hydration state of subducting slabs, magma production rates and mantle source water contents, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to set limits on long-term global water cycling and the return flux of water to the deep Earth. Estimates of magma production rates and water contents in primary magmas generated at ocean islands, mid-ocean ridges, arcs and back-arcs are paired with estimates of water entering trenches via subducting oceanic slab in order to construct a model of the deep Earth water cycle. The simulation is constrained by reconstructions of Phanerozoic sea level change, which suggest that ocean volume is near steady-state, though a sea level decrease of up to 360 m may be supported. We provide limits on the return flux of water to the deep Earth over the Phanerozoic corresponding to a near steady-state exosphere (0-100 meter sea level decrease) and a maximum sea level decrease of 360 m. For the near steady-state exosphere, the return flux is 1.4 - 2.0- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 2-3% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. The return flux that generates the maximum sea level decrease over the Phanerozoic is 3.5- 0.3+ 0.4 × 1013 mol/yr, corresponding to 5% serpentinization in 10 km of lithospheric mantle. Our estimates of the return flux of water to the mantle are up to 7 times lower than previously suggested. The imbalance between our estimates of the return flux and mantle output flux leads to a low rate of increase in bulk mantle water content of up to 24 ppm/Ga.

  20. Reconciling Long-Wavelength Dynamic Topography, Geoid Anomalies and Mass Distribution on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoggard, M.; Richards, F. D.; Ghelichkhan, S.; Austermann, J.; White, N.

    2017-12-01

    Since the first satellite observations in the late 1950s, we have known that that the Earth's non-hydrostatic geoid is dominated by spherical harmonic degree 2 (wavelengths of 16,000 km). Peak amplitudes are approximately ± 100 m, with highs centred on the Pacific Ocean and Africa, encircled by lows in the vicinity of the Pacific Ring of Fire and at the poles. Initial seismic tomography models revealed that the shear-wave velocity, and therefore presumably the density structure, of the lower mantle is also dominated by degree 2. Anti-correlation of slow, probably low density regions beneath geoid highs indicates that the mantle is affected by large-scale flow. Thus, buoyant features are rising and exert viscous normal stresses that act to deflect the surface and core-mantle boundary (CMB). Pioneering studies in the 1980s showed that a viscosity jump between the upper and lower mantle is required to reconcile these geoid and tomographically inferred density anomalies. These studies also predict 1-2 km of dynamic topography at the surface, dominated by degree 2. In contrast to this prediction, a global observational database of oceanic residual depth measurements indicates that degree 2 dynamic topography has peak amplitudes of only 500 m. Here, we attempt to reconcile observations of dynamic topography, geoid, gravity anomalies and CMB topography using instantaneous flow kernels. We exploit a density structure constructed from blended seismic tomography models, combining deep mantle imaging with higher resolution upper mantle features. Radial viscosity structure is discretised, and we invert for the best-fitting viscosity profile using a conjugate gradient search algorithm, subject to damping. Our results suggest that, due to strong sensitivity to radial viscosity structure, the Earth's geoid seems to be compatible with only ± 500 m of degree 2 dynamic topography.

  1. Electromagnetic exploration of the oceanic mantle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utada, Hisashi

    2015-01-01

    Electromagnetic exploration is a geophysical method for examining the Earth's interior through observations of natural or artificial electromagnetic field fluctuations. The method has been in practice for more than 70 years, and 40 years ago it was first applied to ocean areas. During the past few decades, there has been noticeable progress in the methods of instrumentation, data acquisition (observation), data processing and inversion. Due to this progress, applications of this method to oceanic regions have revealed electrical features of the oceanic upper mantle down to depths of several hundred kilometers for different geologic and tectonic environments such as areas around mid-oceanic ridges, areas around hot-spot volcanoes, subduction zones, and normal ocean areas between mid-oceanic ridges and subduction zones. All these results estimate the distribution of the electrical conductivity in the oceanic mantle, which is key for understanding the dynamics and evolution of the Earth together with different physical properties obtained through other geophysical methods such as seismological techniques.

  2. A uranium core for the Earth; Un coeur d'uranium pour la terre

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rouat, S

    2003-06-01

    According to the theory of M. Herndon, a US independent geophysicist, the center of the Earth's core should be made of a uranium sphere of about 8 km of diameter. This natural reactor, or 'geo-reactor', should be at the origin of the internal heat and of the magnetic field of the Earth. M. Herndon has extended his theory to the other planets of the solar system. This theory contradicts the one adopted since the 1940's by the community of geophysicists and which involves a crystallized iron and nickel internal core inside a liquid iron external core. Herndon's theory can explain also the geomagnetic field reversals. (J.S.)

  3. Towards modelling of water inflow into the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thielmann, M.; Eichheimer, P.; Golabek, G.

    2017-12-01

    The transport and storage of water in the mantle significantly affects various material properties of mantle rocks and thus water plays a key role in a variety of geodynamical processes (tectonics, magmatism etc.) Geological and seismological observations suggest different inflow mechanisms of water via the subducting slab like slab bending, thermal cracking and serpentinization (Faccenda et al., 2009; Korenaga, 2017). Most of the previous numerical models do not take different dip angles of the subduction slab and subduction velocities into account, while nature provides two different types of subduction regimes i.e. shallow and deep subduction (Li et al., 2011). To which extent both parameters influence the inflow and outflow of water in the mantle still remains unclear. For the investigation of the inflow and outflow of fluids e.g. water in the mantle, we use high resolution 2D finite element simulations, which allow us to resolve subducted sediments and crustal layers. For this purpose the finite element code MVEP2 (Kaus, 2010), is tested against benchmark results (van Keken et al., 2008). In a first step we reproduced the analytical cornerflow model (Batchelor, 1967) used in the benchmark of van Keken et al.(2008) as well as the steady state temperature field. Further steps consist of successively increasing model complexity, such as the incorporation of hydrogen diffusion, water transport and dehydration reactions. ReferencesBatchelor, G. K. An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (1967) van Keken, P. E., et al. A community benchmark for subduction zone modeling. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 171, 187-197 (2008). Faccenda, M., T.V. Gerya, and L. Burlini. Deep slab hydration induced by bending-related variations in tectonic pressure. Nat. Geosci. 2, 790-793 (2009). Korenaga, J. On the extent of mantle hydration caused by plate bending. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 457, 1-9 (2017). Li, Z. H., Xu, Z. Q., and T.V. Gerya. Flat versus

  4. Ensemble Kalman filter for the reconstruction of the Earth's mantle circulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocher, Marie; Fournier, Alexandre; Coltice, Nicolas

    2018-02-01

    Recent advances in mantle convection modeling led to the release of a new generation of convection codes, able to self-consistently generate plate-like tectonics at their surface. Those models physically link mantle dynamics to surface tectonics. Combined with plate tectonic reconstructions, they have the potential to produce a new generation of mantle circulation models that use data assimilation methods and where uncertainties in plate tectonic reconstructions are taken into account. We provided a proof of this concept by applying a suboptimal Kalman filter to the reconstruction of mantle circulation (Bocher et al., 2016). Here, we propose to go one step further and apply the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to this problem. The EnKF is a sequential Monte Carlo method particularly adapted to solve high-dimensional data assimilation problems with nonlinear dynamics. We tested the EnKF using synthetic observations consisting of surface velocity and heat flow measurements on a 2-D-spherical annulus model and compared it with the method developed previously. The EnKF performs on average better and is more stable than the former method. Less than 300 ensemble members are sufficient to reconstruct an evolution. We use covariance adaptive inflation and localization to correct for sampling errors. We show that the EnKF results are robust over a wide range of covariance localization parameters. The reconstruction is associated with an estimation of the error, and provides valuable information on where the reconstruction is to be trusted or not.

  5. Seismic Imaging of Mantle Plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nataf, Henri-Claude

    The mantle plume hypothesis was proposed thirty years ago by Jason Morgan to explain hotspot volcanoes such as Hawaii. A thermal diapir (or plume) rises from the thermal boundary layer at the base of the mantle and produces a chain of volcanoes as a plate moves on top of it. The idea is very attractive, but direct evidence for actual plumes is weak, and many questions remain unanswered. With the great improvement of seismic imagery in the past ten years, new prospects have arisen. Mantle plumes are expected to be rather narrow, and their detection by seismic techniques requires specific developments as well as dedicated field experiments. Regional travel-time tomography has provided good evidence for plumes in the upper mantle beneath a few hotspots (Yellowstone, Massif Central, Iceland). Beneath Hawaii and Iceland, the plume can be detected in the transition zone because it deflects the seismic discontinuities at 410 and 660 km depths. In the lower mantle, plumes are very difficult to detect, so specific methods have been worked out for this purpose. There are hints of a plume beneath the weak Bowie hotspot, as well as intriguing observations for Hawaii. Beneath Iceland, high-resolution tomography has just revealed a wide and meandering plume-like structure extending from the core-mantle boundary up to the surface. Among the many phenomena that seem to take place in the lowermost mantle (or D''), there are also signs there of the presence of plumes. In this article I review the main results obtained so far from these studies and discuss their implications for plume dynamics. Seismic imaging of mantle plumes is still in its infancy but should soon become a turbulent teenager.

  6. Effects of anisotropic turbulent thermal diffusion on spherical magnetoconvection in the Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivers, D. J.; Phillips, C. G.

    2018-03-01

    We re-consider the plate-like model of turbulence in the Earth's core, proposed by Braginsky and Meytlis (1990), and show that it is plausible for core parameters not only in polar regions but extends to mid- and low-latitudes where rotation and gravity are not parallel, except in a very thin equatorial layer. In this model the turbulence is highly anisotropic with preferred directions imposed by the Earth's rotation and the magnetic field. Current geodynamo computations effectively model sub-grid scale turbulence by using isotropic viscous and thermal diffusion values significantly greater than the molecular values of the Earth's core. We consider a local turbulent dynamo model for the Earth's core in which the mean magnetic field, velocity and temperature satisfy the Boussinesq induction, momentum and heat equations with an isotropic turbulent Ekman number and Roberts number. The anisotropy is modelled only in the thermal diffusion tensor with the Earth's rotation and magnetic field as preferred directions. Nonlocal organising effects of gravity and rotation (but not aspect ratio in the Earth's core) such as an inverse cascade and nonlocal transport are assumed to occur at longer length scales, which computations may accurately capture with sufficient resolution. To investigate the implications of this anisotropy for the proposed turbulent dynamo model we investigate the linear instability of turbulent magnetoconvection on length scales longer than the background turbulence in a rotating sphere with electrically insulating exterior for no-slip and isothermal boundary conditions. The equations are linearised about an axisymmetric basic state with a conductive temperature, azimuthal magnetic field and differential rotation. The basic state temperature is a function of the anisotropy and the spherical radius. Elsasser numbers in the range 1-20 and turbulent Roberts numbers 0.01-1 are considered for both equatorial symmetries of the magnetic basic state. It is found

  7. Osmium Isotopic Evolution of the Mantle Sources of Precambrian Ultramafic Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangopadhyay, A.; Walker, R. J.

    2006-12-01

    The Os isotopic composition of the modern mantle, as recorded collectively by ocean island basalts, mid- oceanic ridge basalts (MORB) and abyssal peridotites, is evidently highly heterogeneous (γ Os(I) ranging from +25). One important question, therefore, is how and when the Earth's mantle developed such large-scale Os isotopic heterogeneities. Previous Os isotopic studies of ancient ultramafic systems, including komatiites and picrites, have shown that the Os isotopic heterogeneity of the terrestrial mantle can be traced as far back as the late-Archean (~ 2.7-2.8 Ga). This observation is based on the initial Os isotopic ratios obtained for the mantle sources of some of the ancient ultramafic rocks determined through analyses of numerous Os-rich whole-rock and/or mineral samples. In some cases, the closed-system behavior of these ancient ultramafic rocks was demonstrated via the generation of isochrons of precise ages, consistent with those obtained from other radiogenic isotopic systems. Thus, a compilation of the published initial ^{187}Os/^{188}Os ratios reported for the mantle sources of komatiitic and picritic rocks is now possible that covers a large range of geologic time spanning from the Mesozoic (ca. 89 Ma Gorgona komatiites) to the Mid-Archean (e.g., ca. 3.3 Ga Commondale komatiites), which provides a comprehensive picture of the Os isotopic evolution of their mantle sources through geologic time. Several Precambrian komatiite/picrite systems are characterized by suprachondritic initial ^{187}Os/^{188}Os ratios (e.g., Belingwe, Kostomuksha, Pechenga). Such long-term enrichments in ^{187}Os of the mantle sources for these rocks may be explained via recycling of old mafic oceanic crust or incorporation of putative suprachondritic outer core materials entrained into their mantle sources. The relative importance of the two processes for some modern mantle-derived systems (e.g., Hawaiian picrites) is an issue of substantial debate. Importantly, however, the

  8. Frontiers in earth sciences: new ideas and interpretation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Scalera

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A one-day symposium on new and conventional ideas in plate tectonics and Mediterranean geodynamics was held in Rome on February 19, 2003 at the headquarters of INGV. There were two main reasons for such an initiative. The first was an invitation to Giancarlo Scalera from the «Gabriele D’Annunzio» University of Chieti to present his alternative ideas on global tectonics to final year students of the Regional Geology course. The second was a reciprocal invitation to Giusy Lavecchia and Francesco Stoppa to explain their criticisms of the application of subduction-related models to Italian geology and to present their data on the recently discovered intra-Apennines carbonatite occurrences. It was decided to dedicate an entire day to seminars, involving people with a more conventional approach to geodynamics, especially those involved with seismic tomography. In the last few years, high-resolution mantle tomographic models have been widely used to unravel the geometry of subduction zones. A turning point in the field, however, was a review paper written by Fukao et al. (Rev. Geophysics, 39, 291-323, 2001 showing that there was no clear evidence for slab subduction down to the core-mantle boundary, thus posing a major problem on the balance between the lithosphere subducted at consuming plate margins and the large amount of oceanic lithosphere accreted at diverging plate margins. This prompted the need to re-evaluate the nature of subduction and plate margin evolution. Accepting the theory of plate tectonics, many problems remain open, especially those regarding plate driving mechanisms and their possible link with the forces developed at the core-mantle boundary. Might these forces trigger pulsating tectonic and magmatic activity, with mantle upwellings and large-scale emission of CO2, capable of causing dramatic changes in the composition of the atmosphere and changes at the Earth’s surface? Could these lead to major catastrophic changes

  9. Top-down freezing in a Fe-FeS core and Ganymede's present-day magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rückriemen, Tina; Breuer, Doris; Spohn, Tilman

    2018-06-01

    Ganymede's core most likely possesses an active dynamo today, which produces a magnetic field at the surface of ∼ 719 nT. Thermochemical convection triggered by cooling of the core is a feasible power source for the dynamo. Experiments of different research groups indicate low pressure gradients of the melting temperatures for Fe-FeS core alloys at pressures prevailing in Ganymede's core ( < 10 GPa). This may entail that the core crystallizes from the top instead of from the bottom as is expected for Earth's core. Depending on the core sulfur concentration being more iron- or more sulfur-rich than the eutectic concentration either snowing iron crystals or a solid FeS layer can form at the top of the core. We investigate whether these two core crystallization scenarios are capable of explaining Ganymede's present magnetic activity. To do so, we set up a parametrized one-dimensional thermal evolution model. We explore a wide range of parameters by running a large set of Monte Carlo simulations. Both freezing scenarios can explain Ganymede's present-day magnetic field. Dynamos of iron snow models are rather young ( < 1 Gyr), whereas dynamos below the FeS layer can be both young and much older ( ∼ 3.8 Gyr). Successful models preferably contain less radiogenic heat sources in the mantle than the chondritic abundance and show a correlation between the reference viscosity in the mantle and the initial core sulfur concentration.

  10. Early and long-term mantle processing rates derived from xenon isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.; Parai, R.; Tucker, J.; Middleton, J. L.; Langmuir, C. H.

    2015-12-01

    Noble gases, particularly xenon (Xe), in mantle-derived basalts provide a rich portrait of mantle degassing and surface-interior volatile exchange. The combination of extinct and extant radioactive species in the I-Pu-U-Xe systems shed light on the degassing history of the early Earth throughout accretion, as well as the long-term degassing of the Earth's interior in association with plate tectonics. The ubiquitous presence of shallow-level air contamination, however, frequently obscures the mantle Xe signal. In a majority of the samples, shallow air contamination dominates the Xe budget. For example, in the gas-rich popping rock 2ΠD43, 129Xe/130Xe ratios reach 7.7±0.23 in individual step-crushes, but the bulk composition of the sample is close to air (129Xe/130Xe of 6.7). Thus, the extent of variability in mantle source Xe composition is not well-constrained. Here, we present new MORB Xe data and explore constraints placed on mantle processing rates by the Xe data. Ten step-crushes were obtained on a depleted popping glass that was sealed in ultrapure N2 after dredge retrieval from between the Kane-Atlantis Fracture Zone of the Mid Atlantic Ridge in May 2012. 9 steps yielded 129Xe/130Xe of 7.50-7.67 and one yielded 7.3. The bulk 129Xe/130Xe of the sample is 7.6, nearly identical to the estimated mantle source value of 7.7 for the sample. Hence, the sample is virtually free of shallow-level air contamination. Because sealing the sample in N2upon dredge retrieval largely eliminated air contamination, for many samples, contamination must be added after sample retrieval from the ocean bottom. Our new high-precision Xe isotopic measurements in upper mantle-derived samples provide improved constraints on the Xe isotopic composition of the mantle source. We developed a forward model of mantle volatile evolution to identify solutions that satisfy our Xe isotopic data. We find that accretion timescales of ~10±5 Myr are consistent with I-Pu-Xe constraints, and the last

  11. Ferric iron partitioning between pyroxene and melt during partial melting of the Earth's upper mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudra, A.; Hirschmann, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    The oxidation state of the Earth's mantle influences melt production, volatile behavior, partitioning of key trace elements and possible saturation of alloy at depth. Average Fe3+/FeT ratios in MORBs indicate oxygen fugacitiy of the source regions is close to QFM, in contrast to a 3 log unit variation of fO2 recorded by abyssal peridotites. Quantification of the relationship between basalt and source Fe3+/FeT, oxygen fugacity, and melting requires constraints on Fe3+ partitioning between melt and mantle minerals and in particular the principal Fe3+ host, pyroxene. McCanta et al. (2004) investigated valence dependent partitioning of Fe between Martian ferroan pigeonites and melt, but behavior in terrestrial pyroxene compositions relevant to MORB petrogenesis has not been investigated. We are conducting 1 atm controlled fO2 experiments over 4 log unit variation of fO2 between ΔQFM = 2.5 to -1.5 to grow pyroxenes of variable tetrahedral and octahedral cationic population from andesitic melts of varying Mg#, alumina and alkali content. Dynamic crystallization technique facilitates growth of pyroxene crystals (100-200 um) that EPMA analyses show to be compositionally homogeneous and in equilibrium with the melt. Fe3+/FeT ratio of the synthetic pyroxenes have been analyzed by XAFS spectroscopy at the APS (GSECARS) synchrotron. To quantify the x-ray anisotropy in pyroxenes, we collected Fe K-edge XAFS spectra of oriented natural single crystals for a wide range compositions whose Fe3+/FeT ratios we determined by Mossbauer spectroscopy. We have collected both XANES and EXAFS spectral regions spanning from 7020-7220 eV to explore predictive capabilities of different spectral regions about ferric iron concentration and site occupancy. Our results will document the Fe3+ compatibility in pyroxenes of different compositions under a variety of fO2 conditions, which in turn will better constrain the interrelationship between mantle redox and melting.

  12. Deep Drilling into a Mantle Plume Volcano: The Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald M. Thomas

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Oceanic volcanoes formed by mantle plumes, such as those of Hawaii and Iceland, strongly influence our views about the deep Earth (Morgan, 1971; Sleep, 2006. These volcanoes are the principal geochemical probe into the deep mantle, a testing ground for understanding mantle convection, plate tectonics and volcanism, and an archive of information on Earth’s magnetic field and lithospheredynamics. Study of the petrology, geochemistry, and structure of oceanic volcanoes has contributed immensely to our present understanding of deep Earth processes, but virtually all of this study has been concentrated on rocks available at the surface. In favorable circumstances, surface exposures penetrate to a depth of a few hundred meters, which is a small fraction of the 10- to 15-kilometer height of Hawaiian volcanoes above the depressed seafloor (Moore, 1987; Watts, 2001.

  13. The thermal evolution of Mercury's Fe-Si core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knibbe, Jurriën Sebastiaan; van Westrenen, Wim

    2018-01-01

    We have studied the thermal and magnetic field evolution of planet Mercury with a core of Fe-Si alloy to assess whether an Fe-Si core matches its present-day partially molten state, Mercury's magnetic field strength, and the observed ancient crustal magnetization. The main advantages of an Fe-Si core, opposed to a previously assumed Fe-S core, are that a Si-bearing core is consistent with the highly reduced nature of Mercury and that no compositional convection is generated upon core solidification, in agreement with magnetic field indications of a stable layer at the top of Mercury's core. This study also present the first implementation of a conductive temperature profile in the core where heat fluxes are sub-adiabatic in a global thermal evolution model. We show that heat migrates from the deep core to the outer part of the core as soon as heat fluxes at the outer core become sub-adiabatic. As a result, the deep core cools throughout Mercury's evolution independent of the temperature evolution at the core-mantle boundary, causing an early start of inner core solidification and magnetic field generation. The conductive layer at the outer core suppresses the rate of core growth after temperature differences between the deep and shallow core are relaxed, such that a magnetic field can be generated until the present. Also, the outer core and mantle operate at higher temperatures than previously thought, which prolongs mantle melting and mantle convection. The results indicate that S is not a necessary ingredient of Mercury's core, bringing bulk compositional models of Mercury more in line with reduced meteorite analogues.

  14. Constraints on mantle convection from seismic tomography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kárason, H.; Hilst, R.D. van der

    2000-01-01

    Since the advent of global seismic tomography some 25 years ago, advances in technology, seismological theory, and data acquisition have allowed spectacular progress in our ability to image seismic heterogeneity in Earth's mantle. We briefly review some concepts of seismic tomography, such as

  15. Whole planet cooling and the radiogenic heat source contents of the earth and moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schubert, G.; Stevenson, D.

    1980-01-01

    It is widely believed that the surface heat flows of the earth and moon provide good measures of the total amounts of radioactives in these bodies. Simple thermal evolution models, based on subsolidus whole mantle convection, indicate that this may not be the case. These models have been constructed assuming an initially hot state, but with a wide variety of choices for the parameters characterizing the rheology and convective vigor. All models are constrained to be consistent with present-day surface heat fluxes, and many of the terrestrial models are consistent with the mantle viscosities indicated by post-glacial rebound. For the earth the acceptable models give a radiogenic heat production that is only 65--85% of the surface heat output, the difference being due to secular cooling of the earth (about 50 0 --100 0 C per 10 9 years in the upper mantle). It is argued that the actual heat generation may be substantially less, since the models omit core heat, upward migration of heat sources, possible layering of the mantle, and deviations from steady convection. Geochemical models which are near to chondritic (apart from potassium depletion) are marginally consistent with surface heat flow. In the lunar models, heat generation is typically only 70--80% of the surface heat flow, even with allowance for the strong near-surface enhancement of radioactives. Despite the simplicity of the models the persistence of a significant difference between heat generation and heat output for a wide range of parameter choices indicates that this difference is real and should be incorporated in geochemical modeling of the planets

  16. Ensemble Kalman filter for the reconstruction of the Earth's mantle circulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bocher

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in mantle convection modeling led to the release of a new generation of convection codes, able to self-consistently generate plate-like tectonics at their surface. Those models physically link mantle dynamics to surface tectonics. Combined with plate tectonic reconstructions, they have the potential to produce a new generation of mantle circulation models that use data assimilation methods and where uncertainties in plate tectonic reconstructions are taken into account. We provided a proof of this concept by applying a suboptimal Kalman filter to the reconstruction of mantle circulation (Bocher et al., 2016. Here, we propose to go one step further and apply the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF to this problem. The EnKF is a sequential Monte Carlo method particularly adapted to solve high-dimensional data assimilation problems with nonlinear dynamics. We tested the EnKF using synthetic observations consisting of surface velocity and heat flow measurements on a 2-D-spherical annulus model and compared it with the method developed previously. The EnKF performs on average better and is more stable than the former method. Less than 300 ensemble members are sufficient to reconstruct an evolution. We use covariance adaptive inflation and localization to correct for sampling errors. We show that the EnKF results are robust over a wide range of covariance localization parameters. The reconstruction is associated with an estimation of the error, and provides valuable information on where the reconstruction is to be trusted or not.

  17. Nd-isotopes in selected mantle-derived rocks and minerals and their implications for mantle evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, A.R.; Tatsumoto, M.

    1980-01-01

    The Sm-Nd systematics in a variety of mantle-derived samples including kimberlites, alnoite, carbonatite, pyroxene and amphibole inclusions in alkali basalts and xenolithic eclogites, granulites and a pyroxene megacryst in kimberlites are reported. The additional data on kimberlites strengthen our earlier conclusion that kimberlites are derived from a relatively undifferentiated chondritic mantle source. This conclusion is based on the observation that the e{open}Nd values of most of the kimberlites are near zero. In contrast with the kimberlites, their garnet lherzolite inclusions show both time-averaged Nd enrichment and depletion with respect to Sm. Separated clinopyroxenes in eclogite xenoliths from the Roberts Victor kimberlite pipe show both positive and negative e{open}Nd values suggesting different genetic history. A whole rock lower crustal scapolite granulite xenolith from the Matsoku kimberlite pipe shows a negative e{open}Nd value of -4.2, possibly representative of the base of the crust in Lesotho. It appears that all inclusions, mafic and ultramafic, in kimberlites are unrelated to their kimberlite host. The above data and additional Sm-Nd data on xenoliths in alkali basalts, alpine peridotite and alnoite-carbonatites are used to construct a model for the upper 200 km of the earth's mantle - both oceanic and continental. The essential feature of this model is the increasing degree of fertility of the mantle with depth. The kimberlite's source at depths below 200 km in the subcontinental mantle is the most primitive in this model, and this primitive layer is also extended to the suboceanic mantle. However, it is clear from the Nd-isotopic data in the xenoliths of the continental kimberlites that above 200 km the continental mantle is distinctly different from their suboceanic counterpart. ?? 1980 Springer-Verlag.

  18. Magnitude corrections for attenuation in the upper mantle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1978-01-01

    Since 1969, a consistent discrepancy in seismic magnitudes of nuclear detonations at NTS compared with magnitudes of detonations elsewhere in the world has been observed. This discrepancy can be explained in terms of a relatively high seismic attenuation for compressional waves in the upper mantle beneath the NTS and in certain other locations. A correction has been developed for this attenuation based on a relationship between the velocity of compressional waves at the top of the earth's mantle (just beneath the Mohorovicic discontinuity) and the seismic attenuation further down in the upper mantle. Our new definition of body-wave magnitude includes corrections for attenuation in the upper mantle at both ends of the teleseismic body-wave path. These corrections bring the NTS oservations into line with measurements of foreign events, and enable one to make more reliable estimates of yields of underground nuclear explosions, wherever the explosion occurs

  19. Experience melting through the Earth's lower mantle via LH-DAC experiments on MgO-SiO2 and CaO-MgO-SiO2 systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Marzena A.; Lord, Oliver T.; Walter, Michael J.; Trønnes, Reidar G.

    2015-04-01

    The large low shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) and ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZs) of the lowermost mantle [1] are likely characterized by distinct chemical compositions, combined with temperature anomalies. The heterogeneities may have originated by fractional crystallization of the magma ocean during the earliest history of the Earth [2,3] and/or the continued accretion at the CMB of subducted basaltic oceanic crust [4,5]. These structures and their properties control the distribution and magnitude of the heat flow at the CMB and therefore the convective dynamics and evolution of the whole Earth. To determine the properties of these structures and thus interpret the seismic results, a good understanding of the melting phase relations of relevant basaltic and peridotitic compositions are required throughout the mantle pressure range. The melting phase relations of lower mantle materials are only crudely known. Recent experiments on various natural peridotitic and basaltic compositions [6-8] have given wide ranges of solidus and liquidus temperatures at lower mantle pressures. The melting relations for MgO, MgSiO3 and compositions along the MgO-SiO2 join from ab initio theory [e.g. 9,10] is broadly consistent with a thermodynamic model for eutectic melt compositions through the lower mantle based on melting experiments in the MgO-SiO2 system at 16-26 GPa [3]. We have performed a systematic study of the melting phase relations of analogues for peridotitic mantle and subducted basaltic crust in simple binary and ternary systems that capture the major mineralogy of Earth's lower mantle, using the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LH-DAC) technique at 25-100 GPa. We determined the eutectic melting temperatures involving the following liquidus mineral assemblages: 1. bridgmanite (bm) + periclase (pc) and bm + silica in the system MgO-SiO2 (MS), corresponding to model peridotite and basalt compositions 2. bm + pc + Ca-perovskite (cpv) and bm + silica + cpv in the

  20. Redox Interactions between Iron and Carbon in Planetary Mantles: Implications for Degassing and Melting Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, A.; Righter, K.

    2009-01-01

    Carbon stability in planetary mantles has been studied by numerous authors because it is thought to be the source of C-bearing atmospheres and of C-rich lavas observed at the planetary surface. In the Earth, carbonaceous peridotites and eclogites compositions have been experimentally studied at mantle conditions [1] [2] [3]. [4] showed that the fO2 variations observed in martian meteorites can be explained by polybaric graphite-CO-CO2 equilibria in the Martian mantle. Based on thermodynamic calculations [4] and [5] inferred that the stable form of carbon in the source regions of the Martian basalts should be graphite (and/or diamond), and equilibrium with melts would be a source of CO2 for the martian atmosphere. Considering the high content of iron in the Martian mantle (approx.18.0 wt% FeO; [6]), compared to Earth s mantle (8.0 wt% FeO; [7]) Fe/C redox interactions should be studied in more detail.

  1. Early mantle dynamics inferred from 142Nd variations in Archean rocks from southwest Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rizo, Hanika; Boyet, Maud; Blichert-Toft, Janne

    2013-01-01

    of the Greenland samples from a source formed in the Hadean. This mantle source is the oldest yet identified on Earth and therefore provides key information about the nature and evolution of early-differentiated reservoirs. In contrast, modern mantle-derived rocks from around the world do not have Nd-142 anomalies......The composition and evolution of the silicate Earth during Hadean/Eoarchean times are widely debated and largely unknown due to the sparse geological record preserved from Earth's infancy. The short-lived Sm-146-Nd-142 chronometer applied to 3.8-3.7 Ga old mantle-derived amphibolites from the Isua...... Supracrustal Belt (ISB) in southwest Greenland has revealed ubiquitous Nd-142 excesses in these rocks compared to modern samples and terrestrial Nd standards. Because the parent isotope, Sm-146, was extant only during the first few hundred million years of Solar System history, this implies derivation...

  2. Numerical simulations of the mantle lithosphere delamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morency, C.; Doin, M.-P.

    2004-03-01

    Sudden uplift, extension, and increased igneous activity are often explained by rapid mechanical thinning of the lithospheric mantle. Two main thinning mechanisms have been proposed, convective removal of a thickened lithospheric root and delamination of the mantle lithosphere along the Moho. In the latter case, the whole mantle lithosphere peels away from the crust by the propagation of a localized shear zone and sinks into the mantle. To study this mechanism, we perform two-dimensional (2-D) numerical simulations of convection using a viscoplastic rheology with an effective viscosity depending strongly on temperature, depth, composition (crust/mantle), and stress. The simulations develop in four steps. (1) We first obtain "classical" sublithospheric convection for a long time period (˜300 Myr), yielding a slightly heterogeneous lithospheric temperature structure. (2) At some time, in some simulations, a strong thinning of the mantle occurs progressively in a small area (˜100 km wide). This process puts the asthenosphere in direct contact with the lower crust. (3) Large pieces of mantle lithosphere then quickly sink into the mantle by the horizontal propagation of a detachment level away from the "asthenospheric conduit" or by progressive erosion on the flanks of the delaminated area. (4) Delamination pauses or stops when the lithospheric mantle part detaches or when small-scale convection on the flanks of the delaminated area is counterbalanced by heat diffusion. We determine the parameters (crustal thicknesses, activation energies, and friction coefficients) leading to delamination initiation (step 2). We find that delamination initiates where the Moho temperature is the highest, as soon as the crust and mantle viscosities are sufficiently low. Delamination should occur on Earth when the Moho temperature exceeds ˜800°C. This condition can be reached by thermal relaxation in a thickened crust in orogenic setting or by corner flow lithospheric erosion in the

  3. A numerical model of mantle convection with deformable, mobile continental lithosphere within three-dimensional spherical geometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, M.

    2010-12-01

    A new numerical simulation model of mantle convection with a compositionally and rheologically heterogeneous, deformable, mobile continental lithosphere is presented for the first time by using three-dimensional regional spherical-shell geometry (Yoshida, 2010, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.). The numerical results revealed that one of major factor that realizes the supercontinental breakup and subsequent continental drift is a pre-existing, weak (low-viscosity) continental margin (WCM) in the supercontinent. Characteristic tectonic structures such as young orogenic belts and suture zones in a continent are expected to be mechanically weaker than the stable part of the continental lithosphere with the cratonic root (or cratonic lithosphere) and yield lateral viscosity variations in the continental lithosphere. In the present-day Earth's lithosphere, the pre-existing, mechanically weak zones emerge as a diffuse plate boundary. However, the dynamic role of the WCM in the stability of continental lithosphere has not been understood in terms of geophysics. In my numerical model, a compositionally buoyant and highly viscous continental assemblage with pre-existing WCMs, analogous to the past supercontinent, is modeled and imposed on well-developed mantle convection whose vigor of convection, internal heating rate, and rheological parameters are appropriate for the Earth's mantle. The visco-plastic oceanic lithosphere and the associated subduction of oceanic plates are incorporated. The time integration of the advection of continental materials with zero chemical diffusion is performed by a tracer particle method. The time evolution of mantle convection after setting the model supercontinent is followed over 800 Myr. Earth-like continental drift is successfully reproduced, and the characteristic thermal interaction between the mantle and the continent/supercontinent is observed in my new numerical model. Results reveal that the WCM protects the cratonic lithosphere from being

  4. Effect of Silicon on Activity Coefficients of P, Bi, Cd, Sn, and Ag in Liquid Fe-Si, and Implications for Core Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Ross, D. K.; Righter, M.; Lapen, T. J.

    2018-01-01

    Cores of differentiated bodies (Earth, Mars, Mercury, Moon, Vesta) contain light elements such as S, C, Si, and O. We have previously measured small effects of Si on Ni and Co, and larger effects on Mo, Ge, Sb, As metal/silicate partitioning. The effect of Si on metal-silicate partitioning has been quantified for many siderophile elements, but there are a few key elements for which the effects are not yet quantified. Here we report new experiments designed to quantify the effect of Si on the partitioning of Bi, Cd, Sn, Ag, and P between metal and silicate melt. The results will be applied to Earth, Mars, Moon, and Vesta, for which we have good constraints on the mantle Bi, Cd, Sn, Ag, and P concentrations from mantle and/or basalt samples.

  5. Molybdenum isotope fractionation in the mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yu-Hsuan; Halliday, Alex N.; Siebert, Chris; Fitton, J. Godfrey; Burton, Kevin W.; Wang, Kuo-Lung; Harvey, Jason

    2017-02-01

    We report double-spike molybdenum (Mo) isotope data for forty-two mafic and fifteen ultramafic rocks from diverse locations and compare these with results for five chondrites. The δ98/95Mo values (normalized to NIST SRM 3134) range from -0.59 ± 0.04 to +0.10 ± 0.08‰. The compositions of one carbonaceous (CI) and four ordinary chondrites are relatively uniform (-0.14 ± 0.01‰, 95% ci (confidence interval)) in excellent agreement with previous data. These values are just resolvable from the mean of 10 mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs) (0.00 ± 0.02‰, 95% ci). The compositions of 13 mantle-derived ultramafic xenoliths from Kilbourne Hole, Tariat and Vitim are more diverse (-0.39 to -0.07‰) with a mean of -0.22 ± 0.06‰ (95% ci). On this basis, the isotopic composition of the bulk silicate Earth (BSE or Primitive Mantle) is within error identical to chondrites. The mean Mo concentration of the ultramafic xenoliths (0.19 ± 0.07 ppm, 95% ci) is similar in magnitude to that of MORB (0.48 ± 0.13 ppm, 95% ci), providing evidence, either for a more compatible behaviour than previously thought or for selective Mo enrichment of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Intraplate and ocean island basalts (OIBs) display significant isotopic variability within a single locality from MORB-like to strongly negative (-0.59 ± 0.04‰). The most extreme values measured are for nephelinites from the Cameroon Line and Trinidade, which also have anomalously high Ce/Pb and low Mo/Ce relative to normal oceanic basalts. δ98/95Mo correlates negatively with Ce/Pb and U/Pb, and positively with Mo/Ce, explicable if a phase such as an oxide or a sulphide liquid selectively retains isotopically heavy Mo in the mantle and fractionates its isotopic composition in low degree partial melts. If residual phases retain Mo during partial melting, it is possible that the [Mo] for the BSE may be misrepresented by values estimated from basalts. This would be consistent with the high Mo

  6. Mantle updrafts and mechanisms of oceanic volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Don L.; Natland, James H.

    2014-10-01

    Convection in an isolated planet is characterized by narrow downwellings and broad updrafts-consequences of Archimedes' principle, the cooling required by the second law of thermodynamics, and the effect of compression on material properties. A mature cooling planet with a conductive low-viscosity core develops a thick insulating surface boundary layer with a thermal maximum, a subadiabatic interior, and a cooling highly conductive but thin boundary layer above the core. Parts of the surface layer sink into the interior, displacing older, colder material, which is entrained by spreading ridges. Magma characteristics of intraplate volcanoes are derived from within the upper boundary layer. Upper mantle features revealed by seismic tomography and that are apparently related to surface volcanoes are intrinsically broad and are not due to unresolved narrow jets. Their morphology, aspect ratio, inferred ascent rate, and temperature show that they are passively responding to downward fluxes, as appropriate for a cooling planet that is losing more heat through its surface than is being provided from its core or from radioactive heating. Response to doward flux is the inverse of the heat-pipe/mantle-plume mode of planetary cooling. Shear-driven melt extraction from the surface boundary layer explains volcanic provinces such as Yellowstone, Hawaii, and Samoa. Passive upwellings from deeper in the upper mantle feed ridges and near-ridge hotspots, and others interact with the sheared and metasomatized surface layer. Normal plate tectonic processes are responsible both for plate boundary and intraplate swells and volcanism.

  7. Criticality analyses of regions containing uranium in the earth history

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ravnik, M.

    2005-01-01

    Investigations of necessary conditions for a self-sustained chain reaction in the Earth inner regions hypothetically containing uranium is presented for the time interval from Earth formation to present time. It is determined that criticality was theoretically possible up to 2.5 Ga before present if uranium concentrated in pure form. In the early geological history (4 Ga before present) the self-sustained criticality could occur even if uranium was diluted up to 1:20 by the average core material or 1:60 by the average mantle material. If other metallic materials of similar density as uranium (e.g., Au, W) or similar atomic weight (e.g., Th) concentrated from the primordial mixture in equal proportion as uranium, criticality was not possible for any period in Earth history provided that the basic material contained no light nuclides (H, C). Criticality in the Earth inner regions could have established only if uranium concentrated from the basic material more effectively than elements of similar density or atomic number. (orig.)

  8. Nucleogenic production of Ne isotopes in Earth's crust and upper mantle induced by alpha particles from the decay of U and Th

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leya, Ingo; Wieler, Rainer

    1999-07-01

    The production of nucleogenic Ne in terrestrial crust and upper mantle by alpha particles from the decay of U and Th was calculated. The calculations are based on stopping powers for the chemical compounds and thin-target cross sections. This approach is more rigorous than earlier studies using thick-target yields for pure elements, since our results are independent of limiting assumptions about stopping-power ratios. Alpha induced reactions account for >99% of the Ne production in the crust and for most of the 20,21Ne in the upper mantle. On the other hand, our 22Ne value for the upper mantle is a lower limit because the reaction 25Mg(n,α)22Ne is significant in mantle material. Production rates calculated here for hypothetical crustal and upper mantle material with average major element composition and homogeneously distributed F, U, and Th are up to 100 times higher than data presented by Kyser and Rison [1982] but agree within error limits with the results by Yatsevich and Honda [1997]. Production of nucleogenic Ne in "mean" crust and mantle is also given as a function of the weight fractions of O and F. The alpha dose is calculated by radiogenic 4He as well as by the more retentive fissiogenic 136Xe. U and Th is concentrated in certain accessory minerals. Since the ranges of alpha particles from the three decay chains are comparable to mineral dimensions, most nucleogenic Ne is produced in U- and Th-rich minerals. Therefore nucleogenic Ne production in such accessories was also calculated. The calculated correlation between nucleogenic 21Ne and radiogenic 4He agrees well with experimental data for Earth's crust and accessories. Also, the calculated 22Ne/4He ratios as function of the F concentration and the dependence of 21Ne/22Ne from O/F for zircon and apatite agree with measurements.

  9. Explanation of observable secular variations of gravity and alternative methods of determination of drift of the center of mass of the Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yury

    2010-05-01

    The summary. On the basis of geodynamic model of the forced relative displacement of the centers of mass of the core and the mantle of the Earth the secular variations of a gravity and heights of some gravimetry stations on a surface of the Earth have ben studied. At the account of secular drift of the center of mass of the Earth which on our geodynamic model is caused by the unidirectional drift of the core of the Earth relatively to the mantle, the full explanation is given to observable secular variations of a gravity at stations Ny-Alesund (Norway), Churchill (Canada), Medicine (Italy), Sayowa (Antarctica), Strastburg (France), Membach (Belgium), Wuhan (China) and Metsahovi (Finland). Two new methods of determination of secular drift of the center of mass of the Earth, alternative to classical method of a space geodesy are offered: 1) on the basis of gravimetry data about secular trends of a gravity at the stations located on all basic regions of the Earth; 2) on the basis of the comparative analysis of altimetry and coastal data about secular changes of sea level also in basic regions of ocean. 1. Secular drift of the center of mass of the core and the center of mass of the Earth. A secular drift of the center of mass of the Earth to the North relatively to special center O on an axis of rotation of the Earth for which the coefficient of third zonal harmonic J3' = 0, has been predicted in the author work [1]. A drift in a direction to a geographical point (pole P) 70°0 N and 104°3 E has been established for the first time theoretically - as a result of the analysis of the global directed redistribution of masses of the Earth, explaining the observed secular drift of the pole of an axis of rotation of the Earth and not tidal acceleration of its axial rotation [2]. In [1] velocity of drift it has been estimated in 1-2 cm/yr. For specified center O the figure of a planet is as though deprived of pure-shaped form (J3' = 0). And in this sense the point O can be

  10. Nd, Sr and Pb isotopic systematics in a three-component mantle: a new perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zindler, A.; Goldstein, S.

    1982-01-01

    Average Nd, Sr and Pb isotopic compositions for oceanic basalts indicate that the present day mantle consists of three chemically independent components. The recognition of a third mantle component obviates geochemical arguments which have been used to support chemical stratification and convective decoupling within the mantle, and the transport of lead to the core throughout geological time. (author)

  11. Xe isotopic constraints on cycling of deep Earth volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parai, R.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2017-12-01

    The modern deep Earth volatile budget reflects primordial volatiles delivered during accretion, radiogenic ingrowth of volatile species (e.g., 40Ar produced by 40K decay), outgassing in association with mantle processing, and regassing via subduction. The noble gases are unique volatile tracers in that they are chemically inert, but are thought to be trapped within hydrous alteration phases in downwelling lithologies. Noble gases thus provide a tracer of volatile transport between the deep Earth and surface reservoirs. Constraints on the fluxes of noble gases between deep Earth and surface reservoirs over time can accordingly be used to provide insight into temperature conditions at subduction zones, limits on volatile cycling, and the evolving distribution of major volatile species in terrestrial reservoirs over time. Xe isotope systematics in mantle-derived rocks show that 80-90% of the mantle Xe budget is derived from recycling of atmospheric Xe, indicating that atmospheric Xe is retained in subducting slabs beyond depths of magma generation in subduction zones over Earth history. We present an integrated model of Xe cycling between the mantle and atmosphere in association with mantle processing over Earth history. We test a wide variety of outgassing and regassing rates and take the evolution of the atmospheric Xe isotopic composition [e.g., 1] into account. Models in which the deep Earth transitions from a net outgassing to net regassing regime best satisfy Xe isotopic constraints from mantle-derived rocks [2-6]. [1] Avice et al., 2017; Nature Communications, 8; [2] Mukhopadhyay, 2012, Nature 486, 101-104; [3] Parai et al., 2012, EPSL 359-360, 227-239; [4] Parai and Mukhopadhay, 2015, G-cubed 16, 719-735; [5] Peto et al., 2013, EPSL 369-370, 13-23; [6] Tucker et al., 2012, EPSL 355-356, 244-254.

  12. Coupling surface and mantle dynamics: A novel experimental approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiraly, Agnes; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca; Sembroni, Andrea

    2015-05-01

    Recent modeling shows that surface processes, such as erosion and deposition, may drive the deformation of the Earth's surface, interfering with deeper crustal and mantle signals. To investigate the coupling between the surface and deep process, we designed a three-dimensional laboratory apparatus, to analyze the role of erosion and sedimentation, triggered by deep mantle instability. The setup is constituted and scaled down to natural gravity field using a thin viscous sheet model, with mantle and lithosphere simulated by Newtonian viscous glucose syrup and silicon putty, respectively. The surface process is simulated assuming a simple erosion law producing the downhill flow of a thin viscous material away from high topography. The deep mantle upwelling is triggered by the rise of a buoyant sphere. The results of these models along with the parametric analysis show how surface processes influence uplift velocity and topography signals.

  13. Applications of liquid state physics to the earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, D. J.

    1980-01-01

    New results derived for application to the earth's outer core using the modern theory of liquids and the hard-sphere model of liquid structure are presented. An expression derived in terms of the incompressibility and pressure is valid for a high-pressure liquid near its melting point, provided that the pressure is derived from a strongly repulsive pair potential; a relation derived between the melting point and density leads to a melting curve law of essentially the same form as Lindemann's law. Finally, it is shown that the 'core paradox' of Higgins and Kennedy (1971) can occur only if the Gruneisen parameter is smaller than 2/3, and this constant is larger than this value in any liquid for which the pair potential is strongly repulsive.

  14. Dynamic Responses of the Earth's Outer Core to Assimilation of Observed Geomagnetic Secular Variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Weijia; Tangborn, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Assimilation of surface geomagnetic observations and geodynamo models has advanced very quickly in recent years. However, compared to advanced data assimilation systems in meteorology, geomagnetic data assimilation (GDAS) is still in an early stage. Among many challenges ranging from data to models is the disparity between the short observation records and the long time scales of the core dynamics. To better utilize available observational information, we have made an effort in this study to directly assimilate the Gauss coefficients of both the core field and its secular variation (SV) obtained via global geomagnetic field modeling, aiming at understanding the dynamical responses of the core fluid to these additional observational constraints. Our studies show that the SV assimilation helps significantly to shorten the dynamo model spin-up process. The flow beneath the core-mantle boundary (CMB) responds significantly to the observed field and its SV. The strongest responses occur in the relatively small scale flow (of the degrees L is approx. 30 in spherical harmonic expansions). This part of the flow includes the axisymmetric toroidal flow (of order m = 0) and non-axisymmetric poloidal flow with m (is) greater than 5. These responses can be used to better understand the core flow and, in particular, to improve accuracies of predicting geomagnetic variability in future.

  15. Early mantle differentiation: constraint from 146Sm-142Nd systematics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caro, G.

    2005-07-01

    We present new ultra-high precision 142 Nd/ 144 Nd measurements of early Archaean rocks using the new generation thermal ionization mass spectrometer TRITON. Repeated measurements of the Ames Nd standard demonstrate that the 142 Nd/ 144 Nd ratio can be determined with external precision of 2 ppm (2s), allowing confident resolution of anomalies as small as 5 ppm. A major analytical improvement lies in the elimination of the double normalization procedure required to correct our former measurements from a secondary mass fractionation effect. Our new results indicate that metasediments, meta-basalts and orthogneisses from the 3.6 - 3.8 Ga West Greenland craton display positive 142 Nd anomalies ranging from 8 to 15 ppm. Using a simple two-stage model with initial e 143 Nd value of 1.9 ± 0.6 e-units, coupled 147 Sm- 143 Nd and 146 Sm- 142 Nd chronometry constrains mantle differentiation to 50 to 200 Ma after formation of the solar system. This chronological constraint is consistent with differentiation of the Earth's mantle during the late stage of crystallization of a magma ocean. We have developed a two-box model describing 142 Nd and 143 Nd isotopic evolution of depleted mantle during the subsequent evolution of the crust-mantle system. Our results indicate that early terrestrial proto-crust had a lifetime of ca. 500 Ma in order to produce the observed Nd isotope signature of Archaean rocks. In the context of this two box mantle-crust system, we model the evolution of isotopic and chemical heterogeneity of depleted mantle as a function of the mantle stirring time. Using the dispersion of 142 Nd/ 144 Nd and 143 Nd/ 144 Nd ratios observed in early Archaean rocks, we constrain the stirring time of early Earth's mantle to 100 - 150 Ma, a factor of 5 to 10 shorter than stirring time inferred from modern oceanic basalts. (author)

  16. Gondwana subduction-modified mantle domain prevents magmatic seafloor generation in the Central Indian Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morishita, T.; Nakamura, K.; Senda, R.; Suzuki, K.; Kumagai, H.; Sato, H.; Sato, T.; Shibuya, T.; Minoguchi, K.; Okino, K.

    2013-12-01

    The creation of oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges is essential to understanding the genesis of oceanic plate and the evolution of the Earth. Detailed bathymetric measurements coupled with dense sample recovery at mid-ocean ridge revealed a wide range of variations in the ridge and seafloor morphologies, which cannot be simply explained by a spreading rate, but also by ridge geometry, mantle compositions and thermal structure (Dick et al., 2003 Nature; Cannat et al. 2006 Geology). It is now widely accepted that very limited magmatic activity with tectonic stretching generates oceanic core complex and/or smooth seafloor surface in the slow to ultraslow-spreading ridges, where serpentinized peridotite and gabbros are expected to be exposed associated with detachment faults (Cann et al., 1997 Nature; Cannat et al., 2006), although magmatism might be an essential role for the formation of oceanic core complexes (Buck et al., 2005 Nature; Tucholke et al 2008 JGR). A rising question is why magmatic activity is sometimes prevented during the oceanic plate formation. Ancient melting domain, that are too refractory to melt even in adiabatically upwelling to the shallow upper mantle, might cause the amagmatic spreading ridges (Harvey et al., 2006 EPSL, Liu et al.,2008 Nature). Its origin and effect on seafloor generations are, however, not well understood yet. We report an oceanic hill as an example of an ancient subduction-modified mantle domain, probably formed at continental margin of the Gondwanaland~Pangea supercontinent, existing beneath the Central Indian Ridge. This domain is the most likely to have prevented magmatic seafloor generation, resulting in creation of very deep oceanic valley and serpentine diaper (now the studied oceanic hill) at the present Central Indian ridge.

  17. EFFECTS OF STELLAR FLUX ON TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS: DEGREE-1 MANTLE CONVECTION AND LOCAL MAGMA PONDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gelman, S. E.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Seager, S.

    2011-01-01

    We model the geodynamical evolution of super-Earth exoplanets in synchronous rotation about their star. While neglecting the effects of a potential atmosphere, we explore the parameter spaces of both the Rayleigh number and intensity of incoming stellar flux, and identify two main stages of mantle convection evolution. The first is a transient stage in which a lithospheric temperature and thickness dichotomy emerges between the substellar and the antistellar hemispheres, while the style of mantle convection is dictated by the Rayleigh number. The second stage is the development of degree-1 mantle convection. Depending on mantle properties, the timescale of onset of this second stage of mantle evolution varies from order 1 to 100 billion years of simulated planetary evolution. Planets with higher Rayleigh numbers (due to, for instance, larger planetary radii than the Earth) and planets whose incoming stellar flux is high (likely for most detectable exoplanets) will develop degree-1 mantle convection most quickly, on the order of 1 billion years, which is within the age of many planetary systems. Surface temperatures range from 220 K to 830 K, implying the possibility of liquid water in some regions near the surface. These results are discussed in the context of stable molten magma ponds on hotter planets, and the habitability of super-Earths which may lie outside the Habitable Zone.

  18. Early evolution of the earth - Accretion, atmosphere formation, and thermal history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Yutaka; Matsui, Takafumi

    1986-01-01

    The thermal and atmospheric evolution of the earth growing planetesimal impacts are studied. The generation of an H2O protoatmosphere is examined, and the surface temperatures are estimated. The evolution of an impact-induced H2O atmosphere is analyzed. Consideration is given to the formation time of a 'magma ocean'and internal water budgets. The thermal history of an accreting earth is reviewed. The wet convection and greenhouse effects are discussed, and the role of Fe oxidation on the evolution of an impact-induced H2O atmopshere is described. The relationship between differentiation processes and core segregation, the H2O and FeO content of the mantle, and the origin of the hydrosphere is also examined.

  19. Guided Seismic Waves: Possible Diagnostics for Hot Plumes in the Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, J. R.; Julian, B. R.; Foulger, G. R.

    2005-12-01

    Seismic waves potentially provide by far the highest resolution view of the three-dimensional structure of the mantle, and the hope of detecting wave-speed anomalies caused by hot or compositionally buoyant mantle plumes has been a major incentive to the development of tomographic seismic techniques. Seismic tomography is limited, however, by the uneven geographical distribution of earthquakes and seismometers, which can produce artificial tomographic wave-speed anomalies that are difficult to distinguish from real structures in the mantle. An alternate approach may be possible, because hot plumes and possibly some compositional upwellings would have low seismic-wave speeds and would act as efficient waveguides over great depth ranges in the mantle. Plume-guided waves would be little affected by bends or other geometric complexities in the waveguides (analogously to French horns and fiber-optic cables), and their dispersion would make them distinctive on seismograms and would provide information on the size and structure of the waveguide. The main unanswered question is whether guided waves in plumes could be excited sufficiently to be observable. Earthquakes do not occur in the deep mantle, but at least two other possible sources of excitation can be imagined: (1) shallow earthquakes at or near plume-fed hotspots; and (2) coupling of plume-guided waves to seismic body waves near the bottom of the mantle. In the first case, downward-traveling guided waves transformed to seismic body waves at the bottom of the waveguide would have to be detected at teleseismic distances. In the second case, upward-traveling guided waves generated by teleseismic body waves would be detected on seismometers at hotspots. Qualitative reasoning based on considerations of reciprocity suggests that the signals in these two situations should be similar in size and appearance. The focusing of seismic core phases at caustics would amplify plume waves excited by either mechanism (1) or (2) at

  20. The Robustness of Tomographically Imaged Broad Plumes in the Deep Mantle: Constraints on Mantle Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanowicz, B. A.; Jiménez-Pérez, H.; Adourian, S.; Karaoglu, H.; French, S.

    2016-12-01

    Existing global 3D shear wave velocity models of the earth's mantle generally rely on simple ray theoretical assumptions regarding seismic wave propagation through a heterogeneous medium, and/or consider a limited number of seismic observables, such as surface wave dispersion and/or travel times of body waves (such as P or S) that are well separated on seismograms. While these assumptions are appropriate for resolving long wavelength structure, as evidenced from the good agreement at low degrees between models published in the last 10 years, it is well established that the assumption of ray theory limits the resolution of smaller scale low velocity structures. We recently developed a global radially anisotropic shear wave velocity model (SEMUCB_WM1, French and Romanowicz, 2014, 2015) based on time domain full waveform inversion of 3-component seismograms, including surface waves and overtones down to 60s period, as well as body waveforms down to 30s. At each iteration, the forward wavefield is calculated using the Spectral Element Method (SEM), which ensures the accurate computation of the misfit function. Inversion is performed using a fast converging Gauss-Newton formalism. The use of information from the entire seismogram, weighted according to energy arrivals, provides a unique illumination of the deep mantle, compensating for the uneven distribution of sources and stations. The most striking features of this model are the broad, vertically oriented plume-like conduits that extend from the core-mantle boundary to at least 1000 km depth in the vicinity of some 20 major hotspots located over the large low shear velocity provinces under the Pacific and Africa. We here present the results of various tests aimed at evaluating the robustness of these features. These include starting from a different initial model, to evaluate the effects of non-linearity in the inversion, as well as synthetic tests aimed at evaluating the recovery of plumes located in the middle of

  1. Resonant Tidal Excitation of Internal Waves in the Earth's Fluid Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, Robert H.; Kuang, Weijia

    2014-01-01

    It has long been speculated that there is a stably stratified layer below the core-mantle boundary, and two recent studies have improved the constraints on the parameters describing this stratification. Here we consider the dynamical implications of this layer using a simplified model. We first show that the stratification in this surface layer has sensitive control over the rate at which tidal energy is transferred to the core. We then show that when the stratification parameters from the recent studies are used in this model, a resonant configuration arrives whereby tidal forces perform elevated rates of work in exciting core flow. Specifically, the internal wave speed derived from the two independent studies (150 and 155 m/s) are in remarkable agreement with the speed (152 m/s) required for excitation of the primary normal mode of oscillation as calculated from full solutions of the Laplace Tidal Equations applied to a reduced-gravity idealized model representing the stratified layer. In evaluating this agreement it is noteworthy that the idealized model assumed may be regarded as the most reduced representation of the stratified dynamics of the layer, in that there are no non-essential dynamical terms in the governing equations assumed. While it is certainly possible that a more realistic treatment may require additional dynamical terms or coupling, it is also clear that this reduced representation includes no freedom for coercing the correlation described. This suggests that one must accept either (1) that tidal forces resonantly excite core flow and this is predicted by a simple model or (2) that either the independent estimates or the dynamical model does not accurately portray the core surface layer and there has simply been an unlikely coincidence between three estimates of a stratification parameter which would otherwise have a broad plausible range.

  2. VOLATILE TRANSPORT INSIDE SUPER-EARTHS BY ENTRAPMENT IN THE WATER-ICE MATRIX

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levi, A.; Podolak, M. [Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); Sasselov, D., E-mail: amitlevi.planetphys@gmail.com [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2013-05-20

    Whether volatiles can be entrapped in a background matrix composing planetary envelopes and be dragged via convection to the surface is a key question in understanding atmospheric fluxes, cycles, and composition. In this paper, we consider super-Earths with an extensive water mantle (i.e., water planets), and the possibility of entrapment of methane in their extensive water-ice envelopes. We adopt the theory developed by van der Waals and Platteeuw for modeling solid solutions, often used for modeling clathrate hydrates, and modify it in order to estimate the thermodynamic stability field of a new phase called methane filled ice Ih. We find that in comparison to water ice VII the filled ice Ih structure may be stable not only at the high pressures but also at the high temperatures expected at the core-water mantle transition boundary of water planets.

  3. Abnormal lithium isotope composition from the ancient lithospheric mantle beneath the North China Craton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yan-Jie; Zhang, Hong-Fu; Deloule, Etienne; Su, Ben-Xun; Ying, Ji-Feng; Santosh, M; Xiao, Yan

    2014-03-04

    Lithium elemental and isotopic compositions of olivines in peridotite xenoliths from Hebi in the North China Craton provide direct evidence for the highly variable δ(7)Li in Archean lithospheric mantle. The δ(7)Li in the cores of olivines from the Hebi high-Mg# peridotites (Fo > 91) show extreme variation from -27 to +21, in marked deviation from the δ(7)Li range of fresh MORB (+1.6 to +5.6) although the Li abundances of the olivines are within the range of normal mantle (1-2 ppm). The Li abundances and δ(7)Li characteristics of the Hebi olivines could not have been produced by recent diffusive-driven isotopic fractionation of Li and therefore the δ(7)Li in the cores of these olivines record the isotopic signature of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Our data demonstrate that abnormal δ(7)Li may be preserved in the ancient lithospheric mantle as observed in our study from the central North China Craton, which suggest that the subcontinental lithospheric mantle has experienced modification of fluid/melt derived from recycled oceanic crust.

  4. Executive Summary: “Mantle Frontier” Workshop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Workshop Report Writing Group

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The workshop on “Reaching the Mantle Frontier: Moho and Beyond” was held at the Broad Branch Road Campus of the Carnegie Institution of Washington on 9–11 September 2010. The workshop attracted seventy-four scientists and engineers from academia and industry in North America, Asia, and Europe.Reaching and sampling the mantle through penetration of the entire oceanic crust and the Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho has been a longstanding goal of the Earth science community. The Moho is a seismic transition, often sharp, from a region with compressional wave velocities (Vp less than 7.5 km s-1 to velocities ~8 km s-1. It is interpreted in many tectonic settings, and particularly in tectonic exposures of oceanic lower crust, as the transition from igneous crust to mantle rocks that are the residues of melt extraction. Revealing the in situ geological meaning of the Moho is the heart of the Mohole project. Documenting ocean-crust exchanges and the nature and extent of the subseafloor biosphere have also become integral components of the endeavor. The purpose of the “Mantle Frontier” workshop was to identify key scientific objectives associated with innovative technology solutions along with associated timelines and costs for developments and implementation of this grandchallenge.

  5. Experimental investigation of the stability of Fe-rich carbonates in the lower mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulard, E.; Menguy, N.; Auzende, A.; Benzerara, K.; Bureau, H.; Antonangeli, D.; Corgne, A.; Morard, G.; Siebert, J.; Perrillat, J.; Guyot, F. J.; Fiquet, G.

    2011-12-01

    Carbonates are the main C-bearing minerals that are transported deep in the Earth's mantle via subduction of the oceanic lithosphere [1]. The fate of carbonates at mantle conditions plays a key role in the deep carbon cycle. Decarbonation, melting or reduction of carbonates will affect the extent and the way carbon is recycled into the deep Earth. To clarify the fate of carbonates in the deep mantle, high-pressure high-temperature experiments were carried out up to 105 GPa and 2850 K on oxide assemblages of (Mg,Fe)O + CO2. The presence of Fe(II) in starting materials induces redox reactions from which Fe(II) is oxidized and a part of the carbon is reduced. This leads to an assemblage of magnetite, diamonds, and carbonates or, pressure depending, their newly discovered Fe(III)-bearing high-pressure polymorphs based on a silicate-like chemistry with tetrahedrally coordinated carbon [2]. Our results show the possibility for carbon to be recycled in the lowermost mantle and provide evidence of a possible coexistence of reduced and oxidized carbon at lower mantle conditions. [1] Sleep, N. H., and K. Zahnle (2001) J. Geophys. Res.-Planets 106(E1), 1373-1399. [2] Boulard et al. (2011) PNAS, 108, 5184-5187.

  6. Primordial domains in the depleted upper mantle identified by noble gases in MORBs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, J.; Mukhopadhyay, S.; Langmuir, C. H.; Hamelin, C.; Fuentes, J.

    2017-12-01

    The distribution of noble gas isotopic compositions in the mantle provides important constraints on the large-scale mantle evolution, as noble gases can trace the interaction between degassed, or processed, mantle domains and undegassed, or primitive, mantle domains. Data from the radiogenic He, Ne, Ar and Xe isotopic systems have shown that plume-related lavas sample relatively undegassed mantle domains, and the recent identification of isotopic anomalies in the short-lived I-Xe and Hf-W isotopic systems in plume-related lavas further suggests that these domains may be ancient, dating back to Earth's accretion. However, little is known about the potential variability of the heavy noble gas systems and the distribution of undegassed domains in the ambient upper mantle not influenced by plumes. Here, we present new high-precision He, Ne, Ar, and Xe isotopic data for a series of MORBs from a depleted section of the subtropical north Mid-Atlantic Ridge, distant from any known plume influence. Some samples have extremely low (unradiogenic) 4He/3He, 21Ne/22Ne, 40Ar/36Ar, and 129Xe/130Xe ratios, including some of the lowest values ever determined for MORBs. Such unradiogenic compositions are reminiscent of OIBs and plume-influenced E-MORBs, suggesting the presence of a relatively undegassed or primitive reservoir in the source of these depleted MORBs. The He, Ne, and Ar isotopic systems are sensitive to the long-term degassing history, suggesting that this domain in the MORB source is ancient. The 129Xe/130Xe ratio is sensitive to degassing only during the first 100 Ma of Earth history, suggesting that some of the isotopic character of these samples has been preserved since Earth's accretion. Together, these observations suggest that primordial or undegassed material is not only sampled in plumes-related lavas, but also normal, depleted MORBs. Along with data from E-MORBs in the southern EPR (Kurz et al., 2005), southern MAR (Sarda et al., 2000), and equatorial MAR

  7. Attenuation of seismic waves and the universal rheological model of the Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birger, B. I.

    2007-08-01

    Analysis of results of laboratory studies on creep of mantle rocks, data on seismic wave attenuation in the mantle, and rheological micromechanisms shows that the universal, i.e., relevant to all time scales, rheological model of the mantle can be represented as four rheological elements connected in series. These elements account for elasticity, diffusion rheology, high temperature dislocation rheology, and low temperature dislocation rheology. The diffusion rheology element is described in terms of a Newtonian viscous fluid. The high temperature dislocation rheology element is described by the rheological model previously proposed by the author. This model is a combination of a power-law non-Newtonian fluid model for stationary flows and the linear hereditary Andrade model for flows associated with small strains. The low temperature dislocation rheology element is described by the linear hereditary Lomnitz model.

  8. Composition of the Earth's interior: the importance of early events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Richard W; Boyet, Maud

    2008-11-28

    The detection of excess 142Nd caused by the decay of 103Ma half-life 146Sm in all terrestrial rocks compared with chondrites shows that the chondrite analogue compositional model cannot be strictly correct, at least for the accessible portion of the Earth. Both the continental crust (CC) and the mantle source of mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) originate from the material characterized by superchondritic 142Nd/144Nd. Thus, the mass balance of CC plus mantle depleted by crust extraction (the MORB-source mantle) does not sum back to chondritic compositions, but instead to a composition with Sm/Nd ratio sufficiently high to explain the superchondritic 142Nd/144Nd. This requires that the mass of mantle depleted by CC extraction expand to 75-100 per cent of the mantle depending on the composition assumed for average CC. If the bulk silicate Earth has chondritic relative abundances of the refractory lithophile elements, then there must exist within the Earth's interior an incompatible-element-enriched reservoir that contains roughly 40 per cent of the Earth's 40Ar and heat-producing radioactive elements. The existence of this enriched reservoir is demonstrated by time-varying 142Nd/144Nd in Archaean crustal rocks. Calculations of the mass of the enriched reservoir along with seismically determined properties of the D'' layer at the base of the mantle allow the speculation that this enriched reservoir formed by the sinking of dense melts deep in a terrestrial magma ocean. The enriched reservoir may now be confined to the base of the mantle owing to a combination of compositionally induced high density and low viscosity, both of which allow only minimal entrainment into the overlying convecting mantle.

  9. Does the "mantle" helium signature provide useful information about lithospheric architecture of Tibet/Himalaya?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemperer, S. L.; Liu, T.; Hilton, D. R.; Karlstrom, K. E.; Crossey, L. J.; Zhao, P.

    2015-12-01

    Measurements of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra (where Ra = 3He/4He in Earth's atmosphere) in geothermal fluids are conventionally taken to represent derivation from a mantle source. 3He/4He values 0.1*Ra may still be argued to result from mantle-derived 3He previously stored in the crust. However, our growing regional database of widely spaced observations of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra, from the Karakoram Fault in the west to the Sangri-Cona rift and Yalaxiangbo Dome in the east, and from south of the Yarlung-Zangbo suture (YZS) to north of the Banggong-Nujiang suture, makes such special pleading increasingly implausible. The observation of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra at the YZS and even within the Tethyan Himalaya south of the YZS cannot represent melting of Indian mantle close to the Moho unless existing thermal models are grossly in error. The source of 3He close to the YZS is likely either asthenosphere accessed by faults and shear zones that cut through subducting Indian lithospheric mantle; or incipient melt of Asian lithospheric mantle at the Moho north of the northern edge of underthrust India (the "mantle suture") which must therefore lie close to the YZS. Thus far we have barely tapped the rich potential that helium-isotope data offer for understanding transit of mantle volatiles through some of Earth's thickest (and ductilely flowing) crust.

  10. Thermal Structure and Mantle Dynamics of Rocky Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, F. W.; Tosi, N.; Hussmann, H.; Sohl, F.

    2011-12-01

    The confirmed detections of CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b reveal that rocky exoplanets exist. Moreover, recent theoretical studies suggest that small planets beyond the Solar System are indeed common and many of them will be discovered by increasingly precise observational surveys in the years ahead. The knowledge about the interior structure and thermal state of exoplanet interiors provides crucial theoretical input not only for classification and characterization of individual planetary bodies, but also to better understand the origin and evolution of the Solar System and the Earth in general. These developments and considerations have motivated us to address several questions concerning thermal structure and interior dynamics of terrestrial exoplanets. In the present study, depth-dependent structural models of solid exoplanet interiors have been constructed in conjunction with a mixing length approach to calculate self-consistently the radial distribution of temperature and heat flux. Furthermore, 2-D convection simulations using the compressible anelastic approximation have been carried through to examine the effect of thermodynamic quantities (e.g., thermal expansivity) on mantle convection pattern within rocky planets more massive than the Earth. In comparison to parameterized convection models, our calculated results predict generally hotter planetary interiors, which are mainly attributed to a viscosity-regulating feedback mechanism involving temperature and pressure. We find that density and thermal conductivity increase with depth by a factor of two to three, however, thermal expansivity decreases by more than an order of magnitude across the mantle for planets as massive as CoRoT-7b or Kepler-10b. The specific heat capacity is observed to stay almost constant over an extended region of the lower mantle. The planform of mantle convection is strongly modified in the presence of depth-dependent thermodynamic quantities with hot upwellings (plumes) rising across

  11. Continuous reorientation of synchronous terrestrial planets due to mantle convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy

    2018-02-01

    Many known rocky exoplanets are thought to have been spun down by tidal interactions to a state of synchronous rotation, in which a planet's period of rotation is equal to that of its orbit around its host star. Investigations into atmospheric and surface processes occurring on such exoplanets thus commonly assume that day and night sides are fixed with respect to the surface over geological timescales. Here we use an analytical model to show that true polar wander—where a planetary body's spin axis shifts relative to its surface because of changes in mass distribution—can continuously reorient a synchronous rocky exoplanet. As occurs on Earth, we find that even weak mantle convection in a rocky exoplanet can produce density heterogeneities within the mantle sufficient to reorient the planet. Moreover, we show that this reorientation is made very efficient by the slower rotation rate of a synchronous planet when compared with Earth, which limits the stabilizing effect of rotational and tidal deformations. Furthermore, a relatively weak lithosphere limits its ability to support remnant loads and stabilize against reorientation. Although uncertainties exist regarding the mantle and lithospheric evolution of these worlds, we suggest that the axes of smallest and largest moment of inertia of synchronous exoplanets with active mantle convection change continuously over time, but remain closely aligned with the star-planet and orbital axes, respectively.

  12. Nuclear planetology: understanding planetary mantle and crust formation in the light of nuclear and particle physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roller, Goetz

    2017-04-01

    The Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram is one of the most important diagrams in astronomy. In a HR diagram, the luminosity of stars and/or stellar remnants (white dwarf stars, WD's), relative to the luminosity of the sun, is plotted versus their surface temperatures (Teff). The Earth shows a striking similarity in size (radius ≈ 6.371 km) and Teff of its outer core surface (Teff ≈ 3800 K at the core-mantle-boundary) with old WD's (radius ≈ 6.300 km) like WD0346+246 (Teff ≈ 3820 K after ≈ 12.7 Ga [1]), which plot in the HR diagram close to the low-mass extension of the stellar population or main sequence. In the light of nuclear planetology [2], Earth-like planets are regarded as old, down-cooled and differentiated black dwarfs (Fe-C BLD's) after massive decompression, the most important nuclear reactions involved being 56Fe(γ,α)52Cr (etc.), possibly responsible for extreme terrestrial glaciations events ("snowball" Earth), together with (γ,n), (γ,p) and fusion reactions like 12C(α,γ)16O. The latter reaction might have caused oxidation of the planet from inside out. Nuclear planetology is a new research field, tightly constrained by a coupled 187Re-232Th-238U systematics [3-5]. By means of nuclear/quantum physics and taking the theory of relativity into account, it aims at understanding the thermal and chemical evolution of Fe-C BLD's after gravitational contraction (e.g. Mercury) or Fermi-pressure controlled collapse (e.g. Earth) events after massive decompression, leading possibly to an r-process event, towards the end of their cooling period [2]. So far and based upon 187Re-232Th-238U nuclear geochronometry, the Fe-C BLD hypothesis can successfully explain the global terrestrial MORB 232Th/238U signature [5]. Thus, it may help to elucidate the DM (depleted mantle), EMI (enriched mantle 1), EMII (enriched mantle 2) or HIMU (high U/Pb) reservoirs [6], and the 187Os/188Os isotopic dichotomy in Archean magmatic rocks and sediments [7]. Here I present a

  13. Venus tectonics: another Earth or another Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGill, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    The presence of presumably primordial large craters has led to the suggestion that Venus may have a thick lithosphere like that of Mars despite its similarities to Earth in size and density. However, crust and upper mantle temperatures on Venus are very likely higher than on Earth so that a dry Venus could have a lithosphere with a thickness similar to that of Earth. If a trace of volatiles is present in the mantle, the lithosphere of Venus could be thinner. Due to the absence of liquid water, erosion and deposition will be much slower on Venus than on Earth, favoring retention of primordial cratered surfaces on portions of the crust that have not been destroyed or buried by tectonic and volcanic activity. Geochemical models of solar system origin and petrological considerations suggest that K is about as abundant in Venus as in Earth. The abundance of 40 Ar in the atmosphere of Venus lies somewhere between the Earth value and one-tenth of the Earth value. Because erosional liberation of 40 Ar on Venus will be relatively inefficient, this range for 40 Ar abundance at least permits an active tectonic history, and if the 40 Ar abundance is towards the high end of the range, it may well require an active tectonic history. Thus we are not constrained to a Mars-like model of Venus tectonics by craters and possible mantle dryness; an Earth-like model is equally probable

  14. The Earth’s mantle before convection: Effects of magma oceans and the Moon (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Smrekar, S. E.; Tobie, G.

    2009-12-01

    Studies of magma oceans indicate that planets obtain a gravitationally stable, compositionally differentiated mantle following solidification. This stable mantle results primarily from iron-magnesium partitioning during solidification, producing progressively iron-enriched mantle phases as solidification proceeds. Near the end of solidification, the dense solids will overturn to a stable configuration. The resulting differentiated mantle is stable from compositional density gradients that are significant enough to suppress thermal convection for up to hundreds of millions of years or longer, a scenario that proceeds self-consistently from physical and chemical principals, but is in contradiction with a previous image of a hot, turbulently convecting earliest terrestrial mantle. The isotopic range found in Martian meteorites indicates that its mantle differentiated in the first tens of millions of years of the solar system and has not been thoroughly remixed since. The specific isotopic range found on Mars is consistent with formation in a magma ocean. Based on the isotopic compositions of magmas, the Earth’s mantle is well mixed in comparison with the mantle of Mars. If the terrestrial planets experienced partial or whole magma oceans and thus began with stable mantles, resisting the onset of thermal convection and subsequent remixing, then why is Earth’s mantle well mixed? Two processes predicted to occur on the Earth, but not on the smaller Mars, may explain the divergent evolutions of these bodies. Here we will present model calculations for these two processes. First, we hypothesize that in the brief period that the Moon was very close to the Earth, it may have tidally heated Earth’s interior sufficiently to overcome its initial compositionally stable mantle, initiate active convection, and set the stage for the well-mixed mantle sampled today. Mars, conversely, may have cooled significantly before thermal convection began, allowing the formation of a

  15. Analysis of the flow structure and heat transfer in a vertical mantle heat exchanger

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Søren; Morrison, GL; Behnia, M

    2005-01-01

    initially mixed and initially stratified inner tank and mantle. The analysis of the heat transfer showed that the flow in the mantle near the inlet is mixed convection flow and that the heat transfer is dependent on the mantle inlet temperature relative to the core tank temperature at the mantle level. (C......The flow structure inside the inner tank and inside the mantle of a vertical mantle heat exchanger was investigated using a full-scale tank designed to facilitate flow visualisation. The flow structure and velocities in the inner tank and in the mantle were measured using a Particle Image...... Velocimetry (PIV) system. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of the vertical mantle heat exchanger was also developed for a detailed evaluation of the heat flux at the mantle wall and at the tank wall. The flow structure was evaluated for both high and low temperature incoming flows and for both...

  16. Ancient melt depletion overprinted by young carbonatitic metasomatism in the New Zealand lithospheric mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scott, James M.; Hodgkinson, A.; Palin, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    radiogenic than, the HIMU mantle reservoir. Metasomatism appears to pre-date ubiquitous pyroxene core to rim Al diffusion zoning, which may have resulted from cooling of the lithospheric mantle following cessation of Late Cretaceous-Eocene rifting of Zealandia from Gondwana. Nd isotope data, however, suggest...

  17. EarthN: A new Earth System Nitrogen Model

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Benjamin W.; Goldblatt, Colin

    2018-01-01

    The amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere, oceans, crust, and mantle have important ramifications for Earth's biologic and geologic history. Despite this importance, the history and cycling of nitrogen in the Earth system is poorly constrained over time. For example, various models and proxies contrastingly support atmospheric mass stasis, net outgassing, or net ingassing over time. In addition, the amount available to and processing of nitrogen by organisms is intricately linked with and prov...

  18. Internally heated mantle convection and the thermal and degassing history of the earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, David R.; Pan, Vivian

    1992-01-01

    An internally heated model of parameterized whole mantle convection with viscosity dependent on temperature and volatile content is examined. The model is run for 4l6 Gyr, and temperature, heat flow, degassing and regassing rates, stress, and viscosity are calculated. A nominal case is established which shows good agreement with accepted mantle values. The effects of changing various parameters are also tested. All cases show rapid cooling early in the planet's history and strong self-regulation of viscosity due to the temperature and volatile-content dependence. The effects of weakly stress-dependent viscosity are examined within the bounds of this model and are found to be small. Mantle water is typically outgassed rapidly to reach an equilibrium concentration on a time scale of less than 200 Myr for almost all models, the main exception being for models which start out with temperatures well below the melting temperature.

  19. MIGRATION AND GROWTH OF PROTOPLANETARY EMBRYOS. II. EMERGENCE OF PROTO-GAS-GIANT CORES VERSUS SUPER EARTH PROGENITORS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Beibei [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Zhang, Xiaojia [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Lin, Douglas N. C. [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Aarseth, Sverre J., E-mail: bbliu1208@gmail.com [Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2015-01-01

    Nearly 15%-20% of solar type stars contain one or more gas giant planets. According to the core-accretion scenario, the acquisition of their gaseous envelope must be preceded by the formation of super-critical cores with masses 10 times or larger than that of the Earth. It is natural to link the formation probability of gas giant planets with the supply of gases and solids in their natal disks. However, a much richer population of super Earths suggests that (1) there is no shortage of planetary building block material, (2) a gas giant's growth barrier is probably associated with whether it can merge into super-critical cores, and (3) super Earths are probably failed cores that did not attain sufficient mass to initiate efficient accretion of gas before it is severely depleted. Here we construct a model based on the hypothesis that protoplanetary embryos migrated extensively before they were assembled into bona fide planets. We construct a Hermite-Embryo code based on a unified viscous-irradiation disk model and a prescription for the embryo-disk tidal interaction. This code is used to simulate the convergent migration of embryos, and their close encounters and coagulation. Around the progenitors of solar-type stars, the progenitor super-critical-mass cores of gas giant planets primarily form in protostellar disks with relatively high (≳ 10{sup –7} M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1}) mass accretion rates, whereas systems of super Earths (failed cores) are more likely to emerge out of natal disks with modest mass accretion rates, due to the mean motion resonance barrier and retention efficiency.

  20. MIGRATION AND GROWTH OF PROTOPLANETARY EMBRYOS. II. EMERGENCE OF PROTO-GAS-GIANT CORES VERSUS SUPER EARTH PROGENITORS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Beibei; Zhang, Xiaojia; Lin, Douglas N. C.; Aarseth, Sverre J.

    2015-01-01

    Nearly 15%-20% of solar type stars contain one or more gas giant planets. According to the core-accretion scenario, the acquisition of their gaseous envelope must be preceded by the formation of super-critical cores with masses 10 times or larger than that of the Earth. It is natural to link the formation probability of gas giant planets with the supply of gases and solids in their natal disks. However, a much richer population of super Earths suggests that (1) there is no shortage of planetary building block material, (2) a gas giant's growth barrier is probably associated with whether it can merge into super-critical cores, and (3) super Earths are probably failed cores that did not attain sufficient mass to initiate efficient accretion of gas before it is severely depleted. Here we construct a model based on the hypothesis that protoplanetary embryos migrated extensively before they were assembled into bona fide planets. We construct a Hermite-Embryo code based on a unified viscous-irradiation disk model and a prescription for the embryo-disk tidal interaction. This code is used to simulate the convergent migration of embryos, and their close encounters and coagulation. Around the progenitors of solar-type stars, the progenitor super-critical-mass cores of gas giant planets primarily form in protostellar disks with relatively high (≳ 10 –7 M ☉ yr –1 ) mass accretion rates, whereas systems of super Earths (failed cores) are more likely to emerge out of natal disks with modest mass accretion rates, due to the mean motion resonance barrier and retention efficiency

  1. Mechanisms of Earth activity forsed by external celestial bodies:energy budjet and nature of cyclicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yu. V.; Ferrandiz, J. M.

    2003-04-01

    In given report we discuss tidal and non-tidal mechanisms of forced tectonic (endogenous) activity of the Earth caused by gravitational attraction of the Moon, Sun and the planets. On the base of the classical solution of the problem of elasticity for model of the Earth with concentric mass distribution the evaluations of the tidal energy and power of Earth lunar-solar deformations, including their joint effect, were obtained. Important role of the joint energetic effect of rotational deformation of the Earth with lunar and solar tides was illustrated. Gravitational interaction of the Moon and Sun with non-spherical, non-homogeneous shells of the Earth generates big additional mechanical forces and moments of the interaction of the neighboring shells (rigid core, liquid core, mantle, lithosphere and separate plates). Acting of these forces and moments in the different time scales on the corresponding sells generates cyclic perturbations of the tensional state of the shells, their deformations, small relative translational displacements and small relative rotational oscillations of the shells. In geological period of time it leads to a fundamental tectonic reconstruction of the Earth. These additional forces and moments of the cyclic celestial-mechanical nature produce cyclic deformations of the all layers of the body and organize and control practically all natural processes. The additional force between mantle and core is cyclic and characterized by the wide basis of frequencies typical for orbital motions (of the Sun, Moon and planets), for rotational motion of the Earth, Moon and Sun and for many from observed natural processes. The problem about small relative translatory-rotary motion of the two shells separated by the thin viscous-elastic layer is studied. The differential equations of motion were obtained and have been studied in particular cases (plane motion of system; case of two axisymmetrical interacting shells and oth.) by approximate methods of small

  2. Array analyses of SmKS waves and the stratification of Earth's outermost core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneshima, Satoshi

    2018-03-01

    We perform array analyses of SmKS waves in order to investigate the Vp structure of the Earth's outermost core. For earthquakes recorded by broadband seismometer networks in the world, we measure differential travel times between S3KS and S2KS, between S4KS and S3KS, and between S5KS and S3KS by array techniques. The differential times are well fit by a Vp model of the Earth's outermost core, KHOMC (Kaneshima and Helffrich, 2013). Differential slownesses of S4KS and S2KS relative to S2KS are also measured for the highest quality data. The measured slownesses, with unique sensitivity to the outer core 200-400 km below the CMB, are matched by KHOMC. These observations consolidate the evidence for the presence at the top of the outer core of a layer that has a distinctively steeper Vp gradient than the bulk of the outer core. We invert new SmKS differential time data set by a tau-p method and attempt to refine the Vp profile of KHOMC. The essential features of KHOMC are preserved after the model refinement. However, the newly estimated layer thickness is nearly 450 km, which is thicker than that of KHOMC. The Vp anomalies relative to PREM for the depths 400-800 km below the CMB are less than 0.03 km/s, consistent with the degree of agreement between different Vp models for the depth range.

  3. A diurnal resonance in the ocean tide and in the earth's load response due to the resonant free 'core nutation'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahr, J. M.; Sasao, T.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of the oceans, which are subject to a resonance due to a free rotational eigenmode of an elliptical, rotating earth with a fluid outer core having an eigenfrequency of (1 + 1/460) cycle/day, on the body tide and nutational response of the earth to the diurnal luni-tidal force are computed. The response of an elastic, rotating, elliptical, oceanless earth with a fluid outer core to a given load distribution on its surface is first considered, and the tidal sea level height for equilibrium and nonequilibrium oceans is examined. Computations of the effects of equilibrium and nonequilibrium oceans on the nutational and deformational responses of the earth are then presented which show small but significant perturbations to the retrograde 18.6-year and prograde six-month nutations, and more important effects on the earth body tide, which is also resonant at the free core notation eigenfrequency.

  4. Support for equatorial anisotropy of Earth's inner-inner core from seismic interferometry at low latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Song, Xiaodong

    2018-03-01

    Anisotropy of Earth's inner core provides a key role to understand its evolution and the Earth's magnetic field. Recently, using autocorrelations from earthquake's coda, we found an equatorial anisotropy of the inner-inner core (IIC), in apparent contrast to the polar anisotropy of the outer-inner core (OIC). To reduce the influence of the polar anisotropy and reduce possible contaminations from the large Fresnel zone of the PKIKP2 and PKIIKP2 phases at low frequencies, we processed coda noise of large earthquakes (10,000-40,000 s after magnitude ≥7.0) from stations at low latitudes (within ±35°) during 1990-2013. Using a number of improved procedures of both autocorrelation and cross-correlation, we extracted 52 array-stacked high-quality empirical Green's functions (EGFs), an increase of over 60% from our previous study. The high-quality data allow us to measure the relative arrival times by automatic waveform cross correlation. The results show large variation (∼10.9 s) in the differential times between the PKIKP2 and PKIIKP2 phases. The estimated influence of the Fresnel zone is insignificant (core history, change of geomagnetic field, and a proto-inner core.

  5. Seismic anisotropy of the mantle lithosphere beneath the Swedish National Seismological Network (SNSN)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Eken, T.; Plomerová, Jaroslava; Roberts, R.; Vecsey, Luděk; Babuška, Vladislav; Shomali, H.; Bodvarsson, R.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 480, č. 1-4 (2010), s. 241-258 ISSN 0040-1951 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA300120709; GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB300120605 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : Baltic Shield * mantle lithosphere * seismic anisotropy * domains and their boundaries in the mantle Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure Impact factor: 2.509, year: 2010

  6. Earth's structure and evolution inferred from topography, gravity, and seismicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkinson, A. J.; Menard, J.; Patton, R. L.

    2016-12-01

    Earth's wavelength-dependent response to loading, reflected in observed topography, gravity, and seismicity, can be interpreted in terms of a stack of layers under the assumption of transverse isotropy. The theory of plate tectonics holds that the outermost layers of this stack are mobile, produced at oceanic ridges, and consumed at subduction zones. Their toroidal motions are generally consistent with those of several rigid bodies, except in the world's active mountain belts where strains are partitioned and preserved in tectonite fabrics. Even portions of the oceanic lithosphere exhibit non-rigid behavior. Earth's gravity-topography cross-spectrum exhibits notable variations in signal amplitude and character at spherical harmonic degrees l=13, 116, 416, and 1389. Corresponding Cartesian wavelengths are approximately equal to the respective thicknesses of Earth's mantle, continental mantle lithosphere, oceanic thermal lithosphere, and continental crust, all known from seismology. Regional variations in seismic moment release with depth, derived from the global Centroid Moment Tensor catalog, are also evident in the crust and mantle lithosphere. Combined, these observations provide powerful constraints for the structure and evolution of the crust, mantle lithosphere, and mantle as a whole. All that is required is a dynamically consistent mechanism relating wavelength to layer thickness and shear-strain localization. A statistically-invariant 'diharmonic' relation exhibiting these properties appears as the leading order approximation to toroidal motions on a self-gravitating body of differential grade-2 material. We use this relation, specifically its predictions of weakness and rigidity, and of folding and shear banding response as a function of wavelength-to-thickness ratio, to interpret Earth's gravity, topography, and seismicity in four-dimensions. We find the mantle lithosphere to be about 255-km thick beneath the Himalaya and the Andes, and the long

  7. Atlas of the underworld: Slab remnants in the mantle, their sinking history, and a new outlook on lower mantle viscosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Meer, Douwe G.; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Spakman, Wim

    2018-01-01

    Across the entire mantle we interpret 94 positive seismic wave-speed anomalies as subducted lithosphere and associate these slabs with their geological record. We document this as the Atlas of the Underworld, also accessible online at www.atlas-of-the-underworld.org, a compilation comprising subduction systems active in the past 300 Myr. Deeper slabs are correlated to older geological records, assuming no relative horizontal motions between adjacent slabs following break-off, using knowledge of global plate circuits, but without assuming a mantle reference frame. The longest actively subducting slabs identified reach the depth of 2500 km and some slabs have impinged on Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces in the deepest mantle. Anomously fast sinking of some slabs occurs in regions affected by long-term plume rising. We conclude that slab remnants eventually sink from the upper mantle to the core-mantle boundary. The range in subduction-age versus - depth in the lower mantle is largely inherited from the upper mantle history of subduction. We find a significant depth variation in average sinking speed of slabs. At the top of the lower mantle average slab sinking speeds are between 10 and 40 mm/yr, followed by a deceleration to 10-15 mm/yr down to depths around 1600-1700 km. In this interval, in situ time-stationary sinking rates suggest deceleration from 20 to 30 mm/yr to 4-8 mm/yr, increasing to 12-15 mm/yr below 2000 km. This corroborates the existence of a slab deceleration zone but we do not observe long-term (> 60 My) slab stagnation, excluding long-term stagnation due to compositional effects. Conversion of slab sinking profiles to viscosity profiles shows the general trend that mantle viscosity increases in the slab deceleration zone below which viscosity slowly decreases in the deep mantle. This is at variance with most published viscosity profiles that are derived from different observations, but agrees qualitatively with recent viscosity profiles suggested

  8. Evolution and dynamics of Earth from a molten initial stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louro Lourenço, D. J.; Tackley, P.

    2016-12-01

    It is now well established that most of the terrestrial planets underwent a magma ocean stage during their accretion. On Earth, it is probable that at the end of accretion, giant impacts like the hypothesised Moon-forming impact, together with other sources of heat, melted a substantial part of the mantle. The thermal and chemical evolution of the resulting magma ocean most certainly had dramatic consequences on the history of the planet. Considerable research has been done on magma oceans using simple 1-D models (e.g.: Abe, PEPI 1997; Solomatov, Treat. Geophys. 2007; Elkins-Tanton EPSL 2008). However, some aspects of the dynamics may not be adequately addressed in 1-D and require the use of 2-D or 3-D models. Moreover, new developments in mineral physics that indicate that melt can be denser than solid at high pressures (e.g.: de Koker et al., EPSL 2013) can have very important impacts on the classical views of the solidification of magma oceans (Labrosse et al., Nature 2007; Labrosse et al., The Early Earth 2015). The goal of our study is to understand and characterize the influence of melting on the long-term thermo-chemical evolution of rocky planet interiors, starting from an initial molten state (magma ocean). Our approach is to model viscous creep of the solid mantle, while parameterizing processes that involve melt as previously done in 1-D models, including melt-solid separation at all melt fractions, the use of an effective diffusivity to parameterize turbulent mixing, coupling to a parameterized core heat balance and a radiative surface boundary condition. These enhancements have been made to the numerical code StagYY (Tackley, PEPI 2008). We present results for the evolution of an Earth-like planet from a molten initial state to present day, while testing the effect of uncertainties in parameters such as melt-solid density differences, surface heat loss and efficiency of turbulent mixing. Our results show rapid cooling and crystallization until the

  9. From mantle to critical zone: A review of large and giant sized deposits of the rare earth elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.P. Smith

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The rare earth elements are unusual when defining giant-sized ore deposits, as resources are often quoted as total rare earth oxide, but the importance of a deposit may be related to the grade for individual, or a limited group of the elements. Taking the total REE resource, only one currently known deposit (Bayan Obo would class as giant (>1.7 × 107 tonnes contained metal, but a range of others classify as large (>1.7 × 106 tonnes. With the exception of unclassified resource estimates from the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit, all of these deposits are related to alkaline igneous activity – either carbonatites or agpaitic nepheline syenites. The total resource in these deposits must relate to the scale of the primary igneous source, but the grade is a complex function of igneous source, magmatic crystallisation, hydrothermal modification and supergene enrichment during weathering. Isotopic data suggest that the sources conducive to the formation of large REE deposits are developed in subcontinental lithospheric mantle, enriched in trace elements either by plume activity, or by previous subduction. The reactivation of such enriched mantle domains in relatively restricted geographical areas may have played a role in the formation of some of the largest deposits (e.g. Bayan Obo. Hydrothermal activity involving fluids from magmatic to meteoric sources may result in the redistribution of the REE and increases in grade, depending on primary mineralogy and the availability of ligands. Weathering and supergene enrichment of carbonatite has played a role in the formation of the highest grade deposits at Mount Weld (Australia and Tomtor (Russia. For the individual REE with the current highest economic value (Nd and the HREE, the boundaries for the large and giant size classes are two orders of magnitude lower, and deposits enriched in these metals (agpaitic systems, ion absorption deposits may have significant economic impact in the near future.

  10. Seismic travel-time tomography for detailed global mantle structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijwaard, H.

    1999-01-01

    The object of this thesis is to use travel-time tomography to focus and enhance the existing global image of the Earth's mantle and crust. This image is still rather blurred with respect to the considerably sharper pictures commonly obtained in regional studies. The improvement is basically

  11. Pb isotope constaints on the extent of crustal recycling into a steady state mantle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galer, S.J.G.; Goldstein, S.L.; Onions, R.K.

    1988-01-01

    Isotopic and geochemical evidence was discussed against recycling of continental crust into the mantle. Element ratios such as Sm/Nd, Th/Sc, and U/Pb in sedimentary masses have remained relatively constant throughout Earth history, and this can only be reconciled with steady state recycling models if new crustal materials added from the mantle have had similar ratios. Such recycling models would also require shorter processing times for U, Th, and Pb through the mantle than are geodynamically reasonable. Models favoring subduction of pelagic sediments as the only recycling mechanism fail to account for the Pb isotopic signature of the mantle. Recycling of bulk crust with Pb isotopic compositions similar to those expected for primitive mantle would be permissable with available data, but there appear to be no plausible tectonic mechanisms to carry this out

  12. Multiple enrichment of the Carpathian-Pannonian mantle: Pb-Sr-Nd isotope and trace element constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Jeffrey M.; Wilson, Marjorie; Downes, Hilary

    1997-07-01

    Pb isotope compositions of acid-leached clinopyroxene and amphibole mineral separates from spinel peridotite mantle xenoliths entrained in Tertiary-Quaternary alkali basalts from the Carpathian-Pannonian Region of eastern Europe provide important constraints on the processes of metasomatic enrichment of the mantle lithosphere in an extensional tectonic setting associated with recent subduction. Principal component analysis of Pb-Sr-Nd isotope and rare earth element compositions of the pyroxenes is used to identify the geochemical characteristics of the original lithospheric mantle protolith and a spectrum of infiltrating metasomatic agents including subduction-related aqueous fluids and silicate melts derived from a subduction-modified mantle wedge which contains a St. Helena-type (HIMU) plume component. The mantle protolith is highly depleted relative to mid-ocean ridge basalt-source mantle with Pb-Nd-Sr isotope compositions consistent with an ancient depletion event. Silicate melt infiltration into the protolith accounts for the primary variance in the Pb-Sr-Nd isotope compositions of the xenoliths and has locally generated metasomatic amphibole. Infiltration of aqueous fluids has introduced radiogenic Pb and Sr without significantly perturbing the rare earth element signature of the protolith. The Pb isotope compositions of the fluid-modified xenoliths suggest that they reacted with aqueous fluids released from a subduction zone which had equilibrated with sediment derived from an ancient basement terrain. We propose a model for mantle lithosphere evolution consistent with available textural and geochemical data for the xenolith population. The Pb-Sr-Nd isotope compositions of both alkaline mafic magmas and rare, subduction-related, calc-alkaline basaltic andesites from the region provide important constraints for the nature of the asthenospheric mantle wedge and confirm the presence of a HIMU plume component. These silicate melts contribute to the metasomatism

  13. Translation and convection of Earth's inner core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monnereau, M.; Calvet, M.; Margerin, L.; Mizzon, H.; Souriau, A.

    2012-12-01

    The image of the inner core growing slowly at the center of the Earth by gradual cooling and solidification of the surrounding liquid outer core is being replaced by the more vigorous image of a ``deep foundry'', where melting and crystallization rates exceed by many times the net growth rate. Recently, a particular mode of convection, called translation, has been put forward as an important mode of inner core dynamics because this mechanism is able to explain the observed East-West asymmetry of P-wave velocity and attenuation (Monnereau et al. 2010). Translation is a pure solid displacement of the inner core material (solid iron) within its envelop, implying crystallization of entering iron on one side of the inner core and melting on the opposite side. Translation is consistent with multiple scattering models of wave propagation. If they do not experience deformation, iron crystals grow as they transit from one hemisphere to the other. Larger crystals constituting a faster and more attenuating medium, a translation velocity of some cm/yr (about ten times the growth rate) is enough to account for the superficial asymmetry observed for P-wave velocity and attenuation, with grains of a few hundred meters on the crystallizing side (West) growing up to a few kilometers before melting on the East side, and a drift direction located in the equatorial plane. Among all hypotheses that have been proposed to account for the seismic asymmetry, translation is the only one based on a demonstrated link between the seismic data and the proposed dynamics, notably through a model of seismic wave propagation. This mechanism was also proposed to be responsible for the formation of a dense layer at the bottom of the outer core, since the high rate of melting and crystallization would release a liquid depleted in light elements at the surface of the inner core (Alboussiere et al 2010). This would explain the anomalously low gradient of P wave velocity in the lowermost 200 km of the

  14. Fine scale heterogeneity in the Earth's upper mantle - observation and interpretation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thybo, Hans

    2014-01-01

    can be correlated to main plate tectonic features, such as oceanic spreading centres, continental rift zones and subducting slabs. Much seismological mantle research is now concentrated on imaging fine scale heterogeneity, which may be detected and imaged with high-resolution seismic data with dense...

  15. On estimating the molecular viscosity of the Earth's outer core: comment on the paper by D E Smylie et al

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zharkov, Vladimir N

    2009-01-01

    The paper 'Direct observations of the viscosity of Earth's outer core and extrapolation of measurements of the viscosity of liquid iron' by D.E. Smylie, V.V. Brazhkin, and A. Palmer [Phys. Usp. 52 (1) 79 (2009)] is subject to critique for its proposed approach to estimating the viscosity of the Earth's outer core. (methodological notes)

  16. Stochastic generation of MAC waves and implications for convection in Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffett, Bruce; Knezek, Nicholas

    2018-03-01

    Convection in Earth's core can sustain magnetic-Archemedes-Coriolis (MAC) waves through a variety of mechanisms. Buoyancy and Lorentz forces are viable sources for wave motion, together with the effects of magnetic induction. We develop a quantitative description for zonal MAC waves and assess the source mechanisms using a numerical dynamo model. The largest sources at conditions accessible to the dynamo model are due to buoyancy forces and magnetic induction. However, when these sources are extrapolated to conditions expected in Earth's core, the Lorentz force emerges as the dominant generation mechanism. This source is expected to produce wave velocities of roughly 2 km yr-1 when the internal magnetic field is characterized by a dimensionless Elsasser number of roughly Λ ≈ 10 and the root-mean-square convective velocity defines a magnetic Reynolds number of Rm ≈ 103. Our preferred model has a radially varying stratification and a constant (radial) background magnetic field. It predicts a broad power spectrum for the wave velocity with most power distributed across periods from 30 to 100 yr.

  17. Seismic travel-time tomography for detailed global mantle structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijwaard, H.

    1999-01-01

    The object of this thesis is to use travel-time tomography to focus and enhance the existing global image of the Earth's mantle and crust. This image is still rather blurred with respect to the considerably sharper pictures commonly obtained in regional studies. The improvement is basically obtained

  18. Tracking silica in Earth's upper mantle using new sound velocity data for coesite to 5.8 GPa and 1073 K: Tracking Silica in Earth's Upper Mantle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Ting [Department of Geosciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA; Liebermann, Robert C. [Department of Geosciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA; Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA; Zou, Yongtao [Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA; State Key Laboratory of Superhard Materials, College of Physics, Jilin University, Changchun China; Li, Ying [Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA; Key Laboratory of Earthquake Prediction, Institute of Earthquake Science, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing China; Qi, Xintong [Department of Geosciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA; Li, Baosheng [Department of Geosciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA; Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook New York USA

    2017-08-12

    The compressional and shear wave velocities for coesite have been measured simultaneously up to 5.8 GPa and 1073 K by ultrasonic interferometry for the first time. The shear wave velocity decreases with pressure along all isotherms. The resulting contrasts between coesite and stishovite reach ~34% and ~45% for P and S wave velocities, respectively, and ~64% and ~75% for their impedance at mantle conditions. The large velocity and impedance contrasts across coesite-stishovite transition imply that to generate the velocity and impedance contrasts observed at the X-discontinuity, only a small amount of silica would be required. The velocity jump dependences on silica, d(lnVP)/d(SiO2) = 0.38 (wt %)-1 and d(lnVS)/d(SiO2) = 0.52 (wt %)-1, are utilized to place constraints on the amount of silica in the upper mantle and provide a geophysical approach to track mantle eclogite materials and ancient subducted oceanic slabs.

  19. Supercritical fluid in the mantle transition zone deduced from H-D interdiffusion of wadsleyite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei; Yoshino, Takashi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi

    2018-02-01

    Knowledge of the distribution of water in the Earth's mantle is key to understanding the mantle convection and geochemical evolution of the Earth. As wadsleyite and ringwoodite can incorporate large amounts of water in their crystal structures, proton conduction has been invoked to account for the widespread conductive anomalies observed in the mantle wedge, where descending slab stagnates at the transition zone. However, there is a lot of controversy on whether proton conduction by itself is able to explain such anomalies, because of large discrepancy in the extent of the water effect deduced from previous electrical conductivity measurements on hydrous polycrystalline wadsleyite and ringwoodite. Here we report the hydrogen self-diffusion coefficient obtained from H-D interdiffusion experiments in wadsleyite single-crystal couples. Our results demonstrate that the effect of water on the electrical conductivity of wadsleyite is limited and hydrous wadsleyite by itself is unable to explain conductive anomalies in the transition zone. In contrast, the expected hydrogen effective diffusion does not allow the wide propagation of water between the stagnant slab and surrounding mantle, probably leading to persistence of local water saturation and continuous release of supercritical fluids at the stagnant slab roof on geological time scales. This phenomenon provides an alternative explanation for both the high-conductivity and seismic-velocity anomalies observed in the mantle wedge at the transition-zone depth.

  20. Geochemistry of the earth mantle: distribution of trace elements in the basaltic magma Pt. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joron, J.-L.; Jaffrezic, H.; Treuil, M.

    1982-01-01

    A method for the study of petrogenetic processes by geochemical reasoning based on the chemical analysis of ''hygromagmaphil'' elements in rock suites has recently been applied in our laboratory to suites of oceanic basalts sampled during the I.P.O.P. (International Program for Ocean Drilling) program and several French missions in the North Atlantic (FAMOUS-VEMA-MAPCO). The main conclusions derived from this extensive data are as follows. We confirm that magma sources for the oceanic basalts are to be found in two distinctive mantle domains. To the large scale heterogeneity a smaller scale complex one is superimposed. Intermediate mantle source characteristics may also be found. Mantle source zonation is, at least in part, an old feature as borne out by off ridge metamorphosed basalts. (author)

  1. Effects of grain size evolution on mantle dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Falko; Tosi, Nicola; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Breuer, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The rheology of planetary mantle materials is strongly dependent on temperature, pressure, strain-rate, and grain size. In particular, the rheology of olivine, the most abundant mineral of the Earth's upper mantle, has been extensively studied in the laboratory (e.g., Karato and Wu, 1993; Hirth and Kohlstedt, 2003). Two main mechanisms control olivine's deformation: dislocation and diffusion creep. While the former implies a power-law dependence of the viscosity on the strain-rate that leads to a non-Newtonian behaviour, the latter is sensitively dependent on the grain size. The dynamics of planetary interiors is locally controlled by the deformation mechanism that delivers the lowest viscosity. Models of the dynamics and evolution of planetary mantles should thus be capable to self-consistently distinguish which of the two mechanisms dominates at given conditions of temperature, pressure, strain-rate and grain size. As the grain size can affect the viscosity associated with diffusion creep by several orders of magnitude, it can strongly influence the dominant deformation mechanism. The vast majority of numerical, global-scale models of mantle convection, however, are based on the use of a linear diffusion-creep rheology with constant grain-size. Nevertheless, in recent studies, a new equation has been proposed to properly model the time-dependent evolution of the grain size (Austin and Evens, 2007; Rozel et al., 2010). We implemented this equation in our mantle convection code Gaia (Hüttig et al., 2013). In the framework of simple models of stagnant lid convection, we compared simulations based on the fully time-dependent equation of grain-size evolution with simulations based on its steady-state version. In addition, we tested a number of different parameters in order to identify those that affects the grain size to the first order and, in turn, control the conditions at which mantle deformation is dominated by diffusion or dislocation creep. References Austin

  2. Tidal Heating of Earth-like Exoplanets around M Stars: Thermal, Magnetic, and Orbital Evolutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, P E; Barnes, R

    2015-09-01

    The internal thermal and magnetic evolution of rocky exoplanets is critical to their habitability. We focus on the thermal-orbital evolution of Earth-mass planets around low-mass M stars whose radiative habitable zone overlaps with the "tidal zone," where tidal dissipation is expected to be a significant heat source in the interior. We develop a thermal-orbital evolution model calibrated to Earth that couples tidal dissipation, with a temperature-dependent Maxwell rheology, to orbital circularization and migration. We illustrate thermal-orbital steady states where surface heat flow is balanced by tidal dissipation and cooling can be stalled for billions of years until circularization occurs. Orbital energy dissipated as tidal heat in the interior drives both inward migration and circularization, with a circularization time that is inversely proportional to the dissipation rate. We identify a peak in the internal dissipation rate as the mantle passes through a viscoelastic state at mantle temperatures near 1800 K. Planets orbiting a 0.1 solar-mass star within 0.07 AU circularize before 10 Gyr, independent of initial eccentricity. Once circular, these planets cool monotonically and maintain dynamos similar to that of Earth. Planets forced into eccentric orbits can experience a super-cooling of the core and rapid core solidification, inhibiting dynamo action for planets in the habitable zone. We find that tidal heating is insignificant in the habitable zone around 0.45 (or larger) solar-mass stars because tidal dissipation is a stronger function of orbital distance than stellar mass, and the habitable zone is farther from larger stars. Suppression of the planetary magnetic field exposes the atmosphere to stellar wind erosion and the surface to harmful radiation. In addition to weak magnetic fields, massive melt eruption rates and prolonged magma oceans may render eccentric planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars inhospitable for life.

  3. Theory of Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Earth is an isolated, cooling planet that obeys the 2nd law. Interior dynamics is driven from the top, by cold sinking slabs. High-resolution broad-band seismology and geodesy has confirmed that mantle flow is characterized by narrow downwellings and ~20 broad slowly rising updrafts. The low-velocity zone (LVZ) consists of a hot melange of sheared peridotite intruded with aligned melt-rich lamellae that are tapped by intraplate volcanoes. The high temperature is a simple consequence of the thermal overshoot common in large bodies of convecting fluids. The transition zone consists of ancient eclogite layers that are displaced upwards by slabs to become broad passive, and cool, ridge feeding updrafts of ambient mantle. The physics that is overlooked in canonical models of mantle dynamics and geochemistry includes; the 2nd law, convective overshoots, subadiabaticity, wave-melt interactions, Archimedes' principle, and kinetics (rapid transitions allow stress-waves to interact with melting and phase changes, creating LVZs; sluggish transitions in cold slabs keep eclogite in the TZ where it warms up by extracting heat from mantle below 650 km, creating the appearance of slab penetration). Canonical chemical geodynamic models are the exact opposite of physics and thermodynamic based models and of the real Earth. A model that results from inverting the assumptions regarding initial and boundary conditions (hot origin, secular cooling, no external power sources, cooling internal boundaries, broad passive upwellings, adiabaticity and whole-mantle convection not imposed, layering and self-organization allowed) results in a thick refractory-yet-fertile surface layer, with ancient xenoliths and cratons at the top and a hot overshoot at the base, and a thin mobile D" layer that is an unlikely plume generation zone. Accounting for the physics that is overlooked, or violated (2nd law), in canonical models, plus modern seismology, undermines the assumptions and conclusions of these

  4. Redox dependent behaviour of molybdenum during magmatic processes in the terrestrial and lunar mantle: Implications for the Mo/W of the bulk silicate Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitzke, F. P.; Fonseca, R. O. C.; Sprung, P.; Mallmann, G.; Lagos, M.; Michely, L. T.; Münker, C.

    2017-09-01

    We present results of high-temperature olivine-melt, pyroxene-melt and plagioclase-melt partitioning experiments aimed at investigating the redox transition of Mo in silicate systems. Data for a series of other minor and trace elements (Sc, Ba, Sr, Cr, REE, Y, HFSE, U, Th and W) were also acquired to constrain the incorporation of Mo in silicate minerals. All experiments were carried out in vertical tube furnaces at 1 bar and temperatures ranging from ca. 1220 to 1300 °C. Oxygen fugacity was controlled via CO-CO2 gas mixtures and varied systematically from 5.5 log units below to 1.9 log units above the fayalite-magnetite-quartz (FMQ) redox buffer thereby covering the range in oxygen fugacities of terrestrial and lunar basalt genesis. Molybdenum is shown to be volatile at oxygen fugacities above FMQ and that its compatibility in pyroxene and olivine increases three orders of magnitude towards the more reducing conditions covered in this study. The partitioning results show that Mo is dominantly tetravalent at redox conditions below FMQ-4 and dominantly hexavalent at redox conditions above FMQ. Given the differences in oxidation states of the terrestrial (oxidized) and lunar (reduced) mantles, molybdenum will behave significantly differently during basalt genesis in the Earth (i.e. highly incompatible; average DMoperidotite/melt ∼ 0.008) and Moon (i.e. moderately incompatible/compatible; average DMoperidotite/melt ∼ 0.6). Thus, it is expected that Mo will strongly fractionate from W during partial melting in the lunar mantle, given that W is broadly incompatible at FMQ-5. Moreover, the depletion of Mo and the Mo/W range in lunar samples can be reproduced by simply assuming a primitive Earth-like Mo/W for the bulk silicate Moon. Such a lunar composition is in striking agreement with the Moon being derived from the primitive terrestrial mantle after core formation on Earth.

  5. 3-D electromagnetic induction studies using the Swarm constellation: Mapping conductivity anomalies in the Earth's mantle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuvshinov, A.; Sabaka, T.; Olsen, Nils

    2006-01-01

    the geometry of the mantle heterogeneities used in the forward approach. numerical experiments have been undertaken using various satellite combinations, sampling periods of the resulting time series, and numbers of internal coefficients. The possibility of the approach to map anomalies in the mantle using...

  6. Probing Mantle Heterogeneity Across Spatial Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hariharan, A.; Moulik, P.; Lekic, V.

    2017-12-01

    Inferences of mantle heterogeneity in terms of temperature, composition, grain size, melt and crystal structure may vary across local, regional and global scales. Probing these scale-dependent effects require quantitative comparisons and reconciliation of tomographic models that vary in their regional scope, parameterization, regularization and observational constraints. While a range of techniques like radial correlation functions and spherical harmonic analyses have revealed global features like the dominance of long-wavelength variations in mantle heterogeneity, they have limited applicability for specific regions of interest like subduction zones and continental cratons. Moreover, issues like discrepant 1-D reference Earth models and related baseline corrections have impeded the reconciliation of heterogeneity between various regional and global models. We implement a new wavelet-based approach that allows for structure to be filtered simultaneously in both the spectral and spatial domain, allowing us to characterize heterogeneity on a range of scales and in different geographical regions. Our algorithm extends a recent method that expanded lateral variations into the wavelet domain constructed on a cubed sphere. The isolation of reference velocities in the wavelet scaling function facilitates comparisons between models constructed with arbitrary 1-D reference Earth models. The wavelet transformation allows us to quantify the scale-dependent consistency between tomographic models in a region of interest and investigate the fits to data afforded by heterogeneity at various dominant wavelengths. We find substantial and spatially varying differences in the spectrum of heterogeneity between two representative global Vp models constructed using different data and methodologies. Applying the orthonormality of the wavelet expansion, we isolate detailed variations in velocity from models and evaluate additional fits to data afforded by adding such complexities to long

  7. Isotopes as clues to the origin and earliest differentiation history of the Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobsen, Stein B; Ranen, Michael C; Petaev, Michael I; Remo, John L; O'Connell, Richard J; Sasselov, Dimitar D

    2008-11-28

    Measurable variations in (182)W/(183)W, (142)Nd/(144)Nd, (129)Xe/(130)Xe and (136)XePu/(130)Xe in the Earth and meteorites provide a record of accretion and formation of the core, early crust and atmosphere. These variations are due to the decay of the now extinct nuclides (182)Hf, (146)Sm, (129)I and (244)Pu. The (l82)Hf-(182)W system is the best accretion and core-formation chronometer, which yields a mean time of Earth's formation of 10Myr, and a total time scale of 30Myr. New laser shock data at conditions comparable with those in the Earth's deep mantle subsequent to the giant Moon-forming impact suggest that metal-silicate equilibration was rapid enough for the Hf-W chronometer to reliably record this time scale. The coupled (146)Sm-(147)Sm chronometer is the best system for determining the initial silicate differentiation (magma ocean crystallization and proto-crust formation), which took place at ca 4.47Ga or perhaps even earlier. The presence of a large (129)Xe excess in the deep Earth is consistent with a very early atmosphere formation (as early as 30Myr); however, the interpretation is complicated by the fact that most of the atmospheric Xe may be from a volatile-rich late veneer.

  8. Volatile elements - water, carbon, nitrogen, noble gases - on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marty, B.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the origin and evolution of life-bearing volatile elements (water, carbon, nitrogen) on Earth is a fruitful and debated area of research. In his pioneering work, W.W. Rubey inferred that the terrestrial atmosphere and the oceans formed from degassing of the mantle through geological periods of time. Early works on noble gas isotopes were consistent with this view and proposed a catastrophic event of mantle degassing early in Earth's history. We now have evidence, mainly from noble gas isotopes, that several cosmochemical sources contributed water and other volatiles at different stages of Earth's accretion. Potential contributors include the protosolar nebula gas that equilibrated with magma oceans, inner solar system bodies now represented by chondrites, and comets. Stable isotope ratios suggest volatiles where primarily sourced by planetary bodies from the inner solar system. However, recent measurements by the European Space Agency Rosetta probe on the coma of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko permit to set quantitative constraints on the cometary contribution to the surface of our planet. The surface and mantle reservoirs volatile elements exchanged volatile elements through time, with rates that are still uncertain. Some mantle regions remained isolated from whole mantle convection within the first tens to hundreds million years after start of solar system formation. These regions, now sampled by some mantle plumes (e.g., Iceland, Eifel) preserved their volatile load, as indicated by extinct and extant radioactivity systems. The abundance of volatile elements in the mantle is still not well known. Different approaches, such as high pressure experimental petrology, noble gas geochemistry, modelling, resulted in somewhat contrasted estimates, varying over one order of magnitude for water. Comparative planetology, that is, the study of volatiles on the Moon, Venus, Mars, Vesta, will shed light on the sources and strengths of these elements in the

  9. Turbulent geodynamo simulations: a leap towards Earth's core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, N.; Jault, D.; Nataf, H.-C.; Fournier, A.

    2017-10-01

    We present an attempt to reach realistic turbulent regime in direct numerical simulations of the geodynamo. We rely on a sequence of three convection-driven simulations in a rapidly rotating spherical shell. The most extreme case reaches towards the Earth's core regime by lowering viscosity (magnetic Prandtl number Pm = 0.1) while maintaining vigorous convection (magnetic Reynolds number Rm > 500) and rapid rotation (Ekman number E = 10-7) at the limit of what is feasible on today's supercomputers. A detailed and comprehensive analysis highlights several key features matching geomagnetic observations or dynamo theory predictions—all present together in the same simulation—but it also unveils interesting insights relevant for Earth's core dynamics. In this strong-field, dipole-dominated dynamo simulation, the magnetic energy is one order of magnitude larger than the kinetic energy. The spatial distribution of magnetic intensity is highly heterogeneous, and a stark dynamical contrast exists between the interior and the exterior of the tangent cylinder (the cylinder parallel to the axis of rotation that circumscribes the inner core). In the interior, the magnetic field is strongest, and is associated with a vigorous twisted polar vortex, whose dynamics may occasionally lead to the formation of a reverse polar flux patch at the surface of the shell. Furthermore, the strong magnetic field also allows accumulation of light material within the tangent cylinder, leading to stable stratification there. Torsional Alfvén waves are frequently triggered in the vicinity of the tangent cylinder and propagate towards the equator. Outside the tangent cylinder, the magnetic field inhibits the growth of zonal winds and the kinetic energy is mostly non-zonal. Spatio-temporal analysis indicates that the low-frequency, non-zonal flow is quite geostrophic (columnar) and predominantly large-scale: an m = 1 eddy spontaneously emerges in our most extreme simulations, without any

  10. Pb evolution in the Martian mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, J. J.; Nemchin, A. A.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Snape, J. F.; Bland, P.; Benedix, G. K.; Roszjar, J.

    2018-03-01

    The initial Pb compositions of one enriched shergottite, one intermediate shergottite, two depleted shergottites, and Nakhla have been measured by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). These values, in addition to data from previous studies using an identical analytical method performed on three enriched shergottites, ALH 84001, and Chassigny, are used to construct a unified and internally consistent model for the differentiation history of the Martian mantle and crystallization ages for Martian meteorites. The differentiation history of the shergottites and Nakhla/Chassigny are fundamentally different, which is in agreement with short-lived radiogenic isotope systematics. The initial Pb compositions of Nakhla/Chassigny are best explained by the late addition of a Pb-enriched component with a primitive, non-radiogenic composition. In contrast, the Pb isotopic compositions of the shergottite group indicate a relatively simple evolutionary history of the Martian mantle that can be modeled based on recent results from the Sm-Nd system. The shergottites have been linked to a single mantle differentiation event at 4504 Ma. Thus, the shergottite Pb isotopic model here reflects a two-stage history 1) pre-silicate differentiation (4504 Ma) and 2) post-silicate differentiation to the age of eruption (as determined by concordant radiogenic isochron ages). The μ-values (238U/204Pb) obtained for these two different stages of Pb growth are μ1 of 1.8 and a range of μ2 from 1.4-4.7, respectively. The μ1-value of 1.8 is in broad agreement with enstatite and ordinary chondrites and that proposed for proto Earth, suggesting this is the initial μ-value for inner Solar System bodies. When plotted against other source radiogenic isotopic variables (Sri, γ187Os, ε143Nd, and ε176Hf), the second stage mantle evolution range in observed mantle μ-values display excellent linear correlations (r2 > 0.85) and represent a spectrum of Martian mantle mixing-end members (depleted

  11. Tidal variations of earth rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, C. F.; Williams, J. G.; Parke, M. E.

    1981-01-01

    The periodic variations of the earths' rotation resulting from the tidal deformation of the earth by the sun and moon were rederived including terms with amplitudes of 0.002 millisec and greater. The series applies to the mantle, crust, and oceans which rotate together for characteristic tidal periods; the scaling parameter is the ratio of the fraction of the Love number producing tidal variations in the moment of inertia of the coupled mantle and oceans (k) to the dimensionless polar moment of inertia of the coupled moments (C). The lunar laser ranging data shows that k/C at monthly and fortnightly frequencies equals 0.99 + or - 0.15 and 0.99 + or - 0.20 as compared to the theoretical value of 0.94 + or - 0.04.

  12. Li Isotope Studies of Olivine in Mantle Xenoliths by SIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, D. R.; Hervig, R. L.; Buseck, P. R.

    2005-01-01

    Variations in the ratio of the stable isotopes of Li are a potentially powerful tracer of processes in planetary and nebular environments [1]. Large differences in the 7Li/6Li ratio between the terrestrial upper mantle and various crustal materials make Li isotope composition a potentially powerful tracer of crustal recycling processes on Earth [2]. Recent SIMS studies of terrestrial mantle and Martian meteorite samples report intra-mineral Li isotope zoning [3-5]. Substantial Li isotope heterogeneity also exists within and between the components of chondritic meteorites [6,7]. Experimental studies of Li diffusion suggest the potential for rapid isotope exchange at elevated temperatures [8]. Large variations in 7Li, exceeding the range of unaltered basalts, occur in terrestrial mantle-derived xenoliths from individual localities [9]. The origins of these variations are not fully understood.

  13. A reconnaissance view of tungsten reservoirs in some crustal and mantle rocks: Implications for interpreting W isotopic compositions and crust-mantle W cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jingao; Pearson, D. Graham; Chacko, Thomas; Luo, Yan

    2018-02-01

    High-precision measurements of W isotopic ratios have enabled increased exploration of early Earth processes. However, when applying W isotopic data to understand the geological processes, it is critical to recognize the potential mobility of W and hence evaluate whether measured W contents and isotopic compositions reflect the primary petrogenetic processes or instead are influenced by the effects of secondary inputs/mobility. Furthermore, if we are to better understand how W is partitioned between different minerals during melting and metasomatic processes it is important to document the likely sinks for W during these processes. In addition, an understanding of the main hosts for W in the crust and mantle is critically important to constrain how W is cycled and stored in the crust-mantle geochemical cycle. As a first step to investigate these issues, we have carried out in situ concentration measurements of W and other HFSEs in mineral phases within a broad spectrum of crustal and mantle rocks, along with whole-rock concentration measurements. Mass balance shows that for tonalitic gneiss and amphibolite, the major rock-forming minerals can adequately account for the bulk W budget, and for the pristine ultramafic rocks, olivine and orthopyroxene are the major controlling phases for W whereas for metasomatized ultramafic rocks, significant W is hosted in Ti-bearing trace phases (e.g., rutile, lindsleyite) along grain boundaries or is inferred to reside in cryptic W-bearing trace phases. Formation or decomposition of these phases during secondary processes could cause fractionation of W from other HFSEs, and also dramatically modify bulk W concentrations in rocks. For rocks that experienced subsequent W enrichment/alteration, their W isotopic compositions may not necessarily represent their mantle sources, but could reflect later inputs. The relatively small suite of rocks analyzed here serves as a reconnaissance study but allows some preliminary speculations on

  14. Physics and Chemistry of Mantle Plumes

    OpenAIRE

    DePaolo, Donald J.; Stolper, Edward M.; Thomas, Donald M.

    1991-01-01

    Hot spot volcanic chains are a fundamental feature of the Earth's crust, but their origins are still poorly understood [Okal and Batiza, 1987]. The Hawaiian-Emperor volcanic chain, which dominates the topography of the central Pacific ocean floor, is the best developed and most intensely studied of the known hot spot tracks. It continues to be one of the world's most important field laboratories for the study of igneous processes, plate movements, mantle convection, structure, geochemical evo...

  15. Mg-Fe Isotope Systems of Mantle Xenoliths: Constrains on the Evolution of Siberian Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Y.; Kiseeva, E. S.; Sobolev, N. V.; Zhang, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Mantle xenoliths bring to the surface a variety of lithologies (dunites, lherzolites, harzburgites, wehrlites, eclogites, pyroxenites, and websterites) and represent snapshots of the geochemical processes that occur deep within the Earth. Recent improvements in the precision of the MC-ICP-MS measurements have allowed us to expand the amount of data on Mg and Fe isotopes for mantle-derived samples. For instance, to constrain the isotopic composition of the Earth based on the study of spinel and garnet peridotites (An et al., 2017; Teng et al., 2010), to trace the origin and to investigate the isotopic fractionation mechanism during metamorphic process using cratonic or orogenic eclogites (Li et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2012) and to reveal the metasomatism-induced mantle heterogeneity by pyroxenites (Hu et al., 2016). Numerous multi-stage modification events and mantle layering are detected in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle under the Siberian craton (Ashchepkov et al., 2008a; Sobolev et al., 1975, etc). Combined analyses of Mg and Fe isotopic systems could provide new constraints on the formation and evolution of the ancient cratonic mantle. In order to better constrain the magnitude and mechanism of inter-mineral Mg and Fe isotopic fractionations at high temperatures, systematic studies of mantle xenoliths are needed. For example, theoretical calculations and natural samples measurements have shown that large equilibrium Mg isotope fractionations controlled by the difference in coordination number of Mg among minerals could exist (Huang et al., 2013; Li et al., 2011). Thus, the Mg isotope geothermometer could help us trace the evolution history of ancient cratons. In this study we present Mg and Fe isotopic data for whole rocks and separated minerals (clinopyroxene (cpx) and garnet (grt)) from different types of mantle xenoliths (garnet pyroxenites, eclogites, grospydites and garnet peridotites) from a number of kimberlite pipes in Siberian craton (Udachnaya

  16. Climatic Evolution and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets: Perspectives from Coupled Atmosphere-Mantle Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu Sarkar, D.; Moore, W. B.

    2016-12-01

    A multitude of factors including the distance from the host star and the stage of planetary evolution affect planetary climate and habitability. The complex interactions between the atmosphere and dynamics of the deep interior of the planets along with stellar fluxes present a formidable challenge. This work employs simplified approaches to address these complex issues in a systematic way. To be specific, we are investigating the coupled evolution of atmosphere and mantle dynamics. The overarching goal here is to simulate the evolutionary history of the terrestrial planets, for example Venus, Earth and Mars. This research also aims at deciphering the history of Venus-like runaway greenhouse and thus explore the possibility of cataclysmic shifts in climate of Earth-like planets. We focus on volatile cycling within the solid planets to understand the role of carbon/water in climatic and tectonic outcomes of such planets. In doing so, we are considering the feedbacks in the coupled mantle-atmosphere system. The primary feedback between the atmosphere and mantle is the surface temperature established by the greenhouse effect, which regulates the temperature gradient that drives the mantle convection and controls the rate at which volatiles are exchanged through weathering. We start our models with different initial assumptions to determine the final climate outcomes within a reasonable parameter space. Currently, there are very few planetary examples, to sample the climate outcomes, however this will soon change as exoplanets are discovered and examined. Therefore, we will be able to work with a significant number of potential candidates to answer questions like this one: For every Earth is there one Venus? ten? a thousand?

  17. Noble gas mass spectrometry. Application to earth sciences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takaoka, Nobuo [Yamagata Univ. (Japan). Faculty of Science

    1983-03-01

    The method for the isotopic analysis of trace noble gas is described briefly, and the theoretical background of the application to earth science is discussed. Furthermore, the measured results of /sup 3/He//sup 4/He ratio in volcanic gases and hot spring gases from various areas in Japan, and /sup 3/He//sup 4/He and /sup 40/Ar//sup 36/Ar ratios in mantle-origi nated rocks and minerals are presented. The examples of the application of these results to the field of earth science are introduced. The magma activity which is specific to the considered volcano is identified from the decrease in /sup 3/He//sup 4/He ratio with the process of volcanic activity. The possibility of earthquake prediction by the measurement of /sup 3/He//sup 4/He ratio is suggested from the measured results of /sup 3/He//sup 4/He ratio in the gas sampled from an earthquake fault. The isotopes of He and Ar in a diamond were analyzed, and from these results, the isotope composition in mantle when the diamond had been formed was estimated. The mantle model that the mantle is constituted from upper depleted mantle and lower fertile mantle is explained, based on the results of the analysis of He and Ar isotopes in various volcanic eruptions.

  18. Flow in the Deep Mantle from Seisimc Anisotropy: Progress and Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, M. D.

    2017-12-01

    Observations of seismic anisotropy, or the directional dependence of seismic wavespeeds, provide one some of the most direct constraints on the pattern of flow in the Earth's mantle. In particular, as our understanding of crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) of olivine aggregates under a range of deformation conditions has improved, our ability to exploit observations of upper mantle anisotropy has led to fundamental discoveries about the patterns of flow in the upper mantle and the drivers of that flow. It has been a challenge, however, to develop a similar framework for understanding flow in the deep mantle (transition zone, uppermost lower mantle, and lowermost mantle), even though there is convincing observational evidence for seismic anisotropy at these depths. Recent progress on the observational front has allowed for an increasingly detailed view of mid-mantle anisotropy (transition zone and uppermost lower mantle), particularly in subduction systems, which may eventually lead to a better understanding of mid-mantle deformation and the dynamics of slab interaction with the surrounding mid-mantle. New approaches to the observation and modeling of lowermost mantle anisotropy, in combination with constraints from mineral physics, are progressing towards interpretive frameworks that allow for the discrimination of different mantle flow geometries in different regions of D". In particular, observational strategies that involve the use of multiple types of body wave phases sampled over a range of propagation azimuths enable detailed forward modeling approaches that can discriminate between different mechanisms for D" anisotropy (e.g., CPO of post-perovskite, bridgmanite, or ferropericlase, or shape preferred orientation of partial melt) and identify plausible anisotropic orientations. We have recently begun to move towards a full waveform modeling approach in this work, which allows for a more accurate simulation for seismic wave propagation. Ongoing

  19. MAKE SUPER-EARTHS, NOT JUPITERS: ACCRETING NEBULAR GAS ONTO SOLID CORES AT 0.1 AU AND BEYOND

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Eve J.; Chiang, Eugene; Ormel, Chris W., E-mail: evelee@berkeley.edu, E-mail: echiang@astro.berkeley.edu, E-mail: ormel@berkeley.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States)

    2014-12-20

    Close-in super-Earths having radii 1-4 R {sub ⊕} may possess hydrogen atmospheres comprising a few percent by mass of their rocky cores. We determine the conditions under which such atmospheres can be accreted by cores from their parent circumstellar disks. Accretion from the nebula is problematic because it is too efficient: we find that 10 M {sub ⊕} cores embedded in solar metallicity disks tend to undergo runaway gas accretion and explode into Jupiters, irrespective of orbital location. The threat of runaway is especially dire at ∼0.1 AU, where solids may coagulate on timescales orders of magnitude shorter than gas clearing times; thus nascent atmospheres on close-in orbits are unlikely to be supported against collapse by planetesimal accretion. The time to runaway accretion is well approximated by the cooling time of the atmosphere's innermost convective zone, whose extent is controlled by where H{sub 2} dissociates. Insofar as the temperatures characterizing H{sub 2} dissociation