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  1. Abstract

    Hydrogen may be incorporated into nominally anhydrous minerals including bridgmanite and post‐perovskite as defects, making the Earth's deep mantle a potentially significant water reservoir. The diffusion of hydrogen and its contribution to the electrical conductivity in the lower mantle are rarely explored and remain largely unconstrained. Here we calculate hydrogen diffusivity in hydrous bridgmanite and post‐perovskite, using molecular dynamics simulations driven by machine learning potentials of ab initio quality. Our findings reveal that hydrogen diffusivity significantly increases with increasing temperature and decreasing pressure, and is considerably sensitive to hydrogen incorporation mechanism. Among the four defect mechanisms examined, (Mg + 2H)Siand (Al + H)Sishow similar patterns and yield the highest hydrogen diffusivity. Hydrogen diffusion is generally faster in post‐perovskite than in bridgmanite, and these two phases exhibit distinct diffusion anisotropies. Overall, hydrogen diffusion is slow on geological time scales and may result in heterogeneous water distribution in the lower mantle. Additionally, the proton conductivity of bridgmanite for (Mg + 2H)Siand (Al + H)Sidefects aligns with the same order of magnitude of lower mantle conductivity, suggesting that the water distribution in the lower mantle may be inferred by examining the heterogeneity of electrical conductivity.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Thermal conductivity plays a pivotal role in understanding the dynamics and evolution of Earth's interior. The Earth's lower mantle is dominated by MgSiO3polymorphs which may incorporate trace amounts of water. However, the thermal conductivity of MgSiO3‐H2O binary system remains poorly understood. Here, we calculate the thermal conductivity of water‐free and water‐bearing bridgmanite, post‐perovskite, and MgSiO3melt, using a combination of Green‐Kubo method with molecular dynamics simulations based on a machine learning potential of ab initio quality. The thermal conductivities of water‐free bridgmanite and post‐perovskite overall agree well with previous theoretical and experimental studies. The presence of water mildly reduces the thermal conductivity of the host minerals, significantly weakens the temperature dependence of the thermal conductivity, and reduces the thermal anisotropy of post‐perovskite. Overall, water reduces the thermal conductivity difference between bridgmanite and post‐perovskite, and thus may attenuate lateral heterogeneities of the core‐mantle boundary heat flux.

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  3. Mitri, Sara (Ed.)
    The persistence of virtually every single species depends on both the presence of other species and the specific environmental conditions in a given location. Because in natural settings many of these conditions are unknown, research has been centered on finding the fraction of possible conditions (probability) leading to species coexistence. The focus has been on the persistence probability of an entire multispecies community (formed of either two or more species). However, the methodological and philosophical question has always been whether we can observe the entire community and, if not, what the conditions are under which an observed subset of the community can persist as part of a larger multispecies system. Here, we derive long-term (using analytical calculations) and short-term (using simulations and experimental data) system-level indicators of the effect of third-party species on the coexistence probability of a pair (or subset) of species under unknown environmental conditions. We demonstrate that the fraction of conditions incompatible with the possible coexistence of a pair of species tends to become vanishingly small within systems of increasing numbers of species. Yet, the probability of pairwise coexistence in isolation remains approximately the expected probability of pairwise coexistence in more diverse assemblages. In addition, we found that when third-party species tend to reduce (resp. increase) the coexistence probability of a pair, they tend to exhibit slower (resp. faster) rates of competitive exclusion. Long-term and short-term effects of the remaining third-party species on all possible specific pairs in a system are not equally distributed, but these differences can be mapped and anticipated under environmental uncertainty. 
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  4. Abstract

    Microbes form multispecies communities that play essential roles in our environment and health. Not surprisingly, there is an increasing need for understanding if certain invader species will modify a given microbial community, producing either a desired or undesired change in the observed collection of resident species. However, the complex interactions that species can establish between each other and the diverse external factors underlying their dynamics have made constructing such understanding context-specific. Here we integrate tractable theoretical systems with tractable experimental systems to find general conditions under which non-resident species can change the collection of resident communities—game-changing species. We show that non-resident colonizers are more likely to be game-changers than transients, whereas game-changers are more likely to suppress than to promote resident species. Importantly, we find general heuristic rules for game-changers under controlled environments by integrating mutual invasibility theory with in vitro experimental systems, and general heuristic rules under changing environments by integrating structuralist theory with in vivo experimental systems. Despite the strong context-dependency of microbial communities, our work shows that under an appropriate integration of tractable theoretical and experimental systems, it is possible to unveil regularities that can then be potentially extended to understand the behavior of complex natural communities.

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  5. Abstract

    Silicate liquids are important agents of thermal evolution, yet their thermal conductivity is largely unknown. Here, we determine the thermal conductivity of a silicate liquid by combining the Green‐Kubo method with a machine learning potential ofab initioquality over the entire pressure regime of the mantle. We find that the thermal conductivity of MgSiO3liquid is 1.1 W m−1 K−1at the 1 bar melting point, and 4.0 W m−1 K−1at core‐mantle boundary conditions. The thermal conductivity increases with compression, while remaining nearly constant on isochoric heating. The pressure dependence arises from the increasing bulk modulus on compression, and the weak temperature dependence arises from the saturation of the phonon mean free path due to structural disorder. The thermal conductivity of silicate liquids is less than that of ambient mantle, a contrast that may be important for understanding melt generation, and heat flux from the core.

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  6. Abstract

    Magma oceans were once ubiquitous in the early solar system, setting up the initial conditions for different evolutionary paths of planetary bodies. In particular, the redox conditions of magma oceans may have profound influence on the redox state of subsequently formed mantles and the overlying atmospheres. The relevant redox buffering reactions, however, remain poorly constrained. Using first-principles simulations combined with thermodynamic modeling, we show that magma oceans of Earth, Mars, and the Moon are likely characterized with a vertical gradient in oxygen fugacity with deeper magma oceans invoking more oxidizing surface conditions. This redox zonation may be the major cause for the Earth’s upper mantle being more oxidized than Mars’ and the Moon’s. These contrasting redox profiles also suggest that Earth’s early atmosphere was dominated by CO2and H2O, in contrast to those enriched in H2O and H2for Mars, and H2and CO for the Moon.

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  7. Abstract

    Heat flux from the core to the mantle provides driving energy for mantle convection thus powering plate tectonics, and contributes a significant fraction of the geothermal heat budget. Indirect estimates of core‐mantle boundary heat flow are typically based on petrological evidence of mantle temperature, interpretations of temperatures indicated by seismic travel times, experimental measurements of mineral melting points, physical mantle convection models, or physical core convection models. However, previous estimates have not consistently integrated these lines of evidence. In this work, an interdisciplinary analysis is applied to co‐constrain core‐mantle boundary heat flow and test the thermal boundary layer (TBL) theory. The concurrence of TBL models, energy balance to support geomagnetism, seismology, and review of petrologic evidence for historic mantle temperatures supportsQCMB∼15 TW, with all except geomagnetism supporting as high as ∼20 TW. These values provide a tighter constraint on core heat flux relative to previous work. Our work describes the seismic properties consistent with a TBL, and supports a long‐lived basal mantle molten layer through much of Earth's history.

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