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  1. Abstract. Shear properties of mantle minerals are vital for interpreting seismic shear wave speeds and therefore inferring the composition and dynamics of a planetary interior. Shear wave speed and elastic tensor components, from which the shear modulus can be computed, are usually measured in the laboratory mimicking the Earth's (or a planet's) internal pressure and temperature conditions. A functional form that relates the shear modulus to pressure (and temperature) is fitted to the measurements and used to interpolate within and extrapolate beyond the range covered by the data. Assuming a functional form provides prior information, and the constraints on the predicted shear modulus and its uncertainties might depend largely on the assumed prior rather than the data. In the present study, we propose a data-driven approach in which we train a neural network to learn the relationship between the pressure, temperature and shear modulus from the experimental data without prescribing a functional form a priori. We present an application to MgO, but the same approach works for any other mineral if there are sufficient data to train a neural network. At low pressures, the shear modulus of MgO is well-constrained by the data. However, our results show that different experimental results are inconsistent even at room temperature, seen as multiple peaks and diverging trends in probability density functions predicted by the network. Furthermore, although an explicit finite-strain equation mostly agrees with the likelihood predicted by the neural network, there are regions where it diverges from the range given by the networks. In those regions, it is the prior assumption of the form of the equation that provides constraints on the shear modulus regardless of how the Earth behaves (or data behave). In situations where realistic uncertainties are not reported, one can become overconfident when interpreting seismic models based on those defined equations of state. In contrast, the trained neural network provides a reasonable approximation to experimental data and quantifies the uncertainty from experimental errors, interpolation uncertainty, data sparsity and inconsistencies from different experiments. 
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  2. A new diamond anvil cell experimental approach has been implemented at the European x-ray Free Electron Laser, combining pulsed laser heating with MHz x-ray diffraction. Here, we use this setup to determine liquidus temperatures under extreme conditions, based on the determination of time-resolved crystallization. The focus is on a Fe-Si-O ternary system, relevant for planetary cores. This time-resolved diagnostic is complemented by a finite-element model, reproducing temporal temperature profiles measured experimentally using streaked optical pyrometry. This model calculates the temperature and strain fields by including (i) pressure and temperature dependencies of material properties, and (ii) the heat-induced thermal stress, including feedback effect on material parameter variations. Making our model more realistic, these improvements are critical as they give 7000 K temperature differences compared to previous models. Laser intensities are determined by seeking minimal deviation between measured and modeled temperatures. Combining models and streak optical pyrometry data extends temperature determination below detection limit. The presented approach can be used to infer the liquidus temperature by the appearance of SiO2 diffraction spots. In addition, temperatures obtained by the model agree with crystallization temperatures reported for Fe–Si alloys. Our model reproduces the planetary relevant experimental conditions, providing temperature, pressure, and volume conditions. Those predictions are then used to determine liquidus temperatures at experimental timescales where chemical migration is limited. This synergy of novel time-resolved experiments and finite-element modeling pushes further the interpretation capabilities in diamond anvil cell experiments.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 7, 2024
  3. null (Ed.)