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  4. Abstract In this study, we have investigated the crystal structure and equation of state of tetragonal CaSiO3-perovskite up to 200 GPa using synchrotron X-ray diffraction in laser-heated diamond-anvil cells. X-ray diffraction patterns of the quenched CaSiO3-perovskite above 148 GPa clearly show that 200, 211, and 220 peaks of the cubic phase split into 004+220, 204+312, and 224+400 peak pairs, respectively, in the tetragonal structure, and their calculated full-width at half maximum (FWHM) exhibits a substantial increase with pressure. The distribution of diffraction peaks suggests that the tetragonal CaSiO3-perovskite most likely has an I4/mcm space group at 300 K between 148 and 199 GPa, although other possibilities might still exist. Using the Birch-Murnaghan equations, we have determined the equation of state of tetragonal CaSiO3-perovskite, yielding the bulk modulus K0T = 227(21) GPa with the pressure derivative of the bulk modulus, K0T′ = 4.0(3). Modeled sound velocities at 580 K and around 50 GPa using our results and literature values show the difference in the compressional (VP) and shear-wave velocity (VS) between the tetragonal and cubic phases to be 5.3 and 6.7%, respectively. At ~110 GPa and 1000 K, this phase transition leads to a 4.3 and 9.1% jump in VP andmore »VS, respectively. Since the addition of Ti can elevate the transition temperature, the transition from the tetragonal to cubic phase may have a seismic signature compatible with the observed mid-lower mantle discontinuity around the cold subduction slabs, which needs to be explored in future studies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 3, 2023
  5. Abstract The stable forms of carbon in Earth’s deep interior control storage and fluxes of carbon through the planet over geologic time, impacting the surface climate as well as carrying records of geologic processes in the form of diamond inclusions. However, current estimates of the distribution of carbon in Earth’s mantle are uncertain, due in part to limited understanding of the fate of carbonates through subduction, the main mechanism that transports carbon from Earth’s surface to its interior. Oxidized carbon carried by subduction has been found to reside in MgCO 3 throughout much of the mantle. Experiments in this study demonstrate that at deep mantle conditions MgCO 3 reacts with silicates to form CaCO 3 . In combination with previous work indicating that CaCO 3 is more stable than MgCO 3 under reducing conditions of Earth’s lowermost mantle, these observations allow us to predict that the signature of surface carbon reaching Earth’s lowermost mantle may include CaCO 3 .
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
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  8. Light elements in Earth’s core play a key role in driving convection and influencing geodynamics, both of which are crucial to the geodynamo. However, the thermal transport properties of iron alloys at high-pressure and -temperature conditions remain uncertain. Here we investigate the transport properties of solid hexagonal close-packed and liquid Fe-Si alloys with 4.3 and 9.0 wt % Si at high pressure and temperature using laser-heated diamond anvil cell experiments and first-principles molecular dynamics and dynamical mean field theory calculations. In contrast to the case of Fe, Si impurity scattering gradually dominates the total scattering in Fe-Si alloys with increasing Si concentration, leading to temperature independence of the resistivity and less electron–electron contribution to the conductivity in Fe-9Si. Our results show a thermal conductivity of ∼100 to 110 W⋅m −1 ⋅K −1 for liquid Fe-9Si near the topmost outer core. If Earth’s core consists of a large amount of silicon (e.g., > 4.3 wt %) with such a high thermal conductivity, a subadiabatic heat flow across the core–mantle boundary is likely, leaving a 400- to 500-km-deep thermally stratified layer below the core–mantle boundary, and challenges proposed thermal convection in Fe-Si liquid outer core.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 30, 2022
  9. Both seismic observations of dense low shear velocity regions and models of magma ocean crystallization and mantle dynamics support enrichment of iron in Earth’s lowermost mantle. Physical properties of iron-rich lower mantle heterogeneities in the modern Earth depend on distribution of iron between coexisting lower mantle phases (Mg,Fe)O magnesiowüstite, (Mg,Fe)SiO3 bridgmanite, and (Mg,Fe)SiO3 post-perovskite. The partitioning of iron between these phases was investigated in synthetic ferrous-iron-rich olivine compositions (Mg0.55Fe0.45)2SiO4 and (Mg0.28Fe0.72)2SiO4 at lower mantle conditions ranging from 33–128 GPa and 1900–3000 K in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell. The resulting phase assemblages were characterized by a combination of in situ X-ray diffraction and ex situ transmission electron microscopy. The exchange coefficient between bridgmanite and magnesiowüstite decreases with pressure and bulk Fe# and increases with temperature. Thermodynamic modeling determines that incorporation and partitioning of iron in bridgmanite are explained well by excess volume associated with Mg-Fe exchange. Partitioning results are used to model compositions and densities of mantle phase assemblages as a function of pressure, FeO-content and SiO2-content. Unlike average mantle compositions, iron-rich compositions in the mantle exhibit negative dependence of density on SiO2-content at all mantle depths, an important finding for interpretation of deep lower mantle structures.