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Transport properties for liquid silicon-oxygen-iron mixtures at Earth's core conditions

Pozzo, M; Davies, C; Gubbins, D; Alfe, D; (2013) Transport properties for liquid silicon-oxygen-iron mixtures at Earth's core conditions. Physical Review B , 87 (1) , Article 014110. 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.014110. Green open access

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Abstract

We report on the thermal and electrical conductivities of two liquid silicon-oxygen-iron mixtures (Fe0.82Si0.10O0.08 and Fe0.79Si0.08O0.13), representative of the composition of the Earth's outer core at the relevant pressure-temperature conditions, obtained from density functional theory calculations with the Kubo-Greenwood formulation. We find thermal conductivities k=100(160) W m−1 K−1, and electrical conductivities σ=1.1(1.3)×106 Ω−1 m−1 at the top (bottom) of the outer core. These values are between two and three times higher than previous estimates, and have important implications for our understanding of the Earth's thermal history and the functioning of the Earth's magnetic field, including rapid cooling rate for the whole core or high level of radiogenic elements in the core. We also show results for a number of structural and dynamic properties of the mixtures, including the partial radial distribution functions, mean square displacements, viscosities, and speeds of sound.

Type: Article
Title: Transport properties for liquid silicon-oxygen-iron mixtures at Earth's core conditions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.014110
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.87.014110
Language: English
Additional information: ©2013 American Physical Society
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1378588
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