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Primordial metallic melt in the deep mantle

Zhang, Z; Dorfman, SM; Labidi, J; Zhang, S; Li, M; Manga, M; Stixrude, L; ... Williams, Q; + view all (2016) Primordial metallic melt in the deep mantle. Geophysical Research Letters , 43 (8) pp. 3693-3699. 10.1002/2016GL068560. Green open access

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Abstract

Seismic tomography models reveal two large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs) that identify large-scale variations in temperature and composition in the deep mantle. Other characteristics include elevated density, elevated bulk sound speed, and sharp boundaries. We show that properties of LLSVPs can be explained by the presence of small quantities (0.3–3%) of suspended, dense Fe-Ni-S liquid. Trapping of metallic liquid is demonstrated to be likely during the crystallization of a dense basal magma ocean, and retention of such melts is consistent with currently available experimental constraints. Calculated seismic velocities and densities of lower mantle material containing low-abundance metallic liquids match the observed LLSVP properties. Small quantities of metallic liquids trapped at depth provide a natural explanation for primitive noble gas signatures in plume-related magmas. Our model hence provides a mechanism for generating large-scale chemical heterogeneities in Earth's early history and makes clear predictions for future tests of our hypothesis.

Type: Article
Title: Primordial metallic melt in the deep mantle
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068560
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068560
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. For more information see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Geosciences, Multidisciplinary, Geology, EARTHS LOWER MANTLE, MAGMA OCEAN, VELOCITY PROVINCES, BOUNDARY-LAYER, SILICATE MELT, IRON, DIFFERENTIATION, HETEROGENEITY, DEFORMATION, GENERATION
UCL classification: UCL
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/1508622
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