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Title: Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets

Abstract

During the formation of the Earth's core, the segregation of metallic liquids from silicate mantle should have left behind evident geochemical imprints on both the mantle and the core. Some distinctive geochemical signatures of the mantle-derived rocks likely own their origin to the metal-silicate differentiation of the primitive Earth, setting our planet apart from undifferentiated meteorites as well as terrestrial planets or moons isotopically and compositionally. Understanding the chemical evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies requires knowledge on properties of both liquid iron alloys and silicates equilibrating under physicochemical conditions pertinent to the deep magma ocean. Here we report experimental and computational results on the pressure-induced structural evolution of iron-nickel liquids alloyed with carbon. Our X-ray diffraction experiments up to 7.3 gigapascals (GPa) demonstrate that Fe-Ni (Fe 90Ni 10) liquids alloyed with 3 and 5 wt % carbon undergo a polyamorphic liquid structure transition at approximately 5 GPa. Corroborating the experimental observations, our first-principles molecular dynamic calculations reveal that the structural transitions result from the marked prevalence of three-atom face-sharing polyhedral connections in the liquids at >5 GPa. The structure and polyamorphic transitions of liquid iron-nickel-carbon alloys govern their physical and chemical properties and may thus cast fresh light on themore » chemical evolution of terrestrial planets and moons.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1418049
Grant/Contract Number:  
[NA0001974; AC02-06CH11357; AC02-05CH11231]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 12]; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; carbon; liquid outer core; liquid structure; X‐ray diffraction; first‐principles molecular dynamics simulations

Citation Formats

None, None. Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2017JB014835.
None, None. Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets. United States. doi:10.1002/2017JB014835.
None, None. Thu . "Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets". United States. doi:10.1002/2017JB014835. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1418049.
@article{osti_1418049,
title = {Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets},
author = {None, None},
abstractNote = {During the formation of the Earth's core, the segregation of metallic liquids from silicate mantle should have left behind evident geochemical imprints on both the mantle and the core. Some distinctive geochemical signatures of the mantle-derived rocks likely own their origin to the metal-silicate differentiation of the primitive Earth, setting our planet apart from undifferentiated meteorites as well as terrestrial planets or moons isotopically and compositionally. Understanding the chemical evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies requires knowledge on properties of both liquid iron alloys and silicates equilibrating under physicochemical conditions pertinent to the deep magma ocean. Here we report experimental and computational results on the pressure-induced structural evolution of iron-nickel liquids alloyed with carbon. Our X-ray diffraction experiments up to 7.3 gigapascals (GPa) demonstrate that Fe-Ni (Fe90Ni10) liquids alloyed with 3 and 5 wt % carbon undergo a polyamorphic liquid structure transition at approximately 5 GPa. Corroborating the experimental observations, our first-principles molecular dynamic calculations reveal that the structural transitions result from the marked prevalence of three-atom face-sharing polyhedral connections in the liquids at >5 GPa. The structure and polyamorphic transitions of liquid iron-nickel-carbon alloys govern their physical and chemical properties and may thus cast fresh light on the chemical evolution of terrestrial planets and moons.},
doi = {10.1002/2017JB014835},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth},
number = [12],
volume = [122],
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}

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