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Title: Key problems of the four-dimensional Earth system

Abstract

Compelling evidence indicates that the solid Earth consists of two physicochemically distinct zones separated radially in the middle of the lower mantle at ~1800 km depth. The inner zone is governed by pressure-induced physics and chemistry dramatically different from the conventional behavior in the outer zone. These differences generate large physical and chemical potentials between the two zones that provide fundamental driving forces for triggering major events in Earth’s history. One of the main chemical carriers between the two zones is H2O in hydrous minerals that subducts into the inner zone, releases hydrogen, and leaves oxygen to create superoxides and form oxygen-rich piles at the core–mantle boundary, resulting in localized net oxygen gain in the inner zone. Accumulation of oxygen-rich piles at the base of the mantle could eventually reach a supercritical level that triggers eruptions, injecting materials that cause chemical mantle convection, superplumes, large igneous provinces, extreme climate changes, atmospheric oxygen fluctuations, and mass extinctions. Interdisciplinary research will be the key for advancing a unified theory of the four-dimensional Earth system.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research, Beijing (China)
  2. Stanford Univ., CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1633189
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515; EAR-1447438; EAR-1722515; EAR 1446969; U1530402; U1930401
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Matter and Radiation at Extremes
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2468-2047
Publisher:
China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP)/AIP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Mao, Ho-kwang, and Mao, Wendy L. Key problems of the four-dimensional Earth system. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5139023.
Mao, Ho-kwang, & Mao, Wendy L. Key problems of the four-dimensional Earth system. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5139023
Mao, Ho-kwang, and Mao, Wendy L. Tue . "Key problems of the four-dimensional Earth system". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5139023. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1633189.
@article{osti_1633189,
title = {Key problems of the four-dimensional Earth system},
author = {Mao, Ho-kwang and Mao, Wendy L.},
abstractNote = {Compelling evidence indicates that the solid Earth consists of two physicochemically distinct zones separated radially in the middle of the lower mantle at ~1800 km depth. The inner zone is governed by pressure-induced physics and chemistry dramatically different from the conventional behavior in the outer zone. These differences generate large physical and chemical potentials between the two zones that provide fundamental driving forces for triggering major events in Earth’s history. One of the main chemical carriers between the two zones is H2O in hydrous minerals that subducts into the inner zone, releases hydrogen, and leaves oxygen to create superoxides and form oxygen-rich piles at the core–mantle boundary, resulting in localized net oxygen gain in the inner zone. Accumulation of oxygen-rich piles at the base of the mantle could eventually reach a supercritical level that triggers eruptions, injecting materials that cause chemical mantle convection, superplumes, large igneous provinces, extreme climate changes, atmospheric oxygen fluctuations, and mass extinctions. Interdisciplinary research will be the key for advancing a unified theory of the four-dimensional Earth system.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5139023},
journal = {Matter and Radiation at Extremes},
number = 3,
volume = 5,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {4}
}

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