Compressibility change in iron-rich melt and implications for core formation models

C. Sanloup, W. van Westrenen, R. Dasgupta, H. Maynard-Casely, J.P. Perrillat

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Metallic iron, in both solid and liquid states, is the dominant component of Earth's core. Density measurements of molten iron containing an appropriate amount of light elements (5.7. wt.% carbon) identified a liquid-liquid transition by a significant compressibility increase in the vicinity of the δ-γ-liquid triple point at 5.2. GPa. This transition pressure coincides with a marked change in the pressure evolution of the distributions of nickel, cobalt and tungsten between liquid metal and silicate melt that form a cornerstone of geochemical models of core formation. The identification of a clear link between molten metal polymorphism and metal-silicate element partitioning implies that reliable geochemical core formation models will need to incorporate the effects of these additional liquid metal transitions. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-122
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Issue number306
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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