Title

Viscosity of MgSiO3 liquid at earth's mantle conditions: Implications for an early magma ocean

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-7-2010

Abstract

Understanding the chemical and thermal evolution of Earth requires knowledge of transport properties of silicate melts at high pressure and high temperature. Here, first-principles molecular dynamics simulations show that the viscosity of MgSiO liquid varies by two orders of magnitude over the mantle pressure regime. Addition of water systematically lowers the viscosity, consistent with enhanced structural depolymerization. The combined effects of pressure and temperature along model geotherms lead to a 10-fold increase in viscosity with depth from the surface to the base of the mantle. Based on these calculations, efficient heat flux from a deep magma ocean may have exceeded the incoming solar flux early in Earth's history. 3

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Science

First Page

740

Last Page

742

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