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Geophysical and geochemical constraints on geoneutrino fluxes from Earth’s mantle

Šrámek, Ondřej and McDonough, William F. and Kite, Edwin S. and Lekić, Vedran and Dye, Stephen T. and Zhong, Shijie (2013) Geophysical and geochemical constraints on geoneutrino fluxes from Earth’s mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 361 . pp. 356-366. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2012.11.001.

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Knowledge of the amount and distribution of radiogenic heating in the mantle is crucial for understanding the dynamics of the Earth, including its thermal evolution, the style and planform of mantle convection, and the energetics of the core. Although the flux of heat from the surface of the planet is robustly estimated, the contributions of radiogenic heating and secular cooling remain poorly defined. Constraining the amount of heat-producing elements in the Earth will provide clues to understanding nebula condensation and planetary formation processes in early Solar System. Mantle radioactivity supplies power for mantle convection and plate tectonics, but estimates of mantle radiogenic heat production vary by a factor of more than 20. Recent experimental results demonstrate the potential for direct assessment of mantle radioactivity through observations of geoneutrinos, which are emitted by naturally occurring radionuclides. Predictions of the geoneutrino signal from the mantle exist for several established estimates of mantle composition. Here we present novel analyses, illustrating surface variations of the mantle geoneutrino signal for models of the deep mantle structure, including those based on seismic tomography. These variations have measurable differences for some models, allowing new and meaningful constraints on the dynamics of the planet. An ocean based geoneutrino detector deployed at several strategic locations will be able to discriminate between competing compositional models of the bulk silicate Earth.

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Kite, Edwin S.0000-0002-1426-1186
Additional Information:© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Received 4 July 2012. Received in revised form 18 October 2012. Accepted 1 November 2012. Editor: B. Marty. Available online 28 November 2012. We wish to thank Fabio Mantovani and an anonymous reviewer for their detailed and thoughtful reviews. We gratefully acknowledge support for this research from NSF EAR 0855791 CSEDI Collaborative Research: Neutrino Geophysics: Collaboration Between Geology & Particle Physics, and Hawaii Pacific University’s Trustees’ Scholarly Endeavors Program.
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Subject Keywords:geoneutrinos; Earth's heat budget; bulk silicate Earth composition; depleted mantle composition; thermochemical mantle piles
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130319-094159104
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Official Citation:Ondřej Šrámek, William F. McDonough, Edwin S. Kite, Vedran Lekić, Stephen T. Dye, Shijie Zhong, Geophysical and geochemical constraints on geoneutrino fluxes from Earth's mantle, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 361, 1 January 2013, Pages 356-366, ISSN 0012-821X, 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.11.001. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37557
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Mar 2013 17:37
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:29

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