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The Melting Curve of Iron to 250 Gigapascals: A Constraint on the Temperature at Earth's Center

Williams, Quentin and Jeanloz, Raymond and Bass, Jay and Svendsen, Bob and Ahrens, Thomas J. (1987) The Melting Curve of Iron to 250 Gigapascals: A Constraint on the Temperature at Earth's Center. Science, 236 (4798). pp. 181-182. ISSN 0036-8075. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141103-090949803

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Abstract

The melting curve of iron, the primary constituent of Earth's core, has been measured to pressures of 250 gigapascals with a combination of static and dynamic techniques. The melting temperature of iron at the pressure of the core-mantle boundary (136 gigapascals) is 4800 ± 200 K. whereas at the inner core-outer core boundary (330 gigapascals), it is 7600 ± 500 K. Corrected for melting point depression resulting from the presence of impurities, a melting temperature for iron-rich alloy of 6600 K at the inner core-outer core boundary and a maximum temperature of 6900 K at Earth's center are inferred. This latter value is the first experimental upper bound on the temperature at Earth's center, and these results imply that the temperature of the lower mantle is significantly less than that of the outer core.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.236.4798.181 DOIArticle
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/236/4798/181PublisherArticle
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1698385JSTORArticle
Additional Information:© 1987 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 8 December 1986; accepted 29 January 1987. We are grateful to E. Knittle, D. L. Heinz, D. J. Stevenson, and J. M. Brown for helpful comments and experimental advice. Work supported by NSF and NASA, including grants EAR8313746, EAR8419259, and EAR8508969 to the California Institute of Technology. This is contribution 4425 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASAUNSPECIFIED
NSFEAR 8313746
NSFEAR 8419259
NSFEAR 8508969
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4425
Issue or Number:4798
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141103-090949803
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141103-090949803
Official Citation:The Melting Curve of Iron to 250 Gigapascals: A Constraint on the Temperature at Earth's Center Quentin Williams, Raymond Jeanloz, Jay Bass, Bob Svendsen and Thomas J. Ahrens Science, New Series, Vol. 236, No. 4798 (Apr. 10, 1987), pp. 181-182 Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1698385
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51158
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Nov 2014 20:51
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:30

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