Solidus of Earth's Deep Mantle

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Science  10 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5374, pp. 243-246
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5374.243

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The solidus of a pyrolite-like composition, approximating that of the lower mantle, was measured up to 59 gigapascals by using CO2 laser heating in a diamond anvil cell. The solidus temperatures are at least 700 kelvin below the melting temperatures of magnesiowüstite, which in the deep mantle has the lowest melting temperatures of the three major components—magnesiowüstite, Mg-Si-perovskite, and Ca-Si-perovskite. The solidus in the deep mantle is more than 1500 kelvin above the average present-day geotherm, but at the core-mantle boundary it is near the core temperature. Thus, partial melting of the mantle is possible at the core-mantle boundary.

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