Water in Earth's Lower Mantle

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Science  08 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5561, pp. 1885-1887
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065998

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Secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements show that Earth's representative lower mantle minerals synthesized in a natural peridotitic composition can dissolve considerable amounts of hydrogen. Both MgSiO3-rich perovskite and magnesiowüstite contain about 0.2 weight percent (wt%) H2O, and CaSiO3-rich perovskite contains about 0.4 wt% H2O. The OH absorption bands in Mg-perovskite and magnesiowüstite were also confirmed with the use of infrared microspectroscopic measurements. Earth's lower mantle may store about five times more H2O than the oceans.

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