Structure and Freezing of MgSiO3 Liquid in Earth's Lower Mantle

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Science  14 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5746, pp. 297-299
DOI: 10.1126/science.1116952

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First-principles molecular-dynamics simulations show that over the pressure regime of Earth's mantle the mean silicon-oxygen coordination number of magnesium metasilicate liquid changes nearly linearly from 4 to 6. The density contrast between liquid and crystal decreases by a factor of nearly 5 over the mantle pressure regime and is 4% at the core-mantle boundary. The ab initio melting curve, obtained by integration of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, yields a melting temperature at the core-mantle boundary of 5400 ± 600 kelvins.

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