Geophysics

Managing metal the core left behind

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Science  10 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6291, pp. 1289-1290
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6291.1289-g

At the very base of Earth's rocky mantle lie two distinct regions called large low shear wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs). Zhang et al. suggest a very old origin for the LLSVPs by tying their formation to Earth's 4.5 billion years ago. Tiny amounts of metallic melt trapped at the base of the mantle during this process could explain the enigmatic properties of LLSVPs. Their model also provides a way for large-scale mantle heterogeneities to persist for billions of years.

Geophys. Rev. Lett. 10.1002/2016GL068560 (2016).

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