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Low Core-Mantle Boundary Temperature Inferred from the Solidus of Pyrolite

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Science  16 Jan 2014:
1248186
DOI: 10.1126/science.1248186

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Abstract

The melting temperature of Earth’s mantle provides key constraints on the thermal structures of both the mantle and the core. Through high pressure experiments and three-dimensional x-ray micro-tomographic imaging, we show that the solidus temperature of a primitive (pyrolitic) mantle is as low as 3570 ± 200 K at pressures expected near the boundary between the mantle and the outer core. Because the lowermost mantle is not globally molten, this provides an upper bound of the temperature at the core-mantle boundary (TCMB). Such remarkably low TCMB implies that the post-perovskite phase is present in wide areas of the lowermost mantle. The low TCMB also requires that the melting temperature of the outer core is depressed largely by impurities such as hydrogen.

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