Density Distribution in Earth

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Science  14 Jun 1968:
Vol. 160, Issue 3833, pp. 1218-1221
DOI: 10.1126/science.160.3833.1218


Earth models selected by a Monte Carlo procedure were tested against geophysical data; 5 million models were examined and six have passed all tests. Common features of successful models are an increased core radius and a chemically inhomogeneous core consistent with Fe-Ni alloy (20 to 50 percent Fe) for the solid portion and Fe-Si alloy (15 to 25 percent Fe) for the fluid core. The inhomogeneous mantle is consistent with an increase in the FeO:FeO + MgO ratio by a factor of 2 in the deep mantle. The transition zone is a region of not only phase change but also composition change; this condition would inhibit mantlewide convection. The upper-mantle solutions show large fluctuations in density; this state implies insufficient constraint on solutions for this region, or lateral variations in mantle composition ranging from pyrolite to eclogite.

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