Thermoelasticity of Silicate Perovskite and Magnesiowüstite and Stratification of the Earth's Mantle

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Science  21 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5073, pp. 1099-1101
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5073.1099


Analyses of x-ray-diffraction measurements on (Mg,Fe)SiO3 perovskite and (Mg,Fe)O magnesiowüstite at simultaneous high temperature and pressure are used to determine pressure-volume-temperature equations of state and thermoelastic properties of these lower mantle minerals. Detailed comparison with the seismically observed density and bulk sound velocity profiles of the lower mantle does not support models of this region that assume compositions identical to that of the upper mantle. The data are consistent with lower mantle compositions consisting of nearly pure perovskite (>85 percent), which would indicate that the Earth's mantle is compositionally, and by implication, dynamically stratified.

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