Melting of peridotite to 140 gigapascals

G. Fiquet, A. L. Auzende, J. Siebert, A. Corgne, H. Bureau, H. Ozawa, G. Garbarino

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198 Citations (Scopus)


Interrogating physical processes that occur within the lowermost mantle is a key to understanding Earth's evolution and present-day inner composition. Among such processes, partial melting has been proposed to explain mantle regions with ultralow seismic velocities near the core-mantle boundary, but experimental validation at the appropriate temperature and pressure regimes remains challenging. Using laser-heated diamond anvil cells, we constructed the solidus curve of a natural fertile peridotite between 36 and 140 gigapascals. Melting at core-mantle boundary pressures occurs at 4180 ± 150 kelvin, which is a value that matches estimated mantle geotherms. Molten regions may therefore exist at the base of the present-day mantle. Melting phase relations and element partitioning data also show that these liquids could host many incompatible elements at the base of the mantle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1518
Number of pages3
Issue number5998
Publication statusPublished - Sep 17 2010

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    Fiquet, G., Auzende, A. L., Siebert, J., Corgne, A., Bureau, H., Ozawa, H., & Garbarino, G. (2010). Melting of peridotite to 140 gigapascals. Science, 329(5998), 1516-1518.