The Earth has been releasing vast amounts of heat from deep Earth's interior to the surface since its formation, which primarily drives mantle convection and a number of tectonic activities. In this heat transport process the core-mantle boundary where hot molten core is in direct contact with solid-state mantle minerals has played an essential role to transfer thermal energies of the core to the overlying mantle. Although the dominant heat transfer mechanisms at the lowermost mantle is believed to be both conduction and radiation of the primary lowermost mantle mineral, bridgmanite, the radiative thermal conductivity of bridgmanite has so far been poorly constrained. Here we revealed the radiative thermal conductivity of bridgmanite at core-mantle boundary is substantially high approaching to ∼5.3±1.2 W/mK based on newly established optical absorption measurement of single-crystal bridgmanite performed in-situ under corresponding deep lower mantle conditions. We found the bulk thermal conductivity at core-mantle boundary becomes ∼1.5 times higher than the conventionally assumed value, which supports higher heat flow from core, hence more vigorous mantle convection than expected. Results suggest the mantle is much more efficiently cooled, which would ultimately weaken many tectonic activities driven by the mantle convection more rapidly than expected from conventionally believed thermal conduction behavior.
- heat transfer at the core-mantle boundary
- radiative thermal conductivity of bridgmanite
- thermal history of the Earth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science