Static compression of iron to 300 GPa and Fe0.8Ni0.2 alloy to 260 GPa: implications for composition of the core

H. K. Mao, Y. Wu, L. C. Chen, J. F. Shu, A. P. Jephcoat

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382 Citations (Scopus)


We report the results of X-ray diffraction experiments with the diamond anvil cell to pressures above 300 GPa at room temperature on pure iron and an iron-nickel alloy. These data extend throughout the pressure range of the bulk of the outer core of the Earth and provide for the first time direct pressure-volume measurements on geophysically important materials at such conditions. Both iron and iron-nickel are observed to remain in the hexagonal close-packed structure to the maximum pressures. Within the range of uncertainty in Earth model densities and trade-offs with the percentage light component in the core, nickel could be present in the core in an amount at least equal to its estimated abundance in the Earth. A direct comparison with (solid) inner core densities is now possible and places direct constraints on the thermal models of the Earth's interior. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21,737-21,742
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB13
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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