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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    387 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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