Solving Controversies on the Iron Phase Diagram Under High Pressure

Guillaume Morard*, Silvia Boccato, Angelika D. Rosa, Simone Anzellini, Francesca Miozzi, Laura Henry, Gaston Garbarino, Mohamed Mezouar, Marion Harmand, François Guyot, Eglantine Boulard, Innokenty Kantor, Tetsuo Irifune, Raffaella Torchio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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As the main constituent of planetary cores, pure iron phase diagram under high pressure and temperature is of fundamental importance in geophysics and planetary science. However, previously reported iron-melting curves show large discrepancies (up to 1000 K at the Earth's core–mantle boundary, 136 GPa), resulting in persisting high uncertainties on the solid-liquid phase boundary. Here we unambiguously show that the observed differences commonly attributed to the nature of the used melting diagnostic are due to a carbon contamination of the sample as well as pressure overestimation at high temperature. The high melting temperature of pure iron under core-mantle boundary (4250 ± 250 K), here determined by X-ray absorption experiments at the Fe K-edge, indicates that volatile light elements such as sulfur, carbon, or hydrogen are required to lower the crystallization temperature of the Earth's liquid outer core in order to prevent extended melting of the surrounding silicate mantle.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)11,074-11,082
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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