Thermal conductivity of Fe-bearing bridgmanite and post-perovskite: Implications for the heat flux from the core

D Wang and ZQ Wu and X Deng, EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 621, 118368 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2023.118368

The thermal conductivity of the lowermost mantle controls the energy transfer from the core to the mantle, and provides insight into the thermal history, evolution, and magnetic field of the Earth. Bridgmanite (Brg) and post-perovskite (PPv) are the most abundant minerals in the lowermost mantle. However, their thermal conductivities, as well as the impact of Fe impurities, are highly controversial. In this study, the thermal conductivities of Fe-free and Fe-bearing Brg and PPv at high pressure and temperature were predicted, through a combination of non- equilibrium molecular dynamics and machine learning potential (MLP) trained with data from first-principles calculations. The thermal conductivities of Fe-free Brg and PPv are in agreement with those calculated by the Green-Kubo method based on the MLP. We found that the presence of 12.5 mol% Fe in the lowermost mantle decreases the thermal conductivities of Brg and PPv by-10% and-14%, respectively. Furthermore, the phase transition from Brg to PPv increases the thermal conductivity of pyrolite by-22%. Incorporating the distribution of minerals, temperature, and iron content obtained through the inversion based on mineral elasticity and seismic tomography models, a global heat flow with substantial lateral variation at the core-mantle boundary was reported. The total heat flux from the core was found to be 7.1 +/- 0.5 TW, implying a geologically young inner core of 0.75 +/- 0.35 Ga.(c) 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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