Thermal and electrical conductivity of iron at Earth’s core conditions

  title={Thermal and electrical conductivity of iron at Earth’s core conditions},
  author={Monica Pozzo and Christopher J. Davies and David Gubbins and Dario Alf{\'e}},
The Earth acts as a gigantic heat engine driven by the decay of radiogenic isotopes and slow cooling, which gives rise to plate tectonics, volcanoes and mountain building. Another key product is the geomagnetic field, generated in the liquid iron core by a dynamo running on heat released by cooling and freezing (as the solid inner core grows), and on chemical convection (due to light elements expelled from the liquid on freezing). The power supplied to the geodynamo, measured by the heat flux… Expand
Powering Earth’s dynamo with magnesium precipitation from the core
It is shown that the precipitation of magnesium-bearing minerals from the core could have served as an alternative power source and that Earth’s dynamo would survive throughout geologic time even if core radiogenic heating were minimal and core cooling were slow. Expand
Cooling history of Earth’s core with high thermal conductivity
Abstract Thermal evolution models of Earth’s core constrain the power available to the geodynamo process that generates the geomagnetic field, the evolution of the solid inner core and the thermalExpand
Experimental determination of the electrical resistivity of iron at Earth's core conditions.
The low electrical resistivity of iron indicates the high thermal conductivity of Earth's core, suggesting rapid core cooling and a young inner core less than 0.7 billion years old. Expand
On core convection and the geodynamo: Effects of high electrical and thermal conductivity
Recent theory and experiment suggest the thermal and electrical conductivities of the Earth’s core are 2–4 times higher than previously thought. This has important consequences for the core’s thermalExpand
On the thermal and magnetic histories of Earth and Venus: Influences of melting, radioactivity, and conductivity
Abstract The study of the thermal evolution of Earth’s interior is uncertain and controversial in many respects, from the interpretation of petrologic observations used to infer the temperature andExpand
Minimum heat flow from the core and thermal evolution of the Earth
The role of heat flow coming from the core is often overlooked or underestimated in simple models of Earth's thermal evolution. Throughout most of Earth's history, the mantle must have beenExpand
Geophysics: Earth's core problem.
  • D. Dobson
  • Materials Science, Medicine
  • Nature
  • 2016
Measurements of the electrical resistance and thermal conductivity of iron at extreme pressures and temperatures cast fresh light on controversial numerical simulations of the properties of Earth's outer core, implying that thermal convection in Earth's core could have driven the geodynamo for billions of years, and allowing for an ancient inner core. Expand
Minimum heat flow from the core and thermal evolution of the Earth
Abstract The role of heat flow coming from the core is often overlooked or underestimated in simple models of Earth's thermal evolution. Throughout most of Earth's history, the mantle must have beenExpand
Implications of high core thermal conductivity on Earth's coupled mantle and core evolution
[1] We assess the effect of high thermal conductivity of Earth’s core, which was recently determined to be 2–3 times higher than previously thought, on Earth’ st hermochemical-magnetic evolutionExpand
Electrical and thermal transport properties of iron and iron‐silicon alloy at high pressure
[1] The efficiency of heat transfer by conduction in the Earth's core controls the dynamics of convection and limits the power available for the geodynamo. We have measured the room temperatureExpand


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Electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity of liquid Fe alloys at high P and T, and heat flux in Earth’s core
First-principles electronic structure computations to determine the thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity for Fe, Fe–Si, and Fe–O liquid alloys agree very well with existing shock compression measurements and shows strong dependence on light element concentration and type. Expand
Estimates of heat flow in the deep mantle based on the power requirements for the geodynamo
[1] Regeneration of the magnetic field by convection in the core places demands on heat flow into the base of the mantle. If the heat flow is too low, thermal convection is shut off and the rate ofExpand
A buoyancy profile for the Earth′s core
SUMMARY We investigate the thermal and chemical buoyancy forces that drive convection in the Earth's liquid outer core and derive a radial buoyancy profile that can be used in geodynamo models. WeExpand
On the cooling of the Earth's core.
Abstract We have constructed a self-consistent model for cooling of the Earth's core in which the thermal history of the core is computed as a function of the time evolution of the heat fluxExpand
Gross thermodynamics of two-component core convection
We model the inner core by an alloy of iron and 8 per cent sulphur or silicon and the outer core by the same mix with an additional 8 per cent oxygen. This composition matches the densities ofExpand
The high conductivity of iron and thermal evolution of the Earth’s core
Abstract We measured the electrical resistivity of iron and iron-silicon alloy to 100 GPa. The resistivity of iron was also calculated to core pressures. Combined with the first geophysical modelExpand
Mantle regulation of core cooling: A geodynamo without core radioactivity?
Abstract The case for radioactivity in the core based on the power requirements of the geodynamo is re-evaluated. Previous calculations of mantle regulation of core thermal evolution have used anExpand
Temperature of the inner-core boundary of the Earth: Melting of iron at high pressure from first-principles coexistence simulations
The Earth's core consists of a solid ball with a radius of 1221 Km, surrounded by a liquid shell which extends up to 3480 km from the center of the planet, roughly half way toward the surface (theExpand
The melting curve of iron at the pressures of the Earth's core from ab initio calculations
The solid inner core of the Earth and the liquid outer core consist mainly of iron so that knowledge of the high-pressure thermodynamic properties of iron is important for understanding the Earth'sExpand