Transport properties for liquid silicon-oxygen-iron mixtures at Earth's core conditions

TitleTransport properties for liquid silicon-oxygen-iron mixtures at Earth's core conditions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPozzo M, Davies C, Gubbins D, Alfe D
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume87
Date Published2013/01
ISBN Number1098-0121
Accession NumberWOS:000313939200003
Abstract

We report on the thermal and electrical conductivities of two liquid silicon-oxygen-iron mixtures (Fe0.82Si0.10O0.08 and Fe0.79Si0.08O0.13), representative of the composition of the Earth's outer core at the relevant pressure-temperature conditions, obtained from density functional theory calculations with the Kubo-Greenwood formulation. We find thermal conductivities k = 100(160) W m(-1) K-1, and electrical conductivities sigma = 1.1(1.3) x 106 Omega(-1) m(-1) at the top (bottom) of the outer core. These values are between two and three times higher than previous estimates, and have important implications for our understanding of the Earth's thermal history and the functioning of the Earth's magnetic field, including rapid cooling rate for the whole core or high level of radiogenic elements in the core. We also show results for a number of structural and dynamic properties of the mixtures, including the partial radial distribution functions, mean square displacements, vi!

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