The Earth as a Thermal Engine Important Radioactive
The Earth as a Thermal Engine Important Radioactive Heat Sources in the Earth Uranium Thorium - 235 U, 232 Potassium - 238 U Th 40 K
Traditionally, radioactive heat production exclusively in the Crust and Mantle of the Earth (Bulk Silicate Earth BSE) My talk is about possible the Core 12/10/05 40 K radioactivity in 1 Experimental Evidence for Potassium Radioactivity in the Earths Core V. Rama Murthy Department of Geology and Geophysics University of Minnesota Co-Investigators Wim van Westrenen and Yingwei Fei
Geophysical Laboratory Carnegie Institution of Washington 12/10/05 2 Potassium in the Core! Conventional Wisdom Classification of elements based on geochemical affinity lithophile : affinity for silicates chalcophile: affinity for sulfur siderophile: affinity for iron metal Potassium is strongly lithophile, hence only in the silicate mantle and crust (Bulk Silicate Earth-BSE) No known chalcophile or siderophile affinity Cannot be in the metallic core of the Earth 12/10/05 3
Geochemical Behavior Recent understanding Geochemical affinity depends on a number of variables - pressure, temperature, composition etc. Lithophile, chalcophile and siderophile affinities are not fixed Can potassium have had a different geochemical affinity under core forming conditions? 12/10/05 4 The Core of the Earth The core is less dense by ~10%(?) than pure Fe-Ni metal Must be alloyed with light element(s) Required characteristics of alloying element(s)
sufficiently abundant in the Earth alloy easily with Fe Clues from Cosmochemistry, Meteoritics, Experimental investigations, Equation of State Candidates: C, O, S and Si 12/10/05 5 The idea that Sulfur is the dominant light element, alloyed with Fe-metal in the Core. Eutectic melting of Fe-FeS But, how much sulfur? 12/10/05 6 How much Sulfur in the metallic Core? A crucial study by Holzheid and Grove, 2002 Solubility of S in FeO-containing silicates in equilibrium with a
Fe-melt as a function of T, P and silicate melt structure S-content of metal in equilibrium with silicate melt containing ~200 ppm of S will be in the range 6-12 wt%. BSE Mantle S-content : 25050 ppm So, core S about 10 wt% is reasonable 12/10/05 7 + Lewis, J.S., EPSL. 1971 a heretic point of view Potassium can be chalcophile and may be sequestered into a sulfur bearing core Significant implications both for the Mantle and the Core 12/10/05 8 Chemical Model of K entry into Core In the presence of S in the core
based on stability and solubility of K2S in FeS Lewis, EPSL.,1971 MO + FeS = MS + FeO Hall and Murthy, EPSL.,1971 MO + FeS = MS + FeO MSiO3 + FeS = MS + FeSiO3 M2SiO4 + FeS = MS + 1/2 Fe2SiO4 where M = metal 12/10/05 9 A 3-decade saga! Potassium in the Core: Now you see it; now you dont! Theoretical Suggestions V. M Goldschmidt, 1930s?
K in Core? stability of K2S - Geochemical Studies Hall and Murthy, 1971 behavior of alkali sulfides YES Lewis, 1971 K with S in core YES Molecular Dynamics Calculations Bukowinski, 1976 YES
Sherman, 1990 NO Parker et al, 1996 YES 12/10/05 10 A 3-decade saga! Potassium in the Core: Now you see it; now you dont! An aborted suggestion V. M Goldschmidt, 1930s? K in Core? stability of K2S -
Geochemical Studies Hall and Murthy, 1971 behavior of alkali sulfides YES Lewis, 1971 K with S in core YES Molecular Dynamics Calculations Bukowinski, 1976 YES Sherman, 1990 NO
Parker et al, 1996 YES 12/10/05 11 A 3-decade saga! Potassium in the Core: Now you see it; now you dont! Experiments Low P (~ 20kb) and T(< 2000 C) Oversby and Ringwood, 1972 4x10-2 to 2x10-2 at 15kb, 1450 0C NO Goettel, 1972 Roedderite-FeS equilibrium
YES Murrell and Burnett, 1986 2.7x10-3 at 15kb, 1450 0C NO Chabot and Drake, 1999 1.3x10-4 to 3.7x10-2 at 15kb, 1900 0C NO High P(>20GPa) and T(>2000 C) Ito and Morooka, 1993 0.015 at 26 GPa Ohtani, et al.,1993
0.08 to 0.36 at 47GPa Ohtani and Yurimoto, 1996 0.0098 at 20GPa, 2500 0C Ohtani, et al., 1997 0.24 at 20 GPa; 2500 0C 12/10/05 NO NO, MAY BE NO MAY BE 12 Our Experiments Measurements of: Concentration in sulfide K Distribution Coefficient, DK =
Concentration in silicate as a function of Temperature, Pressure and Composition at redox conditions applicable to core formation in the Earth 12/10/05 13 Unsuspected Experimental Difficulties Murphys Law Prevails! High data scatter and poor reproducibility Lack of mass-balance for potassium Potassium loss from graphite capsules Potassium loss due to use of liquid lubricants in polishing 12/10/05 14 Unsuspected analytical problems! Polished with lapping oil
10 Wt% K in sulfide T = 1873 K P = 2 GPa 1 0.1 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Time after completion of experiment (hrs)
70 K-loss due to liquids used in polishing 12/10/05 15 Unsuspected Experimental Difficulties Murphys Law Prevails! High data scatter and poor reproducibility Lack of mass-balance for potassium Potassium loss from graphite capsules Potassium loss due to liquid lubricants 8 months and over 60 experiments later Double capsules with graphite inside sealed platinum Beauty-polish with dry lubricants 12/10/05 16
Beauty polishing agent - Boron Nitride Powder 12/10/05 17 Unsuspected analytical problems! Mystery resolved! Polished with lapping oil Dry polished 10 Wt% K in sulfide 1 0.1 12/10/05
T = 1873 K P = 2 GPa 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Time after completion of experiment (hrs) 18 Techniques Experimental Starting Material-Fe, FeS, K-silicate and/or KLB-1 Graphite in sealed Ptcapsule
Analytical Electron Microprobe K 20 ppm detection Contamination Monitor Si in Sulfide 1-3 GPa,1200-1700 C 12/10/05 19 T dependence of DK at constant silicate composition 1400 C 1727 C 1 Partition coefficient DK (sulfide/silicate) 1156 C
P = 2 GPa nbo / t = 0.7 0.1 0.1 2 ln(D ) = 4.3 - 11142 / T [r = 0.99] K 0.01 0.5 0.55 0.6 0.65 0.7 -1
Inverse Temperature (1000 x 1 / T, K ) 12/10/05 20 DK as a function of Pressure 1 Partition coefficient DK (sulfide/silicate) 0.1 0.01 12/10/05 T = 1500 C nbo / t = 0.96 0.05 0
1 2 Pressure (GPa) 3 4 21 Effect of silicate composition on DK This study: P = 2 GPa, T = 1500 0C C & D: P = 2.5 GPa, T = 1900 0C G & W: Polybaric, Polythermal 1 G&W 0.1 Partition coefficient DK (sulfide/silicate)
3 Peridotite Depolymerized 22 Potassium in Sulfur-bearing Cores of Planets Our experiments unambiguously confirm that K can be chalcophile enter the sulfur-bearing cores of planets act as an additional heat source in the core Consequent planetological implications How much potassium? How much sulfur is in the Core Mantle-Core equilibration temperature The initial Earth inventory of Potassium 12/10/05
23 Some Heuristic Estimates Assumptions Composition and Temperature dependence of DK as in our experiments Earth Sulfur content of Core ~10 wt% Core mantle equilibration at 3000-4000 K Mars Sulfur content of Core ~15 wt % Core mantle equilibration at 2000-2500 K Mars Core - 15% by mass of the planet 12/10/05 24 K Heat Production Scenarios 40
Earth Present CMB heat flux ~ 8-10 TW 40K Heat Production in Core: 0.4 - 0.8 TW 4 billion years ago : ~ 6-13 TW Mars K Heat Production in Core ~ 1.5 - 4.5 x1010 W 4 billion years ago : ~ 0.2 - 0.7 TW 40 12/10/05 25 Additional New Experimental and Theoretical Studies Gessman and Wood (2002) 2-24 GPa
silicate-sulfide YES Murthy et al., (2003) 1-3 GPa silicate-sulfide YES _____________________________________________________________________ Lee and Jeanloz (2003) 26 GPa K-Fe metal Lee et al., 2003 ab initio calculation YES Hirao, et al., 2005
134 GPa YES K-Fe metal YES K can enter both Fe-metal and Fe-FeS Core 12/10/05 26 Additional New Experimental and Theoretical Studies _____________________________________________________________________________ Gessman and Wood (2002) 2-24 GPa
silicate-sulfide YES Murthy et al., (2003) 1-3 GPa silicate-sulfide YES ____________________________________________________________________________ Lee and Jeanloz (2003) 26 GPa Lee et al., 2003 ab initio calculation K-Fe metal YES YES
Hirao, et al., 2005 134 GPa K-Fe metal YES _____________________________________________________________________________ K can enter both Fe-metal and Fe-FeS Core 12/10/05 27 Planetary Implications of K in Core Additional source of heat in the Earths Core Substantial heat production in early history of the planet Implications for global processes: Maintaining a core dynamo for ~3.5 b.y. The size and age of the inner core Mantle dynamics and convection 12/10/05
28 V. V.Rama Rama Murthy: Murthy: Geochemical Arguments to sort out! 1. What is the significance of the lithophile volatile element trend in BSE relative to C1 chondrite? 2. Condensation temperatures of elements or compounds? 3. Do the BSE estimates apply for the whole Earth or just the Upper Mantle? 4. What is the effect of the chemical and dynamic linkage of the Upper Mantle with the Crust? 5. What is the trace-element inventory of the Lower Mantle? 6. What is the relevance of C1 chondrite or any chondrite when the O-isotopic composition of the Earth is considered? 7. What are the controls for refractory element (Ca, REE etc) sulfides in meteorites and the Earth?
12/10/05 29 V. V.Rama Rama Murthy: Murthy: Conclusions 1. Radiogenic heat is the major driving force of the dynamics of the planet 2. Geochemical and Geophysical models are not yet adequate enough to precisely define the radioactivity of the Mantle and Core. 3. A totally independent approach, such as the geoneutrino flux determination, will have a great impact in advancing our knowledge of many global scale phenomena in the Earth. 12/10/05
30 Thank you all ! 12/10/05 31 12/10/05 32 12/10/05 33 Alkali Element Patterns in Chondrites and the Silicate Earth From: Lodders, 1995 12/10/05
34 Geochemical Arguments against K in Core! Volatile lithophile element trend of BSE relative to C1 chondrite BSE basically constructed from the Upper Mantle samples Upper mantle dynamically linked and in chemical exchange with the Crust Assumes the Lower Mantle (nearly half the mass of the Earth) is compositionally similar to the Upper Mantle, a question by no means settled by either geophysics or geochemistry 12/10/05 35
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