New models for the Earth's core: the neglected role of nickel - ab initio calculations and high P-T experiments on Fe-Ni alloys

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Earth Sciences


Determining the properties of the Earth's core is vital for understanding the evolution and dynamics of the whole planet. For over 80 years, the Earth's core has been considered to consist of an iron-nickel alloy; more recently it has been suggested that it must also contain a few percent of light alloying elements such as silicon or sulphur. The pressure range in the core is ~135


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Description Earth core is predominantly composed of iron. However, based on cosmochemical arguments it likely contains about 5% Ni, and this can have important implications for its physical and chemical properties. In this project we have determined the effects of Ni on the phase equilibria, equations of state, and melting curves of Ni and Ni alloys in order to develop an understanding of the end member Ni alloys, so that the data can be incorporated into models for Earth's core.
Exploitation Route Through utilization of published outputs.
Sectors Other