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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Mystery of Earth’s Missing Mineral Has Been Solved in a Hot New Experiment | Science Alert

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Currently, researchers believe they have found a brand-new mineral in the lower mantle.

This subject has intrigued academics for more than 20 years despite the fact that davemaoite and bridgmanite have very similar atomic-scale structures, according to geoscientist Dan (Sang-Heon) Shim from Arizona State University. The scientists made an effort to mimic the conditions seen across the lower mantle through a series of high-pressure heating tests in a unique chamber. Unexpectedly, a single perovskite mineral that combines davemaoite and bridgmanite was found to develop at temperatures of around 2,000 degrees Celsius and higher. This suggests that due to the increased temperature and pressure, the lower mantle’s deeper region has a different mineralogy mix than the region above it. The researchers believe that iron likely plays a significant role in the fusion of bridgmanite and davemaoite lower down.Since perovskite mineral merging would have been more common if Earth’s mantle had been much hotter than it is now, it is likely that the planet’s geological makeup has changed significantly through time.



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