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Low viscosity of the Earths inner core
Royal Inst Technol KTH, Sweden.
Ningbo Univ, Peoples R China.
Natl Acad Sci Ukraine, Ukraine.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
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2019 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 10, article id 2483Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Earths solid inner core is a highly attenuating medium. It consists mainly of iron. The high attenuation of sound wave propagation in the inner core is at odds with the widely accepted paradigm of hexagonal close-packed phase stability under inner core conditions, because sound waves propagate through the hexagonal iron without energy dissipation. Here we show by first-principles molecular dynamics that the body-centered cubic phase of iron, recently demonstrated to be thermodynamically stable under the inner core conditions, is considerably less elastic than the hexagonal phase. Being a crystalline phase, the body-centered cubic phase of iron possesses the viscosity close to that of a liquid iron. The high attenuation of sound in the inner core is due to the unique diffusion characteristic of the body-centered cubic phase. The low viscosity of iron in the inner core enables the convection and resolves a number of controversies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2019. Vol. 10, article id 2483
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158548DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10346-2ISI: 000470248100015PubMedID: 31171778OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-158548DiVA, id: diva2:1334902
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council (VR) [2013-5767, 2014-4750, 2017-03744]; National Natural Science Foundation of China [11804175]; Olle Engkvist Byggmastare Foundation; Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linkoping University (Faculty Grant SFO-MatLiU) [2009 00971]; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [CGL2013-41860-P, CGL2017-86070-R]

Available from: 2019-07-03 Created: 2019-07-03 Last updated: 2019-11-06

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