Melting in the Deep Earth (NERC grants NE/I010734/1 and NE/I010947/1)

Dataset description

Published paper from grant NE/I010734/1, Modeling the melting of multicomponent systems: the case of MgSiO3 perovskite under lower mantle conditions by Cono Di Paola and John P. Brodholt doi: 10.1038%2Fsrep29830 Two published papers from NERC grant NE/I010947/; Thomson et al AmMin 2014 Experimental Determination of Melting in the systems Enstatite-Magnesite and Magnesite-Calcite from 15 to 80 GPa Lord et al EPSL 2014 The Melting Curve of Ni to 1 Mbar Grant Abstract: Melting in the Earth has a huge effect on its chemical and physical state. For instance, the chemistry of the crust, the mantle and the atmosphere are largely controlled by melting and crystalisation at mid-ocean ridges, hotspots or island arcs. There has, therefore, been an enormous effort in the last decades to understand these shallow melting processes. Yet much deeper melts may have been equally influential in the evolution of the Earth. For instance, it is generally accepted that a deep magma ocean perhaps extending to the Earth's centre, existed early its history. This was the result of multiple impacts as the Earth accreted. From this magma ocean, iron melts separated from silicate melts to form the core, volatiles degassed to form an early atmosphere, and a proto-crust may have formed. It is also accepted that the Earth was hit by a Mars-sized body to create the moon; this too would have caused enormous amounts of melting in the deep Earth. Moreover, there is some evidence for melting in the deep Earth now. It is possible, therefore, that melts in the deepest Earth have existed throughout Earth's history. However, many basic data on the physical and chemical properties of deep melting do not exist. For instance, we don't know the melting curves for mantle minerals and rocks at the pressure and temperatures of the deep Earth. We don't know which minerals crystalise from these melts first (the liquidus phases). We don't know the composition of partial melts of deep mantle rocks or rocks which have been subducted. We don't know the relative densities of the rocks and their melts, and so we do not even know whether minerals float of sink in these deep melts. This lack of data has led to much speculation on the effect of deep melts on the Earth's evolution. For instance, it has been suggested that geophysical and geochemical anomalies in the Earth's mantle have deep early melts as their origin. But these models depend of the chemical and physical properties of the melts and crystalline solids, properties that are simply not known. This project will use novel experiments in conjunction with ab initio modelling obtain these data. The data will provide the chemical and physical foundation on which all future models of the Earths early crystallization and subsequent evolution will be based.

Further information

For more information please contact:


Environmental Science Centre, Nicker Hill, Keyworth
NG12 5GG

Tel : +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax :+44 (0)115 936 3276


Dataset details

Author(s) Not available
Principal Investigator(s) Not available
Language English
Curator British Geological Survey
Supply media/format Not available
Storage format Not available
Frequency of update not applicable
Start of capture {ts '2014-12-01 00:00:00'} Before December 2014
End of capture {ts '2014-12-01 00:00:00'} Before December 2014
Contact details
Department Enquiries
Organisation British Geological Survey
Address Environmental Science Centre, Nicker Hill, Keyworth
City Nottingham
County Nottinghamshire
Country United Kingdom
Postcode NG12 5GG
Telephone +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax +44 (0)115 936 3276
Topic category code (ISO) geoscientificInformation (information pertaining to earth sciences)
Keyword source BGS Keyphrases
Spatial details
Spatial Reference System Not available
Dataset extent
Coverage (Lat/Long) North boundary : 
East boundary  : 
South boundary : 
West boundary  : 
Metadata language English
Metadata last updated 9th February 2017
Metadata standard compliance NERC profile of ISO19115:2003
Copyright and IPR
The copyright of materials derived from the British Geological Survey's work is vested in the Natural Environment Research Council [NERC]. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a retrieval system of any nature, without the prior permission of the copyright holder, via the BGS Intellectual Property Rights Manager. Use by customers of information provided by the BGS, is at the customer's own risk. In view of the disparate sources of information at BGS's disposal, including such material donated to BGS, that BGS accepts in good faith as being accurate, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the quality or accuracy of the information supplied, or to the information's suitability for any use. NERC/BGS accepts no liability whatever in respect of loss, damage, injury or other occurence however caused.