DAC measurement of perovskite conductivity and implications for the distribution of mineral phases in the lower mantle

Alfred G. Duba, Barbara J Wanamaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Measurements of the electrical conductivity of olivine buffered by magnesiowüstite can increase by more than two orders of magnitude if as little as 2 × 10−3 percent of the magnesiowüstite is allowed to form a parallel conduction path between the electrodes. These results are used, in concert with recent petrologic studies of the distribution of iron between perovskite and magnesiowüstite that have been synthesized from iron‐bearing olivine, to show how most of the inconsistencies in diamond‐anvil‐cell electrical conductivity measurements of perovskite may be explained by the presence of highly conductive, through‐going magnesiowüstite layers in laser‐heated samples, including those synthesized from pyroxene. Without electrical conductivity measurements on perovskite uncontaminated with secondary phases, current laboratory data can be interpreted—within constraints provided by the electrical conductivity of the mantle from geomagnetic studies—as requiring that either the conductivity of perovskite is not much different from magnesiowüstite or that magnesiowüstite in the lower mantle is distributed heterogeneously as an interconnected through‐going phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1643-1646
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume21
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 1994

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