Scientists estimate that the Earth’s mantle holds as much water as all the oceans on the planet, but understanding how this water behaves is difficult.
Scientists estimate that the Earth’s mantle holds as much water as all the oceans on the planet, but understanding how this water behaves is difficult. Water in the mantle exists under high pressure and at elevated temperatures, extreme conditions that are challenging to recreate in the laboratory.
That means many of its physical and chemical properties—relevant to understanding magma production and the Earth’s carbon cycle — aren’t fully understood. If scientists could better understand these conditions, it would help them better understand the carbon cycle’s consequences for climate change.
A team led by Prof. Giulia Galli and Prof. Juan de Pablo from the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago and Prof. Francois Gygi from the University of California, Davis has created complex computer simulations to better understand the properties of salt in water under mantle conditions.
An artist's depiction of highly compressed saltwater at high temperature. (Photo Credit: Credit: Zhang et al)
Read more at: University of Chicago