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Mobility of Volatiles in the Earth’s Mantle by Experimental and Numerical Technics

Project description

Investigating volatile movement in Earth’s mantle

Volatile cycling is a key process that regulates habitability on Earth. Large amounts of volatile elements such as carbon and hydrogen are stored deep in the mantle. Earth scientists are now focusing on further understanding carbon exchange between the mantle and exosphere. However, they lack knowledge regarding the mobility and migration rates of volatile-bearing melts, which are important conveyors of volatiles. With EU funding, the MoVEMENT project will capitalise on new experimental methods at synchrotron sources to acquire data on the density and viscosity of carbon-bearing melts at different conditions. Experimental data will serve as input to computational models that will allow accurate prediction of the mobility of volatile-bearing melts in a range of temperatures and pressures.

Objective

Volatiles cycle plays a critical role in the humanity’s existence by defining the habitability conditions prevailing at the Earth’s surface. Mantle is a major actor of this cycle by hosting considerable proportions of carbon, and also hydrogen. Understanding the exchanges and fluxes of carbon (and water) between the upper mantle and exosphere remains a primary goal in the Earth sciences community, but critically prevented by the lack of fundamental constrains on the mobility and migration rates of volatile-bearing melts (i.e. CO2-H2O-bearing melts) that are important conveyors for the distribution of volatiles. Therefore, the aim of the MoVEMENT project is to combine fundamental constraints on the physical properties (density and viscosity) of volatile-bearing melts with complex modelling to gain a quantitative understanding of the deep volatile cycles and related geophysical processes inside the planet. The applicant will achieve these scientific breakthroughs by combining two novel approaches: first, he will capitalize on new experimental methods at synchrotron sources to acquire missing data on the density and viscosity of carbon-bearing melts at high pressure; second, he will integrate the novel data into rigorous and continuous computer models for the density and viscosity of volatile-bearing melts. The new models will allow predictions of the mobility of volatile-bearing melts in a range of pressure, temperature (20 GPa – 2500 °C ) and compositions, i.e. from carbonatites (CO2-rich melts) to basalts (SiO2-rich melts), that span the conditions for melts stabilized in the upper mantle. Specifically, the results will be applied to quantify volatile-mediated processes in the upper mantle, including the migration/ascent/emplacement of melts through the mantle, ultimately leading to a new understanding of volatile mobility and recycling in the deep Earth.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAET MUENSTER
Net EU contribution
€ 162 806,40
Address
SCHLOSSPLATZ 2
48149 MUENSTER
Germany

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Region
Nordrhein-Westfalen Münster Münster, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 162 806,40