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Featured Rethinking the Earth's core

  1. Jan 9, 2017 #1

    1oldman2

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    The missing element mystery in the earths core may have been solved.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38561076
    Lead researcher Eiji Ohtani from the University of Tokyo told BBC News: "We believe that silicon is a major element - about 5% [of the Earth's inner core] by weight could be silicon dissolved into the iron-nickel alloys."
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2017 #2
    I would have expected heavy elements like Gold and Lead would sink into the core of early Earth more so than relatively light Silicon.
     
  4. Jan 9, 2017 #3

    1oldman2

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    Same here, thus the thread title. I'm still trying to figure out if it's because the silicone is trapped in suspension with the Iron/Nickle or if I'm missing something really strange.
     
  5. Jan 9, 2017 #4

    Baluncore

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    A really interesting model.
    But I do not think there needs to be a single element to satisfy that requirement. I would expect roughly equal amounts of both silicon and aluminium to be held in the matrix of the solid inner core. Any Si and Al in the liquid Fe-Ni outer core should have floated up into the Si-Al mantle long ago.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2017 #5

    davenn

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    interesting, I will have to do some reading :smile:

    silicone is a man made substance .... sealers, fake chest mounds etc

    stick with the silicon (no "e") :wink::biggrin:

    Dave
     
  7. Jan 10, 2017 #6

    1oldman2

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    :doh:This problem originates from a life in construction vs. a life in general.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2017 #7
    The composition of core, mantle and crust, while partly determined by density are also strongly influenced by chemical affinity. Likewise, we would expect that the speed of the iron catastrophe (core formation) would have inhibited complete unmixing of the silicon component.

    My curiosity centres on what the silicon is bound to .

    Edit: From the paper abstract here it appears they postulate the silicon is alloyed with the iron, or iron-nickel. Not an obvious alloy under crustal conditions, but that's the core for you.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2017 #8

    1oldman2

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