Experimental Constraints on Ferropericlase (Mg, Fe)O Melt Viscosity Up to 70 GPa

Zhixue Du, Jie Deng, Kanani K.M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


During Earth's accretion, Earth's mantle is expected to have been a magma ocean due to large impacts. As such, properties of molten mantle materials are key to understanding Earth's thermochemical evolution. However, due to experimental challenges, transport properties at lower mantle pressures, particularly viscosity, are poorly constrained for mantle melts. In this study, we use quenched dendritic textures to estimate melt viscosities at high pressures for (Mg, Fe)O ferropericlase, one of the major components of the mantle. We find that the viscosity of (Mg, Fe)O melt near liquidus temperatures is ~10−3–10−2 Pa s over the pressure range of 3–70 GPa, which is ~1–2 orders of magnitude lower than previous results for Si-rich melts at similar conditions. This may have implications for magma ocean cooling and thermochemical evolution of the mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12,190-12,196
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • dendrites
  • diamond anvil cell
  • diffusion
  • high pressure
  • magma ocean
  • melt viscosity


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