Knowledge of the structure and properties of silicate magma under extreme pressure plays an important role in understanding the nature and evolution of Earth’s deep interior. Here we report the structure of MgSiO3 glass, considered an analog of silicate melts, up to 111 GPa. The first (r1) and second (r2) neighbor distances in the pair distribution function change rapidly, with r1 increasing and r2 decreasing with pressure. At 53–62 GPa, the observed r1 and r2 distances are similar to the Si-O and Si-Si distances, respectively, of crystalline MgSiO3 akimotoite with edge-sharing SiO6 structural motifs. Above 62 GPa, r1 decreases, and r2 remains constant, with increasing pressure until 88 GPa. Above this pressure, r1 remains more or less constant, and r2 begins decreasing again. These observations suggest an ultrahigh-pressure structural change around 88 GPa. The structure above 88 GPa is interpreted as having the closest edge-shared SiO6 structural motifs similar to those of the crystalline postperovskite, with densely packed oxygen atoms. The pressure of the structural change is broadly consistent with or slightly lower than that of the bridgmanite-to-postperovskite transition in crystalline MgSiO3. These results suggest that a structural change may occur in MgSiO3 melt under pressure conditions corresponding to the deep lower mantle.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2018 Feb 20|
- Core–mantle boundary
- High pressure
- Silicate glass
ASJC Scopus subject areas