Deep interiors

We study the mantle and the core of rocky and ice bodies. We compute the phase diagrams and the stability fields of minerals, we predict new phase transitions, we analyze the elastic, transport, and thermodynamic properties of minerals, we determine isotope fractionation.

Over the years we worked on several hydrous and hydrated minerals of the upper mantle. We performed extensive simulations on all the major minerals of the Earth’s lower mantle: mantle: (Mg,Fe,Al)(Si,Al)O3 bridgmanite (perovskite) and post-perovskite, CaSiOO3 perovskite, (Mg,Fe)O magnesiow├╝stite, SiO2, Al2O3 and FeSi. We studied iron and various Fe-based alloys potentially entering into the Earth’s core. We studied the high-pressure form of water ice, as well as a series of other molecular solids and planetary ices.

A few remarkable facts:

  • the first perovskite – post-perovskite phase diagram in the MgSiO3 – FeSiO3 system
  • the first calculation of the electrical conductivity of the Earth’s core
  • assessment of the effect of the Fe spin on the elastic properties of the mantle
  • new phases of superionic and solid H2O ice
  • H diffusion in the transition zone silicates

Nowadays the interests of our group extended to even higher pressure and temperature conditions with the study of giant planets and super-Earths.

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