Experimental constraints on the fate of H and C during planetary core-mantle differentiation. Implications for the Earth

Abstract : Hydrogen (H) and carbon (C) have probably been delivered to the Earth mainly during accretion processes at High Temperature (HT) and High Pressure (HP) and at variable redox conditions. We performed HP (1 – 15 GPa) and HT (1600 – 2300°C) experiments, combined with state-of-the-art analytical techniques to better understand the behavior of H and C during planetary differentiation processes. We show that increasing pressure makes H slightly siderophile and slightly decreases the highly siderophile nature of C. This implies that the capacity of a growing core to retain significant amounts of H or C is mainly controlled by the size of the planet: small planetary bodies may retain C in their cores while H may have rather been lost in space; larger bodies may store both H and C in their cores. During the Earth's differentiation, both C and H might be sequestrated in the core. However, the H content of the core would remain one or two orders of magnitude lower than that of C since the (H/C)core ratio might range between 0.04 and 0.27.
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Valérie Malavergne, Hélène Bureau, Caroline Raepsaet, Fabrice Gaillard, Mélissa Poncet, et al.. Experimental constraints on the fate of H and C during planetary core-mantle differentiation. Implications for the Earth. Icarus, Elsevier, 2019, 321, pp.473-485. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2018.11.027⟩. ⟨insu-01949794⟩

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