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Reversal of carbonate-silicate cation exchange in cold slabs in Earth’s lower mantle

Abstract : The stable forms of carbon in Earth's deep interior control storage and fluxes of carbon through the planet over geologic time, impacting the surface climate as well as carrying records of geologic processes in the form of diamond inclusions. However, current estimates of the distribution of carbon in Earth's mantle are uncertain, due in part to limited understanding of the fate of carbonates through subduction, the main mechanism that transports carbon from Earth's surface to its interior. Oxidized carbon carried by subduction has been found to reside in MgCO 3 throughout much of the mantle. Experiments in this study demonstrate that at deep mantle conditions MgCO 3 reacts with silicates to form CaCO 3. In combination with previous work indicating that CaCO 3 is more stable than MgCO 3 under reducing conditions of Earth's lowermost mantle, these observations allow us to predict that the signature of surface carbon reaching Earth's lowermost mantle may include CaCO 3 .
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 10:42:11 AM
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Mingda Lv, Susannah M Dorfman, James Badro, Stephan Borensztajn, Eran Greenberg, et al.. Reversal of carbonate-silicate cation exchange in cold slabs in Earth’s lower mantle. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 12 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41467-021-21761-9⟩. ⟨insu-03192609⟩



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