A Complex network analysis of growth and mixing dynamics in natural metal-silicate systems

Tracy Rushmer, Antoinette Tordesillas, David M. Walker

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    The segregation of metallic cores from silicate mantles is one of the earliest, and most important, differentiation process involved in the evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies and reconciling our estimates of primary bulk silicate mantle with candidate planetary bulk compositions requires an understanding of the different regimes in which core forming material may have been mobile. This includes regimes that are dynamic and may result in transient states of high stress due to impact. Recent scenarios of core formation in planetesimals using calculations from extinct radionuclides (e.g. (super 26) Al, (super 60) Fe) call for segregation of a metal liquid (core) from partially molten silicate - a silicate mush matrix. This segregation scenario requires growth of molten core material into blebs large enough to overcome the strength of the mush matrix so that separation can occur. However, currently there is no satisfactory explanation as to how or why metallic liquid blebs in the presence of silicate melt actually grow. Experimental work has suggested deformation and shear can help coalesce metallic blebs. Here, we have developed an innovative approach that combines textures in experimental deformation experiments on a partially molten natural meteorite with complex network analyses. This approach can elucidate and quantify the growth of metallic blebs in regions where a silicate mush matrix is present and help predict separation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1768
    Number of pages1
    JournalMineralogical Magazine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventGoldschmidt Conference (21st : 2011) - Prague, Czech Republic
    Duration: 14 Aug 201119 Aug 2011


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