The life of lower mantle minerals

Sergey Lobanov (Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution, US)
September 15, 2016

ELSI-1 Building - 102 ELSI Hall

The lower mantle is far removed from us; yet, it governs Earth's major geological processes that are vital for organic life. However, the inorganic life of minerals in Earth's lower mantle is tough as they are subjected to extreme pressures and temperatures. Minerals adapt to such conditions by several very peculiar transformations that are atypical for minerals at near-surface conditions. As a result, physical and chemical properties of the lower mantle are very different from that of any other Earth's shell and must be addressed at representative pressure-temperature conditions. As a mineral physicist, I strive to improve our knowledge on the mineral properties at lower mantle conditions via high-pressure high-temperature experiments. At the seminar, I will introduce my past research that exemplifies changes in the chemical and physical state of minerals at extreme conditions along with my most recent work on the electronic and transport properties of the lower mantle constrained in situ. This new information is at the frontier of geosciences as it allows refining models of Earth's evolution and helps understand the connection of the deep interior with the organic life.