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Metal-Silicate Interactions in Magma Oceans During Planetary Accretion

Presentation #500.05 in the session Origin of Planetary Systems (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Metal-Silicate Interactions in Magma Oceans During Planetary Accretion

During the process of planetary accretion, impacts vary in terms of mass, velocity, and angle, resulting in the formation of magma oceans with diverse sizes and temperatures. In the later stages of accretion, larger impactors, which are more common, contain iron cores that can disperse into extremely small droplets, subsequently descending into the rocky planetary core. As these droplets descend, a chemical reaction occurs between the metal and silicate, leading to the removal of siderophile (iron-loving) elements from the mantle and the retention of lithophile (rock-loving) elements. However, it is currently not possible to perform a single simulation that can fully quantify this entire dynamic process using existing techniques. To address this limitation, we have developed a newly devised fluid-dynamic numerical approach based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method for fluid dynamics and the Rothman-Keller approach for multiphase flow. With this innovative methodology, we are able to model the fate of metal-silicate fluid dynamics in response to a wide range of magma ocean scenarios, considering impactors falling at different angles and possessing varying iron fractions. Our approach accurately tracks the descent of diapirs, which represent coherent clouds of iron droplets, throughout the entire magma ocean. Additionally, we have explored the temporal evolution of the pressure-temperature path of the droplets in various impact events.

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