First principles viscosity and derived models for MgO-SiO2 melt system at high temperature

Authors

  • Bijaya B. Karki,

    Corresponding author
    1. Computer Science and Engineering Division, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
    2. Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
    3. Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
    • Corresponding author: B. B. Karki, Computer Science and Engineering Division, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA. (karki@csc.lsu.edu)

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  • Jian Zhang,

    1. Computer Science and Engineering Division, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
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  • Lars Stixrude

    1. Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, London, UK
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Abstract

[1] The viscosity of silicate liquids at high temperature is crucial to our understanding of chemical and thermal evolution of the Earth since its early stages. First-principles molecular dynamics simulations of seven liquids across the MgO-SiO2 binary show that the viscosity varies by several orders of magnitudes with temperature and composition. Our results follow a compensation law: on heating, the viscosity of all compositions approaches a uniform value at 5000 K, above which pure silica becomes the least viscous liquid. Viscosity depends strongly on composition (fourth power), implying a strong nonlinear dependence of the configurational entropy on composition. Using the simulation results, we derive and evaluate different types (Arrhenius and non-Arrhenius) of models for accurate description of the viscosity-temperature-composition relationship. Our results span the thermal regime expected in a magma ocean, and indicate that melt migration is important for understanding the generation and preservation of melts from frictional heating at very fast slip in impact processes.

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