Study finds carbon mobility in olivine



The significance of carbon's existence as a solid solution in olivine is many fold. Currently there are speculations about the contributions of dissolved carbon to the electrical conductivity of minerals that constitute the earth's upper mantle, and for this contribution olivine is a prime candidate. If carbon, once dissolved, is relatively mobile in upper mantle mineral structures, a lot can be speculated about diffusional processes in the upper mantle, the very diffusional processes many geophysicists ordinarily assume to be relatively unimportant. Diffusion—creep processes that support convective overturn in the solid-state—can be accelerated, perhaps, by the mobility of minor elements.