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Earth and Environmental Sciences pres.

Smith Lecture: Shock Compression Experiments of Natural Silicates to Elucidate Planetary Impact Processes

Bethany A. Chidester, U. C. Davis

Zoom Meeting ID: 91923221977
The Earth and other terrestrial planets experienced one to several energetic impacts during accretion and growth. Models of planet accretion suggest that the highest-energy impacts, like the one that resulted in the formation of Earth's moon, disrupt both the target proto-planet and the impactor, with a significant portion of material being melted or vaporized by the impact. However, the temperatures reached in such impact scenarios are only recently being experimentally constrained due to improvements in experimental capabilities. Improved understanding of temperatures during giant impacts are needed to understand the chemical outcomes, including miscibility, metal-silicate partitioning, and formation of atmospheres. Experiments that can simulate the conditions of a large impact have thus far been restricted to end-member oxides and silicates. However, natural minerals include small amounts of iron, which may have a large effect on the thermo-elastic parameters of the material. Here, we present shock compression experiments of olivine, orthopyroxene (bronzite) and wadsleyite to 1.5 TPa in pressure and over 50,000 K in temperature. These experiments will be used to inform planetary impact models and serve as a benchmark for dynamics simulations of large, hot exoplanets.

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 Zoom
October 9, 2020 (Friday) 3:30pm
Meeting ID: 91923221977

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