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High pressure/high temperature: A view into the deep Earth
Catherine McCammon
Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany
The Earth’s interior is largely inaccessible, but its properties and processes control
much of what we observe on the Earth’s surface. One successful strategy for probing
the Earth’s interior has been the comparison of measurements made at the surface,
such as from seismology, with studies of the relevant minerals at the appropriate high
pressure and temperature conditions in the laboratory. High pressures are reached
using a diamond anvil cell, and ESRF beamlines with microfocus capabilities enable
the small samples (often less than 100 microns in diameter) to be studied. Reaching
high temperatures at high pressure is more challenging, however, but can be achieved
using a high-power laser. We will report on the first experiments at ID18 to measure
the elastic properties of deep Earth minerals at both high pressure and high
temperature using nuclear inelastic scattering, and will discuss their implications for
our current understanding of the Earth’s interior.