Michael Brown -Oct 27th, 2015
ESS Department - Oct 22, 2015
Geofluids: from Icy Worlds (Europa, Ganymede, Titan, and more) to Earth’s Deep Interior

“Volatile phases” have extraordinary impact on planetary evolution. Fluids flux chemical reactions as well as transport material and heat. The current compositional and structural state of many planets is largely a result of “fluid-rock” interactions where “rocks” can range from silicates to ices and “fluids” include aqueous solutions that incorporate salts, carbon dioxide, and for icy worlds beyond Jupiter, ammonia. In spite of their importance, laboratory constraints on fluid thermodynamics under pressures and temperatures relevant to planetary applications are sparse or non-existent. Furthermore, the conventional framework for representation of thermodynamic properties is cumbersome; it cannot be readily extended into the extended range of pressure, temperature, and composition required for planetary modeling.

We are undertaking a new generation of experiments – extending pressures and temperatures from icy worlds to conditions in Earth’s mantle. These measurements provide necessary constraints on thermodynamic properties of “geofluids”. In addition, a new numerical framework is evolving that allows more flexible representation of results. Measurements, their analysis, and applications to planetary evolution are the focus of this talk.