Experimental Constraints on the Origin of Volatile Elements on Earth | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS

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  Experimental Constraints on the Origin of Volatile Elements on Earth

VOLTERRE

Volatile elements (e.g. H, C, S) have a fundamental role in planetary evolution. The goal of the proposed research is to better constrain how and when Earth acquired its volatile elements. An original and complementary multi-techniques approach combining experiments at high pressure and high temperature, stable isotopes geochemistry, quantitative analyses at high resolution and synchrotron techniques will be developed to tackle the issue of volatile accretion history of the Earth.
The goal of the proposed research is to better constrain how and when Earth acquired its volatile elements.


Volatile elements (e.g. H, C, S) have a fundamental role in planetary evolution. But how and when budgets of volatiles were set in planets and the mechanism of volatile depletion in planetary bodies remains poorly understood and represents a fundamental obstacle in understanding the chemical processing of terrestrial planets. Two main theories exist. Either Earth accreted ‘dry’, with Earth’s building blocks completely devoid of volatile elements. Then, the Earth’s complement of volatile elements was only established later, once the Earth was differentiated into a core and mantle, by the addition of a late veneer. Or, the Earth accreted ‘wet’ where volatiles where present during the main stages of accretion and differentiation of the Earth. The imprint of core formation on the geochemistry of siderophile and volatile elements of the present mantle can discriminate between these two competing scenarios. We will use core formation experiments and the geochemical signatures from metal-silicate equilibration of three siderophile and volatile elements sulfur, selenium, and tellurium. An original and complementary multi-techniques approach combining experiments at high pressure and high temperature, and high-resolution analyses on quenched samples will be developed to obtain new constraints on the origin of volatiles elements on Earth.