Effect of mass disorder on the lattice thermal conductivity of MgO periclase under pressure

Douglas Allen Dalton, Wen Pin Hsieh, Gregory T. Hohensee, David G. Cahill, Alexander F. Goncharov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermal conductivity of mantle materials controlling the heat balance and thermal evolution of the Earth remains poorly constrained as the available experimental and theoretical techniques are limited in probing minerals under the relevant conditions. We report measurements of thermal conductivity of MgO at high pressure up to 60 GPa and 300 K via diamond anvil cells using the time-domain thermoreflectance technique. These measurements are complemented by model calculations which take into account the effect of temperature and mass disorder of materials within the Earth. Our model calculations agree with the experimental pressure dependencies at 300 and 2000 K for MgO. Furthermore, they predict substantially smaller pressure dependence for mass disordered materials as the mechanism of scattering changes. The calculated thermal conductivity at the core-mantle boundary is smaller than the majority of previous predictions resulting in an estimated total heat flux of 10.4 TW, which is consistent with modern geomodeling estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2400
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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