It's difficult to peer down through the layers that make up Earth. It is not as if there is a cross-section of the planet available for study.
55 percent of the total volume of Earth is in the lower mantle, and scientists think they've found a new mineral there.
The three main minerals of the layer are bridgmanite, ferropericlase and davemaoite. Researchers have been puzzled by the idea of bridgmanite and davemaoite merging at high temperatures due to their similar crystal structures.
Previous experiments did not show this to be the case.
Even though they have very similar atomic-scale structures, davemaoite and bridgmanite don't amalgamate. The question has fascinated researchers for two decades.
The answer from experiments has been that the two minerals are separate. We needed some new ideas in experiments here.
The researchers tried to recreate the conditions in the lower mantle through a series of experiments. It took them less than a second to increase the temperature from around 1,650 to 1,905 degrees Celsius.
The X-ray images show the structure of the minerals in the small samples that were heated. A combination of both davemaoite and bridgmanite was shown to form a single mineral.
The deeper part of the lower mantle has a different mix of minerals because of the higher temperature and pressure. The researchers think that iron probably plays an important role in a merger of bridgmanite and davemaoite.
Byeongkwan Ko is a mineralogist from Michigan State University.
They can overcome the difference in hot environments, according to our study.
The geological composition has been altered over time due to the fact that the Earth's mantle was hotter than it is today.
The lower mantle's properties change the deeper they go. Future studies will be able to analyze this in terms of its current state and its previous one.
The finding requires revision of the deep-mantle mineralogy models and will have an impact on our understanding of the composition, structure, dynamics, and evolution of the region.
The research was published in a journal.