Thermoelastic properties of liquid Fe-C revealed by sound velocity and density measurements at high pressure

Yuta Shimoyama, Hidenori Terasaki, Satoru Urakawa, Yusaku Takubo, Soma Kuwabara, Shunpachi Kishimoto, Tetsu Watanuki, Akihiko Machida, Yoshinori Katayama, Tadashi Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon is one of the possible light elements in the cores of the terrestrial planets. The P wave velocity (VP) and density (ρ) are important factors for estimating the chemical composition and physical properties of the core. We simultaneously measured the VP and ρ of Fe-3.5 wt % C up to 3.4 GPa and 1850 K by using ultrasonic pulse-echo method and X-ray absorption methods. The VP of liquid Fe-3.5 wt % C decreased linearly with increasing temperature at constant pressure. The addition of carbon decreased the VP of liquid Fe by about 2% at 3 GPa and 1700 K and decreased the Fe density by about 2% at 2 GPa and 1700 K. The bulk modulus of liquid Fe-C and its pressure (P) and temperature (T) effects were precisely determined from directly measured ρ and VP data to be K0,1700 K = 83.9 GPa, dKT/dP = 5.9(2), and dKT/dT = −0.063 GPa/K. The addition of carbon did not affect the isothermal bulk modulus (KT) of liquid Fe, but it decreased the dK/dT of liquid Fe. In the ρ-VP relationship, VP increases linearly with ρ and can be approximated as VP (m/s) = −6786(506) + 1537(71) × ρ (g/cm3), suggesting that Birch's law is valid for liquid Fe-C at the present P-T conditions. Our results imply that at the conditions of the lunar core, the elastic properties of an Fe-C core are more affected by temperature than those of Fe-S core.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7984-7995
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016


  • density
  • high pressure
  • liquid Fe-C
  • sound velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermoelastic properties of liquid Fe-C revealed by sound velocity and density measurements at high pressure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this