Effect of sulfur on sound velocity of liquid iron under Martian core conditions

Keisuke Nishida, Yuki Shibazaki, Hidenori Terasaki, Yuji Higo, Akio Suzuki, Nobumasa Funamori, Kei Hirose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfur has been considered to be a predominant light element in the Martian core, and thus the sound velocity of Fe-S alloys at relevant high pressure and temperature is of great importance to interpret its seismological data. Here we measured the compressional sound velocity (VP) of liquid Fe, Fe80S20 and Fe57S43 using ultrasonic pulse-echo overlap method combined with a Kawai-type multi-anvil apparatus up to 20 GPa, likely corresponding to the condition at the uppermost core of Mars. The results demonstrate that the VP of liquid iron is least sensitive to its sulfur concentration in the Mars’ whole core pressure range. The comparison of seismic wave speeds of Fe-S liquids with future observations will therefore tell whether the Martian core is molten and contains impurity elements other than sulfur.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1954
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1


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