, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 85-97

Chemical composition of the Earth after the giant impact

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The giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the Moon has been widely accepted. One of the most important features of this hypothesis is that the impactor's metallic core was incorporated in the Earth after impact. If the mass of the impactor is 0.82 × 1027 g, the mass of the impactor core was estimated to be 0.19 × 1027 g, which is about 1/10 of present Earth's core. Liu (1982) derived the bulk composition of the Earth from CI chondrites, and concluded that the Fe content of his model appears to be low in comparison with the present Earth, which, however, can be rationalized by the addition of impactor core into the proto-Earth developed by Liu (1982). If the impactor's mantle contains 14 wt% FeO as suggested, the mass ratio of impactor/proto-Earth should not exceed 0.22. The same ratio is not likely to exceed 0.30, if a giant blowoff did not occur during impact.