Skip to main content
Log in

Earth science

Probing the core's light elements

  • News & Views
  • Published:

From Nature

View current issue Submit your manuscript

A fine marriage between seismic data and laboratory experiments carried out at the extreme conditions of Earth's deep interior indicates that the planet's liquid outer core is poor in oxygen. See Letter p.513

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Figure 1: Cross-section of Earth's interior.


  1. Birch, F. J. Geophys. Res. 57, 227–286 (1952).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. McQueen, R. G. & Marsh, S. P. J. Geophys. Res. 71, 1751–1756 (1966).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Huang, H. et al. Nature 479, 513–516 (2011).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Buffett, B. A. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 101, 7989–8006 (1996).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Poirier, J.-P. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 85, 319–337 (1994).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Wood, B. J., Walter, M. J. & Wade, J. Nature 441, 825–833 (2006).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Kennett, B. L. N., Engdahl, E. R. & Buland, R. Geophys. J. Int. 122, 108–124 (1995).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Jephcoat, A. & Olson, P. Nature 325, 332–335 (1987).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Brown, J. M. & McQueen, R. G. J. Geophys. Res. 91, 7485–7494 (1986).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Huang, H. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 115, B05207 (2010).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Dreibus, G. & Palme, H. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 60, 1125–1130 (1996).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Alfè, D., Gillan, M. J. & Price, G. D. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 195, 91–98 (2002).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thomas S. Duffy.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Duffy, T. Probing the core's light elements. Nature 479, 480–481 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

  • Springer Nature Limited