Gooie to kablooie : the partial melting of planetary interiors
The melting and subsequent extraction of molten materials from the Earth's mantle is the subject of much scrutiny, yet remains poorly understood. Volcanism and magmatism observed at the Earth's surface are due to the partial melting of the convecting mantle and the segregation of melt from its parent solid. The formation of iron-rich cores in planetesimals are the result of segregation of dense metal melts, extracted from the primitive silica rich building blocks early in planetary evolution. The process of partial melting and melt segregation leads to the continual generation of the oceanic and continental crust, formation of metal-rich cores, and therefore dictates the large-scale chemical evolution of the silicate Earth and terrestrial planets.