Differentiation is the separation of a fluid phase from its host. Metal-silicate differentiation is the fundamental mechanism by which the terrestrial planets have formed from undifferentiated planetary materials and how economic elements can be concentrated in the Earth's crust. This study uses the observed experimental granular rock textures as templates so numerical modeling can quantify flow processes and deformation regimes. To further the modeling, we have developed an innovative approach that combines experimental textures with silicate melt present with Complex Network Analyses. We have extracted unambiguous mixing patterns in the metal-silicate melt system to help determine under what conditions liquid metal and silicate melt tend to separate. This approach can elucidate and quantify the growth of metallic blebs in regions where a silicate mush matrix is present and help predict separation. We apply these results to core formation scenarios in the early solar system in growing planetesimals. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
Rushmer, T., Tordesillas, A., Walker, D. M., & Petford, N. (2013). Numerical analysis of separation and mixing dynamics in multiphase granular systems. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 1542, pp. 751–754). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4812040