Journal Highlights

Onset of solid-state mantle convection and mixing during magma ocean solidification

Editors’ Highlight—Planets that experience an earlier period where most or all of the outer rock layers are molten, termed a magma ocean, have the course of the rest of their history set by this singular event.  A consequence of a magma ocean is a layered structure of rock prone to an overturn that imposes a stabilizing density gradient that can act against mantle convection—a process that is important for how the Earth and many other planetary bodies cool.  Maurice et al. investigate mixing and convection in the solidified part of the planet during and just after the complete crystallization of the magma ocean.  The authors find that if a magma ocean persists longer than approximately 1 million years, then solid state convection beneath solidifying magma ocean will efficiently erase much of the compositional layering left behind by the crystallization process.