A Simple Thermodynamic Model of the Internal Convective Zone of the Earth

Entropy (Basel). 2018 Dec 18;20(12):985. doi: 10.3390/e20120985.


As it is well known both atmospheric and mantle convection are very complex phenomena. The dynamical description of these processes is a very difficult task involving complicated 2-D or 3-D mathematical models. However, a first approximation to these phenomena can be by means of simplified thermodynamic models where the restriction imposed by the laws of thermodynamics play an important role. An example of this approach is the model proposed by Gordon and Zarmi in 1989 to emulate the convective cells of the atmospheric air by using finite-time thermodynamics (FTT). In the present article we use the FTT Gordon-Zarmi model to coarsely describe the convection in the Earth's mantle. Our results permit the existence of two layers of convective cells along the mantle. Besides the model reasonably reproduce the temperatures of the main discontinuities in the mantle, such as the 410 km-discontinuity, the Repetti transition zone and the so-called D-Layer.

Keywords: convective zone; earth’s mantle; finite time thermodynamics.