Superheating Effects on Metal-Silicate Partitioning of Siderophile Elements

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Science  17 Dec 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5141, pp. 1858-1861
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5141.1858


Uquid metal—liquid silicate partition coefficients for several elements at 100 kilobars and temperatures up to about 3000 kelvin in carbon capsules experimentally converge on unity with increasing temperature. The sense of change of the partition coefficients with temperature resembles the extrapolation of Murthy and may partially contribute to, but by no means provide a complete resolution of, the "excess" siderophile problem in the Earth's mantle. Sulfur and perhaps carbon successfully compete with oxygen for sites in the metallic liquid at these temperatures and pressures. This observation casts doubt upon the hypothesis that oxygen is the light element in the Earth's core.