Multivariable Dependence of Fe-Mg Partitioning in the Lower Mantle

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Science  19 Dec 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5346, pp. 2098-2100
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5346.2098

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High-pressure diamond-cell experiments indicate that the iron-magnesium partitioning between (Fe,Mg)SiO3-perovskite and magnesiowüstite in Earth's lower mantle depends on the pressure, temperature, bulk iron/magnesium ratio, and ferric iron content. The perovskite stability field expands with increasing pressure and temperature. The ferric iron component preferentially dissolves in perovskite and raises the apparent total iron content but had little effect on the partitioning of the ferrous iron. The ferrous iron depletes in perovskite at the top of the lower mantle and gradually increases at greater depth. These changes in iron-magnesium composition should affect geochemical and geophysical properties of the deep interior.

  • Present address: Consortium for Advanced Radiation Sources, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 USA.

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