Amorphization of Serpentine at High Pressure and High Temperature

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Science  07 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5267, pp. 1468-1470
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5267.1468


Pressure-induced amorphization of serpentine was observed at temperatures of 200° to 300°C and pressures of 14 to 27 gigapascals with a combination of a multianvil apparatus and synchrotron radiation. High-pressure phases then crystallized rapidly when the temperature was increased to 400°C. These results suggest that amorphization of serpentine is an unlikely mechanism for generating deep-focus earthquakes, as the temperatures of subducting slabs are significantly higher than those of the rapid crystallization regime.

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