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Element partitioning between magnesium silicate perovskite and ferropericlase: New insights into bulk lower-mantle geochemistry

Abstract : In this study, we investigated iron–magnesium exchange and transition-metal trace-element partitioning between magnesium silicate perovskite (Mg,Fe)SiO3 and ferropericlase (Mg,Fe)O synthetised under lower-mantle conditions (up to 115 GPa and 2200 K) in a laser-heated diamond anvil cell. Recovered samples were thinned to electron transparency by focused ion beam and characterized by analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM) and nanometer-scale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (nanoSIMS). Iron concentrations in both phases were obtained from X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy measurements and nanoSIMS. Our results are the first to show that recently reported spin-state and phase transitions in the lower mantle directly affect the evolution of Fe–Mg exchange between both phases. Mg-perovskite becomes increasingly iron-depleted above 70–80 GPa possibly due to the high spin–low spin transition of iron in ferropericlase. Conversely, the perovskite to post-perovskite transition is accompanied by a strong iron enrichment of the silicate phase, ferropericlase remaining in the Fe-rich phase though. Nanoparticles of metallic iron were observed in the perovskite-bearing runs, suggesting the disproportionation of ferrous iron oxide, but were not observed when the post-perovskite phase was present. Implications on the oxidation state of the Earth and core segregation will be discussed. Transition trace-element (Ni, Mn) concentrations (determined with the nanoSIMS) show similar trends and could thus be used to trace the origin of diamonds generated at depth. This study provides new results likely to improve the geochemical and geophysical models of the Earth's deep interiors.
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Contributor : Eva Fareau <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 2, 2009 - 3:28:28 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 9:40:06 PM



Anne-Line Auzende, James Badro, Frederick J. Ryerson, Peter K. Weber, Stewart J. Fallon, et al.. Element partitioning between magnesium silicate perovskite and ferropericlase: New insights into bulk lower-mantle geochemistry. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2008, 269 (1-2), pp.164-174. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2008.02.001⟩. ⟨hal-00365166⟩



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