Experimental and computational study of trace element distribution between orthopyroxene and anhydrous silicate melt: substitution mechanisms and the effect of iron

Mirjam van Kan Parker, Axel Liebscher, Dirk Frei, Jelle van Sijl, Wim van Westrenen, Jon Blundy, Gerhard Franz

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

33 Citationer (Scopus)


Although orthopyroxene (Opx) is present during a wide range of magmatic differentiation processes in the terrestrial and lunar mantle, its effect on melt trace element contents is not well quantified. We present results of a combined experimental and computational study of trace element partitioning between Opx and anhydrous silicate melts. Experiments were performed in air at atmospheric pressure and temperatures ranging from 1,326 to 1,420°C in the system CaO–MgO–Al2O3–SiO2 and subsystem CaO–MgO–SiO2. We provide experimental partition coefficients for a wide range of trace elements (large ion lithophile: Li, Be, B, K, Rb, Sr, Cs, Ba, Th, U; rare earth elements, REE: La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Y, Yb, Lu; high field strength: Zr, Nb, Hf, Ta, Ti; transition metals: Sc, V, Cr, Co) for use in petrogenetic modelling. REE partition coefficients increase from DOpx-meltLa∼0.0005 to DOpx-meltLu∼0.109, D values for highly charged elements vary from DOpx-meltTh∼0.0026 through DOpx-meltNb∼0.0033 and DOpx-meltU∼0.0066 to DOpx-meltTi∼0.058, and are all virtually independent of temperature. Cr and Co are the only compatible trace elements at the studied conditions. To elucidate charge-balancing mechanisms for incorporation of REE into Opx and to assess the possible influence of Fe on Opx-melt partitioning, we compare our experimental results with computer simulations. In these simulations, we examine major and minor trace element incorporation into the end-members enstatite (Mg2Si2O6) and ferrosilite (Fe2Si2O6). Calculated solution energies show that R2+ cations are more soluble in Opx than R3+ cations of similar size, consistent with experimental partitioning data. In addition, simulations show charge balancing of R3+ cations by coupled substitution with Li+ on the M1 site that is energetically favoured over coupled substitution involving Al–Si exchange on the tetrahedrally coordinated site. We derived best-fit values for ideal ionic radii r 0, maximum partition coefficients D 0, and apparent Young’s moduli E for substitutions onto the Opx M1 and M2 sites. Experimental r 0 values for R3+ substitutions are 0.66–0.67 Å for M1 and 0.82–0.87 Å for M2. Simulations for enstatite result in r 0 = 0.71–0.73 Å for M1 and ~0.79–0.87 Å for M2. Ferrosilite r 0 values are systematically larger by ~0.05 Å for both M1 and M2. The latter is opposite to experimental literature data, which appear to show a slight decrease in rM20 in the presence of Fe. Additional systematic studies in Fe-bearing systems are required to resolve this inconsistency and to develop predictive Opx-melt partitioning models for use in terrestrial and lunar magmatic differentiation models.
Sider (fra-til)459-473
Antal sider15
TidsskriftContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Udgave nummer4
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2010


  • Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer


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