Thermodynamics, Diffusion, and Structure of Liquid NaAlSi3O8 at Elevated Temperature and Pressure from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Ryan Neilson1, Frank J Spera1 and Mark S Ghiorso2, (1)Univ of California, Santa Barbara, CA, United States, (2)OFM Research, Redmond, CA, United States
Thermodynamic properties of silicate melts at high temperature (T) and pressure (P) are crucial to understanding Earth accretion, magma oceans, petrogenesis, and crustal growth. However, equations of state for silicate liquids at mantle conditions are scarce, due to experimental challenges. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations allow investigation of thermodynamic and transport properties of silicate melts at high P and T and enable the correlation of liquid structure with computed properties. Using classical MD, we studied liquid NaAlSi3O8 in the range 0-42 GPa and 3000-5137 K. Density ranged from 2.2 to 3.6 g/cm3, and all simulations were performed in the microcanonical (NEV) ensemble using the potential from Matsui (1998). An equation of state with internal energy E(V,T) was developed using the RT scaling-Vinet formulation (Ghiorso et al., 2009). From thermodynamic relationships, the Grüneisen parameter, isobaric expansivity, isothermal compressibility, heat capacity, and other functions are computed over the P-T range of the MD simulations. Diffusion coefficients (D) range from 1.5×10-9 to 5.9×10-8 m2/s and typically order Na>Al>O>Si at a given state point. Generally, D decreases with P and increases with T except for a low P anomalous region along the 3065 K isotherm. Anomalous diffusion for Al, Si, and O is congruent with laboratory experiments at P<10 GPa (e.g., Shimizu and Kushiro, 1984; Poe et al., 1997; Tinker and Lesher, 2001; Tinker et al., 2003). Activation energy for Na is on the order of -75.3 kJ/mol with activation volume -1.74 cm3/mol. The anomalous peak in diffusivity for Si and O occurs at ~3 GPa, which marks a subtle increase in the average coordination number (CN) for O around O from 9.35 to 10.31. The average CN for O around O generally increases with P, but it systematically drops at 8, 15, and 20 GPa for 3065, 3944, and 5137 K, respectively. The concentrations of AlO5 and SiO5 polyhedra maximize near 16 and 35 GPa, respectively.