Iron Partitioning in the Lower Mantle: New Experimental Data from Al-Enriched Olivine

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Hélène Piet1, Farhang Nabiei1, Philippe Gillet1 and James Badro1,2, (1)EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, (2)Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France
The partitioning of iron between the major phases of the lower mantle has an important impact on their physical and chemical properties.

A series of experimental studies of Fe-Mg exchange between bridgemanite (magnesium silicate perovskite) and ferropericlase have shown that stark differences in partitioning are observed if olivine [1, 2] or a pyrolitic [3, 4] starting composition are used. The discrepancy has been attributed to the presence of alumina, to that of ferric iron, to multiphase equilibria and even to the activity of FeO in the system. In order to mitigate the discrepancy, we synthesized a sample with San Carlos olivine composition that was doped in alumina. We then used this as starting material for experiments in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell at lower mantle (P,T) conditions along the geotherm. Samples were pressurized, heated, transformed to bridgemanite and ferropericlase, equilibrated, quenched, and decompressed. Thin sections were recovered from the hotspot using a focused ion beam microscope and the composition of the two phases was analyzed using analytical transmission electron microscopy.

Iron partitioning in Al-rich olivine will be discussed through a detailed comparison with the Al-rich pyrolitic trend and the Al-free olivine trend.


[1] A-L. Auzende et al., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 2008.

[2] R. Sinmyo et al., J. Geophys. Res., 2008.

[3] R. Irifune et al., Science, 2010.  

[4] R. Sinmyo et al., Phys. Chem. Minerals, 2013.