Potassium-Rich Ices at High Pressures and Temperatures

Monday, 15 December 2014: 8:45 AM
Mark Robert Frank1, Henry P Scott2, Elizabeth Aarestad1 and Vitali Prakapenka3, (1)Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL, United States, (2)Indiana Univ South Bend, South Bend, IN, United States, (3)University of Chicago, Argonne, IL, United States
Accurate modeling of planetary interiors requires that the pressure-volume-temperature properties of phases present within the body be well understood. The high-pressure polymorphs of H2O have been studied extensively, due to the abundance of ice phases in icy moons and likely vast number of extra-solar planetary bodies, with only select studies evaluating impurity-laden ices. In this study, ice formed from a 1.6 mole percent KCl-bearing aqueous solution was studied up to 33 GPa and 650 K, and the incorporation of K+ and Cl- into the ice VII structure was documented. The compression data at 300 K were fit with a third order Birch-Murnaghan equation of state and yielded K, K/, and V0 of 24.7±0.9 GPa, 4.44±0.09, and 39.17±0.15 Å3, respectively. Thermal expansion coefficients were also determined for several isothermal compression curves at elevated temperatures, and a P-V-T equation of state will be presented. The melting of ice VII with incorporated K+ and Cl- was determined up to 625 K and 10.6 GPa and was fit by using a Simon-Glatzel equation. The melting curve is systematically depressed relative to the melting curve of pure H2O by approximately 45 K and 80 K at 4 and 11 GPa, respectively. Interestingly, a portion of the K+ and Cl- contained within the ice VII structure was observed to exsolve with increasing temperature and pressure. This suggests that an internal differentiating process could concentrate a K-rich phase deep within H2O-rich planets, and we speculate that this could supply an additional source of heat through the radioactive decay of 40K. Birch (1951; JGR, 56, 107-126) has estimated that 40K contributes 2.7 µcal/g.year for each wt.% of K, and our results suggest at least 3.33 wt.% can be incorporated into the structure of ice VII, thus making it a source of heat rather than just a conductive layer. In conclusion, our data illustrate a mechanism that may concentrate K at depth and impact the supposed pressure and temperature within moderate to large sized H2O-rich planetary bodies.