Melting relations in the system FeCO3–MgCO3 and thermodynamic modelling of Fe–Mg carbonate melts Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/8746-3427-4034-6114-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2016


  • To constrain the thermodynamics and melting relations of the siderite–magnesite (FeCO3–MgCO3) system, 27 piston cylinder experiments were conducted at 3.5 GPa and 1170–1575 °C. Fe-rich compositions were also investigated with 13 multi-anvil experiments at 10, 13.6 and 20 GPa, 1500–1890 °C. At 3.5 GPa, the solid solution siderite–magnesite coexists with melt over a compositional range of XMg (=Mg/(Mg + Fetot)) = 0.38–1.0, while at ≥10 GPa solid solution appears to be complete. At 3.5 GPa, the system is pseudo-binary because of the limited stability of siderite or liquid FeCO3, Fe-rich carbonates decomposing at subsolidus conditions to magnetite–magnesioferrite solid solution, graphite and CO2. Similar reactions also occur with liquid FeCO3 resulting in melt species with ferric iron components, but the decomposition of the liquid decreases in importance with pressure. At 3.5 GPa, the metastable melting temperature of pure siderite is located at 1264 °C, whereas pure magnesite melts at 1629 °C. The melting loop is non-ideal on the Fe side where the dissociation reaction resulting in Fe3+ in the melt depresses melting temperatures and causes a minimum. Over the pressure range of 3.5–20 GPa, this minimum is 20–35 °C lower than the (metastable) siderite melting temperature. By merging all present and previous experimental data, standard state (298.15 K, 1 bar) thermodynamic properties of the magnesite melt (MgCO3L) end member are calculated and the properties of (Fe,Mg)CO3 melt fit by a regular solution model with an interaction parameter of −7600 J/mol. The solution model reproduces the asymmetric melting loop and predicts the thermal minimum at 1240 °C near the siderite side at XMg = 0.2 (3.5 GPa). The solution model is applicable to pressures reaching to the bottom of the upper mantle and allows calculation of phase relations in the FeO–MgO–O2–C system.


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