Dolomite-IV: Candidate structure for a carbonate in the Earth’s lower mantle Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/5679-4711-1843-4001-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2017


  • We report the crystal structure of dolomite-IV, a high-pressure polymorph of Fe-dolomite stabilized at 115 GPa and 2500 K. It is orthorhombic, space group Pnma, a = 10.091(3), b = 8.090(7), c = 4.533(3) Å, V = 370.1(4) Å3 at 115.2 GPa and ambient temperature. The structure is based on the presence of threefold C3O9 carbonate rings, with carbon in tetrahedral coordination. The starting Fe-dolomite single crystal during compression up to 115 GPa transforms into dolomite-II (at 17 GPa) and dolomite-IIIb (at 36 GPa). The dolomite-IIIb, observed in this study, is rhombohedral, space group R3, a = 11.956(3), c = 13.626(5) Å, V = 1686.9(5) Å3 at 39.4 GPa. It is different from a previously determined dolomite-III structure, but topologically similar. The density increase from dolomite-IIIb to dolomite IV is ca. 3%. The structure of dolomite-IV has not been predicted, but it presents similarities with the structural models proposed for the high-pressure polymorphs of magnesite, MgCO3. A ring-carbonate structure match with spectroscopic analysis of high-pressure forms of magnesite-siderite reported in the literature, and, therefore, is a likely candidate structure for a carbonate at the bottom of the Earth's mantle, at least for magnesitic and dolomitic compositions.


  • Deposit item AM-17-86161, CIF and Supplemental Material.  Deposit items are free to all readers and found on the MSA website, via the specific issue's Table of Contents (go to


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