Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 455–470

Fe–Mg partitioning between ringwoodite and magnesiowüstite and the effect of pressure, temperature and oxygen fugacity


  • D. J. Frost
    • Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth 95440 Bayreuth, Germany Tel.:+49-921-553737; Fax:+49-921-553769 e-mail:
  • F. Langenhorst
    • Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth 95440 Bayreuth, Germany Tel.:+49-921-553737; Fax:+49-921-553769 e-mail:
  • P. A. van Aken
    • Institut für Mineralogie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstr. 9, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany

DOI: 10.1007/s002690100181

Cite this article as:
Frost, D., Langenhorst, F. & van Aken, P. Phys Chem Min (2001) 28: 455. doi:10.1007/s002690100181


 The partitioning of Mg and Fe between magnesiowüstite and ringwoodite solid solutions has been measured between 15 and 23 GPa and 1200–1600 C using both Fe and Re capsule materials to vary the oxidation conditions. The partitioning results show a clear dependence on the capsule material used due to the variation in Fe3+ concentrations as a consequence of the different oxidation environments. Using results from experiments performed in Fe capsules, where metallic Fe was also added to the starting materials, the difference in the interaction parameters for the two solid solutions (WFeMgmwWFeMgring) is calculated to be 8.5±1 kJ mol−1. Similar experiments performed in Re metal capsules result in a value for WFeMgmwWFeMgring that is apparently 4 kJ higher, if all Fe is assumed to be FeO. Electron energy-loss near-edge structure (ELNES) spectroscopic analyses, however, show Fe3+ concentrations to be approximately three times higher in magnesiowüstite produced in Re capsules than in Fe capsules and that Fe3+ partitions preferentially into magnesiowüstite, with KDFe3+ring/mw estimated between 0.1 and 0.6. Using an existing activity composition model for magnesiowüstite, a least–squares fit to the partitioning data collected in Fe capsules results in a value for the ringwoodite interaction parameter (WFeMgring) of 3.5±1 kJ mol−1. The equivalent regular interaction parameter for magnesiowüstite (WFeMgmw) is 12.1±1.8 kJ mol. These determinations take into account the Fe3+ concentrations that occur in both phases in the presence of metallic Fe. The free energy change in J mol−1 for the Fe exchange reaction can be described, over the range of experimental conditions, by 912 + 4.15 (T−298)+18.9P with T in K, P in kbar. The estimated volume change for this reaction is smaller than that predicted using current compilations of equation of state data and is much closer to the volume change at ambient conditions. These results are therefore a useful test of high pressure and temperature equation of state data. Using thermodynamic data consistent with this study the reaction of ringwoodite to form magnesiowüstite and stishovite is calculated from the data collected using Fe capsules. Comparison of these results with previous studies shows that the presence of Fe3+ in phases produced in multianvil experiments using Re capsules can have a marked effect on apparent phase relations and determined thermodynamic properties.

Key words RingwooditeMagnesiowüstiteOxygen fugacityElement partitioningTransition zoneHigh pressure

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001