Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 377–382 | Cite as

Mechanism of the olivine–ringwoodite transformation in the presence of aqueous fluid

  • Jun-ichi AndoEmail author
  • Naotaka Tomioka
  • Kazunari Matsubara
  • Toru Inoue
  • Tetsuo Irifune
Original Paper


The mechanism of the high pressure transformation of olivine in the presence of aqueous fluid was investigated by high pressure experiments conducted nominally at the wadsleyite + ringwoodite stability field at 14.5 GPa and 700 and 800°C. The microstructures of recovered samples were observed using an analytical transmission electron microscope (ATEM) for which foils were prepared using a focused ion beam technique. Glass films approximately 1 μm in width always occupied the interface between olivine and hydrous ringwoodite. ATEM measurements showed that the chemical compositions of the glass films had approximately the same Mg/Fe ratio as that of olivine, but a higher Si content. Micro-structural and -chemical observations suggest that these glass films formed as quenched glass from the aqueous fluid dissolving olivine and that hydrous ringwoodite was crystallized from the fluid. This indicates that the transformation of olivine to hydrous ringwoodite was prompted by the dissolution–reprecipitation process. The dissolution–reprecipitation process is considered an important mineral replacement mechanism in the Earth’s crust by which one mineral is replaced by a more stable phase or phases. However, this process has not previously been reported for deep mantle conditions.


Dissolution–reprecipitation Olivine Ringwoodite Transformation mechanism 



We thank S. Karato and T. Kubo for helpful reviews and constructive comments to improve the manuscript. We also thank H. Ishisako for making the thin sections, Y. Shibata for helping with the EPMA measurement, the staff of the Techniques Center at Hiroshima University for making the experimental parts, and K. Kanagawa for supplying the peridotite sample. We are grateful to A. Putnis and Y. Takahashi for helpful comments and suggestions. This study was partially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to J.A.


  1. Akaogi M, Ito E, Navrotsky A (1989) Olivine-modified spinel-spinel transformations in the system Mg2SiO4–Fe2SiO4: calorimetric measurements, thermochemical calculation, and geophysical application. J Geophys Res 94:15671–15685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ando J, Shibata Y, Okajima Y, Kanagawa K, Furusho M, Tomioka N (2001) Striped iron zoning of olivine induced by dislocation creep in deformed peridotites. Nature 414:893–895CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Brearley AJ, Rubie DC, Ito E (1992) Mechanisms of the transformations between the α, β and γ polymorphs of Mg2SiO4 at 15 GPa. Phys Chem Minerals 18:343–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burnley PC (1995) The fate of olivine in subducting slabs: a reconnaissance study. Am Mineral 80:1293–1301Google Scholar
  5. Cardew PT, Davey RJ (1985) The kinetics of solvent-mediated phase transformation. Proc R Soc Lond A 398:415–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fujino K, Miyajima N, Yagi T, Kondo T, Funamori N (1998) Analytical electron microscopy of the garnet-perovskite transformation in a laser-heated diamond anvil cell. In: Manghnani MH, Yagi T (eds) Properties of earth and planetary materials at high pressure and temperature. American Geophysical Union, Washington DC, pp 409–417Google Scholar
  7. Furusho M, Kanagawa K (1999) Transformation-induced strain localization in a lherzolite mylonite from the Hidaka metamorphic belt of central Hokkaido, Japan. Tectonophysics 31:411–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hosoya T, Kubo T, Ohtani E, Sano A, Funakoshi K (2005) Water controls the fields of metastable olivine in cold subducting slabs. Geophys Res Lett 32. DOI 10.1029/2005GL023398Google Scholar
  9. Inoue T, Irifune T, Yurimoto H, Miyagi I (1998) Decomposition of K-amphibole at high pressures and implications for subduction zone volcanism. Phys Earth Planet Inter 107:221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Irifune T, Isshiki M, Sakamoto S (2005) Transmission electron microscope observation of the high-pressure form of magnesite retrieved from laser heated diamond anvil cell. Earth Planet Sci Lett 239:98–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Iwamori H (1998) Transportation of H2O and melting in subduction zones. Earth Plant Sci Lett 160:65–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Karato S, Paterson MS, Fitz Gerald JD (1986) Rheology of synthetic olivine aggregates: influence of grain size and water. J Geophys Res 91:8151–8176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kerschhofer L, Sharp TG, Rubie DC (1996) Intracrystalline transformation of olivine to wadsleyite and ringwoodite under subduction zone conditions. Science 274:79–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kerschhofer L, Dupas C, Liu M, Sharp TG, Durham WB, Rubie DC (1998) Polymorphic transformations between olivine, wadsleyite and ringwoodite: mechanisms of intracrystalline nucleation and the role of elastic strain. Miner Mag 62:617–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kubo T, Ohtani E, Kato T, Shinmei T, Fujino K (1998) Effect of water on the α–β transformation kinetics in San Carlos olivine. Science 281:85–87CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kubo T, Ohtani E, Kato T, Urakawa S, Suzuki A, Kanbe Y, Funakoshi K, Utsumi W, Kikegawa T, Fujino K (2002) Mechanisms and kinetics of the post-spinel transformation in Mg2SiO4. Phys Earth Planet Inter 129:153–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kubo T, Ohtani E, Funakoshi K (2004) Nucleation and growth kinetics of the α–β transformation in Mg2SiO4 determined by in situ synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction. Am Mineral 89:285–293Google Scholar
  18. Luth RW (1993) Melting in the Mg2SiO4–H2O system at 3 to 12 GPa. Geophys Res Lett 20:233–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mackwell SJ, Kohlstedt DL, Paterson MS (1985) The role of water in the deformation of olivine single crystals. J Geophys Res 90:11319–11333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mei S, Kohlstedt DL (2000) Influence of water on plastic deformation of olivine aggregates. I Diffusion creep regime. J Geophys Res 105:21457–21469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mibe K, Fujii T, Yasuda A (2002) Composition of aqueous fluid coexisting with mantle minerals at high pressure and its bearing on the differentiation of the Earth’s mantle. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 66:2273–2285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mosenfelder JL, Marton FC, Ross II CR, Kerschhofer L, Rubie DC (2001) Experimental constraints on the depth of olivine metastability in subducting lithosphere. Phys Earth Planet Inter 127:165–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ohtani E, Mizobata H, Yurimoto H (2000) Stability of dense hydrous magnesium silicate phases in the systems Mg2SiO4–H2O and MgSiO3–H2O at pressures up to 27 GPa. Phys Chem Miner 27:533–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ohtani E, Litasov K, Hosoya T, Kubo T, Kondo T (2004) Water transport into the deep mantle and formation of a hydrous transition zone. Phys Earth Planet Inter 143–144:255–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. O’Neil JR (1977) Stable isotopes in mineralogy. Phys Chem Miner 2:105–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Poli S, Schmidt MW (1995) H2O transport and release in subduction zones: Experimental constraints on basaltic and andesitic systems. J Geophys Res 100:22299–22314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Putnis A (2002) Mineral replacement reactions: from macroscopic observations to microscopic mechanisms. Miner Mag 66:689–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Putnis CV, Mezger K (2004) A mechanism of mineral replacement: isotope tracing in the model system KCl-KBr-H2O. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 68:2839–2848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rimstidt JD, Barnes HL (1980) The kinetics of silica-water reactions. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 44:1683–1699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rubie DC, Ross II CR (1994) Kinetics of the olivine-spinel transformation in subducting lithosphere: experimental constraints and implications for deep slab processes. Phys Earth Planet Inter 86:223–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun-ichi Ando
    • 1
    Email author
  • Naotaka Tomioka
    • 2
  • Kazunari Matsubara
    • 1
  • Toru Inoue
    • 3
  • Tetsuo Irifune
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Systems ScienceHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  3. 3.Geodynamic Research CenterEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan

Personalised recommendations