Effects of strong network modifiers on Fe3+/Fe2+ in silicate melts: an experimental study

  • Alexander Borisov
  • Harald Behrens
  • Francois Holtz
Original Paper


The effect of CaO, Na2O, and K2O on ferric/ferrous ratio in model multicomponent silicate melts was investigated in the temperature range 1450–1550 °C at 1-atm total pressure in air. It is demonstrated that the addition of these network modifier cations results in an increase of Fe3+/Fe2+ ratio. The influence of network modifier cations on the ferric/ferrous ratio increases in the order Ca < Na < K. Some old controversial conceptions concerning the effect of potassium on Fe3+/Fe2+ ratio in simple model liquids are critically evaluated. An empirical equation is proposed to predict the ferric/ferrous ratio in SiO2–TiO2–Al2O3–FeO–Fe2O3–MgO–CaO–Na2O–K2O–P2O5 melts at air conditions.


Ferric/ferrous ratio Silicate melt Experiment CaO Na2K2



The stay of AB in Hannover was funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG project Ho 1337/30-1). We thank Eric Wolff and Renat Almeev for the electron microprobe assistance and Florian Pohl for the help in the determination of ferric/ferrous ratios in glasses. We are grateful to editor Chris Ballhaus and three anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions which allowed us to improve the paper. This study was partly supported by Russian Science Foundation (Grant 14-17-00491).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and GeochemistryRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical ChemistryRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Institut für MineralogieLeibniz Universität HannoverHanoverGermany

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