Magnesium self-diffusion in orthoenstatite
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Magnesium self-diffusion coefficients were determined experimentally for diffusion parallel to each of the three crystallographic directions in natural orthoenstatite (En88Fs12). Experiments were conducted at 1 atm in CO-CO2 gas mixing furnaces, which provided oxygen fugacities equivalent to the iron-wüstite buffer. Diffusion of 25Mg was induced in polished samples of oriented orthoenstatite using a film of isotopically enriched 25MgO as the source material. Very short (<0.15 μm) diffusional penetration profiles were measured by ion microprobe depth profiling. The diffusion coefficients determined for four temperatures (900, 850, 800, 750 °C) provide the activation energies, E a , and frequency factors, Do, where D = Do exp (−E a /RT) for Mg self-diffusion parallel to each crystallographic direction: a-axis, E a = 360 ± 52 kJ/mole and Do = 1.10 × 10−4 m2/s; b-axis, E a = 339 ± 77 kJ/mole and Do = 6.93 × 10−6 m2/s and c-axis, E a = 265 ± 66 kJ/mole and Do = 4.34 × 10−9 m2/s. In this temperature range, any possible anisotropy of cation diffusion is very small, however the activation energy for diffusion parallel to the c-axis (001) is the lowest and the activation energies for diffusion parallel to the a-axis (100) and b-axis (010) are higher. Application of these diffusion results to the silicate phases of the Lowicz mesosiderite meteorite provides cooling rates for the silicate portion of the meteorite (4–11 °C/100 years) that are similar, although slower, to previous estimates. These silicate cooling rates are still several orders of magnitude faster than the cooling rates (0.1 °C/106 years) for the metal portions.
KeywordsSilicate Activation Energy Cool Rate Depth Profile Oxygen Fugacity
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