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Rhodium Solubility in Silicate Melts


All published experimental data on Rh solubility in silicate melts were combined to derive an equation relating Rh solubility to temperature, oxygen fugacity, and a melt composition. It is demonstrated that Rh is dissolved in a melt dominantly as Rh2+ in the entire experimental fO2 range, from pure oxygen to QFM + 2 (QFM is the quartz–magnetite–fayalite buffer). The temperature dependence of Rh solubility is anomalous. Similar to the solubilities of other noble metals, Rh solubility at a constant fO2 increases with increasing temperature. The Rh metal/silicate partition coefficient was calculated (\(D_{{{\text{Me/Sil}}}}^{{{\text{Rh}}}}\) ≈ 3.5 × 107) for the expected conditions of Earth differentiation into a core and mantle. It is demonstrated that the late chondritic veneer model is able to best explain high Rh contents in upper mantle rocks. The suggested equation makes it possible to discard experimental glasses contaminated with metallic Rh micronuggets and thus to get rid of at least the most gross errors in the determination of Rh partition coefficients between rock-forming minerals and melt.

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The author thanks A.A. Ariskin for constructive criticism of the results.


This study was carried out under government-financed research project for the Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Correspondence to A. A. Borisov.

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Translated by E. Kurdyukov

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Borisov, A.A. Rhodium Solubility in Silicate Melts. Petrology 30, 429–438 (2022).

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  • Rh
  • silicate melt
  • Earth accretion
  • spinel