Dilute Trace Elements: Partition Coefficients
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This chapter presents the key concept of the partition coefficient (applied to igneous systems). The partition coefficient is the ratio between the composition in a mineral phase, and the concentration in the melt, for a given element. Whereas major-element composition of the mineral is known or it can be assumed (see Chap. 6), for trace elements the best constrained parameter is the partition coefficient. We explore some of the factors that control its value, as well as, in turn, the way this coefficient controls the distribution of elements between liquid and solid phases.
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