Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, Ricardo Amils, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, William M. Irvine, Daniele L. Pinti, Michel Viso


  • Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11274-4_1467


In chemistry and geology, a solidus is the set of temperatures below which a substance is completely solid or crystallized. The solidus defines the temperature at which a substance begins to melt, but not necessarily when the substance is completely melted. A solidus may be contrasted with a  liquidus. The solidus and liquidus may not be the same in all cases. When a difference exists between the solidus and liquidus temperatures, then in the intervening region, the system consists of a mixture of solid and liquid phases. In eutectic systems, solidus and liquidus temperatures are the same: The mixture melts completely at the eutectic point.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII
    • 1
  1. 1.Geophysical LaboratoryCarnegie Institution of WashingtonWashingtonUSA