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Title: Evidence for the charge disproportionation of iron in extraterrestrial bridgmanite
Bridgmanite, MgSiO 3 with perovskite structure, is considered the most abundant mineral on Earth. On the lower mantle, it contains Fe and Al that strongly influence its behavior. Experimentalists have debated whether iron may exist in a mixed valence state, coexistence of Fe 2+ and Fe 3+ in bridgmanite, through charge disproportionation. Here, we report the discovery of Fe-rich aluminous bridgmanite coexisting with metallic iron in a shock vein of the Suizhou meteorite. This is the first direct evidence in nature of the Fe disproportionation reaction, which so far has only been observed in some high-pressure experiments. Furthermore, our discovery supports the idea that the disproportionation reaction would have played a key role in redox processes and the evolution of Earth.
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1725094
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10201046
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Volume:
6
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
eaay7893
ISSN:
2375-2548
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) in the lowermost mantle are key to understanding the chemical composition and thermal structure of the deep Earth, but their origins have long been debated. Bridgmanite, the most abundant lower-mantle mineral, can incorporate extensive amounts of iron (Fe) with effects on various geophysical properties. Here our high-pressure experiments and ab initio calculations reveal that a ferric-iron-rich bridgmanite coexists with an Fe-poor bridgmanite in the 90 mol% MgSiO3–10 mol% Fe2O3system, rather than forming a homogeneous single phase. The Fe3+-rich bridgmanite has substantially lower velocities and a higherVP/VSratio than MgSiO3bridgmanite under lowermost-mantle conditions. Our modeling shows that the enrichment of Fe3+-rich bridgmanite in a pyrolitic composition can explain the observed features of the LLSVPs. The presence of Fe3+-rich materials within LLSVPs may have profound effects on the deep reservoirs of redox-sensitive elements and their isotopes.

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