skip to main content

Title: Stability and Solid Solutions of Hydrous Alumino-Silicates in the Earth’s Mantle
The degree to which the Earth’s mantle stores and cycles water in excess of the storage capacity of nominally anhydrous minerals is dependent upon the stability of hydrous phases under mantle-relevant pressures, temperatures, and compositions. Two hydrous phases, phase D and phase H, are stable to the pressures and temperatures of the Earth’s lower mantle, suggesting that the Earth’s lower mantle may participate in the cycling of water. We build on our prior work of density functional theory calculations on phase H with the stability, structure, and bonding of hydrous phases D, and we predict the aluminum partitioning with H in the Al 2 O 3 -SiO 2 -MgO-H 2 O system. We address the solid solutions through a statistical sampling of site occupancy and calculation of the partition function from the grand canonical ensemble. We show that each phase has a wide solid solution series between MgSi 2 O 6 H 2 -Al 2 SiO 6 H 2 and MgSiO 4 H 2 -2 δ AlOOH + SiO 2 , in which phase H is more aluminum rich than phase D at a given bulk composition. We predict that the addition of Al to both phases D and H more » stabilizes each phase to higher temperatures through additional configurational entropy. While we have shown that phase H does not exhibit symmetric hydrogen bonding at high pressure, we report here that phase D undergoes a gradual increase in the number of symmetric H-bonds beginning at ∼30 GPa, and it is only ∼50% complete at 60 GPa. « less
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1724693
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10301895
Journal Name:
Minerals
Volume:
10
Issue:
4
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
330
ISSN:
2075-163X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The distribution and transportation of water in Earth’s interior depends on the stability of water-bearing phases. The transition zone in Earth’s mantle is generally accepted as an important potential water reservoir because its main constituents, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, can incorporate weight percent levels of H2O in their structures at mantle temperatures. The extent to which water can be transported beyond the transition zone deeper into the mantle depends on the water carrying capacity of minerals stable in subducted lithosphere. Stishovite is one of the major mineral components in subducting oceanic crust, yet the capacity of stishovite to incorporate water beyondmore »at lower mantle conditions remains speculative. In this study, we combine in situ laser heating with synchrotron X-ray diffraction to show that the unit cell volume of stishovite synthesized under hydrous conditions is ∼2.3 to 5.0% greater than that of anhydrous stishovite at pressures of ∼27 to 58 GPa and temperatures of 1,240 to 1,835 K. Our results indicate that stishovite, even at temperatures along a mantle geotherm, can potentially incorporate weight percent levels of H2O in its crystal structure and has the potential to be a key phase for transporting and storing water in the lower mantle.

    « less
  2. Phase egg, [AlSiO3(OH)], is an aluminosilicate hydrous mineral that is thermodynamically stable in lithological compositions represented by Al2O3-SiO2-H2O (ASH) ternary, i.e., a simplified ternary for the mineralogy of subducted sediments and continental crustal rocks. High-pressure and high-temperature experiments on lithological compositions resembling hydrated sedimentary layers in subducting slabs show that phase egg is stable up to pressures of 20–30 GPa, which translates to the transition zone to lower mantle depths. Thus, phase egg is a potential candidate for transporting water into the Earth’s mantle transition zone. In this study, we use first-principles simulations based on density functional theory to exploremore »the pressure dependence of crystal structure and how it influences energetics and elasticity. Our results indicate that phase egg exhibits anomalous behavior of the pressure dependence of the elasticity at mantle transition zone depths (~15 GPa). Such anomalous behavior in the elasticity is related to changes in the hydrogen bonding O-H···O configurations, which we delineate as a transition from a low-pressure to a high-pressure structure of phase egg. Full elastic constant tensors indicate that phase egg is very anisotropic resulting in a maximum anisotropy of compressional wave velocity, AvP ≈ 30% and of shear wave velocity, AvS ≈ 17% at zero pressures. Our results also indicate that the phase egg has one of the fastest bulk sound velocities (vP and vS) compared to other hydrous aluminous phases in the ASH ternary, which include topaz-OH, phase Pi, and d-AlOOH. However, the bulk sound velocity of phase egg is slower than that of stishovite. At depths corresponding to the base of mantle transition zone, phase egg decomposes to a mixture of d-AlOOH and stishovite. The changes in compressional DvP and shear DvS velocity associated with the decomposition is ~0.42% and –1.23%, respectively. Although phase egg may be limited to subducted sediments, it could hold several weight percentages of water along a normal mantle geotherm.« less
  3. Abstract The high-pressure phases of oxyhydroxides (δ-AlOOH, ε-FeOOH, and their solid solution), candidate components of subducted slabs, have wide stability fields, thus potentially influencing volatile circulation and dynamics in the Earth’s lower mantle. Here, we report the elastic wave velocities of δ-(Al,Fe)OOH (Fe/(Al + Fe) = 0.13, δ-Fe13) to 79 GPa, determined by nuclear resonant inelastic X-ray scattering. At pressures below 20 GPa, a softening of the phonon spectra is observed. With increasing pressure up to the Fe 3+ spin crossover (~ 45 GPa), the Debye sound velocity ( v D ) increases. At higher pressures, the low spin δ-Fe13 is characterized by a pressure-invariantmore »v D . Using the equation of state for the same sample, the shear-, compressional-, and bulk-velocities ( v S , v P , and v Φ ) are calculated and extrapolated to deep mantle conditions. The obtained velocity data show that δ-(Al,Fe)OOH may cause low- v Φ and low- v P anomalies in the shallow lower mantle. At deeper depths, we find that this hydrous phase reproduces the anti-correlation between v S and v Φ reported for the large low seismic velocity provinces, thus serving as a potential seismic signature of hydrous circulation in the lower mantle.« less
  4. Abstract While the water storage capacities of the upper 700 km depths of the mantle have been constrained by high-pressure experiments and diamond inclusion studies, the storage capacity of the lower mantle remains controversial. A recent high-pressure experimental study on CaSiO3 perovskite, which is the third most abundant mineral in the lower mantle, reported possible storage of H2O up to a few weight percent. However, the substitution mechanism for H in this phase remains unknown. We have conducted a series of density functional theory calculations under static-lattice conditions and high pressures to elucidate hydration mechanisms at the atomic scale. Allmore »of the possible dodecahedral (Ca2+ → 2H+) and octahedral (Si4+ → 4H+) substitution configurations for a tetragonal perovskite lattice have very small energy differences, suggesting the coexistence of multiples of H configurations in CaSiO3 perovskite at mantle pressures and temperatures. The dodecahedral substitutions decrease the bulk modulus, resulting in a smaller unit-cell volume of hydrous CaSiO3 perovskite under pressure, consistent with the experimental observations. Although the octahedral substitutions also decrease the bulk modulus, they increase the unit-cell volume at 1 bar. The H atoms substituted in the dodecahedral sites develop much less hydrogen bonding with O atoms, leading to a large distortion in the neighboring SiO6 octahedra. Such distortion may be responsible for the non-cubic peak splittings observed in experiments on hydrous CaSiO3 perovskite. Our calculated infrared spectra suggest that the observed broad OH modes in CaSiO3 perovskite can result from the existence of multiples of H configurations in the phase. Combined with the recent experimental results, our study suggests that CaSiO3 can be an important mineral phase to consider for the H2O storage in the lower mantle.« less
  5. Abstract Constraining the accommodation, distribution, and circulation of hydrogen in the Earth's interior is vital to our broader understanding of the deep Earth due to the significant influence of hydrogen on the material and rheological properties of minerals. Recently, a great deal of attention has been paid to the high-pressure polymorphs of FeOOH (space groups P21nm and Pnnm). These structures potentially form a hydrogen-bearing solid solution with AlOOH and phase H (MgSiO4H2) that may transport water (OH–) deep into the Earth's lower mantle. Additionally, the pyrite-type polymorph (space group Pa3 of FeOOH), and its potential dehydration have been linked tomore »phenomena as diverse as the introduction of hydrogen into the outer core (Nishi et al. 2017), the formation of ultralow-velocity zones (ULVZs) (Liu et al. 2017), and the Great Oxidation Event (Hu et al. 2016). In this study, the high-pressure evolution of FeOOH was re-evaluated up to ~75 GPa using a combination of synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and optical absorption spectroscopy. Based on these measurements, we report three principal findings: (1) pressure-induced changes in hydrogen bonding (proton disordering or hydrogen bond symmetrization) occur at substantially lower pressures in ε-FeOOH than previously reported and are unlikely to be linked to the high-spin to low-spin transition; (2) ε-FeOOH undergoes a 10% volume collapse coincident with an isostructural Pnnm → Pnnm transition at approximately 45 GPa; and (3) a pressure-induced band gap reduction is observed in FeOOH at pressures consistent with the previously reported spin transition (40 to 50 GPa).« less