A Mössbauer study of the oxidation state of Fe in silicate melts

Kasthuri D. Jayasuriya, Hugh St C. O'Neill, Andrew J. Berry, Stewart J. Campbell

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Fe3+/ΣFe ratios were determined from Mössbauer spectra recorded for a series of 17 anorthite-diopside eutectic glasses containing 1 wt% 57Fe2O3 quenched from melts equilibrated over a range of oxygen fugacities from fO2 ∼ 105 bars (Fe3+/ΣFe = 1) to 10- 13 bars (Fe3+/ΣFe = 0) at 1682 K. Fe 3+/Fe2+ was found to be proportional to f O2 to the power of 0.245 ± 0.004, in excellent agreement with the theoretical value of 0.25 expected from the stoichiometry of the reaction Fe2+O + 0.25 O2 = Fe3+O1.5. The uncertainty in the Fe3+ /ΣFe ratios determined by Mössbauer spectroscopy was estimated as ± 0.01 (1σ) from the fit of the data to the theoretical expression, which is significantly less than that quoted for previous measurements on silicate glasses; this results from fitting the spectra of a large number of systematically varying samples, which allows many of the ambiguities associated with the fitting procedure to be minimized. Fe3+/ΣFe ratios were then determined for samples of the anorthite-diopside eutectic composition equilibrated at selected values of fO2, to which up to 30 wt% Fe 2O3 had been added. Fe3+/Σ Fe was found to vary with ΣFe (or FeOT), but both the 1 wt% and high FeOT data could be satisfactorily fit assuming the ideal stoichiometry (i.e., Fe3+/Fe2+ ∝ f O2 1/4) by the inclusion of a Margules term describing Fe2+-Fe3+ interactions. The large negative value of this term indicates a tendency toward the formation of Fe2+-Fe3+ complexes in the melt. The resulting expression, using the ideal exponent of 0.25, gave a fit to 289 Fe3+/ΣFe values, compiled from various literature sources, of similar quality as previous empirical models which found an exponent of ∼0.20. Although the empirical models reproduce Fe 3+/ΣFe values of glasses with high FeO T reasonably well, they describe the data for 1 wt% FeOT poorly. The non-ideal values of the exponent describing the dependence of Fe3+/ΣFe on fO2 at high FeOT are an artifact of models that did not include a term explicitly to describe the Fe2+-Fe3+ interactions. An alternative model in which Fe in the silicate melt is described in terms of three species, Fe2+O, Fe3+O 1.5, and the non-integral valence species Fe 2.6+O1.3, was also tested with promising results. However, at present there is no model that fits the data within the assessed accuracy of the experimental measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1597-1609
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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