The role of trace elements in controlling H incorporation in San Carlos olivine

Peter M.E. Tollan, Hugh St C. O’Neill, Jörg Hermann

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We conducted a series of hydroxylation experiments using mm-sized cuboids cut from six different crystals of San Carlos olivine with a range of trace-element concentrations. The cuboids were pre-annealed and then hydroxylated under identical conditions, ensuring that variation in the amounts of H incorporated depended only on the compositional variables. The pre-anneal was at 1400 °C, atmospheric pressure and an oxygen fugacity equivalent to Δlog FMQ + 1, with the subsequent hydroxylation at 800 °C and 1.5 GPa, for 3 days. Hydrogen was incorporated into all six crystals by the four main substitution mechanisms [Si], [Mg], [Ti] and [triv], with homogeneous H contents in the cores of the crystals, indicating H diffusion rates faster than 10− 11 m2/s. Total H as H2O in the homogeneous cores calculated by summing all the infrared absorbance bands ranges from 13 to 27 wt. ppm. The total H2O in the six pre-annealed crystals is poorly correlated with any measured compositional variable. However, when the H2O associated with individual infrared bands is compared, clear trends emerge. The intensity of absorption bands at 3572 and 3525 cm− 1 are strongly correlated with Ti concentrations, whose range in the six crystals exceeds an order of magnitude. Bands between 3400 and 3300 cm− 1, correlate negatively with Na+, but are positively correlated with the difference between molar Cr3+ and Na+. This highlights a previously unrecognised role for Na in suppressing H incorporation in natural olivines. The results confirm the important role that the trace constituents of olivine play in H incorporation. Two of these trace elements, Na and Ti, tend to be similarly enriched or depleted by partial melting or metasomatism of the mantle, but have opposite effects on H incorporation, with Ti enhancing it but Na suppressing it. Models estimating the effect of H in olivine on mantle rheology must, therefore, consider carefully the availability of these trace elements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
Number of pages23
JournalContributions of Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffusion
  • Mantle
  • Olivine
  • Point defect
  • Trace element
  • Water

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