Effect of structural water on the elasticity of orthopyroxene | Academic Article individual record

Abstract As a major nominally anhydrous mineral (NAM) in the Earths upper mantle, orthopyroxene could host up to several hundred parts per million H2O in its crystal structure and transport the H2O to the deep Earth. To study the effect of structural H2O on the elasticity of orthopyroxene, we have measured the single-crystal elasticity of Mg1.991Al0.065Si1.951O6 with 842900 ppm H2O and 1.64 0.20 wt% Al2O3 at ambient conditions using Brillouin spectroscopy. The best-fit single-crystal elastic moduli (Cijs), bulk (KS0), and shear (G0) modulus of the hydrous Al-bearing orthopyroxene were determined as: C11 = 235(2) GPa, C22 = 173(2) GPa, C33 = 222(2) GPa, C44 = 86(1) GPa, C55 = 82(1) GPa, C66 = 82(1) GPa, C12 = 75(3) GPa, C13 = 67(2) GPa, and C23 = 49(2) GPa, KS0 = 111(2) GPa, and G0 = 78(1) GPa. Systematic analysis based on the results presented in this and previous studies suggests that the incorporation of 842900 ppm H2O would increase C13 by 12.0(7)% and decrease C23 by 8.6(8)%. The effects on C11, C22, C33, C44, C66, KS0, and VP are subtle if not negligible when considering the uncertainties. The C55, C12, G0, and VS are not affected by the presence of structural H2O. Although laboratory experiments show that Fe,Al-bearing orthopyroxenes can host up to 0.8 wt% H2O in its structure, future high-pressure-temperature elasticity measurements on orthopyroxene with higher H2O content are needed to help better quantify this effect.

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American Mineralogist

author list (cited authors)
Hou, M., Zhou, W., Hao, M., Hua, F., Kung, J., Zhang, D., Dera, P. K., & Zhang, J. S.
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  • Orthopyroxene
  • Structural Water
  • Seismic Velocities
  • Elasticity
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