Speciation and solubility of reduced C-O-H-N volatiles in mafic melt: Implications for volcanism, atmospheric evolution, and deep volatile cycles in the terrestrial planets

Lora S. Armstrong, Marc M Hirschmann, Ben D. Stanley, Emily G. Falksen, Steven D. Jacobsen

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Abstract

Using vibrational spectroscopy and SIMS, we determined the solubility and speciation of C-O-H-N dissolved volatiles in mafic glasses quenched from high pressure under reduced conditions, with fO2 from -3.65 to +1.46 relative to the iron-wüstite buffer (IW). Experiments were performed on martian and terrestrial basalts at 1.2GPa and 1400°C in graphite containers with variable availability of H2O, and in the presence of FePt alloys or Fe-C liquids. The dominant C-O-H-N species varies systematically with fO2 and H2O content: the carbonate ion prevails above IW+1, but for dry conditions between IW-2 and IW+1, CO species are most important. Below IW, reduced NH-bearing species are present. At the most reducing and hydrous (~0.5wt% H2O) conditions, small amounts of CH4 are present. Concentrations of C diminish as conditions become more reduced, amounting to 10s to ~100ppm in the interval ~IW-2 to IW+1 where CO species dominate, and as little as 1-3ppm at more reduced conditions. Concentrations of non-carbonate carbon, dominated by CO species, correlate with CO fugacities along a trend implying that the species stoichiometry has just one CO group and suggesting that carbonyl complexes (transition metals with multiple carbon monoxide ligands) are not important species under these conditions. C partition coefficients between Fe-C liquid and silicate melt increase with decreasing fO2, becoming as great as 104 for the most reducing conditions investigated. The low solubility of C in silicate liquids under reducing conditions means that most C during the magma ocean stage of planetary differentiation is either segregated to the core or in the overlying atmosphere. Precipitation of C-rich phases in a carbon-saturated magma ocean is also possible, and is one mechanism by which some C can be retained in the mantle of a planet. The predominant magmatic carbonaceous species for both martian and lunar volcanism is likely CO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-302
Number of pages20
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume171
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by NASA NNX11AH13G and NSF AST1344133 to M.M.H. SIMS analyses were obtained with the help of Richard Hervig and Lynda Williams at the ASU National SIMS facility, supported by EAR0948848 . Raman spectroscopy at Northwestern was supported by NSF EAR1452344 and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to S.D.J. M. Rutherford, Fabrice Gaillard, and an anonymous reviewer are thanked for comments that improved this manuscript.

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