Oxidation Extent of the Upper Mantle by Subducted Slab and Possible Oxygen Budget in Deep Earth Inferred From Redox Kinetics of Olivine

Chengcheng Zhao, Takashi Yoshino, Baohua Zhang

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Redox input by subducted slab into mantle is important for deep cycle and isotopic evolution of volatile elements, whose stable forms are controlled by redox state. Given reduced condition in lower part of the upper mantle, taking redox budget from lithospheric mantle into consideration is crucial in redefining redox state there. To constrain to which extent subducted slab modified redox state of the uppermost mantle and how much oxygen budget slab carried into deep Earth, we investigated redox kinetics of olivine adopting diffusion couple method at 1 GPa and 1,373–1573 K in a piston cylinder apparatus. It is found that redox process in olivine is diffusion-controlled, and diffusing on the order of 10−12 m2/s at 1473 K. Oxidation process in reduced part is oxygen fugacity (fO2)-independent with activation enthalpy of 235 ± 56 kJ/mol, while reduction process in oxidized part is fO2-dependent with an fO2 exponent of 2/5. Diffusion profile analysis reveals that for magnetite-free couple, redox process is controlled by oxygen grain boundary diffusion (GBD) below ΔFMQ + 1, and rate-limited by faster species which might be hydrogen related Mg vacancy above ΔFMQ + 1. However, for magnetite-bearing couple, oxygen GBD dominates redox process across wide fO2 range. The extremely slow rate limits the homogenization of the slab with surrounding mantle so that redox state of the uppermost mantle remains unchanged in the past 3.5 Gyrs. A highly underestimated oxygen reservoir may have formed in deep Earth, when subducted slab transports oxidized components to region deeper than the mantle transition zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JB022977
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • olivine
  • oxidation extent
  • redox budget
  • redox kinetics
  • subducting slab
  • the upper mantle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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