Partitioning of Ni between magnesiowüstite and metal at high pressure: implications for core-mantle equilibrium

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The partitioning of Ni between metal and magnesiowüstite is experimentally investigated up to 17 GPa. From the thermodynamic analysis of the experimentally determined distribution coefficient, KD( M MW) = ( XNi XFe)metal XNi XFe)oxide, we obtain seven thermodynamic parameters relevant to its dependency on pressure, temperature and chemical composition. KD( M MW) is strongly dependent on pressure, temperature and MgO content in magnesiowüstite. The pressure effect is most effective and KD( M MW) significantly decreases with increasing pressure (i.e., chemical affinity of Ni with magnesiowüstite is enhanced by high pressure). KD between metal and bulk mantle silicates, KD( M BMS), is estimated on the basis of compiled data of KD(M/Silicates) and the extrapolated value of KD( M MW). KD( M BMS) also decreases with pressure. The chemical reaction between sinking Fe alloy and mantle material at high pressure leads that Ni transfer into the mantle material from Fe alloy. From the comparison KD( M BMS) and KD(core/mantle), the present high Ni concentration in the earth's uppermost mantle is well explained by the equilibrium partitioning of Ni during core-mantle separation combined with a subsequent mantle differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-313
Number of pages21
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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