Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 29, 2021

Experimental evaluation of a new H2O-independent thermometer based on olivine-melt Ni partitioning at crustal pressure

Xiaofei Pu ORCID logo, Gordon M. Moore, Rebecca A. Lange, Jack P. Touran and Joel E. Gagnon
From the journal American Mineralogist


An olivine-melt thermometer based on the partitioning of Ni DNiO1/liqwas hypothesized by Pu et al. (2017) to have a negligible dependence on dissolved water in the melt (and pressure variations from 0–1 GPa), in marked contrast to thermometers based on DMgOl/liq.In this study, 15 olivine-melt equilibrium experiments were conducted on a basaltic glass starting material (9.6 wt% MgO; 353 ppm Ni) to test this hypothesis by comparing the effect of dissolved H2O in the melt on DMgOl/liqandDNiO1/liqon the same set of experiments. Results are presented for six anhydrous experiments at 1 bar, two anhydrous experiments at 0.5 GPa, and seven hydrous experiments at 0.5 GPa. Analyzed olivine and glass compositions in the quenched run products were used to calculate DMgOl/liqandDNiO1/liqvalues for each experiment, which in turn permit temperature to be calculated with the Mg- and Ni-thermometers calibrated in Pu et al. (2017) on anhydrous, 1-bar experiments from the literature. The Ni-thermometer recovers the temperatures of all 15 experiments from this study with an average deviation of –3 °C, including those with up to 4.3 wt% H2O dissolved in the melt. In contrast, the Mg-thermometer recovers the anhydrous, 1-bar experimental temperatures within +14 °C on average, but overestimates the hydrous experimental temperatures by +49 to +127 °C, with an average of +83 °C. When the Mg-thermometer of Putirka et al. (2007) is applied, which includes a correction for analyzed H2O (≤4.3 wt%) in the quenched melts of the run products, all experimental temperatures are recovered with an average (±1σ) deviation of +7 °C. The combined results show that DNiO1/liqhas a negligible dependence on dissolved water in the melt (≤4.3 wt% H2O), which is in marked contrast to the strong dependence of DMgO1/liqon water in the melt. An understanding of why DNiO1/liqis insensitive to dissolved water, unlike DMgO1/liq,is obtained from spectroscopic evidence in the literature, which shows that Ni2+ (transition metal) and Mg2+ (alkaline earth metal) have distinctly different average coordination numbers (predominantly fourfold and sixfold, respectively) in silicate melts and that fourfold-coordinated Ni2+ is unaffected by the presence of dissolved water in the melt. This difference in coordination number explains why DNiO1/liqandDMgO1/liqeach have a different dependence on pressure, anhydrous melt composition, and melt water content. Application of the Ni-thermometer of Pu et al. (2017) to five natural samples from the Mexican arc, for which H2O contents (3.6–6.7 wt%) in olivine-hosted melt inclusions are reported in the literature, leads to temperatures that match those obtained from the Putirka et al. (2007) Mg-thermometer that corrects for analyzed H2O contents. This study demonstrates that a thermometer based on DNiOl/liqcan be applied to hydrous basalts at crustal depths without the need to correct for dissolved water content or pressure.


We thank Jean-Claude Barrette at the University of Windsor for his assistance during the numerous Laser Ablation-ICP-MS analytical sessions for this study. The μ-XANES analyses of the experimental glasses was made possible through the generous support from Katherine Kelley and Elizabeth Cottrell, who also helped improve part of this manuscript. We also thank Anthony Lanzirotti and Matthew Newville for onsite support during the XANES analytical sessions. Youxue Zhang and Adam Simon shared some of their laboratory resources unsparingly, which enabled the successful experimental efforts in this study and provided constructive comments on an earlier version of this work, which enabled the successful experimental efforts in this study, and provided constructive comments. Laura Waters provided vital suggestions that resolved some of the technical challenges in this project. Jameson Jolles helped with the thermal gradient calibration of the piston-cylinder apparatus. This study was supported by National Science Foundation grant (EAR-1551344). The operational support for GeoSoilEnviroCARS, Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne National Laboratory (The University of Chicago, Sector 13) was supported by the National Science Foundation—Earth Sciences (EAR-1634415) and Department of Energy (DOE)—GeoSciences (DE-FG02-94ER14466). Use of the APS facilities was supported by the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Constructive and insightful reviews by Andrew Matzen and Keith Putirka, and additional editorial comments by Charles Lesher, led to significant improvements of the manuscript.

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Received: 2019-02-20
Accepted: 2020-05-28
Published Online: 2021-01-29
Published in Print: 2021-02-23

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