High-pressure behavior of liebenbergite: The most incompressible olivine-structured silicate

  • 1 Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, Hawaii 96822, Honolulu, U.S.A.
  • 2 GeoSoilEnviroCARS, Illinois 60439, Lemont, U.S.A.
  • 3 Department of Geology and Geophysics, 96822, Hawaii, U.S.A.
  • 4 Key Laboratory of High-Temperature and High-Pressure Study of the Earth’s Interior, Institute of Geochemistry, Guizhou 550081, Guiyang, China
  • 5 Department of Geosciences, Arizona 85721, Tucson, U.S.A.
  • 6 Department of Geology and Geophysics, 96822, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Dongzhou ZhangORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6679-892X, Yi Hu
  • Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822, U.S.A.
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, Jingui Xu
  • Key Laboratory of High-Temperature and High-Pressure Study of the Earth’s Interior, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, Guizhou 550081, China
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, Robert T. Downs, Julia E. HammerORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5977-2932 and Przemyslaw K. Dera
  • Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, U.S.A.
  • Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822, U.S.A.
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Nickel is an abundant element in the bulk earth, and nickel-dominant olivine, liebenbergite, is the only igneous nickel-rich silicate found in nature. In this study, we used high-pressure single-crystal diffraction to explore the compressional behavior of a synthetic liebenbergite sample up to 42.6 GPa at ambient temperature. Over the studied pressure range, the liebenbergite sample retains the orthorhombic Pbnm structure, and no phase transition is observed. A third-order Birch-Murnaghan equation of state was used to fit the pressure behavior of the unit-cell volume, lattice parameters, the polyhedral volume, and the average bond length within each polyhedron. The best-fit bulk modulus KT0 = 163(3) GPa and its pressure derivative KT0 = 4.5(3). We find that liebenbergite is the most incompressible olivine-group silicate reported thus far, and Ni2+ tends to increase the isothermal bulk modulus of both olivine- and spinel-structured silicates. Consequently, Ni-rich olivine has a higher density compared to Ni-poor olivine at the upper mantle P-T conditions; however enrichment of Ni in mantle olivine is generally too low to make this density difference relevant for fractionation or buoyancy.

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