Stability of iron-bearing carbonates in the deep Earth's interior

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  • Author: Cerantola, Valerio

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Bykova, Elena

    University of Bayreuth, Germany

  • Author: Kupenko, Ilya

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Merlini, Marco

    Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Italy

  • Author: Ismailova, Leyla

    Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Russian Federation

  • Author: McCammon, Catherine

    University of Bayreuth, Germany

  • Author: Bykov, Maxim

    University of Bayreuth, Germany

  • Author: Chumakov, Alexandr I.

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Petitgirard, Sylvain

    University of Bayreuth, Germany

  • Author: Kantor, Innokenty

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

  • Author: Svitlyk, Volodymyr

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Jacobs, Jeroen

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Hanfland, Michael

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Mezouar, Mohamed

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Prescher, Clemens

    Universität zu Köln, Germany

  • Author: Ruffer, Rudolf

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France

  • Author: Prakapenka, Vitali B.

    University of Chicago, United States

  • Author: Dubrovinsky, Leonid

    University of Bayreuth, Germany

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The presence of carbonates in inclusions in diamonds coming from depths exceeding 670 km are obvious evidence that carbonates exist in the Earth's lower mantle. However, their range of stability, crystal structures and the thermodynamic conditions of the decarbonation processes remain poorly constrained. Here we investigate the behaviour of pure iron carbonate at pressures over 100 GPa and temperatures over 2,500 K using single-crystal X-ray diffraction and Mossbauer spectroscopy in laser-heated diamond anvil cells. On heating to temperatures of the Earth's geotherm at pressures to similar to ∼50 GPa FeCO3 partially dissociates to form various iron oxides. At higher pressures FeCO3 forms two new structures-tetrairon(III) orthocarbonate Fe34+C3O12, and diiron(II) diiron(III) tetracarbonate Fe22+Fe32+C4O13, both phases containing CO4 tetrahedra. Fe4C4O13 is stable at conditions along the entire geotherm to depths of at least 2,500 km, thus demonstrating that self-oxidation-reduction reactions can preserve carbonates in the Earth's lower mantle.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15960
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Number of pages9
ISSN2041-1723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

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