High Pressure Experiments on Metal-Silicate Partitioning of Chlorine in a Magma Ocean: Implications for Terrestrial Chlorine Depletion

Hideharu Kuwahara, Hirotada Gotou, Toru Shinmei, Nobuhiro Ogawa, Asuka Yamaguchi, Naoto Takahata, Yuji Sano, Takehiko Yagi, Seiji Sugita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the bulk silicate Earth, chlorine is more depleted than other elements with similar volatilities; however, the cause of terrestrial chlorine depletion is not well understood. Two major hypotheses have been proposed to explain this depletion: Incorporation into the Earth's metallic core and escape to space. The former hypothesis can be tested by investigating the partitioning of chlorine between iron-rich metallic liquids and silicate melts. In this study, we investigated the experimental partitioning of chlorine between iron-rich metallic liquids and silicate melts at pressures from 4 to 23 GPa and temperatures from 1,650 to 2,400°C using multi-anvil presses. The results demonstrate that chlorine is moderately to highly lithophile under the experimental conditions. In sulfur-free experiments, chlorine becomes slightly more siderophile as temperature increases and less siderophile as pressure increases. For sulfur-bearing experiments, no significant effects of pressure or temperature were observed. Based on these data and thermodynamic considerations, we obtained empirical laws to estimate chlorine partition coefficients between iron-rich metallic liquids and silicate melts. Under the P-T conditions that would have controlled metal-silicate equilibration during core segregation in the Earth, the calculated metal-silicate partition coefficients for chlorine are much lower than unity. This result suggests that terrestrial chlorine that may have been present in the accreting Earth was not partitioned into its core, supporting that escape to space is the more likely hypothesis. If terrestrial chlorine was lost to space, chlorine depletion may have resulted from the loss of the primordial hydrosphere during the formation of the Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3929-3945
Number of pages17
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume18
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • chlorine
  • core
  • magma ocean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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