In-situ measurement of viscosity and density of carbonate melts at high pressure

David P. Dobson, Adrian P. Jones, Richard Rabe, Toshimori Sekine, Kei Kurita, Takashi Taniguchi, Tadashi Kondo, Takumi Kato, Osamu Shimomura, Satoru Urakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Citations (Scopus)


We present the first measurements of carbonate melt viscosity and density at mantle pressures and temperatures and provide important data for modelling carbonatite behaviour within the mantle. Synchrotron radiation was used to observe falling spheres with high atomic number in situ, allowing precise determination of high terminal velocities over short fall distances. The measured viscosities of 1.5 (5) × 10-2 to 5 (2.5) × 10-3 Pas are the lowest of any known terrestrial magma types and these measurements extend the region of measurable viscosity at high pressure by at least 2 orders of magnitude. Accurate measurements of K2Ca(CO3)2 melt density were performed at atmospheric pressure: ρ (g/cm3) = 2.39(2) - 3.85(15) × 10-4T(0C) and are in complete agreement with the predictions of Wolff (1995). The high-pressure density measurements also agree well with molecular dynamics predictions of carbonate melt compressibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbonatites
  • Density
  • Experimental studies
  • Mantle
  • Metasomatism
  • Viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'In-situ measurement of viscosity and density of carbonate melts at high pressure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this