Most of the earth's mantle is made up of high-pressure silicate minerals that contain octahedrally coordinated silicon (SiVI), but many thermodynamically important details of cation site ordering remain unknown. Silicon-29 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is potentially very useful for determining short-range structure. A systematic study of silicon-29 chemical shifts for SiVI has revealed empirical correlations between shift and structure that are useful in understanding several new calcium silicates. The observed ordering state of a number of high-pressure magnesium silicates is consistent with the results of previous x-ray diffraction studies.
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