Nitrogen is the dominant gas in Earth atmosphere, but its behavior during the Earth' differentiation is poorly known. To aid in identifying the main reservoirs of nitrogen in the Earth, nitrogen solubility was determined experimentally in a mixture of molten CI-chondrite model composition and (Fe, Ni) metal alloy liquid. Experiments were performed in a laser-heated diamond-anvil cell at pressures to 18GPa and temperatures to 2850±200K. Multi-anvil experiments were also performed at 5 and 10GPa and 2390±50K. The nitrogen content increases with pressure in both metal and silicate reservoirs. It also increases with the iron content of the (Fe, Ni) alloy. Sieverts' formalism successfully describes the nitrogen solubility in metals up to 18GPa. Henry's law applies to nitrogen-saturated silicate melts up to 4-5GPa. Independently of these solubility models, it is shown that the partition coefficient of nitrogen between metal and silicate melts changes from almost 104 at ambient pressure to about 10-20 for pressures higher than 1GPa. The pressure-dependence of the nitrogen partitioning can explain the recently suggested depletion of nitrogen relative to other volatiles in the bulk silicate Earth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology