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FeO and H_2O and the homogeneous accretion of the earth

Lange, Manfred A. and Ahrens, Thomas J. (1984) FeO and H_2O and the homogeneous accretion of the earth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 71 (1). pp. 111-119. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(84)90057-8.

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We present new shock devolatilization recovery data for brucite (Mg(OH)_2) shocked to 13 and 23 GPa. These data combined with previous data for serpentine (Mg_3Si_2O_5(OH)_4) are used to constrain the minimum size terrestrial planet for which planetesimal infall will result in an impact-generated water atmosphere. Assuming a chondritic abundance of minerals including 3–6%, by mass water, in hydrous phyllosilicates, we carried out model calculations simulating the interaction of metallic iron with impact-released free water on the surface of the accreting Earth. We assume that the reaction of water with iron in the presence of enstatite is the prime source of the terrestrial FeO component of silicates and oxides. Lower and upper bounds on the terrestrial FeO budget are based on mantle FeO content and possible incorporation of FeO in the outer core. We demonstrate that the iron-water reaction would result in the absence of atmospheric/hydrospheric water, if homogeneous accretion is assumed. In order to obtain ~10^(25) g of atmospheric water by the end of accretion, slightly heterogeneous accretion with initially 36% by mass iron planetesimals, as compared to a homogeneous value of 34% is required. Such models yield final FeO budgets, which either require a higher FeO content of the mantle (17 wt.%) or oxygen as a light element in the outer core of the Earth.

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Alternate Title:FeO and H2O and the homogeneous accretion of the earth
Additional Information:Copyright © 1984 Published by Elsevier B.V. Received January 3, 1984, Revised version received July 18, 1984. M.A.L. was supported by a stipend of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. We appreciate the helpful comments of an anonymous reviewer. Work was supported by NASA grants NGL-05-002-105 and NSG 7129. Contribution No. 4012, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
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Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)UNSPECIFIED
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4012
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Official Citation:Manfred A. Lange, Thomas J. Ahrens, FeO and H2O and the homogeneous accretion of the earth, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 71, Issue 1, November 1984, Pages 111-119, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50762
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 Oct 2014 14:51
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:00

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