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Published November 30, 1984 | public
Journal Article

Densities of Liquid Silicates at High Pressures


Densities of molten silicates at high pressures (up to ∼230 kilobars) have been measured for the first time with shock-wave techniques. For a model basaltic composition (36 mole percent anorthite and 64 mole percent diopside), a bulk modulus K_s, of ∼230 kilobars and a pressure derivative (dK_s/dP) of ∼4 were derived. Some implications of these results are as follows: (i) basic to ultrabasic melts become denser than olivine-and pyroxene-rich host mantle at pressures of 60 to 100 kilobars; (ii) there is a maximum depth from which basaltic melt can rise within terrestrial planetary interiors; (iii) the slopes of silicate solidi [(dT_m/dP), where T_m is the temperature] may become less steep at high pressures; and (iv) enriched mantle reservoirs may have developed by downward segregation of melt early in Earth history.

Additional Information

© 1984 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 11 June 1984. Accepted for publication 10 July 1984. We have benefited from discussions with and comments from D. L. Anderson, J. D. Bass, A. Boettcher, I. S. E. Carmichael, H. Eissler, R. Hill, M. H. Manghnani, S. A. Morse, O. Navon, R. O'Connell, E. Ohtani, F. Richter, M. L. Rivers, D. R. Scott, D. J. Stevenson, and D. Walker. Supported by NSF grant EAR80-18819. Contribution No. 4112, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.

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