The role of trace elements in controlling H incorporation in San Carlos olivine

  • Peter M. E. TollanEmail author
  • Hugh St. C. O’Neill
  • Jörg Hermann
Original Paper


We conducted a series of hydroxylation experiments using mm-sized cuboids cut from six different crystals of San Carlos olivine with a range of trace-element concentrations. The cuboids were pre-annealed and then hydroxylated under identical conditions, ensuring that variation in the amounts of H incorporated depended only on the compositional variables. The pre-anneal was at 1400 °C, atmospheric pressure and an oxygen fugacity equivalent to Δlog FMQ + 1, with the subsequent hydroxylation at 800 °C and 1.5 GPa, for 3 days. Hydrogen was incorporated into all six crystals by the four main substitution mechanisms [Si], [Mg], [Ti] and [triv], with homogeneous H contents in the cores of the crystals, indicating H diffusion rates faster than 10− 11 m2/s. Total H as H2O in the homogeneous cores calculated by summing all the infrared absorbance bands ranges from 13 to 27 wt. ppm. The total H2O in the six pre-annealed crystals is poorly correlated with any measured compositional variable. However, when the H2O associated with individual infrared bands is compared, clear trends emerge. The intensity of absorption bands at 3572 and 3525 cm− 1 are strongly correlated with Ti concentrations, whose range in the six crystals exceeds an order of magnitude. Bands between 3400 and 3300 cm− 1, correlate negatively with Na+, but are positively correlated with the difference between molar Cr3+ and Na+. This highlights a previously unrecognised role for Na in suppressing H incorporation in natural olivines. The results confirm the important role that the trace constituents of olivine play in H incorporation. Two of these trace elements, Na and Ti, tend to be similarly enriched or depleted by partial melting or metasomatism of the mantle, but have opposite effects on H incorporation, with Ti enhancing it but Na suppressing it. Models estimating the effect of H in olivine on mantle rheology must, therefore, consider carefully the availability of these trace elements.


Water Olivine Mantle Point defect Trace element Diffusion 



For this research was provided by an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship FL130100066 awarded to Hugh O’Neill. The quality of this manuscript benefited greatly from the editorial work of Hans Keppler and detailed reviews by Jed Mosenfelder and two anonymous reviewers. We would like to thank Dean Scott and David Clark for assistance with the experimental apparatus and Jonas Pape and Pierre Lanari for assistance with the microprobe measurements. Charles Le Losq and Mike Jollands are thanked for enlightening discussions.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 115 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 13 KB)
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Supplementary material 3 (XLSX 10 KB)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für GeologieUniversität BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Research School of Earth SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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