Research objectives and content
The project addresses the fundamental problem of how trace components partition between solid and melt or fluid phases. The principle objective is to develop a rigorous predictive model for trace element partitioning between silicate minerals and melt using as a starting point the preliminary thermodynamic model of Blundy & Wood (Nature, 1994). This will be extended and refined via two complementary approaches. First, high temperature-high pressure experiments will be performed in doped natural and analogue chemical systems to determine the partitioning behaviour of selected trace elements between mantle minerals (garnet, pyroxenes, olivine)and coexisting melts. Experimental conditions will be varied so as to isolate the effects of pressure,temperature and phase composition. Experiments will be performed in piston cylinder and multi-anvil apparata; trace elements will be analysed by ion- microprobe. Second,these data will be used as input for thermodynamic modelling of partitioning. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
Research will involve training in silicate synthesis methods and high pressure experimental techniques, together with several analytical techniques,including electron microprobe analysis,ion- microprobe analysis,X-ray diffraction,ICP-MS and FTIR. The research will be carried out in the UK's foremost experimental geochemistry laboratory, offering considerable opportunity to interact with other researchers in this field.