GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA;
JUN 15 2012.
Citações Web of Science:
A variety of seemingly unrelated processes, such as core-mantle interaction, desulfurization, and direct precipitation from a silicate melt have been proposed to explain the formation of Ru-Os-Ir alloys (here referred to as osmiridiums) found in terrestrial mantle rocks. However, no consensus has yet been reached on how these important micrometer-sized phases form. In this paper we report the results of an experimental study on the solubilities of Ru, Os and Ir in sulfide melts (or mattes) as a function of alloy composition at 1300 degrees C. Considering the low solubilities of Ru, Os, and Ir in silicate melts, coupled with their high matte/silicate-melt partition coefficients, our results indicate that these elements concentrate initially at the ppm level in a matte phase in the mantle source region. During partial melting, the extraction of sulfur into silicate melt leads to a decrease in fS(2) that triggers the exsolution of osmiridiums from the refractory matte in the residue. The newly formed osmiridiums may persist in the terrestrial mantle for periods exceeding billions of years. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (AU)