Experimental Determination of Partitioning in the Fe-Ni system for Applications to Modeling Meteoritic Metals

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Nancy L. Chabot, E. Alex Wollack, William F. McDonough, Richard D. Ash, and Sarah A. Saslow


Meteoritics & Planetary Science 52: 1133-1145

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Abstract–Experimental trace element partitioning values are often used to model the chemical evolution of metallic phases in meteorites, but limited experimental data were previously available to constrain the partitioning behavior in the basic Fe-Ni system. In this study, we conducted experiments that produced equilibrium solid metal and liquid metal phases in the Fe-Ni system and measured the partition coefficients of 25 elements. The results are in good agreement with values modeled from IVB iron meteorites and with the limited previous experimental data. Additional experiments with low levels of S and P were also conducted to help constrain the partitioning behaviors of elements as a function of these light elements. The new experimental results were used to derive a set of parameterization values for element solid metal–liquid metal partitioning behavior in the Fe-Ni-S, Fe-Ni-P, and Fe-Ni-C ternary systems at 0.1 MPa. The new parameterizations require that the partitioning behaviors in the light-element–free Fe-Ni system are those determined experimentally by this study, in contrast to previous parameterizations that allowed this value to be determined as a best-fit parameter. These new parameterizations, with self-consistent values for partitioning in the endmember Fe-Ni system, provide a valuable resource for future studies that model the chemical evolution of metallic phases in meteorites.

PMCID 5606159


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Last modified June 3, 2018, 3:49 p.m.