An experimental study of Nb and Ta partitioning between Ti-rich minerals and silicate liquids at high pressure and temperature

T. H. Green*, N. J. Pearson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

284 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental determination of partition coefficients (D) for Nb and Ta between Ti-rich minerals (sphene, rutile, ilmenite and Ti-magnetite) and coexisting silicate liquids of basaltic andesite, andesite and trachyte composition, indicate that these elements partition strongly into sphene and rutile, and moderately into ilmenite and Ti-magnetite. The D values for sphene increase with decreasing temperature and with increasing SiO2 content of the coexisting liquid, but appear unchanged by pressure between 7.5 and 16 kb, and oxygen fugacity between magnetite-wustite and haematite-magnetite buffers. Also, DNb DTa. varies from 0.3-0.4 for sphene, increasing to 0.6-0.7 for rutile, 0.7-0.8 for ilmenite and 0.8 for Ti-magnetite. Thus fractionation involving these minerals may cause an increase in the Nb Ta ratio of any derivative liquid; this will be most noticeable where sphene is involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987


Cite this