Projects per year
The Macquarie University Deformation-DIA (MQ D-DIA) multi-anvil apparatus at the Australian Synchrotron provides a new experimental facility that enables simultaneous high-pressure and high-temperature in situ synchrotron experimentation in Australia. The MQ D-DIA can be easily deployed at any of a number of beamlines at the Australian Synchrotron, and we describe its installation at the x-ray absorption spectroscopy beamline, which enables in situ x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy and energy-scanning x-ray diffraction. A simple, reliable, and x-ray transparent high-pressure cell assembly has been developed for the D-DIA for which load/pressure and heater power/temperature relationships have been calibrated using in situ x-ray diffraction and "offline" mineral equilibration experiments. Additionally, we have mapped temperature distribution within the assembly using a new quantitative electron microprobe mapping technique developed for fine-grained polyphase samples. We are now investigating the speciation of geologically important trace elements in silicate melts (e.g., Zr, U, and Th) measured in situ under high pressure and temperature conditions corresponding to the Earth's mantle. Pressure-dependent changes in speciation influence partitioning behavior, and therefore the distribution in the Earth, of many trace elements. However, previous ex situ investigations are hampered by uncertainty as to whether high-pressure speciation can be faithfully recorded in samples recovered to ambient conditions. We present preliminary results showing an increase in the coordination number of Zr dissolved as a trace component of a sodium-rich silicate melt with pressure. These results also indicate that silicate melt composition exerts a strong influence on Zr speciation.