1Kyusei Tsuno, 1Damanveer S.Grewal, 1Rajdeep Dasgupta
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.07.010]
1Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, MS 126, Houston, TX 77005, USA
Constraining carbon (C) fractionation between silicate magma ocean (MO) and core-forming alloy liquid during early differentiation is essential to understand the origin and early distribution of C between reservoirs such as the crust-atmosphere, mantle, and core of Earth and other terrestrial planets. Yet experimental data at high pressure (P)-temperature (T) on the effect of other light elements such as sulfur (S) in alloy liquid on alloy-silicate partitioning of C and C solubility in Fe-alloy compositions relevant for core formation is lacking. Here we have performed multi-anvil experiments at 6–13 GPa and 1800–2000 °C to examine the effects of S and Ni on the solubility limit of C in Fe-rich alloy liquid as well as partitioning behavior of C between alloy liquid and silicate melt (DCalloy/silicate). The results show that C solubility in the alloy liquid as well as DCalloy/silicate decreases with increasing in S content in the alloy liquid. Empirical regression on C solubility in alloy liquid using our new experimental data and previous experiments demonstrates that C solubility significantly increases with increasing temperature, whereas unlike in S-poor or S-free alloy compositions, there is no discernible effect of Ni on C solubility in S-rich alloy liquid.
Our modelling results confirm previous findings that in order to satisfy the C budget of BSE, the bulk Earth C undergoing alloy-silicate fractionation needs to be as high as those of CI-type carbonaceous chondrite, i.e., not leaving any room for volatility-induced loss of carbon during accretion. For Mars, on the other hand, an average single-stage core formation at relatively oxidized conditions (1.0 log unit below IW buffer) with 10-16 wt.% S in the core could yield a Martian mantle with a C budget similar to that of Earth’s BSE for a bulk C content of ∼0.25-0.9 wt.%. For the scenario where C was delivered to the proto-Earth by a S-rich differentiated impactor at a later stage, our model calculations predict that bulk C content in the impactor can be as low as ∼0.5 wt.% for an impactor mass that lies between 9-20% of present day Earth’s mass. This value is much higher than 0.05-0.1 wt.% bulk C in the impactor predicted by Li et al. (2016) because C-solubility limit of 0.3 wt.% in a S-rich alloy predicted by their models is significantly lower than the experimentally derived C-solubility of ∼1.6 wt. % for the relevant S-content in the core of the impactor.