The great sulfur depletion of Earth’s mantle is not a signature of mantle–core equilibration

Ballhaus, Chris, Fonseca, Raúl O. C., Münker, Carsten, Rohrbach, Arno, Nagel, Thorsten, Speelmanns, Iris M., Helmy, Hassan M., Zirner, Aurelia, Vogel, Antje K. and Heuser, Alexander (2017) The great sulfur depletion of Earth’s mantle is not a signature of mantle–core equilibration Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 172 (8, Article 68). DOI 10.1007/s00410-017-1388-3.

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The extreme depletion of the Earth’s mantle in sulfur is commonly seen as a signature of metal segregation from Earth’s mantle to Earth’s core. However, in addition to S, the mantle contains other elements as volatile as S that are hardly depleted relative to the lithophile volatility trend although they are potentially as siderophile as sulfur. We report experiments in metal-sulfide–silicate systems to show that the CI normalized abundances of S, Pb, and Sn in Earth’s mantle cannot be reproduced by element partitioning in Fe ± S–silicate systems, neither at low nor at high pressure. Much of the volatile inventory of the Earth’s mantle must have been added late in the accretion history, when metal melt segregation to the core had become largely inactive. The great depletion in S is attributed to the selective segregation of a late sulfide matte from an oxidized and largely crystalline mantle. Apparently, the volatile abundances of Earth’s mantle are not in redox equilibrium with Earth’s core.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Sulfur ; High pressure core formation ; Volatile elements ; Heterogeneous accretion ; Earth’s mantle ; Hadean matte ; Late veneer
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00410-017-1388-3
ISSN: 0010-7999
Projects: SFB170, SPP 1385
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 09:01
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2017 07:38

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