Preliminary Results of Sulfide Melt/Silicate Wetting Experiments in a Partially Melted Ordinary Chondrite
Recently, mechanisms for core formation in planetary bodies have received considerable attention. Most current theories emphasize the need for large degrees of silicate partial melting to facilitate the coalescence and sinking of sulfide-metal liquid blebs through a low strength semi-crystalline silicate mush. This scenario is based upon observations that sulfide-metal liquid tends to form circular blebs in partially molten meteorites during laboratory experiments. However, recent experimental work by Herpfer and Larimer indicates that some sulfide-Fe liquids have wetting angles at and slightly below 60 deg in an olivine aggregate, implying an interconnected melt structure at any melt fraction. Such melt interconnectivity provides a means for gravitational compaction and extraction of the majority of a sulfide liquid phase in small planetary bodies without invoking large degrees of silicate partial melting. Because of the important ramifications of these results, we conducted a series of experiments using H-chondrite starting material in order to evaluate sulfide-liquid/silicate wetting behavior in a more complex natural system.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
- Pub Date:
- March 1994
- Liquid Phases;
- Meteoritic Composition;