Minerals | 2019
Phase Relations in MAFSH System up to 21 GPa: Implications for Water Cycles in Martian Interior
To elucidate the water cycles in iron-rich Mars, we investigated the phase relation of a water-undersaturated (2 wt.%) analog of Martian mantle in simplified MgO-Al2O3-FeO-SiO2-H2O (MAFSH) system between 15 and 21 GPa at 900–1500 °C using a multi-anvil apparatus. Results showed that phase E coexisting with wadsleyite or ringwoodite was at least stable at 15–16.5 GPa and below 1050 °C. Phase D coexisted with ringwoodite at pressures higher than 16.5 GPa and temperatures below 1100 °C. The transition pressure of the loop at the wadsleyite-ringwoodite boundary shifted towards lower pressure in an iron-rich system compared with a hydrous pyrolite model of the Earth. Some evidence indicates that water once existed on the Martian surface on ancient Mars. The water present in the hydrous crust might have been brought into the deep interior by the convecting mantle. Therefore, water might have been transported to the deep Martian interior by hydrous minerals, such as phase E and phase D, in cold subduction plates. Moreover, it might have been stored in wadsleyite or ringwoodite after those hydrous materials decomposed when the plates equilibrated thermally with the surrounding Martian mantle.