Ca-Mg diffusion in diopside: Tracer and chemical inter-diffusion coefficients

Xiaoyu Zhang, Jibamitra Ganguly, Motoo Ito

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45 Scopus citations


We have experimentally determined the tracer diffusion coefficients (D*) of 44Ca and 26Mg in a natural diopside (̃Di96) as function of crystallographic direction and temperature in the range of 950-1,150 °C at 1 bar and f(O2) corresponding to those of the WI buffer. The experimental data parallel to the a*, b, and c crystallographic directions show significant diffusion anisotropy in the a-c and b-c planes, with the fastest diffusion being parallel to the c axis. With the exception of logD*(26Mg) parallel to the a* axis, the experimental data conform to the empirical diffusion "compensation relation", converging to logD ̃ -19. 3 m2/s and T ̃ 1,155 °C. Our data do not show any change of diffusion mechanism within the temperature range of the experiments. Assuming that D* varies roughly linearly as a function of angle with respect to the c axis in the a-c plane, at least within a limited domain of ̃20° from the c-axis, our data do not suggest any significant difference between D*(//c) and D*(⊥(001)), the latter being the diffusion data required to model compositional zoning in the (001) augite exsolution lamellae in natural clinopyroxenes. Since the thermodynamic mixing property of Ca and Mg is highly nonideal, calculation of chemical diffusion coefficient of Ca and Mg must take into account the effect of thermodynamic factor (TF) on diffusion coefficient. We calculate the dependence of the TF and the chemical interdiffusion coefficient, D(Ca-Mg), on composition in the diopside-clinoenstatite mixture, using the available data on mixing property in this binary system. Our D*(Ca) values parallel to the c axis are about 1-1.5 log units larger than those Dimanov et al. (1996). Incorporating the effect of TF, the D(Ca-Mg) values calculated from our data at 1,100-1,200 °C is ̃0. 6-0.7 log unit greater than the experimental quasibinary D((Ca-Mg + Fe)) data of Fujino et al. (1990) at 1 bar, and ̃0.6 log unit smaller than that of Brady and McCallister (1983) at 25 kb, 1,150 °C, if our data are normalized to 25 kb using activation volume (̃4 and ̃6 cm3/mol for Mg and Ca diffusion, respectively) calculated from theoretical considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Cooling rates
  • Diffusion
  • Diopside
  • Eucrites
  • Thermodynamic factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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