Crystal structure and Raman spectrum of a high-pressure Li-rich majoritic garnet, (Li2Mg)Si2(SiO4)3

Hexiong Yang, Jürgen Konzett, Robert T. Downs, Daniel J. Frost

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11 Scopus citations


A Li-rich majoritic garnet (LiMGt), (Li2Mg)Si 2(SiO4)3, was synthesized at 15 GPa and 1500 °C and its structure studied with single-crystal X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. It is cubic with space group Ia3̄Bd and unit-cell parameters a = 11.2660(2) å and V = 1429.91(1) å3. The 8-, 6-, and 4-coordinated cation sites in LiMGt are occupied by (Li+ + Mg 2+), Si4+, and Si4+, respectively. Whereas the SiO6 octahedron is nearly regular, the XO8 dodecahedron is the most distorted of all known silicate garnets in terms of the bond-length distortion index. All Raman peaks of LiMGt are broader than those of pyrope, due to the substitution of Li+ for Mg2+ at the dodecahedral site. Furthermore, both Si-O symmetric stretching (A1g-v1) and O-Si-O symmetric bending (A1g-v2) modes of LiMGt shift significantly to higher frequencies relative to the corresponding ones of pyrope. In contrast, the A1g-(SiO4) rotational mode of LiMGt displays a much lower frequency than that of pyrope. This study represents the first structural report on a garnet with an all-silicate framework and suggests that, like Na incorporation in garnets, the pressure-dependent coupled substitution of (Li+ + Si4+) for (Mg2+ + Al3+) is likely one of the primary mechanisms for Li enrichment in garnets in the mantle and the transition zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-633
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Crystal structure
  • High pressure
  • Majoritic garnet
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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