We have performed experiments to determine the extents to which Fe and H2O are lost from hydrous basaltic melts contained in Au80Pd20 and graphite-lined Pt capsules at 0.7–1 GPa and 1300–1350°C. All experiments were performed in the piston-cylinder apparatus. In order to minimize the possibility of rupture of the AuPd capsule and to control H2O loss we used a double-capsule method. The inner welded 2 mm diameter Au80Pd20 capsule was placed inside a welded 3 mm diameter Pt capsule, the intervening space being packed with hydrous sample. Loss of FeO* from the sample was found to be ≤4% relative in both the Au80Pd20 and graphite-lined Pt capsules in experiments of up to 24 h duration. Loss of H2O is greater and it depends on the oxidation state of the starting materials and the nature of the capsule. For starting mixes fired at 1 log fO2 unit above the quartz-fayalite-magnetite (QFM) buffer at 1 atm, H2O loss from Au80Pd20 capsules averaged 9% relative. Starting mixes fired at 1 log fO2 unit below the QFM buffer at 1atm lost, on average, 32% of their H2O when run in Au80Pd20O2 capsules at high pressure. All samples run in graphite-lined Pt capsules experienced dramatic H2O loss, averaging 52% relative, irrespective of initial oxidation state. We conclude that Au80Pd20 capsules are suitable for high-pressure hydrous melting experiments and that the sample loses very little Fe. In order to minimize H2O-loss, however, it is important that the starting materials be relatively oxidized.

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