Two Pbca orthopyroxene samples, donpeacorite (DP N.1) and enstatite (B22 N.60) with chemical formulae Mn0.54Ca0.03Mg1.43Si2O6 (XMn = 0.27) and Fe0.54Ca0.03Mg1.43Si2O6 (XFe = 0.27), respectively, were investigated by single-crystal X-ray diffraction at high-temperature conditions.
The nearly identical XFe and XMn make the two samples the perfect candidates to investigate the effect of the compositional change at the M2 site (i.e. Fe-Mn substitution) on the thermal expansion behaviour of orthopyroxenes.
Therefore, the unit-cell parameter thermal expansion behaviour of both samples has been investigated in the temperature range between room T and 1073 K. No evidence for phase transitions was found over that range. The two samples have been previously disordered with an ex situ annealing at ~1273 K.
The unit-cell parameters and volume thermal expansion data, collected on the disordered samples, have been fitted to a Fei Equation of State (EoS) and the following coefficients obtained: V0 = 853.35(4) Å3, αV,303K = 2.31(24) × 10−5 K−1 and V0 = 845.40(6) Å3, αV,303K = 2.51(25) × 10−5 K−1 for DP N.1 and B22 N.60, respectively.
While there is no difference in the volume thermal expansion coefficient as a function of composition and the expansion along the b direction is nearly identical for both samples, slight differences have been found along a and c lattice directions. The thermal expansion along the a direction is counterbalanced by that along c being responsible for the changes in lattice expansion scheme from αb > αc > αa at room T, to αc > αb > αa at high T. Therefore, as a result of the different behaviour along a and c, the unit-cell volume thermal expansion for both samples is identical within estimated standard deviations. The negligible effect of the Fe-Mn substitution on the bulk thermal expansion can be applied when dealing with geothermobarometry based on the elastic host-inclusion approach (e.g. Nestola et al., 2011; Howell et al., 2010; Angel et al., 2014a,b, 2015). In fact, though the compressibility effect is still not known, the nearly identical thermal expansion coefficients will not affect the entrapment pressure (Pe).