Abstract

We determined phase relations in FeCr2O4 at 12–28 GPa and 800–1600 °C using a multi-anvil apparatus. At 12–16 GPa, FeCr2O4 spinel (chromite) first dissociates into two phases: a new Fe2Cr2O5 phase + Cr2O3 with the corundum structure. At 17–18 GPa, the two phases combine into CaFe2O4-type and CaTi2O4-type FeCr2O4 below and above 1300 °C, respectively. Structure refinements using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction data confirmed the CaTi2O4-structured FeCr2O4 (Cmcm), and indicated that the Fe2Cr2O5 phase is isostructural to a modified ludwigite-type Mg2Al2O5 (Pbam). In situ high-pressure high-temperature X-ray diffraction experiments showed that CaFe2O4-type FeCr2O4 is unquenchable and is converted into another FeCr2O4 phase on decompression. Structural analysis based on synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction data with transmission electron microscopic observation clarified that the recovered FeCr2O4 phase has a new structure related to CaFe2O4-type. The high-pressure phase relations in FeCr2O4 reveal that natural FeCr2O4-rich phases of CaFe2O4- and CaTi2O4-type structures found in the shocked Suizhou meteorite were formed above about 18 GPa at temperature below and above 1300 °C, respectively. The phase relations also suggest that the natural chromitites in the Luobusa ophiolite previously interpreted as formed in the deep-mantle were formed at pressure below 12–16 GPa.

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