Water has played an important role in the Earth’s evolution. The incorporation of water as hydroxyl into solid mineral phases or as coexisting hydrous fluids and melts affects the chemical and physical properties of crust and mantle constituents, i.e., it weakens rocks and minerals, reduces viscosity and strength of the materials, and depresses dramatically the melting temperature of silicate minerals (e.g., Karato 1990; Inoue 1994; Hirth and Kohlstedt 1996; Chen et al. 1998; Kubo et al. 1998; Mei and Kohlstedt 2000). Many recent studies have suggested the possible existence of water in the Earth’s...

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