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Studies of the Equation of State and Elasticity of Mantle Minerals


Hamecher, Emily A. (2013) Studies of the Equation of State and Elasticity of Mantle Minerals. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/7MZS-Y538.


Because the Earth’s upper mantle is inaccessible to us, in order to understand the chemical and physical processes that occur in the Earth’s interior we must rely on both experimental work and computational modeling. This thesis addresses both of these geochemical methods. In the first chapter, I develop an internally consistent comprehensive molar volume model for spinels in the oxide system FeO-MgO-Fe2O3-Cr2O3-Al2O3-TiO2. The model is compared to the current MELTS spinel model with a demonstration of the impact of the model difference on the estimated spinel-garnet lherzolite transition pressure. In the second chapter, I calibrate a molar volume model for cubic garnets in the system SiO2-Al2O3-TiO2-Fe2O3-Cr2O3-FeO-MnO-MgO-CaO-Na2O. I use the method of singular value analysis to calibrate excess volume of mixing parameters for the garnet model. The implications the model has for the density of the lithospheric mantle are explored. In the third chapter, I discuss the nuclear inelastic X-ray scattering (NRIXS) method, and present analysis of three orthopyroxene samples with different Fe contents. Longitudinal and shear wave velocities, elastic parameters, and other thermodynamic information are extracted from the raw NRIXS data.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:mantle mineralogy; garnet; spinel; molar volume; thermodynamic modeling
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Asimow, Paul David
Thesis Committee:
  • Rossman, George Robert (chair)
  • Asimow, Paul David
  • Jackson, Jennifer M.
  • Saleeby, Jason B.
Defense Date:31 January 2013
Non-Caltech Author Email:e.hamecher (AT)
Additional Information:Title varies in the 2013 Commencement program: Studies of the Equation of State and Elasticity of Mantle Materials.
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03142013-132228957
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for ch. 1 adapted for ch. 3
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7520
Deposited By: Emily Hamecher
Deposited On:09 Apr 2013 23:30
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:59

Thesis Files

PDF (Thesis) - Final Version
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[img] MS Excel (Chapter 1, Supplement 2) - Supplemental Material
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[img] MS Excel (Chapter 2, Supplement 2) - Supplemental Material
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