Heat capacities of Fe2O3-bearing silicate liquids

Rebecca A. Lange, Alexandra Navrotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Direct measurements of liquid heat capacity, using a Setaram HT1500 calorimeter in step-scanning mode, have been made in air on six compositions in the Na2O-FeO-Fe2O3-SiO2 system, two in the CaO-FeO-Fe2O3-SiO2 system and four of natural composition (basanite, andesite, dacite, and peralkaline rhyolite). The fitted standard deviations on our heat capacity measurements range from 0.6 to 3.6%. Step-scanning calorimetry is particularly useful when applied to iron-bearing silicate liquids because: (1) measurements are made over a small temperature interval (10K) through which the ferric-ferrous ratio of the liquid remains essentially constant during a single measurement; (2) the sample is held in equilibrium with an atmosphere that can be controlled; (3) heat capacity is measured directly and not derived from the slope of enthalpy measurements with temperature. Liquid compositions in the sodic and calcic systems were chosen because they contain large concentrations of Fe2O3 (up to 19 mol%), and their equilibrium ferric-ferrous ratios were known at every temperature of measurement. These measurement have been combined with heat capacity (Cp) data in the literature on iron-free silicate liquids to fit Cp as a function of composition. A model assuming no excess heat capacity (linear combination of partial molar heat capacities of oxide components) reproduces the liquid data within error (±2.2% on average). The derived partial molar heat capacity of the Fe2O3 component is 240.9 ±7.9 J/g.f.w.-K, with a standard error reduced by more than a factor of two from that in earlier studies. The model equation, based primarily on simple, synthetic compositions, predicts the heat capacity of the four magmatic liquids within 1.8% on average.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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