Thermodynamic parameters of CaMgSi2O6-Mg2Si2O6 pyroxenes based on regular solution and cooperative disordering models

T. J.B. Holland, A. Navrotsky, R. C. Newton

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37 Scopus citations


Thermodynamic parameters for the reaction: {Mathematical expression} in the system CaO-MgO-SiO2 have been deduced from phase equilibrium and enthalpy of solution data. From the regular solution theory, the seventeen currently available reversed experimental compositions of coexisting enstatite and clinopyroxene, presumed to be ordered diopside, lead, by a statistical regression, to the following best fit parameters: ΔHo=6.80 kJ ΔSo=2.75 J/K WHCpx=24.47 kJ (regular solution enthalpy parameter) WVCpx=0.105 J/bar (regular solution volume parameter). The derived parameters are not significantly affected by the (necessary) choice of WOpx in the range 20-50 kJ. The above values are in very good agreement with deductions from the solution calorimetry on synthetic CaMgSi2O6-Mg2Si2O6 clinopyroxenes of Newton et al. (1979), which also places bounds on possible departures from the optimal values of these parameters. The calorimetric data may also be interpreted in terms of a Bragg-Williams cooperative-disordering model (Navrotsky and Loucks, 1977), in which diopside-structure clinopyroxene and a 'relaxed' low-Ca clinopyroxene ('Fe-free pigeonite') approach each other in composition, structural state, and stability with increasing temperature. The ΔHo parameter deduced from the regular solution theory is reinterpreted as the enthalpy change of enstatite to Mg2Si2O6 pigeonite; the ΔHo of the transformation of enstatite to the diopside structure would, in this case, be considerably larger than 6.8 kJ. The curvature of the enthalpy of solution data, explained by the regular solution theory in terms of M2-site energetics (involving WHcpx), is reinterpreted as due to disordering and 'relaxation' in the Navrotsky-Loucks model. Although the regular solution theory with the best-fit parameters accounts for all of the reversed enstatite and diopside compositions to within 18 ° C, and is a convenient representation of the phase equilibria for purposes of geothermometry, the disordering model is, at the present level of knowledge, equally valid and allows for a region of stability of two coexisting clinopyroxenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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