The high-pressure phases Fe4O5 and Fe5O6 have recently been added to the list of known iron oxides. As mixed-valence phases, it has been suggested that they could form in the Earth’s mantle once the dominant minerals become saturated in ferric iron. The possibility that Fe4O5 could exist in the mantle is also supported by the fact that it forms extensive solid solutions with both Mg2+ and Cr3+. In this study, we present the results of high-pressure and high-temperature multi-anvil experiments performed between 5 and 24 GPa at 1000–1400 °C aimed at constraining the stability field of the Fe4O5 phase. We combine these results with published phase equilibria, equation of state and Fe–Mg partitioning data to estimate the thermodynamic properties of Fe4O5, Fe5O6 and the (Mg,Fe)2Fe2O5 solid solution. Using our thermodynamic model, the oxygen fugacity at which the high-pressure iron oxides become stable is calculated and the redox stability of (Mg,Fe)2Fe2O5 in an assemblage of olivine and pyroxene is calculated as a function of the bulk Fe/(Fe + Mg) ratio. Fe4O5 and (Mg,Fe)2Fe2O5 are stable at oxygen fugacities higher than the diamond stability field and are, therefore, unlikely to be found as inclusions in diamonds. The stability field of Fe5O6, on the other hand, extends to oxygen fugacities compatible with diamond formation. Using the Mg–Fe solid solution model, we show that Fe4O5-structured phases would be restricted to aluminium-poor environments in the mantle such as dunites or silica–iron oxide-rich sediments transported into the mantle via subduction.
- Deep Earth
- Oxygen fugacity