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The thermodynamic controls on sulfide saturation in silicate melts with application to Ocean Floor Basalts.
  • Hugh O'Neill
Hugh O'Neill
Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University

Corresponding Author:hugh.oneill@anu.edu.au

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A thermodynamic model to calculate the “Sulfide Content at Sulfide Saturation” or SCSS of basaltic and intermediate composition silicate melts has been built from four independently measurable thermodynamic entities, namely the standard state Gibbs free energy of the saturation reaction, the “sulfide capacity”, and the activities of FeO in the silicate melt and of FeS in the coexisting sulfide: ln [S2-]SCSS = ∆G(FeO-FeS)/RT + ln C(S2- )- ln a(FeO)(sil melt) + ln a(FeS)sulf The model was calibrated for silicate melts of basic and intermediate composition from published experimental results as a function of temperature, silicate melt composition, and sulfide matte composition in the system Fe-Ni-Cu-S-O at 1 bar. The likely effects of pressure and H2O content on SCSS were included in an exploratory way. The model was tuned against the large dataset of S contents in OFB glasses of Jenner and O’Neill (2012), giving it a precision comparable to that of the S analyses themselves, which is ~ 5%. All but 3% the OFB glasses were found to be sulfide saturated within uncertainty; these 3% have lost S by devolatization, revealed by their low S/Se. Applying the model to other OFB datasets suggests sulfide saturation is ubiquitous, including olivine-hosted melt inclusions proposed previously to be sulfide undersaturated. The sulfur fugacity (fS2) of undegassed Ocean Floor Basalts varies proportionally to fO2, with log10fS2 typically within the range -0.6 to +0.4.
30 Sep 2021Published in Magma Redox Geochemistry on pages 177-213. 10.1002/9781119473206.ch10