The oxygen fugacity (fO2) of the Earth's upper mantle appears to lie somewhat above that of the iron-wu??stite buffer, its fO2 is assumed to have been similar to the present value at the time of core formation. In the upper mantle, the Fe-rich liquid protocore that would form under such conditions of fO2 at elevated temperatures would lie predominantly in the system Fe-S-O. Distribution coefficients for Co, Cu, Ni, Ir, Au, Ir, W, Re, Mo, Ag and Ga between such liquids and basalt are known and minimum values are known for Ge. From these coefficients, upper mantle abundances for the above elements can be calculated by assuming cosmic abundances for the whole Earth and equilibrium between the Fe-S-O protocore and upper mantle. These calculated abundances are surprisingly close to presently known upper mantle abundances; agreements are within a factor of 5, except for Cu, W, and Mo. Therefore, siderophile element abundances in the upper mantle based on known distribution coefficients do not demand a late-stage meteoritic bombardment, and a protocore formed from the upper mantle containing S and O seems likely. As upper mantle abundances fit a local equilibrium model, then either the upper mantle has not been mixed with the rest of the mantle since core formation, or else partition coefficients between protocore and mantle were similar for the whole mantle regardless of P, T, and fO2. The latter possibility seems unlikely over such a P-T range. ?? 1984.
Additional publication details
Chemical equilibration of the Earth's core and upper mantle