Vapor pressure and vapor fractionation of silicate melts of tektite composition

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By:  and 



The total vapor pressure of Philippine tektite melts of approximately 70 per cent silica has been determined at temperatures ranging from 1500 to 2100°C. This pressure is 190 ± 40 mm Hg at 1500°C, 450 ± 50 mm at 1800°C and 850 ± 70 mm at 2100° C. Determinations were made by visually observing the temperature at which bubbles began to form at a constant low ambient pressure. By varying the ambient pressure, a boiling point curve was constructed. This curve differs from the equilibrium vapor pressure curve due to surface tension effects. This difference was evaluated by determining the equilibrium bubble size in the melt and calculating the pressure due to surface tension, assuming the latter to be 380 dyn/cm.

The relative volatility from tektite melts of the oxides of Na, K, Fe, Al and Si has been determined as a function of temperature, total pressure arid roughly, of oxygen fugacity. The volatility of SiO2 is decreased and that of Na2O and K2O is increased in an oxygen-poor environment. Preliminary results indicate that volatilization at 2100°C under atmospheric pressure caused little or no change in the percentage Na2O and K2O. The ratio Fe3Fe2 of the tektite is increased in ambient air at a pressure of 9 × 10−4 mm Hg (= 106.5 atm O2, partial pressure) at 2000°C. This suggests that tektites were formed either at lower oxygen pressures or that they are a product of incomplete oxidation of parent material with a still lower ferricferrous ratio.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Vapor pressure and vapor fractionation of silicate melts of tektite composition
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/0016-7037(64)90042-0
Volume 28
Issue 6
Year Published 1964
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description 15 p.
First page 937
Last page 951
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