We report the discovery of the first high-pressure polymorphs of ammonia hydrates: ammonia monohydrate II and ammonia dihydrate II. The subsolidus transitions and melting curves of these substances are shown by their volume-temperature functions; uncalibrated calorimetry corroborates these phase changes. From 20 to 300 MPa ammonia dihydrate and ice melt at a eutectic to form water-rich liquids; at lower and higher pressures, ammonia dihydrate melts incongruently to ammonia-rich liquids. The new data are consistent with independently known thermodynamic parameters of the ammonia-water system. These results fill in an important region of pressure-temperature space not previously studied; a body of previous data reported by other investigators covers a complementary region (higher pressures), but in the light of the new data those earlier results now appear to have been misinterpreted. We show that a suitable reinterpretation of the previous data supports the identification of at least one high-pressure polymorph of each compound. The behavior of the system H2O-NH3in many ways follows that of MgO-SiO2, and the roles of ammonia-water in icy satellite evolution may parallel those of magnesium silicates in Earth's structure, volcanism, and deep mantle tectonism. Pressure-related effects, including a pressure influence on the ammonia content of cryomagmas, might be significant in determining some potentially observable aspects of cryovolcanic morphologies, surface compositions, and interior structures of icy satellites. ?? 1997 Academic Press.
Additional publication details
The ammonia-water system and the chemical differentiation of icy satellites