Elastic properties from acoustic and volume compression experiments

Jay D. Bass, Robert C. Liebermann, Donald J. Weidner, Stephen J. Finch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydrostatic compression data for a number of high-pressure phases of oxides and silicates, which have been studied independently by acoustic techniques, have been analyzed by least-squares fitting of the Birch-Murnaghan equation of state to determine the zero-pressure bulk modulus K0 and its pressure derivative K′0 for each material. The standard deviations of K0 and K′0 so determined are generally underestimated unless the experimental errors in the measurements of volume and pressure are explicitly included. When the values of K0 determined from the acoustic and compression techniques are consistent, test results for quartz and rutile demonstrate that constraining K0 to be equal to the acoustic value significantly improves both the accuracy and the precision of K′0 obtained from the compression data. Similar analyses for high-pressure phases (e.g., pyrope garnet and silicate spinels) indicate that by combining the acoustic and P-V data, the standard deviation of K′0 is typically reduced by a factor of three. Thus, we conclude that this approach does allow precise determinations of K′0 even when neither technique alone is able to resolve this parameter. For some materials, however, the P-V and acoustic experiments do not define mutually consistent values of K0, invalidating any combination of these data. The compression data for stishovite clearly exhibit run to run effects, and we infer that systematic errors are present in some of the P-V data which are responsible for many of the interlaboratory inconsistencies. Such systematic biases in the P-V data can at least be partially compensated for by performing several duplicate experimental runs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-158
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 24 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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