Equation of state and strength of natural majorite

A. Kavner, S. V. Sinogeikin, Raymond Jeanloz, J. D. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The bulk modulus of a natural sample of cubic majorite, one of the primary components of the Earth's transition zone, has been determined by two independent methods: quasi-hydrostatic compression in the diamond anvil cell and Brillouin spectroscopy at room pressure. The two measurements agree well, and together yield a zero-pressure isothermal bulk modulus K0T=162.7 (± 3.3) GPa, and a pressure derivative K0T′=6.6 (± 0.8). Additional compression experiments under nonhydrostatic conditions show that majorite supports shear stresses of at least 2 to 3 GPa at pressures of 7-11 GPa, among the highest values yet documented in silicates or oxides at comparable pressures. These results imply a high strength for majorite, suggesting that the transition zone could be strong to a degree that may influence deformation and heat transfer within the Earth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1999JB900374
Pages (from-to)5963-5971
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue numberB3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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