The breakdown of potassium feldspar at high water pressures

Pauline Thompson, Ian Parsons, Colin M Graham, Brian Jackson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    The equilibrium position of the reaction between sanidine and water to form “sanidine hydrate” has been determined by reversal experiments on well characterised synthetic starting materials in a piston cylinder apparatus. The reaction was found to lie between four reversed brackets of 2.35 and 2.50 GPa at 450?°C, 2.40 and 2.59 GPa at 550?°C, 2.67 and 2.74 GPa at 650?°C, and 2.70 and 2.72 GPa at 680?°C. Infrared spectroscopy showed that the dominant water species in sanidine hydrate was structural H2O. The minimum quantity of this structural H2O, measured by thermogravimetric analysis, varied between 4.42 and 5.85 wt% over the pressure range of 2.7 to 3.2 GPa and the temperature range of 450 to 680?°C. Systematic variation in water content with pressure and temperature was not clearly established. The maximum value was below 6.07 wt%, the equivalent of 1 molecule of H2O per formula unit. The water could be removed entirely by heating at atmospheric pressure to produce a metastable, anhydrous, hexagonal KAlSi3O8 phase (“hexasanidine”) implying that the structural H2O content of sanidine hydrate can vary. The unit cell parameters for sanidine hydrate, measured by powder X-ray diffraction, were a?=?0.53366 (±0.00022)?nm and c?=?0.77141 (±0.00052)?nm, and those for hexasanidine were a?=?0.52893 (±0.00016)?nm and c?=?0.78185 (±0.00036)?nm. The behaviour and properties of sanidine hydrate appear to be analogous to those of the hydrate phase cymrite in the equivalent barium system. The occurrence of sanidine hydrate in the Earth would be limited to high pressure but very low temperature conditions and hence it could be a potential reservoir for water in cold subduction zones. However, sanidine hydrate would probably be constrained to granitic rock compositions at these pressures and temperatures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)176-186
    Number of pages11
    JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


    Dive into the research topics of 'The breakdown of potassium feldspar at high water pressures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this