TitaniQ under pressure: The effect of pressure and temperature on the solubility of Ti in quartz

Jay B. Thomas, E. Bruce Watson, Frank S. Spear, Philip T. Shemella, Saroj K. Nayak, Antonio Lanzirotti

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394 Scopus citations


Quartz and rutile were synthesized from silica-saturated aqueous fluids between 5 and 20 kbar and from 700 to 940°C in a piston-cylinder apparatus to explore the potential pressure effect on Ti solubility in quartz. A systematic decrease in Ti-in-quartz solubility occurs between 5 and 20 kbar. Titanium K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) measurements demonstrate that Ti4+ substitutes for Si4+ on fourfold tetrahedral sites in quartz at all conditions studied. Molecular dynamic simulations support XANES measurements and demonstrate that Ti incorporation onto fourfold sites is favored over interstitial solubility mechanisms. To account for the P-T dependence of Ti-in-quartz solubility, a least-squares method was used to fit Ti concentrations in quartz from all experiments to the simple expression, where R is the gas constant 8.3145 J/K, T is temperature in Kelvin, XquartzTio2 is the mole fraction of TiO2 in quartz and aTio2 is the activity of TiO2 in the system. The P-T dependencies of Ti-in-quartz solubility can be used as a thermobarometer when used in combination with another thermobarometer in a coexisting mineral, an independent P or T estimate of quartz crystallization, or well-constrained phase equilibria. If temperature can be constrained within ±25°C, pressure can be constrained to approximately ±1. 2 kbar. Alternatively, if pressure can be constrained to within ±1 kbar, then temperature can be constrained to approximately ±20°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-759
Number of pages17
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Quartz
  • Solubility
  • Thermobarometry
  • Thermometry
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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