• Mantle;
  • partial melting;
  • thermodynamic model;
  • pMELTS;
  • peridotite

[1] We describe a newly calibrated model for the thermodynamic properties of magmatic silicate liquid. The new model, pMELTS, is based on MELTS [Ghiorso and Sack, 1995] but has a number of improvements aimed at increasing the accuracy of calculations of partial melting of spinel peridotite. The pMELTS algorithm uses models of the thermodynamic properties of minerals and the phase equilibrium algorithms of MELTS, but the model for silicate liquid differs from MELTS in the following ways: (1) The new algorithm is calibrated from an expanded set of mineral-liquid equilibrium constraints from 2439 experiments, 54% more than MELTS. (2) The new calibration includes mineral components not considered during calibration of MELTS and results in 11,394 individual mineral-liquid calibration constraints (110% more than MELTS). Of these, 4924 statements of equilibrium are from experiments conducted at elevated pressure (200% more than MELTS). (3) The pMELTS model employs an improved liquid equation of state based on a third-order Birch-Murnaghan equation, calibrated from high-pressure sink-float and shockwave experiments to 10 GPa. (4) The new model employs a revised set of end-member liquid components. The revised components were chosen to better span liquid composition-space. Thermodynamic properties of these components are optimized as part of the mineral-liquid calibration. Comparison of pMELTS to partial melting relations of spinel peridotite from experiments near 1 GPa indicates significant improvements relative to MELTS, but important outstanding problems remain. The pMELTS model accurately predicts oxide concentrations, including SiO2, for liquids from partial melting of MM3 peridotite at 1 GPa from near the solidus up to ∼25% melting. Compared to experiments, the greatest discrepancy is for MgO, for which the calculations are between 1 and 4% high. Temperatures required to achieve a given melt fraction match those of the experiments near the solidus but are ∼60°C high over much of the spinel lherzolite melting interval at this pressure. Much of this discrepancy can probably be attributed to overstabilization of clinopyroxene in pMELTS under these conditions. Comparison of pMELTS calculations to the crystallization and partial melting experiments of Falloon et al. [1999] shows excellent agreement but also suffers from exaggerated calculated stability of clinopyroxene. Finally, comparison of pMELTS calculations to the garnet peridotite experiments of Walter [1998] at 3–7 GPa reveals disparities between calculations and experiments that increase with pressure. The most prominent of these disparities is manifest as overprediction of the stability of garnet and underprediction of that of olivine. Part of this problem may be attributed to inadequacies in the Birch-Murnaghan equation of state in reproducing the behavior of highly compressible liquids at high pressures and temperatures.