Time-resolved, in situ X-ray diffraction analysis was used to determine the dehydration rate and kinetics of serpentine during experimental dehydration at high pressures. The capsule used comprises a diamond sleeve fitted with Au or Pt lids in order to provide high-quality, time-resolved X-ray diffraction data. Antigorite quickly dehydrated to enstatite + forsterite + fluid within 2 h at 650 °C below ∼ 6 GPa. Avrami modeling of the results and SEM observations of the partially dehydrated sample revealed that the nucleation rate was quite high for enstatite but low for forsterite, showing incubation periods of ∼ 10 min before appearing. The crystallization of these minerals is controlled largely by the composition of the fluid generated from serpentine dehydration. The dehydration boundary determined below 6 GPa in the present study is consistent with the results of previous phase equilibrium studies. This study indicates that serpentine in a subducting slab dehydrates rapidly below 6 GPa when the slab intersects the dehydration boundary conditions.
2009 Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences