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Ringwoodite is a high-pressure polymorph of olivine, and it is stable at high temperatures and pressures like those in the Earth's mantle near 600 km depth. This mineral was first identified in the Tenham Meteorites in 1969, and it is inferred to be present in large quantity in the earth’s mantle. It was named after the Australian earth scientist Alfred E. Ringwood who studied polymorphic phase transitions in the common mantle minerals, olivine and pyroxene, at pressures equivalent to depths as great as about 600 km. Olivine, wadsleyite, and ringwoodite are polymorphs found in the upper mantle of the earth; at depths greater than about 660 km; other minerals, including some with the perovskite structure, are stable. The properties of these minerals determine many of the properties of the mantle.


Ringwoodite is the polymorph of olivine, (Mg, Fe)<sub>2</sub>SiO<sub>4</sub>, with the spinel structure. Spinel-group minerals crystallize in the isometric system with an octahedral habit. Olivine is most abundant in the upper mantle, above about 400&nbsp;km; the olivine polymorphs, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, are thought to dominate the transition zone of the mantle, a zone present from about 400 to 660&nbsp;km depth. Ringwoodite is thought to be the most abundant mineral phase in the lower part of Earth’s transition zone. The physical and chemical property of this mineral partly determine properties of...
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