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Abstract

“Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” is a mineral originally found in Apollo samples five decades ago. However, no structural information has been obtained for this mineral. In this study, we report a new occurrence of “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” and its associated mineral assemblage in an Mg-suite lithic clast (Clast-20) from the brecciated lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 8182. In this lithic clast, plagioclase (An = 88–91), pyroxene (Mg#[Mg/(Mg+Fe)] = 0.87–0.91) and olivine (Mg# = 0.86–0.87) are the major rock-forming minerals. Armalcolite and “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” are observed with other minor phases including ilmenite, chromite, rutile, fluorapatite, merrillite, monazite, FeNi metal, and Fe-sulfide. Based on 38 oxygen atoms, the chemical formula of “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” is (Ca0.99Na0.01)Σ1.00(Ti14.22Fe2.06Cr2.01 Mg1.20Zr0.54Al0.49Ca0.21Y0.05Mn0.04Ce0.03Si0.03La0.01Nd0.01Dy0.01)Σ20.91O38. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) results reveal that the “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” has a loveringite R 3 structure, differing from the armalcolite Bbmm structure. The estimated hexagonal cell parameters a and c of “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” are 10.55 and 20.85 Å, respectively. These structural and compositional features indicate that “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” is loveringite, not belonging to the armalcolite family. Comparison with “Cr-Zr-Ca armalcolite” and loveringite of other occurrences implies that loveringite might be an important carrier of rare earth elements in lunar Mg-suite rocks. The compositional features of plagioclase and mafic silicate minerals in Clast-20 differ from those in other Mg-suite lithic clasts from Apollo samples and lunar meteorites, indicating that Clast-20 represents a new example of diverse lunar Mg-suite lithic clasts.

Abstract

Thallium-bearing samples of alum-(K) and voltaite from the Fornovolasco mining complex (Apuan Alps, Tuscany, Italy) have been characterized through X‑ray diffraction, chemical analyses, micro-Raman, infrared (FTIR), Mössbauer, and X‑ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Alum-(K) occurs as anhedral colorless grains or rarely as octahedral crystals, up to 5 mm. Electron-microprobe analysis points to the chemical formula (K0.74Tl0.10)Σ0.84(Al0.84Fe0.14)Σ0.98S2.03O8·12H2O. The occurrence of minor NH4+ was detected through FTIR spectroscopy. Its unit-cell parameter is a = 12.2030(2) Å, V = 1817.19(9) Å3, space group Pa3¯.Its crystal structure has been refined down to R 1 = 0.0351 for 648 reflections with F o > 4σ(F o) and 61 refined parameters. The crystal structure refinement agrees with the partial substitution of K by 12 mol% Tl. This substitution is confirmed by XAS data, showing the presence of Tl+ having a first coordination shell mainly formed by 6 O atoms at 2.84(2) Å. Voltaite occurs as dark green cubic crystals, up to 1 mm in size. Voltaite is chemically zoned, with distinct domains having chemical formula (K1.94Tl0.28)2.22(Fe3.572+Mg0.94Mn0.55)5.06Fe3.063+Al0.98S11.92O4818H2Oand (K2.04Tl0.32)2.36(Fe3.832+Mg0.91Mn0.29)5.03Fe3.053+Al0.97S11.92O4818H2O,respectively. Infrared spectroscopy confirmed the occurrence of minor NH4+also in voltaite. Its unit-cell parameter is a = 27.2635 Å, V = 20265(4) Å3, space group Fd3¯c.The crystal structure was refined down to R 1 = 0.0434 for 817 reflections with F o > 4σ(F o) and 87 refined parameters. The partial replacement of K by Tl is confirmed by the structural refinement. XAS spectroscopy showed that Tl+ is bonded to six O atoms, at 2.89(2) Å. The multi-technique characterization of thallium-bearing alum-(K) and voltaite improves our understanding of the role of K-bearing sulfates in immobilizing Tl in acid mine drainage systems, temporarily avoiding its dispersion in the environment.

Abstract

Electronic states of iron in the lower mantle’s dominant mineral, (Mg,Fe,Al)(Fe,Al,Si)O3 bridgmanite, control physical properties of the mantle including density, elasticity, and electrical and thermal conductivity. However, the determination of electronic states of iron has been controversial, in part due to different interpretations of Mössbauer spectroscopy results used to identify spin state, valence state, and site occupancy of iron. We applied energy-domain Mössbauer spectroscopy to a set of four bridgmanite samples spanning a wide range of compositions: 10–50% Fe/total cations, 0–25% Al/total cations, 12–100% Fe3+/total Fe. Measurements performed in the diamond-anvil cell at pressures up to 76 GPa below and above the high to low spin transition in Fe3+ provide a Mössbauer reference library for bridgmanite and demonstrate the efects of pressure and composition on electronic states of iron. Results indicate that although the spin transition in Fe3+ in the bridgmanite B-site occurs as predicted, it does not strongly affect the observed quadrupole splitting of 1.4 mm/s, and only decreases center shift for this site to 0 mm/s at ~70 GPa. Thus center shift can easily distinguish Fe3+ from Fe2+ at high pressure, which exhibits two distinct Mössbauer sites with center shift ~1 mm/s and quadrupole splitting 2.4–3.1 and 3.9 mm/s at ~70 GPa. Correct quantification of Fe3+/total Fe in bridgmanite is required to constrain the efects of composition and redox states in experimental measurements of seismic properties of bridgmanite. In Fe-rich, mixed-valence bridgmanite at deep-mantle-relevant pressures, up to ~20% of the Fe may be a Fe2.5+ charge transfer component, which should enhance electrical and thermal conductivity in Fe-rich heterogeneities at the base of Earth’s mantle.

Abstract

The chemical interaction between remelted volcanic ash and ceramic coatings of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and/or gadolinium zirconate (GZO) is of special importance for the design of volcanic ash melt-resistant thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) for aviation turbine technologies. The spreading and infiltration potential of the melts is strongly influenced by the melt viscosity. Thus the interpretation of infiltration experiments and modeling of infiltration processes both rely on accurate viscosity data. Melt viscosity may be significantly altered by the dissolution of the YSZ or GZO thermal barrier coatings during the infiltration process. Here, we have determined the influence of YSZ and GZO additions to the viscosity of a series of volcanic ash melts using high-temperature concentric cylinder viscometry. All samples have been characterized fully after viscometry. At 6.5 wt% of YSZ or GZO, both dopants lead to a reduction of viscosity in a temperature range between 1297–1640 °C in air. The magnitude of the decrease in viscosity depends weakly on volcanic ash melt composition. The viscosity effect has been parameterized in the following form:

Δη=xmdopant

whereby x is a melt-composition specific coefficient of viscosity decrease, and m dopant represents the added amount of YSZ/GZO (wt%). This viscosity reduction should contribute to an acceleration of the physical infiltration of TBCs via remelted volcanic ash.

Abstract

Majoritic garnet has been predicted to be a major component of peridotite and eclogite in Earth’s deep upper mantle (>250 km) and transition zone. The investigation of mineral inclusions in diamond confirms this prediction, but there is reported evidence of other majorite-bearing lithologies, intermediate between peridotitic and eclogitic, present in the mantle transition zone. If these lithologies are derived from olivine-free pyroxenites, then at mantle transition zone pressures majorite may form monomineralic or almost monomineralic garnetite layers. Since majoritic garnet is presumably the seismically fastest major phase in the lowermost upper mantle, the existence of such majorite layers might produce a detectable seismic signature. However, a test of this hypothesis is hampered by the absence of sound wave velocity measurements of majoritic garnets with relevant chemical compositions, since previous measurements have been mostly limited to synthetic majorite samples with relatively simple compositions. In an attempt to evaluate the seismic signature of a pyroxenitic garnet layer, we measured the sound wave velocities of three natural majoritic garnet inclusions in diamond by Brillouin spectroscopy at ambient conditions. The chosen natural garnets derive from depths between 220 and 470 km and are plausible candidates to have formed at the interface between peridotite and carbonated eclogite. They contain elevated amounts (12–30%) of ferric iron, possibly produced during redox reactions that form diamond from carbonate. Based on our data, we model the velocity and seismic impedance contrasts between a possible pyroxenitic garnet layer and the surrounding peridotitic mantle. For a mineral assemblage that would be stable at a depth of 350 km, the median formation depth of our samples, we found velocities in pyroxenite at ambient conditions to be higher by 1.9(6)% for shear waves and 3.3(5)% for compressional waves compared to peridotite (numbers in parentheses refer to uncertainties in the last given digit), and by 1.3(13)% for shear waves and 2.4(10)% for compressional waves compared to eclogite. As a result of increased density in the pyroxenitic layer, expected seismic impedance contrasts across the interface between the monomineralic majorite layer and the adjacent rocks are about 5–6% at the majorite-eclogite-interface and 10–12% at the majoriteperidotite-boundary. Given a large enough thickness of the garnetite layer, velocity and impedance differences of this magnitude could become seismologically detectable.

Abstract

The structural and chemical properties of zircon inclusions in garnet megablasts from the Dora Maira Massif (Western Alps, Italy) were characterized in detail using charge contrast imaging, Raman spectroscopy, and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The aim of this work is to determine to what extent the degree of metamictization, metamorphic recrystallization, inherent structural heterogeneity, chemical composition, and zoning, along with the elastic stress imposed by the host mineral, can influence the Raman peak position of the zircon inclusion and hence, the residual pressure estimated via Raman geo-thermobarometry. We show and confirm that metamictization and inherent structural heterogeneity have a major influence in the Raman spectra of zircon in terms of peak position and peak width. We suggest that, for spectral resolution of 2 cm–1, the peak width of the B1g mode near 1008 cm–1 of reliable grains must be smaller than 5 cm–1. The method can be applied to both inherited igneous and newly formed Alpine metamorphic crystals. By coupling structural and chemical information, we demonstrate that there are no significant diferences between the Raman spectra of zircon with oscillatory-zoned texture, formed during magmatic crystallization, and those formed by fluid-induced Alpine (re)crystallization. The discrimination between magmatic and metamorphic zircon based only on micro-textural constraints is not robust. Finally, our results allow establishing a protocol devoted to the selection of reliable buried zircon inclusions, relying only on Raman spectroscopic measurements, to use for elastic thermobarometry applications.

Abstract

Niobium and tantalum, rare metals and high field strength elements (HFSEs) that are essential to modern technologies, are concentrated among others in lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites and rare metal granites. The most important hosts for Nb-Ta in these types of deposits are the columbite group minerals (columbite-tantalite), but at some ore deposits significant Ta is also contained in wodginite, microlite, and tapiolite. Previous solubility experiments of HFSE minerals have been limited to high temperatures because of the slow diffusivities of HFSEs in granitic melts. An experiment protocol is described herein that allows HFSE mineral solubilities to be determined at lower temperatures, more in line with the estimated solidus temperatures of LCT pegmatites and rare metal granites. This is achieved through the interaction of a melt that is enriched in high field strength elements (e.g., P and Nb or Ta) with a fluid enriched in a fluid-mobile element (FME, e. g., Mn). A starting glass enriched in a slow diffusing HFSE was synthesized, and HFSE mineral saturation is obtained via the diffusion of a FME into the melt via interaction with a fluid. This interaction can occur at much lower temperatures in reasonable experimental durations than for experiments that require diffusion of niobium and tantalum. The solubility product of columbite-(Mn) from the fluid-melt interaction experiment in a highly fluxed granitic melt at 700 °C is the same as those from dissolution and crystallization (reversal) experiments at the same P-T conditions. Thus, both methods produce reliable measurements of mineral solubility, and the differences in the metal concentrations in the quenched melts indicates that the solubility of columbite-(Mn) follows Henry’s Law. Results show that columbite-(Mn) saturation can be reached at geologically reasonable concentrations of niobium in melts and manganese in hydrothermal fluids. This experimental protocol also allows the investigation of HFSE mineral crystallization by fluid-melt interactions in rare-metal pegmatites. Magmatic origins for columbite group minerals are well constrained, but hydrothermal Nb-Ta mineralization has also been proposed for pegmatite-hosted deposits such as Tanco, Greenbushes, and granite-hosted deposits such as Cínovec/Zinnwald, Dajishan, and Yichun. This study shows that columbite-(Mn), lithiophilite, and a Ca-Ta oxide mineral (that is likely microlite) crystallized from experiments in fluid-melt systems at temperatures as low as 650 °C at 200 MPa. It is important to note that HFSE minerals that crystallize from fluid-melt interactions texturally occur as euhedral crystals as phenocrysts in glass, i.e., are purely magmatic textures. Therefore, crystallization of HFSE minerals from fluid-melt interactions in rare metal granites and pegmatite deposits may be more widespread than previously recognized. This is significant because the formation of these deposits may require magmatic-hydrothermal interaction to explain the textures present in deposits worldwide, rather than always being the result of a single melt or fluid phase.

Abstract

In this study, I present experimental results on the equilibrium between boracite [Mg3B7O13Cl(cr)] and kurnakovite [chemical formula, Mg2B6O11·15H2O(cr); structural formula, MgB3O3(OH)5·5H2O(cr)] at 22.5 ± 0.5 °C from a long-term experiment up to 1629 days, approaching equilibrium from the direction of supersaturation, Mg3B7O13Cl(cr) + H+ + 2B(OH)4– + 18H2O(1) 3MgB3O3(OH)5·5H2O(cr) + Cl.

Based on solubility measurements, the 10-based logarithm of the equilibrium constant for the above reaction at 25 °C is determined to be 12.83 ± 0.08 (2s).

Based on the equilibrium constant for dissolution of boracite, Mg3B7O13Cl(cr) + 15H2O(l) = 3Mg2+ + 7B(OH) 4+ Cl + 2H+ at 25 °C measured previously () and that for the reaction between boracite and kurnakovite determined here, the equilibrium constant for dissolution of kurnakovite, MgB3O3(OH)5·5H2O(cr) = Mg2+ + 3B(OH) 4+ H+ + H2O(1) is derived as –14.11 ± 0.40 (2s).

Using the equilibrium constant for dissolution of kurnakovite obtained in this study and the experimental enthalpy of formation for kurnakovite from the literature, a set of thermodynamic properties for kurnakovite at 25 °C and 1 bar is recommended as follows: ΔHf0=4813.24±4.92kJ/mol,ΔGf0= 4232.0±2.3kJ/mol,andS0=414.3±0.9J/molK.Among them, the Gibbs energy of formation is based on the equilibrium constant for kurnakovite determined in this study; the enthalpy of formation is from the literature (), and the standard entropy is calculated internally with the Gibbs-Helmholtz equation in this work. The thermodynamic properties of kurnakovite estimated using the group contribution method for borate minerals based on the sums of contributions from the cations, borate polyanions, and structural water to the thermodynamic properties from the literature () are consistent, within their uncertainties, with the values listed above.

Since kurnakovite usually forms in salt lakes rich in sulfate, studying the interactions of borate with sulfate is important to modeling kurnakovite in salt lakes. For this purpose, I have re-calibrated our previous model () describing the interactions of borate with sulfate based on the new solubility data for borax in Na2SO4 solutions presented here.

Abstract

Electrical resistivity experiments were conducted on three alloys in the iron-rich side of the Fe-Ni(-S) system (Fe-5 wt% Ni, Fe-10 wt% Ni, Fe-10 wt% Ni-5 wt% S) at 4.5 and 8 GPa and up to 1900 K using the multi-anvil apparatus and the 4-electrode technique. For all samples, increasing temperature increases resistivity. At a specified temperature, Fe-Ni(-S) alloys are more resistive than Fe by a factor of about 3. Fe-Ni alloys containing 5 and 10 wt% Ni present comparable electrical resistivity values. The resistivity of Fe-Ni(-S) alloys is comparable to the one of Fe = 5 wt% S at 4.5 GPa and is about three times higher than the resistivity of Fe = 5 wt% S at 8 GPa, due to a different pressure dependence of electrical resistivity between Fe-Ni and Fe-S alloys. Based on these electrical results and experimentally determined thermal conductivity values from the literature, lower and upper bounds of thermal conductivity were calculated. For all Ni-bearing alloys, thermal conductivity estimates range between ~12 and 20 W/(m⋅K) over the considered pressure and temperature ranges. Adiabatic heat fluxes were computed for both Ganymede’s core and the Lunar core, and heat flux values suggest a significant dependence to both core composition and the adiabatic temperature. Comparison with previous thermochemical models of the cores of Ganymede and the Moon suggests that some studies may have overestimated the thermal conductivity and hence, the heat flux along the adiabat in these planetary cores.

Abstract

Scandium is often associated with iron oxides in the environment. Despite the use of scandium as a geochemical tracer and the existence of world-class supergene deposits, uncertainties on speciation obscure the processes governing its sequestration and concentration. Here, we use first-principles approaches to interpret experimental K-edge X‑ray absorption near-edge structure spectra of scandium either incorporated in or adsorbed on goethite and hematite, at concentrations relevant for the environment. This modeling helps to interpret the characteristic spectral features, providing key information to determine scandium speciation when associated with iron oxides. We show that scandium is substituted into iron oxides at low concentrations without modifying the crystal structure. When scandium is adsorbed onto iron oxide surfaces, the process occurs through outer-sphere complexation with a reduction in the coordination number of the hydration shell. Considering available X‑ray absorption spectra from laterites, the present results confirm that scandium adsorption onto iron oxides is the dominant mechanism of sequestration in these geochemical conditions. This speciation explains efficient scandium recovery through mild metallurgical treatments of supergene lateritic ores. The specificities of scandium sorption mechanisms are related to the preservation of adsorbed scandium in million-years old laterites. These results demonstrate the emerging ability to precisely model fine X‑ray absorption spectral features of trace metals associated with mineral phases relevant to the environment. It opens new perspectives to accurately determine trace metals speciation from high-resolution spatially resolved X‑ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy in order to constrain the molecular mechanisms controlling their dynamics.