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American Mineralogist

Journal of Earth and Planetary Materials

Ed. by Baker, Don / Xu, Hongwu / Swainson, Ian

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Volume 101, Issue 5


The elastic tensor of monoclinic alkali feldspars

Naëmi Waeselmann
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, 4000 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington 98195-1310, U.S.A
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/ J. Michael Brown
  • Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, 4000 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington 98195-1310, U.S.A
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/ Ross J. Angel / Nancy Ross
  • Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, 4044 Derring Hall (0420), Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, U.S.A
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/ Jing Zhao
  • Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, 4044 Derring Hall (0420), Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, U.S.A
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/ Werner Kaminsky
  • Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, 36 Bagley Hall, Seattle, Washington 98195-1700, U.S.A
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Published Online: 2016-04-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2016-5583


The full elastic tensors of two K-rich monoclinic alkali feldspars, Or83Ab15 sanidine and Or93Ab7 orthoclase, have been determined by using the Impulse Stimulated Light Scattering technique to measure surface acoustic wave velocities. The new data confirm that alkali feldspars exhibit extreme elastic anisotropy, so the bounds of their isotropic average properties span a wide range. The measured adiabatic moduli are, for Or83Ab15 and Or93Ab7, respectively, KReuss = 54.7(7), 54.5(5) GPa; KVoigt = 62.9(1.1), 64.4(0.6) GPa; GReuss = 24.1(1), 24.5(1) GPa; and GVoigt = 36.1(5), 36.1(7) GPa. The small differences in moduli between the samples suggests that variations in composition and in state of Al, Si order only have minor effects on the average elastic properties of K-rich feldspars. The new measurements confirm that the earliest determinations of elastic wave velocities of alkali feldspars, widely used to calculate wave velocities in rocks, resulted in velocities systematically and significantly too slow by 10% or more.

Keywords: Alkali feldspar; elastic tensor; impulse stimulated light scattering

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About the article

Current address: Florida State University, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 E. Paul Dirac Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32311, U.S.A

Received: 2015-10-06

Accepted: 2015-12-26

Published Online: 2016-04-30

Published in Print: 2016-05-01

Citation Information: American Mineralogist, Volume 101, Issue 5, Pages 1228–1231, ISSN (Online) 1945-3027, ISSN (Print) 0003-004X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2016-5583.

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© 2016 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.

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