Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 503–526

Vibrational spectroscopy of end-member silicate garnets

  • A. M. Hofmeister
  • A. Chopelas

DOI: 10.1007/BF00202230

Cite this article as:
Hofmeister, A.M. & Chopelas, A. Phys Chem Minerals (1991) 17: 503. doi:10.1007/BF00202230


Infrared reflectance (IR) and Raman spectra were collected on small (ca. 500 micron) single crystals of 5 natural garnets with nearly end-member compositions: pyrope (98% Mg3Al2Si3O12), almandine (83% Fe3Al2Si3O12), spessartine (98% Mn3Al2Si3O12), grossular (97% Ca3Al2Si3O12), and andradite (99% Ca3Fe2Si3O12). Frequencies and symmetry assignments were determined for all 17 IR modes and all 25 Raman modes. By using factor group analysis and by correlating the bands by their intensities, bands were assigned to either one of the SiO4 internal motions, as a rotation, or to a type of translation. The assignments are supported by (1) the distinct trends of frequencies with cell size and cation masses for each of the different types of motion, (2) the similarity of garnet energies for each of the different types of motion to those of olivine with the same cation, and (3) the closeness of the T1u IR frequencies to the T2g Raman frequencies. Mode mixing appears to be weak. Correlations between frequencies and structural parameters suggests a direct dependence of force constants on lattice parameter. This relationship arises from bond lengths in the garnet structure being constrained by the size and compressibility of adjacent polyhedra through edge-sharing. Comparison of our endmember data with previous powder IR studies of intermediate garnets indicates that dodecahedral (X) and octahedral (Y) sites alone exhibit two-mode behavior for those solid solutions involving two ions with considerably different masses. However, for solid solutions involving cations of much different ionic radii, two-mode behavior is found for the translations of SiO4 groups. This is the first report of two-mode behavior that is unrelated to mass, and instead is due to significantly different force constants in the pyralspites compared to the ugrandites.

Anomalies in mixing volumes are linked to two-mode behavior of the SiO4 translations, which leads to the suggestion that the mixing volume behavior is caused by the resistance of the Si-O bond to expansion and compression, as well as to changes in the dodecahedral site. Crystal-field effects may also play an important role within the ugrandite series. Deviation of molar volume dependence on composition from a linear to a asymmetric, non-linear (sometimes sigmoidal) dependence can be linked to solid solutions that possess slightly non-equivalent cation sites.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Hofmeister
    • 1
  • A. Chopelas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für ChemieMainzFederal Republic of Germany