Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 216–227 | Cite as

Activation possibilities and geochemical correlations of photoluminescing carbonates, particularly calcites



We studied carbonates of mainly postmagmatic origin. As a result of extensive measurements of the absorption spectra, light of λ=253 nm of a Xenon lamp was used for excitation. The emitted luminescence was measured by a photometer. Luminescence of considerable intensity is exhibited by calcites, aragonites, smithsonites, strontianites as well as by witherites and cerussites. Calcites have the most strongly differentiated spectrum. Each of their five different luminescence types is caused by a special activation. Particularly characteristic are calcites, whose luminescence is activated (a) by lattice defects and/or Zn-contents (broad emission band with maximum at about 420 nm), (b) by Mn/Pb-substitution (maxima at 325 and 420 nm), (c) by REE (maxima at 340–360, 480, 545, 575, 623 and 670 nm). The other, also luminescing carbonates, show a close relationship to the calcite of the ‘fundamental type’ (a) but with varying position of their emission maxima. Also most of the phosphorescing samples of calcite are of this type (a). The majority of these calcites originate from telethermal, surface-near formation regions and from resolutions, respectively. Fe, Ni, and in the case of smithsonite also Cu, are ‘killing elements’, which are less efficient by REE-activation than by Mn/Pb-activation. In particular phosphorescence and activation by lattice defects will be disturbed. The luminescence analysis represents a possibility for mineral identification. Furthermore it gives criteria for chemical homogenity of minerals, and locates concentrations of certain elements in inhomogeneous samples. For the most important activators it is a tool for qualitative element detection, especially in the case of REE.


Calcite Aragonite Luminescence Spectrum Ankerite Cerussite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Gies
    • 1
  1. 1.ClausthalF.R.G.

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