Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 811–819 | Cite as

Formation process of pyrite polyframboid based on the heavy-metal analysis by micro-PIXE

  • Hisanari SugawaraEmail author
  • Masayuki Sakakibara
  • David Belton
  • Tetsuya Suzuki
Original Article


Pyrite framboid in sedimentary rocks could be concerned with arsenic contamination in groundwater of acidic environment and has been studied for the formation process of its unique morphology. However, not much has been discussed about the formation process based on the heavy-metal distribution in pyrite framboids and their aggregates. To reveal the formation process of pyrite framboids and their aggregates, mudstone from the Late Cretaceous Hakobuchi Group, central Hokkaido, Japan, are investigated for mode, petrographical, mineralogical, and micro-PIXE (particle-induced X-ray emission) analysis in this study. Spherical and sub-spherical pyrite framboids observed in polyframboids can be divided into two types based on the diameter of framboids (D) and the average diameter of microcrystals (d) within framboids: type 1, ranging from 2 to 9 μm and from 0.4 to 0.9 μm, respectively, and type 2, ranging from 8 to 50 μm and from 0.5 to 1.8 μm, respectively. Based on the quantitative traverse analyses and 2-D elemental mapping results by micro-PIXE, heterogeneities in the concentrations of heavy metals within the analyzed aggregations of pyrite are exhibited. On the basis of the As and Pb zoning patterns, the time range and chronological stages of pyrite-aggregation growth are revealed.


Framboidal pyrite Polyframboid Mudstone Arsenic Cretaceous Hakobuchi Group Micro-PIXE 



The authors would like to thank the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (19340153) and Grant for Research and Development Assistance of Ehime University for their support. Special thanks are given to Dr. Hiroaki Ohfuji (Ehime University), Dr. Masanori Kurosawa (Tsukuba University), and Prof. Kazuhiro Suzuki (Nagoya University) for their critical and constructive discussions. The authors are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their review of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hisanari Sugawara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Masayuki Sakakibara
    • 1
  • David Belton
    • 2
  • Tetsuya Suzuki
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  2. 2.CSIRO Exploration and Mining, School of PhysicsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Chi-ken Sogo Consultants Co., LtdSapporoJapan

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