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The natural occurrence of hydroxide in olivine

Abstract

Polarized infrared (IR) spectra of olivine single crystals from 17 different localities show a tremendous variability in both mode and abundance of hydroxide (OH) incorporation. Kimberlitic olivines contain the most total OH at an estimated concentration level of 976 H/106Si, whereas olivines from basalts contain the least at 3 H/106Si. Olivines of metamorphic and hydrothermal origin have widely varying concentration levels intermediate between those of basalts and kimberlites. Over 30 distinct OH absorption bands have been identified. Most of these bands are not unique to individual localities but may be found in samples from several different localities. Pleochroism is consistent among localities, but relative band intensities vary. No evidence is found for molecular H2 in olivine.

Hydrous minerals have been identified in olivine by their characteristic OH absorption bands. Serpentine is commonly found and is clearly distinguishable from intrinsic OH. Talc is present in one sample. Prominent OH bands at 3572 and 3525 cm−1 are attributed to humite group minerals.

San Carlos, Arizona, olivines annealed in the presence of H2O develop absorption bands which are found in natural samples, however the OH absorption spectra of these annealed olivines are not identical to those of any single natural crystal. Sharp-band OH abundances in annealed samples are an order of magnitude lower than the maximum measured in natural specimens. The mechanical properties determined from these annealed olivines may not be directly applicable to mantle olivine because both the OH sites and concentrations are different.

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Miller, G.H., Rossman, G.R. & Harlow, G.E. The natural occurrence of hydroxide in olivine. Phys Chem Minerals 14, 461–472 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00628824

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00628824

Keywords

  • Absorption Band
  • Olivine
  • Serpentine
  • Talc
  • Group Mineral