Applied Physics A

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 487–496 | Cite as

New insights about the presence of celestite into fossil bones from Molí del Baró 1 site (Isona i Conca Dellá, Lleida, Spain)

  • Giampaolo PigaEmail author
  • Antonio Brunetti
  • Barbara Lasio
  • Luca Malfatti
  • Àngel Galobart
  • Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia
  • Stefano Enzo


We have addressed an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) on a collection of thirteen fossil bone belonging to the Molí del Baró 1 paleontological site located near Sant Romà d'Abella (Isona i Conca Dellà Municipality, Lleida Province, Spain, dated to about 66.5 Ma, to investigate the fossilization occurred in this site in terms of physico-chemical properties. As a general behaviour, the XRD patterns showed the bioapatite mineral at a varying level of percentage, and accordingly, the correspondent XRF spectra turned out to be mainly dominated by the presence of Ca, obviously accompanied by phosphorus. Simultaneously, other elements such as Sr, Fe, Ba and Zn were found at non-negligible concentration levels and helped to assign the phase components in the XRD spectra. In three specimens, it was observed by XRD the rather unusual case where the original bioapatite bone mineral was completely substituted for by other mineralogical phases. In addition to this, celestite was also found as an important phase in ten specimens out of the thirteen examined. The occurrence of celestite in the bone structure appears a rather unusual observation within the literature of bones diagenesis. Its provenance is generally ascribed to marine vertebrate organisms, but the presence in the fossil bones of this site, where no evidence of marine environment exists, can be reconciled with occurrence of refluxing processes involving diagenetically altered fluids which were discharged into beds containing strontium sulphate-rich waters.


Pyrite Barite Terminal Solid Solution Celestite Fossil Bone 
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.



The authors thank Prof. Plinio Innocenzi [Sciences and Nanotechnology Laboratory (LMNT), University of Sassari, Italy] for allocating the laboratory facilities. This work is supported by Autonomous Region of Sardinia, with the project titled: “Archaeometric and physico-chemical investigation using a multi-technique approach on archaeological, anthropological and paleontological materials from the Mediterranean area and Sardinia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giampaolo Piga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonio Brunetti
    • 1
  • Barbara Lasio
    • 2
  • Luca Malfatti
    • 2
  • Àngel Galobart
    • 3
  • Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia
    • 3
  • Stefano Enzo
    • 4
  1. 1.Scienze Politiche, Scienze della Comunicazione e Ingegneria dell’InformazioneUniversità di SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.Laboratorio di Scienza dei Materiali e Nanotecnologie, CR-INSTM, DADUUniversità di SassariAlghero (SS)Italy
  3. 3.Grup de Recerca del Mesozoic, Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)SabadellSpain
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Chimica e FarmaciaUniversità di SassariSassariItaly

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