Spectroscopic Characterizations of Sand Dunes Minerals of El-Oued (Northeast Algerian Sahara) by FTIR, XRF and XRD Analyses

Abstract

This paper investigates the chemical and crystal structural properties of sand dunes of El-Oued region from the northeast Sahara of Algeria. By using of Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) we show that El-Oued sand dunes are composed mainly of 97.6% α-quartz (SiO2) and 0.56% calcite (CaCO3). Very low concentrations of some oxides as Al2O3, Fe2O3, MgO and trace elements impurities were also found. The calculated crystallinity index CI = 0.975 confirm the highly crystalline nature of quartz. From the X-ray diffraction data, structural parameters of quartz and calcite minerals were determined. Quartz grains were found to have a hexagonal crystal structure with lattice parameters of a = b = 4.907 Å and c = 5.401 Å and calcite grains have a trigonal crystal structure with a = b = 4.977 Å and c = 17.04 Å. The calculated lattice parameters were similar to those of standard references. The crystallite sizes of quartz and calcite were estimated to be nanometric.

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Acknowledgments

We greatly appreciate the constructive comments of the reviewers. The authors are grateful to S. Mostefaoui from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris for his beneficial discussions and suggestions to improve the manuscript and we are very thankful to M. Telus from the University of California Santa Cruz, USA for his help in improving the language of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nassima Meftah.

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Meftah, N., Mahboub, M.S. Spectroscopic Characterizations of Sand Dunes Minerals of El-Oued (Northeast Algerian Sahara) by FTIR, XRF and XRD Analyses. Silicon 12, 147–153 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12633-019-00109-5

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Keywords

  • Sand dunes
  • Quartz
  • Calcite
  • X-rays diffraction
  • Fourier-transform infrared
  • Structural parameters