An electron microscopy study of naturally occurring oxidation produced precipitates in iron-bearing olivines

D. L. Kohlstedt, J. B. Vander Sande

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Abstract

Iron-bearing olivine grains naturally altered by oxidation were examined in the transmission electron microscope to determine the precipitate phases and their crystallographic and morphological relationships to the host. Precipitate complexes heterogeneously nucleated on dislocations were composed of Si-rich, Mg-rich/Si-rich, and Fe-rich regions corresponding to α- tridymite, enstatite, and magnetite and/or hematite, respectively. The tridymite and magnetite (hematite) occurred as rod-like interleaved fingers, while the enstatite was more equidimensional. The crystal orientations of the precipitate phases with respect to the host structure, listed in Table 2, were well defined, but, in general, could not be simply related to the close packing of oxygen planes. Iron-rich (001) planar precipitates occasionally nucleated homogeneously in the host as well as heterogeneously on dislocations. Oxygen diffusion does not appear to be the rate-controlling process for precipitate nucleation and growth as precipitation kinetics in fresh olivine oxidized at 900 ° C would indicate an oxygen diffusivity of 10-8 cm2/sec, a value 10 orders of magnitude faster than determined previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1975

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