The University of Arizona

Characterization of the 1.2 μm M1 pyroxene band: Extracting cooling history from near-IR spectra of pyroxenes and pyroxene-dominated rocks



The 1.2 m band in near-infrared spectra of pyroxenes results from Fe2+ in the M1 crystallographic site. The distribution of Fe and Mg between the M1 and M2 sites is in part a function of the cooling rate and thermal history of a pyroxene. Combining near-infrared and Mssbauer spectra for a series of compositionally controlled synthetic Mg, Fe, Ca pyroxenes, we quantify the strength of the 1.2 m band as a function of Fe2+ in the M1 site. Near-infrared spectra are deconvolved into component absorptions that can be assigned to the M1 and M2 sites using the modified Gaussian model. The relative strength of the 1.2 μm band is shown to be directly related to the amount of Fe2+ in the M1 site measured by Mössbauer spectroscopy. The strength of the 1.2 μm band relative to the combined strengths of the 1.2 and 2 μm bands, or the M1 intensity ratio, is calculated for 51 howardite, eucrite, and diogenite (HED) meteorites. Diogenites and cumulate eucrites exhibit the lowest M1 intensity ratios, consistent with their formation as slowly cooled cumulates. Basaltic eucrites exhibit a large range of M1 intensity ratios, all of which are consistently higher than the diogenites and cumulate eucrites. This example illustrates how the M1 intensity ratio can be a used as a tool for characterizing the cooling history of remotely detected pyroxene-dominated rocks.


eucrite Meteorites;diogenite Meteorites;Pyroxene;Spectroscopy

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