Spectral reflectance-compositional properties of spinels and chromites: Implications for planetary remote sensing and geothermometry
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CitationCloutis, E. A., Sunshine, J. M., & Morris, R. V. (2004). Spectral reflectance‐compositional properties of spinels and chromites: Implications for planetary remote sensing and geothermometry. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 39(4), 545-565.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractReflectance spectra of spinels and chromites have been studied as a function of composition. These two groups of minerals are spectrally distinct, which relates largely to differences in the types of major cations present. Both exhibit a number of absorption features in the 0.3-26 micrometer region that show systematic variations with composition and can be used to quantify or constrain certain compositional parameters, such as cation abundances, and site occupancies. For spinels, the best correlations exist between Fe2+ content and wavelength positions of the 0.46, 0.93, 2.8, Restrahelen, 12.3, 16.2, and 17.5 micrometer absorption features, Al and Fe3+ content with the wavelength position of the 0.93 micrometer absorption feature, and Cr content from the depth of the absorption band near 0.55 micrometers. For chromites, the best correlations exist between Cr content and wavelength positions of the 0.49, 0.59, 2, 17.5, and 23 micrometer absorption features, Fe2+ and Mg contents with the wavelength position of the 1.3 micrometer absorption feature, and Al content with the wavelength position of the 2 micrometer absorption feature. At shorter wavelengths, spinels and chromites are most readily distinguished by the wavelength position of the absorption band in the 2 m region (<2.1 micrometers for spinels, >2.1 micrometers for chromite), while at longer wavelengths, spectral differences are more pronounced. The importance of being able to derive compositional information for spinels and chromites from spectral analysis stems from the relationship between composition and petrogenetic conditions (pressure, temperature, oxygen fugacity) and the widespread presence of spinels and chromites in the inner solar system. When coupled with the ability to derive compositional information for mafic silicates from spectral analysis, this opens up the possibility of deriving petrogenetic information for remote spinel- and chromite-bearing targets from analysis of their reflectance spectra.