Mid-infrared spectroscopy of crystalline plagioclase feldspar samples with various Al,Si order and implications for remote sensing of Mercury and other terrestrial Solar System objects

1Maximilian P.Reitze,1Iris Weber,1Andreas Morlok,1Harald Hiesinger,1Karin E.Bauch,1Aleksandra N.Stojic,2Jörn Helbert
Earth and Planetary Science Letters 554, 116697 Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116697]
1Institut für Planetologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Rutherfordstr. 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Copyright Elsevier

We analyzed plagioclase feldspar samples that were well-characterized in terms of chemical composition as well as degree of Al,Si order in mid-infrared reflection spectra between 7 μm and 14 μm (1429 cm−1 and 714 cm−1). The chemical compositions were derived with an electron microprobe analyzer. To determine the degree of Al,Si order, powder X-ray diffraction methods were applied. For the interpretation of the infrared spectra, we used the wavelength of the Christiansen feature (CF) and the autocorrelation function for a specific wavelength region. The CF shifts from around 7.72 μm (1296 cm−1) in Na-richest samples to 8.10 μm (1234 cm−1) in the Ca-richest sample. Combining the CF position and the autocorrelation-derived value allowed to determine the degree of Al,Si order of the samples based on reflection spectra. The wavelength of the Transparency feature (TF) in the finest analyzed grain size fraction also depends on the chemical composition and the degree of Al,Si order. Our results are helpful for the interpretation of data returned by the MERTIS experiment onboard BepiColombo. The data help to distinguish between space weathering, shock effects, and ordering effects in plagioclase samples.

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