Journal Article

Quantification of Al-goethite from diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and magnetic methods

Zhaoxia Jiang, Qingsong Liu, Claudio Colombo, Vidal Barrón, José Torrent and Pengxiang Hu

in Geophysical Journal International

Volume 196, issue 1, pages 131-144
Published in print January 2014 | ISSN: 0956-540X
Published online October 2013 | e-ISSN: 1365-246X | DOI:
Quantification of Al-goethite from diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and magnetic methods

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As one of the most abundant iron oxides in soils, the presence and nature of goethite is controlled by the soil conditions and burial history. The visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) is a useful tool for quantifying goethite. However, aluminium (Al) substitution for goethite is very common in soils and the effects of Al content on the DRS properties of goethite have not been fully resolved. In this study, two series of Al substituted goethites (Al-goethite) and 20 Chinese loess/palaeosol samples were investigated using both DRS and magnetic methods to test the feasibility of quantifying Al-goethite with the DRS method. Results show that the peak positions and amplitudes of the goethite DRS band are significantly influenced by Al substitution. Specifically, the goethite concentration proxy, the amplitude of the DRS band, is relatively stable only when Al substitution ranged between about 4 and 16 mol per cent. Practically, in order to resolve the difficulty in measuring Al content in natural samples, the unblocking temperature (Tb) is proposed as the proxy for Al substitution of goethite. When Tb of Al-goethite was above 250 K, the amplitude of DRS can be used to reliably trace the goethite concentration variation in natural samples. For example, the DRS spectra for the Chinese loess–palaeosol samples support the idea that only haematite is enhanced via pedogenesis. In contrast, the origin of goethite seems to be mostly related to the aeolian inputs.

Keywords: Environmental magnetism; Magnetic mineralogy and petrology; Rock and mineral magnetism

Journal Article.  6901 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geophysics

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