Abstract

Evidence for the formation of maghemite from goethite due to a bushfire on acid sulfate soil at East Trinity, Australia, is presented. Oxidation of pyrite-bearing acid sulfate soils led to precipitation of goethite-impregnated leaf litter. During a major bushfire, goethite with a crystal size calculated from broadening of the 110 reflection of ~9 nm was converted to microcrystalline maghemite (size 12 nm, 220 reflection) and hematite (17 nm, 104 reflection) in a matrix of partly combusted plant litter. Replication of this natural formation of maghemite from goethite was achieved in the laboratory by burning goethite-impregnated leaf litter.

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