Abstract

Physical alteration of magnetite-bearing antigorite grains is investigated in this study using Mössbauer, visible/near-infrared (VNIR) and mid-IR spectroscopy coupled with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analyses. An expected decrease in grain size with grinding is observed using SEM. The HRTEM images illustrate that the nanophase-sized grains which adhere to larger grains have 7 Å antigorite patterns. Mössbauer spectroscopy shows the presence of antigorite, magnetite and an amorphous phase. Visible/near infrared spectra exhibit features common in serpentine. These spectra also show an increasing continuum slope with grinding, an effect which is characteristic of thin coatings or tiny grains on surfaces. Mid-IR spectra indicate the formation of fine-grained Si-OH and carbonate in these samples with grinding.

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