A quantitative determination of Fe3+/ΣFe ratios using the electron microprobe is presented for glasses. The measurements are based on the shift of the Fe-Lα peak position between Fe3+ and Fe2+, resulting from differences in self-absorption. We present new calibration curves for glasses with Fe contents as low as 2 wt.% Fe.

This method was used for glasses from a metasomatized spinel lherzolite (Massif Central, France) in which highly vesicular glass associated with secondary minerals occurs in reaction pockets around corroded Cr-spinels. The glass was found to be oxidized homogeneously with Fe3+/ΣFe ≈ 0.70 (measured with an uncertainty of ±0.06), in contrast with the value of ∼0.15 that would correspond to the former melt under fO2 conditions inferred from secondary minerals. The glass oxidation probably results from the dissociation of the melt-water content under degassing, prior to local hematite depositions (spinel rims and crack fillings).

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