Direct measurement of Ar diffusion profiles in a gem-quality Madagascar K-feldspar using the ultra-violet laser ablation microprobe (UVLAMP).

Wartho, Jo-Anne , Kelley, Simon P., Brooker, Richard A., Carroll, Mike R., Villa, Igor M. and Lee, Martin R. (1999) Direct measurement of Ar diffusion profiles in a gem-quality Madagascar K-feldspar using the ultra-violet laser ablation microprobe (UVLAMP). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 170 (1-2). pp. 141-153. DOI 10.1016/S0012-821X(99)00088-6.

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Controversy surrounding the mechanisms and controls on argon diffusion in K-feldspar has led us to undertake direct diffusion measurements on a crystal with simple microtextures, over a range of temperatures. Measurements of argon diffusion profiles in a gem-quality iron-rich orthoclase heated in a cold seal apparatus, have been undertaken in situ using an ultra-violet laser ablation microprobe (UVLAMP) technique. The results agree very closely with the previously determined bulk values for Benson Mines orthoclase (activation energy ( E)=43.8±1 kcal mol -1) and vacuum furnace cycle-heating studies of K-feldspars ( E=46±6 kcal mol -1). However, instead of defining a single activation energy ( E) and diffusion coefficient ( Do), the data yield two sets of parameters: a low-temperature (550-720°C) array with an E of 47.2±2.5 kcal mol -1 (198.2±10.5 kJ mol -1) and a Do of 0.0374 +0.1123-0.0281 cm 2 s -1, and a high-temperature (725-1019°C) array with an E of 63.8±3.4 kcal mol -1 (268.0±14.3 kJ mol -1) and a Do of 55.0 +225.5-44.2 cm 2 s -1. The new results closely reproduce two sets of apparent activation energies previously measured in cycle-heating studies of Madagascar K-feldspar (40±3 and 57±3 kcal mol -1). Previous interpretations of the two arrays have included multiple domains with variable activation energies and fast track diffusion. However, the UV depth profile analyses indicate simple diffusion to the grain surface and importantly, diffusion radii calculated by combining the UVLAMP and cycle-heating data, are the same as the physical grain sizes used in the experiments, around 1 mm. Vacuum furnace stepped heating experiments on slowly cooled K-feldspars have been interpreted as showing diffusion radii of around 6 μm and indicate complex populations of sub-grains. This study indicates that Madagascar K-feldspar and thus probably all gem-quality K-feldspars act as single diffusion domains and that short-circuit (or pipe) diffusion was not an important loss mechanism. An apparent diffusion compensation relationship in the stepped heating data for Madagascar K-feldspar implies that similar relationships seen in other K-feldspars are a result of a range of diffusion mechanisms.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: argon; diffusion; K-feldspar; laser methods; Madagascar
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0012-821X(99)00088-6
ISSN: 0012-821X
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 10:05
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2015 10:05

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