Mineralogical and chemical characteristics of some natural jarosites

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
By: , and 



This paper presents a detailed study of the mineralogical, microscopic, thermal, and spectral characteristics of jarosite and natrojarosite minerals. Systematic mineralogic and chemical examination of a suite of 32 natural stoichiometric jarosite and natrojarosite samples from diverse supergene and hydrothermal environments indicates that there is only limited solid solution between Na and K at low temperatures, which suggests the presence of a solvus in the jarosite-natrojarosite system at temperatures below about 140 C. The samples examined in this study consist of either end members or coexisting end-member pairs of jarosite and natrojarosite. Quantitative electron-probe microanalysis data for several natural hydrothermal samples show only end-member compositions for individual grains or zones, and no detectable alkali-site deficiencies, which indicates that there is no hydronium substitution within the analytical uncertainty of the method. In addition, there is no evidence of Fe deficiencies in the natural hydrothermal samples. Hydronium-bearing jarosite was detected in only one relatively young supergene sample suggesting that terrestrial hydronium-bearing jarosites generally are unstable over geologic timescales.

Unit-cell parameters of the 20 natural stoichiometric jarosites and 12 natural stoichiometric natrojarosites examined in this study have distinct and narrow ranges in the a- and c-cell dimensions. There is no overlap of these parameters at the 1r level for the two end-member compositions. Several hydrothermal samples consist of fine-scale (2–10 lm) intimate intergrowths of jarosite and natrojarosite, which could have resulted from solid-state diffusion segregation or growth zoning due to variations in the Na/K activity ratio of hydrothermal solutions.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mineralogical and chemical characteristics of some natural jarosites
Series title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2009.11.006
Volume 74
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 16 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
First page 1041
Last page 1056
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