Assembling complex mineral phases with XRD and XRF
Complete analysis of plagioclase and potassic feldspars
Geochemistry typically encounters several mineral types from one sampling. This is true in the case of analyzing Martian analog basalt from terrestrial craters.
A sample of basalt collected from craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, US, was studied with XRD and XRF. The XRF results suggest a high phosphorus basalt primarily comprised of plagioclase and potassic feldspars, composed of 19 mineral oxides. XRD analysis identified plagioclase feldspars (anorthite, albite), k-spars (orthoclase, microcline and sanidine), hematite, augite, apatite, pyroxene, and olivine (forsterite).
The resolution and speed of the Thermo Scientific™ ARL™ EQUINOX 100 Diffractometer enables to fully analyze geologic materials from qualitative phase assemblages to full quantitative phase analysis. Pairing this with the Thermo Scientific™ ARL™ QUANT’X EDXRF Spectrometer elemental information, these techniques provide a complete synergistic analysis of the alkaline basalt sample.