Silicate garnet: A micro to macroscopic (re)view

Geiger, C. A. (2008) Silicate garnet: A micro to macroscopic (re)view American Mineralogist, 93 (2-3). pp. 360-372. DOI 10.2138/am.2008.2588.

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Silicate garnets, general formula E(3)G(2)Si(3)O(12), form an important class of rock-forming minerals and, in nature, most are solid solutions. Their crystal-chemical and solid-solution properties are sometimes interpreted in terms of the widely used Pyralspite-Ugrandite classification scheme, and this can lead to erroneous conclusions. In this study, published data are reviewed and analyzed to achieve a synthesis of relevant experimental and computational results and to construct a working "crystal-chemical model" for describing aluminosilicate garnet, E3Al2Si3O12, over different length scales. The pyrope-grossular (Py-Gr) solid solution is given special attention, because it has received a great deal of study. It also shows interesting crystal-chemical and thermodynamic mixing behavior. Computational and experimental investigations made on Py-Gr garnets indicate that the shorter Ca/Mg-O2 bond lengths appear to remain roughly constant in length across the binary and can be described as showing "Pauling limit-type" behavior. The longer Ca/Mg-O4 bonds behave differently, because they lengthen with increasing Gr component in the solid solution. Bond behavior in almandine-spessartine (Al-Sp) garnets appears to be partly different, because both Fe/Mn-O2 and Fe/ Mn-O4 bonds show "Pauling limit-type" behavior. E-O bond-length variations are continuous. The bonding type in all aluminosilicate garnet end-members is similar. An analysis shows that various computational simulations on Py-Gr solid solutions are consistent with each other with respect to E-O bond behavior and also with experimental IR, Raman, NMR spectroscopic, and X-ray diffraction results, but not completely with XAS studies made at the Ca edge. Ca/Mg-O4 bond behavior can be used to explain, partly, the nature of various micro/nanoscopic crystal-chemical and strain properties and macroscopic excess thermodynamic mixing behavior of Py-Gr garnets. Micro/nanostrain for the Py-Gr binary is asymmetric in nature, as are the various thermodynamic mixing functions Delta H-ex, Delta S-ex, and Delta V-ex. The widely cited Pyralspite-Ugrandite classification scheme has limited use in terms of explaining many physical and chemical properties of garnet and it should not be used to predict or describe, for example, solid-solution behavior.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: garnet bonding crystal chemistry thermodynamics spectroscopy X-ray diffraction computations strain and solid solutions thermodynamic-mixing properties pyrope-grossular garnets spessartine solid-solutions x-ray-diffraction si-29 mas nmr crystal-chemistry petrological significance aluminosilicate garnets synthetic almandine site disorder
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: No
DOI etc.: 10.2138/am.2008.2588
ISSN: 0003-004X
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2012 05:37
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2012 10:14

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