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Infra-Red Spectrophotometry and X-Ray Diffractometry as Tools in the Study of Nickel Laterites
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- Nickel silicate laterite deposits developed on ultra-mafic rocks are similar in many general respects but they vary considerably in detail. The mineralogy of these surficial deposits is very complex and difficult to determine because of the fine grained nature and solid solution characteristics of the hydrous secondary minerals and because many of the phases are actually mineraloids that are poorly ordered or amorphous. To try some new approaches toward clarification of these phases, 24 samples from New Caledonia and Puerto Rico ranging from the ophiolite-ultramafic olivine-pyroxene-chromite-serpentine substrate rocks upward through intermediate phases of weathering to the final oxide -hydroxide iron cap phase were analyzed with the infrared spectrophotometer (IR -10) and with the automated X –ray diffractometer. Four limonite samples were also mineralogically analyzed. Goethite, secondary quartz, cryptomelane, hematite, chromite, talc, thuringite, and garnierite have been identified in various samples as weathering profile products.
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- University of Arizona
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- Guilbert, John M.
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