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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 62 (No. 1), pp. 33-46, 2010
doi:10.5047/eps.2008.11.001

Micro-spectroscopic characterization of organic and hydrous components in weathered Antarctic micrometeorites

A. Suzuki1, Y. Yamanoi1, T. Nakamura2, and S. Nakashima1

1Department of Earth and Space Science, Osaka University, 1-1 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan
2Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan

(Received July 26, 2008; Revised October 31, 2008; Accepted November 3, 2008; Online published February 12, 2010)

Abstract: Eight unmelted Antarctic micrometeorite (AMMs) recovered from Kuwagata Nunatak were studied on Al-foils by infrared (IR), Raman, and visible reflection micro-spectroscopy in combination with electron microscopy. Major element abundances of the AMMs studied were found to be similar to solar abundance, although all have the common characteristic of Mg-depletion. Absorption bands around 500 nm were detected for some of the AMMs by the visible micro-spectroscopic method, and these AMMs can be assigned to Fe-hydroxide-like materials. These results suggest that the studied AMMs experienced weathering in Antarctica. Four grains showed the presence of IR H2O and CH bands similar to those of type 2 carbonaceous chondrites, while these were found to be absent in two grains, as in type 3 carbonaceous chondrites. D (disordered: 1360 cm-1) and G (graphite: 1600 cm-1) Raman band features of graphitic carbonaceous materials in these AMMs were not similar to those for type 3 but were rather close to those for type 2 and 1 carbonaceous chondrites, although some data showed a degree of deviation. The genetic classification of individual AMM grains can thus be studied by these methods, although the weathering effects and the atmospheric entry heating on organics and hydrous components need to be evaluated. These multiple micro-spectroscopic reflectance methods are useful for the characterization of precious small samples.
Key words: Antarctic micrometeorites (AMMs), IR, Raman, visible, micro-spectroscopy, organics, hydrous minerals.


Corresponding author E-mail: akiko.s@ess.sci.osaka-u.ac.jp


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