Spatially-resolved mineral identification and depth profiling on chondrules from the primitive chondrite Elephant Moraine 14017 with confocal Raman spectroscopy.


Division of Polar Earth-System Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon 21990, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: [Email]


Confocal Raman spectroscopy is effective in unveiling structures of minerals without destruction from surface to certain depth. In this study, we introduce an application of confocal Raman spectroscopy on minerals in a primitive chondritic meteorite. The experimental lateral resolution on silicate minerals in this study is ~1.0 μm. Raman spectrum of mesostasis in a named "Tear Drop" chondrule, a spherule object from a primitive chondrite, of Elephant Moraine 14017 (EET 14017) shows a broad feature indicating amorphous phase, which is a common characteristic of primitive chondrule mesostasis. Weak intensities of 825 and 858 cm-1 peaks were observed in the glassy mesostasis, probably originated from olivine below the surface. A plagioclase-rich chondrule (PRC-1) of EET 14017 was investigated with Raman spectroscopy, which contains two different occurrences of plagioclase: lath-shaped and interstitial grains. The strong intensity of 488 and 505 cm-1 (plagioclase) and weak intensity of 461 cm-1 band were observed on the lath-shaped plagioclase. The weak 461 cm-1 peak from the plagioclase is probably from the subsurface quartz. Raman spectrum of interstital plagioclase in PRC-1 shows 488 and 505 cm-1 bands and weak pyroxene bands. Depth profiling conducted on the interstitial plagioclase clearly shows that pyroxene exists below the surface. High-lateral resolution and well-resolved depth profiling with the confocal Raman spectroscopy allows us to identify tiny grains and investigate hidden phases underneath the surface without destruction of extraterrestrial materials.


Confocal Raman spectroscopy,Depth profiling,Mineral identification,Primitive chondrite,