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Analyzing nitrogen in silicate glasses by secondary ion mass spectrometry

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Volcanic devolatilization is one of the major processes in the global nitrogen cycle. Past studies have often estimated the magnitude of this flux using volcanic emission measurements, which are limited to currently active systems and sensitive to atmospheric contamination. A

Volcanic devolatilization is one of the major processes in the global nitrogen cycle. Past studies have often estimated the magnitude of this flux using volcanic emission measurements, which are limited to currently active systems and sensitive to atmospheric contamination. A different methodological approach requires appropriate analytical parameters for nitrogen analysis in silicate glasses by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), which have not yet been established. To this end, we analyze various ion implanted basaltic and rhyolitic glasses by SIMS. We demonstrate that water content significantly affects the ion yields of 14N+ and 14N16O−, as well as the background intensity of 14N+ and 12C+. Application of implant-derived calibrations to natural samples provide the first reported concentrations of nitrogen in melt inclusions. These measurements are from samples from the Bishop Tuff in California, the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff of the Yellowstone Volcanic Center, and material from the Okaia and Oruanui eruptions in the Taupo Volcanic Center. In all studied material, we find maximum nitrogen contents of less than 45 ppm and that nitrogen concentration varies positively with CO2 concentration, which is interpreted to reflect partial degassing trend. Using the maximum measured nitrogen contents for each eruption, we find that the Bishop released >3.6 x 1013 g of nitrogen, the Huckleberry Ridge released >1.3 x 1014 g, the Okaia released >1.1 x 1011 g of nitrogen, the Oruanui released >4.7 x 1013 g of nitrogen. Simple calculations suggest that with concentrations such as these, rhyolitic eruptions may ephemerally increase the nitrogen flux to the atmosphere, but are insignificant compared to the 4 x 1021 g of nitrogen stored in the atmosphere.

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Date Created
2016

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Solar wind sodium and potassium abundance analysis in Genesis diamond-on-silicon and silicon bulk solar wind collectors, and how hydration affects the microtexture of olivine phase transformation at 18 GPa

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The present work covers two distinct microanalytical studies that address issues in planetary materials: (1) Genesis Na and K solar wind (SW) measurements, and (2) the effect of water on high-pressure olivine phase transformations.

NASA’s Genesis mission collected SW samples for

The present work covers two distinct microanalytical studies that address issues in planetary materials: (1) Genesis Na and K solar wind (SW) measurements, and (2) the effect of water on high-pressure olivine phase transformations.

NASA’s Genesis mission collected SW samples for terrestrial analysis to create a baseline of solar chemical abundances based on direct measurement of solar material. Traditionally, solar abundances are estimated using spectroscopic or meteoritic data. This study measured bulk SW Na and K in two different Genesis SW collector materials (diamond-like carbon (DlC) and silicon) for comparison with these other solar references. Novel techniques were developed for Genesis DlC analysis. Solar wind Na fluence measurements derived from backside depth profiling are generally lower in DlC than Si, despite the use of internal standards. Nevertheless, relative to Mg, the average SW Na and K abundances measured in Genesis wafers are in agreement with solar photospheric and CI chondrite abundances, and with other SW elements with low first ionization potential (within error). The average Genesis SW Na and K fluences are 1.01e11 (+9e09, -2e10) atoms/cm2 and 5.1e09 (+8e08, -8e08) atoms/cm2, respectively. The errors reflect average systematic errors. Results have implications for (1) SW formation models, (2) cosmochemistry based on solar material rather than photospheric measurements or meteorites, and (3) the accurate measurement of solar wind ion abundances in Genesis collectors, particularly DlC and Si.

Deep focus earthquakes have been attributed to rapid transformation of metastable olivine within the mantle transition zone (MTZ). However, the presence of H2O acts to overcome metastability, promoting phase transformation in olivine, so olivine must be relatively anhydrous (<75 ppmw) to remain metastable to depth. A microtextural analysis of olivine phase transformation products was conducted to test the feasibility for subducting olivine to persist metastably to the MTZ. Transformation (as intracrystalline or rim nucleation) shifts from ringwoodite to ringwoodite-wadsleyite nucleation with decreasing H2O content within olivine grains. To provide accurate predictions for olivine metastability at depth, olivine transformation models must reflect how changing H2O distributions lead to complex changes in strain and reaction rates within different parts of a transforming olivine grain.

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2015