The composition, structure, and stability of guinier-preston zones in lunar and terrestrial orthopyroxene

Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

DOI: 10.1007/BF00311049



Lunar and terrestrial orthopyroxenes (Mg,Fe,Ca)2Si2O6 contain varying abundances of coherent, Ca-enriched Guinier-Preston (G.P.) zones. G.P. zones 5-6 unit cells thick have been found in one lunar sample whereas all other examples (lunar and terrestrial) are only one unit-cell-thick. Electron diffraction maxima from the larger lunar G.P. zones indicate that d100=18.52 A?? whereas, d100=18.2 A?? for the host. This increase in the a direction corresponds to an increase in calcium content in the G.P. zones over that of the host of ???25 mol% Ca2Si2O6. Diffraction patterns of the hk0 net from an area containing G.P. zones show extra spots (h=2 n+1) not observed in the host orthopyroxene (Pbca), that violate the a-glide of the host. The G.P. zones, therefore, have space group Pbc21 if it is assumed that the c-glide of pyroxene is retained and the space group of the G.P. zone is a subgroup of Pbca. The loss of the a-glide in the G.P. zones results in 4 distinct silica chains and 4 distinct cation sites M1A, M1B, M2A, M2B; by symmetry, equivalent M2A or M2B sites are clustered together in only one-half of the unit cell. As one-fourth of the divalent cations in the G.P. zones are calcium, ordering of Ca on M2A or M2B would produce a zone 9 A?? thick extended parallel to (100) with the composition of Ca(Mg,Fe)Si2O6, but constrained by the host to the structure of orthopyroxene. This zone and the Ca-poor half-unit-cell then constitute an 18 A?? thick G.P. zone. Heating experiments of varying duration indicate that the zones become unstable with respect to the host orthopyroxene at ???950??C for Wo0.6 and ???1,050??C for Wo2.5. The zones are interpreted in terms of the pyroxene subsolidus as a metastable phase having either a solvus relationship with orthopyroxene or originating as a distinct phase. The size, distribution, composition and structure of G.P. zones may be an important indicator of the low-temperature thermal history of orthopyroxene. ?? 1980 Springer-Verlag.

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The composition, structure, and stability of guinier-preston zones in lunar and terrestrial orthopyroxene
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Physics and Chemistry of Minerals
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