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Several hydroxyl-bearing minerals have diagnostic absorption bands in the 2.0-2.4 mu m wave length range, and can be identified with an orbital radiometer and with high-resolution airborne and field portable spectrometers. Among such minerals, zunyite, 143Al13Si5O20(OH,F)18Cl, has distinctive spectral absorption characteristics and is notably restricted to, and thus an indicator mineral of, advanced argillic alteration. Although seldom noted because it visually resembles quartz, zunyite is probably not as rare as generally believed. Laboratory measurements and general considerations underlie suggestions favouring the feasibility of detecting zunyite, alone and in mixtures with other Al-OH minerals, using field portable spectrometers.-G.J.N.
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Near-infrared reflectance of zunyite: implications for field mapping and remote-sensing detection of hydrothermally altered high alumina rocks.