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Abstract In this study, we investigated an unusual natural Mn oxide hollandite-group mineral from the Kohare Mine, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, that has predominantly water molecules in the tunnels, with K, Na, Ca, and Ba. The specimens are labeled as type manjiroite, but our analyses show that Na is not the dominant tunnel species, nor is it even the primary tunnel cation, suggesting either an error in the original analyses or significant compositional variation within samples from the type locality. Chemical analyses, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis measurements combined with Rietveld refinement results using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction data suggest the chemical formula: (K0.19Na0.17Ca0.03Ba0.01H2O1.60)(Mn5.024+Mn2.823+Al0.14Fe0.02)O13.47(OH)2.53. Our analyses indicate that water is the primary tunnel species, and although water has been reported as a component in natural hollandites, this is the first detailed study of the crystal structure and dehydration behavior of a natural hydrous hollandite with water as the predominant tunnel species. This work underscores the rarity of natural Na-rich hollandite phases and focuses new attention on the role of hydrous components of hollandite-like phases in determining their capacities to exchange or accommodate various cations, such as Li+, Na+, Ba2+, Pb2+, and K+ in natural systems.
Abstract Water can be stored in nominally anhydrous minerals as substitutional hydroxyl, generating vast but commonly unrecognized H2O reservoirs in ostensibly dry regimes. Researchers have long known that hematite (α-Fe2O3) can accommodate small concentrations of hydroxyl through the substitution of Fe3+ by 3H+. Our study of natural hematite has demonstrated the occurrence of “hydrohematite” phases that are 10–20 mol% deficient in Fe and accordingly contain 3.6–7.8 mol% structural water. Intergrown with natural hydrohematite samples were superhydrous goethite-like phases exhibiting an Fe deficiency of 10–20 mol% relative to end-member goethite (α-FeOOH). We synthesized hydrohematite in alkaline solutions (pH 9–12) at low temperatures (T < 200 °C) using fresh ferrihydrite as the transient precursor, and we observed a nonclassical crystallization pathway involving vacancy inoculation by Fe as nanocrystals evolved. The high level of incorporation of H2O in iron (hydr)oxides dramatically alters their behaviors as catalysts and pigments, and the presence of hydrohematite in rocks may rule out high-T diagenesis. We propose that hydrohematite is common in low-T occurrences of Fe oxide on Earth, and by extension it may inventory large quantities of water in apparently arid planetary environments, such as the surface of Mars.