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  1. Abstract

    Iron is accumulated symplastically in kelp in a non-ferritin core that seems to be a general feature of brown algae. Microprobe studies show that Fe binding depends on tissue type.

    The sea is generally an iron-poor environment and brown algae were recognized in recent years for having a unique, ferritin-free iron storage system. Kelp (Laminaria digitata) and the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus were investigated using X-ray microprobe imaging and nanoprobe X-ray fluorescence tomography to explore the localization of iron, arsenic, strontium, and zinc, and micro-X-ray absorption near-edge structure (μXANES) to study Fe binding. Fe distribution in frozen hydrated environmental samples of both algae shows higher accumulation in the cortex with symplastic subcellular localization. This should be seen in the context of recent ultrastructural insight by cryofixation–freeze substitution that found a new type of cisternae that may have a storage function but differs from the apoplastic Fe accumulation found by conventional chemical fixation. Zn distribution co-localizes with Fe in E. siliculosus, whereas it is chiefly located in the L. digitata medulla, which is similar to As and Sr. Both As and Sr are mostly found at the cell wall of both algae. XANES spectra indicate that Fe in L. digitata is stored in a mineral non-ferritin core, due to the lack of ferritin-encoding genes. We show that the L. digitata cortex contains mostly a ferritin-like mineral, while the meristoderm may include an additional component.

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  2. Abstract Partition coefficients for rare earth elements (REEs) between apatite and basaltic melt were determined as a function of oxygen fugacity (fO2; iron-wüstite to hematite-magnetite buffers) at 1 bar and between 1110 and 1175 °C. Apatite-melt partitioning data for REE3+ (La, Sm, Gd, Lu) show near constant values at all experimental conditions, while bulk Eu becomes more incompatible (with an increasing negative anomaly) with decreasing fO2. Experiments define three apatite calibrations that can theoretically be used as redox sensors. The first, a XANES calibration that directly measures Eu valence in apatite, requires saturation at similar temperature-composition conditions to experiments and is defined by: ( E u 3 + ∑ E u ) Apatite  = 1 1 + 10 - 0.10 ± 0.01 × l o g ⁡ ( f o 2 ) - 1.63 ± 0.16 . The second technique involves analysis of Sm, Eu, and Gd in both apatite and coexisting basaltic melt (glass), and is defined by: ( Eu E u * ) D Sm × Gd = 1 1 + 10 - 0.15 ± 0.03 × l o g ⁡ ( f o 2 ) - 2.46 ± 0.41 . The third technique is based on the lattice strain model and also requires analysis of REE in both apatite and basalt. This calibration is defined by ( Eu E u * ) D lattice strain = 1 1 + 10 - 0.20 ± 0.03 × l o g ⁡ ( f o 2 ) - 3.03 ± 0.42 . The Eu valence-state partitioning techniques based on (Sm×Gd) and lattice strain are virtually indistinguishable, such that either methodology is valid. Application of any of these calibrations is best carried out in systems where both apatite and coexisting glass are present and in direct contact with one another. In holocrystalline rocks, whole rock analyses can be used as a guide to melt composition, but considerations and corrections must be made to either the lattice strain or Sm×Gd techniques to ensure that the effect of plagioclase crystallization either prior to or during apatite growth can be removed. Similarly, if the melt source has an inherited either a positive or negative Eu anomaly, appropriate corrections must also be made to lattice strain or Sm×Gd techniques that are based on whole rock analyses. This being the case, if apatite is primary and saturates from the parent melt early during the crystallization sequence, these corrections may be minimal. The partition coefficients for the REE between apatite and melt range from a maximum DEu3+ = 1.67 ± 0.25 (as determined by lattice strain) to DLu3+ = 0.69 ± 0.10. The REE partition coefficient pattern, as observed in the Onuma diagram, is in a fortuitous situation where the most compatible REE (Eu3+) is also the polyvalent element used to monitor fO2. These experiments provide a quantitative means of assessing Eu anomalies in apatite and how they be used to constrain the oxygen fugacity of silicate melts. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    This study describes the application of new synchrotron X‐ray fluorescence (XRF) and diffraction (XRD) microtomographies for the 3‐D visualization of chemical and mineralogical variations in unsectioned extraterrestrial samples. These improved methods have been applied to three compositionally diverse chondritic meteorite samples that were between 300 and 400 μm in diameter, including samples prepared from fragments of the CR2 chondrite LaPaz Icefield (LAP) 02342, H5 chondrite MacAlpine Hills (MAC) 88203, and the CM2 chondrite Murchison. The synchrotron‐based XRF and XRD tomographies used are focused‐beam techniques that measure the intensities of fluorescent and diffracted X‐rays in a sample simultaneously during irradiation by a high‐energy microfocused incident X‐ray beam. Measured sinograms of the emitted and diffracted intensities were then tomographically reconstructed to generate 2‐D slices of XRF and XRD intensity through the sample, with reconstructed pixel resolution of 1–2 μm, defined by the resolution of the focused incident X‐ray beam. For sample LAP 02342, primary mineral phases that were visualized in reconstructed slices using these techniques included isolated grains of α‐Fe, orthopyroxene, and olivine. For our sample of MAC 88203, XRF/XRD tomography allowed visualization of forsteritic olivine as a primary mineral phase, a vitrified fusion crust at the sample surface, identification of localized Cr‐rich spinels at spatial resolutions of several micrometers, and imaging of a plagioclase‐rich glassy matrix. In the sample of Murchison, major identifiable phases include clinoenstatite‐ and olivine‐rich chondrules, variable serpentine matrix minerals and small Cr‐rich spinels. Most notable in the tomographic analysis of Murchison is the ability to quantitatively distinguish and visualize the complex mixture of serpentine‐group minerals and associated tochilinite–cronstedtite intergrowths. These methods provide new opportunities for spatially resolved characterization of sample texture, mineralogy, crystal structure, and chemical state in unsectioned samples. This provides researchers an ability to characterize such samples internally with minimal disruption of sample micro‐structures and chemistry, possibly without the need for sample extraction from some types of sampling and capture media.

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  4. Abstract Anisotropic absorption in crystals is routinely observed in many spectroscopic methods and is recognized in visible light optics as pleochroism in crystalline materials. As with other spectrosco-pies, anisotropy in Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) can serve both as an indicator of the general structural arrangement and as a conundrum in quantifying the proportions of absorbers in crystals. In materials containing multiple absorbers, observed anisotropies can typically be represented by a linear relationship between measured spectroscopic peak intensities and relative absorber concentrations. In this study, oriented XAS analysis of pyroxenes demonstrates that the macroscopic theory that describes visible light absorption anisotropy of triaxially anisotropic materials can also be applied to X-ray absorption in pyroxenes, as long as the orientation and magnitude of the characteristic absorption vectors are known for each energy. Oriented single-crystal XAS analysis of pyroxenes also shows that the measured magnitude of characteristic absorption axes at a given orientation is energy-dependent and cannot be reproduced by linear combination of intermediate spectra. Although the macroscopic model describes a majority of the anisotropy, there is distinct discordance between the observed and interpolated spectra in the pre-edge between 7109 and 7115 eV, which is marked by spikes in RMSE/mean intensity ratio. Absorption indicatrices for samples analyzed in the visible and at X-ray wavelengths are modeled with a three-dimensional (3D) pedal surface, which functions as an empirical way of interpolating between the observed absorption data. This surface only requires a maximum of three coefficients, and results from the summation of 3D lemniscates. An absorption indicatrix model can be used to characterize anisotropic absorption in crystals and provides a way of comparing XAS spectra from randomly oriented crystals, such as those from polished sections, to a database of characterized crystals. 
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  5. Abstract Numerous studies have documented rare-earth element (REE) mobility in hydrothermal and metamorphic fluids, but the processes and timing of REE mobility are rarely well constrained. The Round Top laccolith in the Trans-Pecos magmatic province of west Texas, a REE ore prospect, has crosscutting fractures filled with fluorite and calcite along with a variety of unusual minerals. Most notably among these is an yttrium and heavy rare-earth element (YHREE) carbonate mineral, which is hypothesized to be lokkaite based on elemental analyses. While the Round Top laccolith is dated to 36.2 ± 0.6 Ma based on K/Ar in biotite, U-Pb fluorite and nacrite ages presented here clearly show the mineralization in these veins is younger than 6.2 ± 0.4 Ma (the age of the oldest fluorite). This discrepancy in dates suggests that fluids interacted with the laccolith to mobilize REE more than 30 m.y. after igneous emplacement. The timing of observed REE mobilization overlaps with Rio Grande rift extension, and we suggest that F-bearing fluids associated with extension may be responsible for initial mobilization. A later generation of fluids was able to dissolve fluorite, and we hypothesize this later history involved sulfuric acid. Synchrotron spectroscopy and laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U-Pb dating of minerals that record these fluids offer tremendous potential for a more fundamental understanding of processes that are important not only for REE but other ore deposits as well. 
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