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The alunite supergroup under high pressure: the case of natrojarosite, NaFe3(SO4)2(OH)6

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2018

F. Nestola*
Department of Geosciences, University of Padua, Via Gradenigo 6, I-35131, Padova, Italy
S. J. Mills
Geosciences, Museum Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne 3001, Australia
B. Periotto
Department of Geosciences, University of Padua, Via Gradenigo 6, I-35131, Padova, Italy
L. Scandolo
Department of Geosciences, University of Padua, Via Gradenigo 6, I-35131, Padova, Italy


A single crystal of natrojarosite, NaFe3(SO4)2(OH)6, was investigated by single-crystal X-ray diffraction at high-pressure conditions (up to 8.8 GPa) using a diamond-anvil cell. The unit-cell parameters were determined at 11 different pressures and no indications of a phase transition were found up to the maximum pressure reached. The volume and axial moduli were fitted to a third-order Birch–Murnaghan equation-of-state which gave the following values: V0 = 769.6(2) Å3, KT0 = 50.6(9) GPa, K' = 9.9(4); a = 7.3172(6) Å, KT0 = 104(2), K' = 7.6(9); c = 16.5965(20) Å, KT0 = 24.6(4) and K' = 7.1(2). The crystal structure of natrojarosite was refined at seven different pressures up to 8.779(11) GPa [a = 7.3170(4), c = 16.5955(5) Å and V = 769.46(9) Å3 in Rm at 0.00010(1) GPa and a = 7.1594(8), c = 15.6003(17) Å and V = 692.49(8) Å3 at 8.779(11) GPa]. The structural analysis shows that the 12-fold Na polyhedron accommodates most of the deformation by a large volume decrease (14%) and strong polyhedral distortion (63%). Our results indicate that natrojarosite has the most compressible structure of the supergroup studied so far, and has a very strong axial anisotropy.

Research Article
Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2013

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