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Advances in Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of natural glasses: from sample preparation to data analysis

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Felix W. von Aulock
  • Ben M. Kennedy
  • C. Ian Schipper
  • Jonathan Castro
  • D.E. Martin
  • C. Oze
  • James M. Watkins
  • Paul J. Wallace
  • L. Puskar
  • F. Bégué
  • Alex R. L. Nichols
  • Hugh Tuffen
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2014
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)52–64
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is an analytical technique utilized to measure the concentrations of H and C species in volcanic glasses. Water and CO2 are the most abundant volatile species in volcanic systems. Water is present in magmas in higher concentrations than CO2 and is also more soluble at lower pressures, and, therefore it is the dominant volatile forming bubbles during volcanic eruptions. Dissolved water affects both phase equilibria and melt physical properties such as density and viscosity, therefore, water is important for understanding magmatic processes. Additionally, quantitative measurements of different volatile species using FTIR can be achieved at high spatial resolution. Recent developments in analytical equipment such as synchrotron light sources and the development of focal plane array (FPA) detectors allow higher resolution measurements and the acquisition of concentration maps. These new capabilities are being used to characterize spatial gradients (or lack thereof) around bubbles and other textural features, which in turn lead to new insights into the behavior of volcanic feeder systems. Here, practical insights about sample preparation and analysis of the distribution and speciation of volatiles in volcanic glasses using FTIR spectroscopy are discussed. New advances in the field of FTIR analysis produce reliable data at high spatial resolution that can be used to produce datasets on the distribution, dissolution and diffusion of volatiles in volcanic materials.