Experimentally Probing the High-pressure Behavior of Szomolnokite (FeSO4.H2O)

Olivia Pardo, California Institute of Technology

Photo of Olivia Pardo

Szomolnokite (FeSO4·H2O) is a monohydrated iron-bearing sulfate and is generally discussed in conjunction with other hydrated sulfates in relation to several planetary processes, including volatile cycling within the Earth, hydrological activity and history on the surface of Mars with potential importance to subsurface sulfur cycling, and their possible existence as abundant constituents of icy satellites. Given this wide range of interests and the varying compositions of these hydrated sulfates, the end-members of this class of minerals must be characterized. Szomolnokite allows for investigating an iron-end member hydrous sulfate and its behavior at ambient to high pressures relevant from surface conditions to planetary interiors. This work presents the results of diamond anvil cell experiments conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Advanced Light Source and Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source. Specifically, we conducted X-ray diffraction, synchrotron Moessbauer spectroscopy and nuclear resonant inelastic X-ray spectroscopy experiments as a comprehensive study of the structural, electronic and vibrational dynamics of szomolnokite up to pressures of 15 GPa. Synthesis of these results will allow for a comprehensive description of iron within a hydrous environment under compression and ultimately allow for discussion of the implications of szomolnokite's presence in planetary interiors.

Abstract Author(s): O.S. Pardo, V. Dobrosavljevic, T. Perez, W. Sturhahn, T.S. Toellner, J.M. Jackson