High resolution transmission electron microscopy evaluation of silica glaze reveals new textures

K. A. Langworthy, D. H. Krinsley, Ronald Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the first nanoscale investigation of silica glaze. High resolution transmission electron microscopy of a rock coating from the Ashikule Basin, Tibetan Plateau, reveals the presence of spheroids composed predominantly of silicon and oxygen with diameters ranging from 20 nm to 70 nm. While silica glaze spheroids co-exist with manganese-rich rock varnish in the same sample, the different rock coatings are texturally and physically distinct at the nanoscale. These observations are consistent with a model of silica glaze formation starting with soluble aluminum-silicon (Al-Si) complexes [Al(OSi(OH)3)2+], mobilized with gentle wetting events such as dew or frost. The transition between complete and partial wetting on silica surfaces rests at about 20-70 nm for liquid droplets. Upon crossing this transition, a metastable wetting film would be ruptured, initiating formation of silica glaze through spheroid deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1620
Number of pages6
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume35
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

Keywords

  • Focused ion beam
  • HRTEM
  • Rock coatings
  • Silica glaze
  • Tibet
  • Weathering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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