Improving the reliability of Fe- and S-XANES measurements in silicate glasses: Correcting beam damage and identifying Fe-oxide nanolites in hydrous and anhydrous melt inclusions

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Allan Lerner , Michelle Muth, Paul Wallace, Antonio Lanzirotti, Matthew Newville, Glenn Gaetani, Proteek Chowdhury, Rajdeep Dasgupta


The redox state of silicate melts influences crystallization, element partitioning, and degassing behavior. Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray absorption near edge structure (μXANES) spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool for determining redox conditions through the direct measurement of speciation of multivalent elements such as iron and sulfur in silicate glasses. In particular, the high spatial resolution afforded by synchrotron μXANES makes it one of the few techniques available for determining redox conditions in melt inclusions, which can provide insights into pre-eruptive melt properties. However, the small size of melt inclusions, the deep penetration of X-rays, and irradiation-induced beam damage make μXANES measurements in melt inclusions challenging.
Here we present data that show rapid Fe- and S-μXANES beam damage in experimental glasses, mid-ocean ridge basalt glasses, and olivine-hosted melt inclusions from the southern Cascade arc and Kīlauea Volcano and develop approaches to recognize and correct for beam damage through repeated rapid analyses. By applying a time-dependent correction to a series of rapid measurements (~82 s/scan) of Fe-μXANES pre-edge centroid positions, irradiation-induced photo-oxidation (Fe2+ to Fe3+) can be corrected back to undamaged initial Fe3+/ΣFe even in damage-susceptible hydrous glasses. Using this beam damage correction technique, hydrous basaltic melt inclusions from the southern Cascades have Fe3+/ΣFe that is ~0.036 lower (corresponding to -0.5 log units lower oxygen fugacity) than would have been indicated by standard Fe-μXANES measurements. Repeated, rapid analyses (150 – 300 s/scan) were used to identify S-μXANES beam damage (photo-reduction of S6+ to S4+), which was corrected with a peak fitting method to restore initial S6+/ΣS. We observe that S-μXANES beam damage can occur rapidly even in low-H2O mid-ocean ridge basaltic glasses and melt inclusions from Kīlauea Volcano, which are otherwise stable during even prolonged Fe-μXANES analyses. By mitigating and correcting for sulfur photo-reduction, we conclude that some mid-ocean ridge basaltic glasses contain 0.08 – 0.09 S6+/ΣS, which is more sulfate than might be expected based on the reduced oxidation state of these glasses (near the fayalite-magnetite-quartz oxygen buffer). Using beam damage identification and correction techniques, the valence states of iron and sulfur can be accurately measured even in beam damage-susceptible glasses and melt inclusions.
Finally, using Fe-μXANES, we demonstrate the presence of Fe-oxide nanolites within otherwise glassy, naturally quenched melt inclusions, which can complicate determination of iron valence state in affected glasses.



Geochemistry, Geology, Mineral Physics, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Volcanology


XANES, Beam Damage, Nanolites


Published: 2021-10-19 09:15

Last Updated: 2021-12-01 16:27

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Data available from the author upon request, and eventually from the officially published version of the manuscript