Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Musto D., Paoloni G., Plescia P., Tocino M., Sottile R. Morphological and structural characterization of chrysotile growth on a serpentine shear zone. In: Plinius - Supplemento italiano a European Journal of Mineralogy. Abstract, vol. 33 p. 313. Felici Editore, Loc. Ospedaletto, Pisa, 2007.
This paper reports the tectonized surfaces characteriziation (the shear layers of a fault zone) for serpentinitic rocks coming from an ophiolitic complex in Roccheta di Vara (SP, Italy). These shear layers present optically polished surfaces, with a glassy aspect and a concoidal fracture. Analysing these rocks is important because of the neoformation of chrysotile and other mineral fibers. The shear layer was characterized with X ray diffraction, FTIR, thermogravimetric (TGA) analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). All samples were analysed both on their surface and internally (stratigraphically) to verify the transformation depth due to the shear stress. The results show that the glassy material is amorphous, but a lot of chrysotile crystallization nuclei are present, which contain chysotile fibrils that are morphologically unusual and less tha 1 μm long. In more internal layers, there are well ordered and crystallized chrysotile fibers a few hundred microns long. The paper discusses the role of the glassy material, and the possibility of chrysotile growth where this mineral is not originally present in the rocks. These findings are important in order to understand the chrysotile genetic mechanism, and to evaluate the occurrence of asbestos fibers diffusion in the surrounding environment, especially in quarry areas.
Subject Chrysotile
Serpentine minerals
J.2 Physical Sciences and Engineering. Earth and atmospheric sciences
86-05 Experimental work
86A99 Miscellaneous topics

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