Summary: The reliability and utility of diffuse reflectance spectra are briefly but critically reviewed. The results of measurements of diffuse reflectance over the wavelength range 200 < γ < 2500 nm are reported for wüstite, magnetite, hematite, maghemite, ilmenite, ulvöspinel, and α-FeO · OH (goethite), β-FeO 7sd OH, γ-FeO · OH (lepidocrocite), and δ-FeO · OH. The spectra have been assigned by reference to simplified molecular-orbital energy-level diagrams derived from recent SCF-Xα calculations.
The specular reflectances reported in the Quantitative Data File (Henry, 1977) are related to the diffuse reflectance spectra in a rational way. Minerals that absorb strongly throughout the visible display little dispersion of specular reflectance, and their powders are dark (wüstite, magnetite, ilmenite, ulvöspinel); those that absorb much more strongly in the near ultraviolet than in the visible have specular reflectances that decrease monotonically from blue to red according to a simple dispersion relation derived by combining the Sellmeier dispersion and Fresnel reflexion equations; their powders are strongly coloured (hematite, maghemite, lepidocrocite, goethite) and their optical anisotropy is closely related to crystal structure.