EMU Volume 12 – Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Raman spectroscopy of gases, water and other geological fluids
Valentin Garcia-Baonza, Fernando Rull and Jean Dubessy

Geological fluids are the major agents of transport of matter and heat in Earth dynamics. Unlike minerals, fluid density may vary by an order of magnitude, resulting in drastic changes in the molecular interactions. Water is a major fluid component, so it is essential to understand the response of hydrogen bonding with respect to pressure and temperature. In addition, geological fluids can be classified as complex chemical systems by a mixture of molecular compounds and ions. Thus, the study of aqueous solutions plays a fundamental role in understanding the behaviour of geological fluids. In the present chapter, focus is first placed on the use of Raman spectroscopy in the study of gases and how their spectral response changes under different pressure/temperature conditions. The ability of Raman spectroscopy to detect structural changes occurring in hydrogen-bonded systems, under thermodynamic conditions ranging from ordinary to extreme pressures and/or temperature is then discussed. Raman spectroscopy will be shown to provide invaluable information for a better understanding of the role played by geological fluids in Earth and crustal processes.

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