Serpentinites are rocks, often used in buildings, formed in large extent by minerals of the serpentine group: chrysotile, antigorite, lizardite, and polygonal serpentine. The fibrous type (e.g. chrysotile) of serpentine group minerals, along with several amphibole varieties (e.g. actinolite and tremolite), are the major components of asbestos family. The exposure to fine fibrous asbestos powder is linked to diseases such as pleural mesothelioma and asbestosis. The identification of the main varieties of the serpentine group, laminated or fibrous, becomes an issue of great interest for public health. This work introduces an analytical strategy able to distinguish the different serpentine polymorphs directly on the sample, allowing the analysiswithin their textural environment, evidencing at themicrometer scale the mineral reactions of the phases. Samples coming from the Koniambo massif (Grande Terre Island, New Caledonia) were studied by means of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy–energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Raman peaks observed in the high wavenumber spectral range of 3550–3850 cm-1, associated with OH stretching vibrations, allow the iscrimination of the all four serpentine varieties. The relationship between the different varieties of serpentine, at a micrometric scale, in complex samples, has been investigated by two-dimensional Raman mapping.
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