Phosphate stalactites found inside Canelobre cave (Southeast Spain) are here studied by hyperspectral Raman and cathodoluminescence (CL). Together with XRD and EDS analyses, we characterized the complex phosphate paragenesis present in these precipitates. Both resultant CL and Raman analyses point to a complex distribution of phosphate minerals that are difficult to interpret, as they contain a combination of alteration phosphates. As bands of a Raman spectrum relate directly to bond strengths and atomic masses, molecular groups such as the carbonate ion, the hydroxyl ion, and water of crystallization could be further studied in future research, along with better identification of the different phosphate mineral phases.
Keywords: cathodoluminiscence, phosphate, Raman spectrometry, speleothem