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This is a naturally occurring collection of intergrown feldspar crystals. Credit: Dave Dyet.

Silicate minerals are those with more atomic percent silicon oxide than other constituent elements.

For example, kaolinite is Al2Si2O5(OH)4. If aluminum (Al) at two atoms per molecular unit were the most numerous element, kaolinite would be an aluminide.

As the most numerous element is oxygen at 9 for 52.9 at %, kaolin is an oxide. The crystal structure consists of a sheet of interconnected silica tetrahedra. So, kaolin is a phyllosilicate.

MetasilicatesEdit

Def. the "oxyanion of silicon SiO32- or any salt or mineral containing this ion"[1] is called a metasilicate.

OrthosilicatesEdit

 
This is Andradite Var: Demantoid garnet an orthosilicate. Credit: yaiba0390.

Def.

  1. "any salt or ester of orthosilicic acid, (M+)4SiO44− or Si(OR)4"[2] or
  2. "any silicate mineral, such as garnet or olivine, in which the SiO4 tetrahedra do not share oxygen atoms with each other"[2]

is called an orthosilicate.

On the right is an image of andradite variety demantoid. Andradite has the formula Ca3Fe3+3Si3O12.[3] Demantoid andradite is green.[4]

NesosilicatesEdit

 
Although tephroite on the right, a nesosilicate, is gray, this specimen shows some brown color. Credit: Rob Lavinsky.
 
Sphene is widely distributed as an accessory mineral in intermediate and felsic plutonic rocks, pegmatites and alpine veins. Credit: Martine van der Westhuizen.

Def. "any simple silicate mineral in which the SiO4 tetrahedra are isolated and have metal ions as neighbours"[5] is called a neosilicate.

Def. a "type of silicate crystal structure characterized by the linking of SiO4 tetrahedra through other cations rather than the sharing of oxygens among SiO4 tetrahedra"[3] is called a nesosilicate.

The second nesosilicate image down on the right is of the mineral sphene. Its molecular formula is CaTiSiO5. Each crystallographic unit cell of sphene contains at least one molecular unit. The actual space group P 21/a has Z=4 (or four molecules per unit cell).

"Sphene is widely distributed as an accessory mineral in intermediate and felsic plutonic rocks, pegmatites and alpine veins, particularly in coarse-grained igneous rocks such as syenite, nepheline syenite, diorite and granodiorite. It occurs similarly in schists or gneisses and in some metamorphosed limestones."[6]

SorosilicatesEdit

 
At the center of this image are yellowish crystals of the sorosilicate mineral leucophanite. Credit: Parent Géry.

Def. any group of silicates that have structurally isolated double tetrahedra (the dimeric anion Si2O76-)[7] is called a sorosilicate.

CyclosilicatesEdit

 
Colorless beryl, a cyclosilicate, is called goshenite. Credit: Piotr Menducki

Def. any group of silicates that have a ring of linked tetrahedra is called a cyclosilicate.

"Beryl of various colors is found most commonly in granitic pegmatites, but also occurs in mica schists ... Goshenite [a beryl clear to white cyclosilicate] is found to some extent in almost all beryl localities."[8]

InosilicatesEdit

Def. "any silicate having interlocking chains of silicate tetrahedra"[9] is called an inosilicate.

To form these chains, each silica tetrahedron shares two oxygens with neighboring tetrahedra.

Single chain tetrahedra are the pyroxenes. Double chains of tetrahedra are the amphiboles.

PyroxenesEdit

 
Augite is a black, single-chain inosilicate mineral, a pyroxene. Credit: Didier Descouens.

AmphibolesEdit

 
Anthophyllite (or asbestos) commonly occurs as a gray or white, double-chain inosilicate mineral. Credit: Aramgutang.
 
This image shows several amphibole crystals in a glass bowl. Credit: Karelj.

Anthophyllite is a double-chain inosilicate, or amphibole.

PhyllosilicatesEdit

 
Kaolin is a white phyllosilicate. Credit: USGS and the Minerals Information Institute.
 
Biotite is a black phyllosilicate mineral. Credit: United States Geological Survey and the Mineral Information Institute.

Def. any "silicate mineral having a crystal structure of parallel sheets of silicate tetrahedra"[10] is called a phyllosilicate.

Phyllosilicate tetrahedra share three oxygens with other silica tetrahedra to form two-dimensional sheets.

TektosilicatesEdit

Def. a type "of silicate crystal structure characterized by the sharing of all SiO4 tetrahedral oxygens resulting in three-dimensional framework structures"[3] is called a tektosilicate.

Def. any "of various silicate minerals ... with a three-dimensional framework of silicate tetrahedra"[11] is called a tectosilicate.

FeldsparsEdit

 
This feldspar crystal is stark white showing excellent symmetry with appropriate faces. Credit: Rob Lavinsky.

Def. a group of "aluminum silicates [aluminosilicates] of the alkali metals sodium, potassium, calcium and barium"[12] are called feldspars, or feldspar.

"The mineralogical composition of most feldspars can be expressed in terms of the ternary system Orthoclase (KAlSi3O8), Albite (NaAlSi3O8) and Anorthite (CaAl2Si2O8)."[13]

"The minerals of which the composition is comprised between Albite and Anorthite are known as the plagioclase feldspars, while those comprised between Albite and Orthoclase are called the alkali feldspars due to the presence of alkali metals sodium and potassium."[13]

FeldspathoidsEdit

 
Colorless sharply formed undamaged crystals of analcime to 25 mm in diameter on a 78 mm x 65 mm x 53 mm matrix. Credit: Carles Millan.

Def. any of a group of silicates "that did not contain enough silica to satisfy all the chemical bonds"[14] of the framework is called a feldspathoid.

The second image down on the right contains analcime, or analcite, as colorless sharply formed undamaged crystals to 25 mm in diameter on a 78 mm x 65 mm x 53 mm matrix. They are associated with numerous black prismatic terminated crystals of aegirine, as well as smaller colorless prismatic terminated crystals of natrolite, these from 3 mm to 10 mm in length. Aegirine is a pyroxene. Natrolite is another feldspathoid like analcime of the zeolite group.

EarthEdit

"Feldspar is by far the most abundant group of minerals in the earth's crust, forming about 60% of terrestrial rocks."[13]

HypothesesEdit

  1. Most minerals on Earth are oxides.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "metasilicate". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. June 20, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "orthosilicate". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. June 16, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Willard Lincoln Roberts, George Robert Rapp, Jr., and Julius Weber (1974). Encyclopedia of Minerals. 450 West 33rd Street, New York, New York 10001 USA: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. p. 693. ISBN 0-442-26820-3. |access-date= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. J.M. Duke and M. Bonardi (1982). "Chromian andradite from Reaume Township, Ontario". Canadian Mineralogist 20: 49-53. http://rruff.info/doclib/cm/vol20/CM20_49.pdf. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  5. "neosilicate". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. June 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  6. Martine van der Westhuizen (26 November 2010). "Mineral of the Month - Sphene or Titanite". Bothasig, Cape Town, South Africa 7406: The Cape Town Gem & Mineral Club. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  7. "sorosilicate". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. June 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  8. "Beryl". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. April 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  9. "inosilicate". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  10. "phyllosilicate". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. June 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  11. "tectosilicate". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. June 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
  12. Pinkfud (2 November 2004). "feldspar". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 IMA-NA (30 July 2015). "What is Feldspar?". North America: Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA). Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  14. Pinkfud (6 November 2004). "feldspathoid, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2015-07-30.

External linksEdit