I am writing an app for students that consist in 180 sheets of the most common minerals on Earth's Crust.

One of the fields of the sheets is environment of formation.

It is important to me to correctly classify environments because I generate with code thousands of questions for a quiz type:

In wich environment would you found calcopyrite?

a) Sedimentary

b) ....

This is my classification of environments of formation of minerals:

  • Sedimentary: diagenesys minerals etc (calcite, halite...).
  • Magmatic: sensu stricto igneous minerals (quartz, plagioclase...).
  • Metamorphic: minerals formed on metamorphism (muscovite, clorite...).
  • Tardimagmatic: stockworcks, IOCG, VMS, etc, derivatived from magma.(copper, pyrite...).
  • Hydrothermal: basin fluids, veins of hig-medium-low grade (quartz, serpentinite...).
  • Exogenous: neoformation minerals on surface by (alteration clays...).

My question is: is this classification correct?

I am particullary worried about tardimagmatic environment. I am sure the term is used at Spain, but it migth not be very accurate at anglo saxon Universities, for the english version of my app.

Update from answers

Thank you very much for answers. Exogenous was totally an inaccurated term and I suspected tardimagmatic was not a very used term, so my clasification will be:

  • Sedimentary
  • Magmatic
  • Metamorphic
  • Hydrothermal
  • Supergenic
  • Extraplanetary

I offer a bounty to see if someobody could sugest another better classifiaction than this one, or just to corroborate this one is correct.

  • $\begingroup$ No knowledge of the field whatsoever (it's now been 20 years since my intro to geology class!) But perhaps you should describe what tardemagnetic means to you, since I don't find it googling... wiki pages for pyrite and copper both include the term diamagnetic, but it looks like Spanish may have the word diamagnético. Whereas the guess of a root word for that part of the word would be tardar, but in English that suggests more of a delay in time than a repulsion, so I'm not sure if that's what you mean? But that's the only input I'm worth here! $\endgroup$ Nov 3, 2021 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ @JeopardyTempest No it is a term used in Spain to include process post magmatic. Nos magmatic sensu stricto but derivated from magmatic fluids as Skarns. But it is not of use in saxon places, so I am going to include all both sl and ss in magmatic field. $\endgroup$
    – user20559
    Nov 3, 2021 at 13:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ haha, I'm heavily sleep deprived... magnetic != magmatic. I'll stick to meteorology :-p (And maybe shouldn't do that either when as tired!) $\endgroup$ Nov 3, 2021 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


It is probably not ideal and misleading.

Nomenclature first:

I have been in several universities, both in the English speaking and non-English speaking world. I also attended multple international conferences. I have never seen the term "Tardimagmatic". Ever. Also, your "Exogenous" is much more commonly referred to as "supergene".

That said, most minerals cannot be classified into formation mode. Quartz - can be igneous, metamorphic, hydrothermal, sedimentary, etc. What about garnets? They can be igneous or metamorphic. They can also form by pertitectic partial melting, so they just straddle the igneous-magmatic boundary. Calcite? Another example of a mineral that can be hydrothermal, igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary.

You give the example of chalcopyrite. It can form hydrothermally around igneous intrusions. It can also be sedimentary. Pretty much all minerals can also be metamorphic.

I may be blunt here - but this type of learning is old fashioned. Modern learning techniques rarely focus on memorising properties of stuff. This can all be looked up easily online. Teaching now focuses on a systems approach, and understanding of why things happen.

  • $\begingroup$ Gimelist, thank you. I finally use the classification of Wenk et al. It is published. You have the link in my profile if you want to take a look and you tell me what do you think. It is free with ads. As for environments, each mineral has one or multiple environments, and in the question I include the description, not only "Wich mineral is found in supergenic environments?". $\endgroup$
    – user20559
    Nov 27, 2021 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ It would be "Wich mineral would you found in the environment "Supergenic: bauxites." And then the other wrong three minerals are minerals that are never found in supergenic environment. I included finally for supergenic environment everything exogenic and not sedimentary as alteration products or soil minerals with the enrichment minerals. $\endgroup$
    – user20559
    Nov 27, 2021 at 12:08

A genetic classification.

Endogenic: Magmatic, Metamorphic, Hydrothermal Exogenic: Supergene, Sedimentary

For more on this please see Wenk, H. R., & Bulakh, A. (2016). Minerals: their constitution and origin. Cambridge University Press (second edition) or the first edition of this book(2004).

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think I am gonna change my term exogenous, (that should be named exogenic by the way) for supergenic. May include my tardimagmatic minerals in just magmatic. Thank you very much. $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    Oct 9, 2019 at 10:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ At some point we're going to have to fit anthropogenic into the system. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Oct 9, 2019 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ As for hydrothermal I am gonna keep that type. It is difficult to know if hot fluids derive from magma or from basin fluids hotted by geothermal gradient. And gonna include in magmatic all those VMS, IOCG deposits etc. Thank you very match as when I did the database I am modifuing before publishing, I didn't remember the term is supergenic, not exogenic. $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    Oct 9, 2019 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Spencer for sure. There are rocks being formed at seabed with plastics as main clasts. In some by there will be a isochrone there well defined. $\endgroup$
    – user12525
    Oct 9, 2019 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ Don't bypass, that there is a distinct group hydrothermal-sedimantary. In which, while deposition/diagenesis on going, the pore water shifting into metal rich solutions. Then this metal rich pore water inside the sediments, covered by more sediments. During solidification chemical reactions take place and sulfide mineralization occur under 200 centigrade degree temperature. $\endgroup$ Oct 9, 2019 at 20:28

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