Questions tagged [mineralogy]

Questions relating to the scientific study and identification of minerals.

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23 views

Why and how do quartz crystals change from cloudy/translucent to clear/transparent?

Two pieces of quartz people have given to me at different times have become gradually clear over the space of a few years. Previously they were very cloudy, translucent without any detail visible ...
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1answer
110 views

“Obicular” structures in basalts

I found spherical or globular structures, structures in basalts of a greenstone belt which underwent alteration and deformation. However, in thin section, these structures have undeformed pyroxene and ...
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What exactly are enantiotropic and monotropic polymorphic transitions?

Recently, I've been studying the subject of polymorphism and met two important concepts, the monotropic and enantiotropic polymorphic transition types. However, I can't really seem to grasp the ...
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210 views

Why would CaO be more finely spread than K2O in Granodiorite?

I recently interpreted some XRF data on samples of a granodiorite which were classified under three different types of physical characteristics: very little, mild and significant levels of weathering. ...
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What is the white coating “patina” we often see on deposited chalcedony/agate?

Me and some of my friends were wondering what exactly is the white coating we can see on chalcedony that has been deposited by a river during quartenary (and so the original material is damaged and ...
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108 views

Does higher hardness means that A cannot scratch B regardless of any other variable?

You have object A of hardness 4 and glass B of hardness 6. Is this information alone enough to determine that, under any circumstances object A will never be able to scratch glass B? For a more ...
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104 views

What is the connection (if any) between jarosite and subsoil biological activity near Spain's Río Tinto?

In the short BBC video Spain's otherworldly red river, Ricardo Amils, a researcher in Spain's Astrobiology Center says the following (amateur transcription): Río Tinto is a peculiar place in our ...
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1answer
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Is the association of fluorescent minerals calcite, fluorite, and apatite with fluorescent rare-Earth minerals a coincidence?

If I understand this answer and this comment correctly, minerals like calcite, fluorite, and apatite are "commonly associated with (Rare Earth Element) REE deposits", and like some REEs also fluoresce ...
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Introduction to Geology Books

I am a high school student who is thinking about going to university for Geological Sciences. I've had an interest in rocks and such since I was little, but I want to get an idea of what studying ...
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156 views

How to genetically classify a mineral resulted from weathering?

I am writing a mineral guide for smartphones which classifies minerals according to their formation environment. From sugestions on this related question, I changed the classification to: ...
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Light sources for ellipsometry over large wavelength ranges

I am interested in learning about which light sources are used to determine the optical constants (the n and k values) of minerals over large wavelength ranges (say from the UV to the FIR). A ...
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1answer
59 views

What is the meaning of the subscript in the abbreviations of some minerals?

I have noticed that in many articles on minerals that I have read the abbreviation of some mineral has a numerical subscript, for example, occurs with the forsterite (Fo95-90, Fo92-84, Fo94, etc.). ...
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48 views

Hyperspectral Detection of Ore

How can I use hyperspectral satellite imagery to remotely detect copper or any prespecified mineral deposit in general? Where can I find a database of the absorption and reflection bands of various ...
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34 views

Confused about the genetic term supergene mineral

I am bit confused about the term supergene on a genetic mineral classification. At this genetic clasification of minerals the author includes on supergene type "Weathering and oxidation zone". Wenk,...
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Ore Reserve Definition

I've seen many papers on mineral deposits say something along the line of "a 100,000 tonne deposit of Zn, 1% grade." Does this mean there is 1% of 100,000 tonnes which is 1000 tonnes pure zinc, or ...
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580 views

Looking for a complete table of minerals for a database

I am building an open source spatial geochemical/geological observational database for mineral exploration. I need to fill the mineral lookup table. Where can I find a complete list of all minerals ...
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mineral prospecting in Iran

I live in Iran and I want to do personal mineral prospecting for natural crystals and gemstones and beautiful minerals. Unfortunately, there are no reliable information available. Anyone can help me ...
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34 views

Ore Deposit Determination

How are ore body sizes determined? What are the most reliable techniques of determining the size of ore deposits as well as their content?
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39 views

Can crystal lattices be analogue? [closed]

This question might turn out to be more about physics then geology so apologies in advance if that is the case. Years ago I read something that said in crystals "atoms have finite positions along the ...
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1answer
100 views

If the earth's core is made up of copper/other metals other than iron-nickel alloy, how our magnetosphere will be?

We know that our earth's core is made up of iron-nickel alloy and it is spinning to create magnetic flux all around our planet to create our life-saving Magnetosphere. And this also influences our 9.8 ...
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130 views

Is this classification of mineral formation environments correct?

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 ...
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72 views

Does muscovite occur as a contact metamorphism mineral?

Does muscovite occur as a contact metamorphism mineral, with dacitic intrusion into dacitic rocks?
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76 views

Where can I get mineral testing done? [closed]

Where can I send a sample of material to be tested to see exactly what it is? Do you have an address where items can be sent for testing and evaluation? I have a softball size rock that was given to ...
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1answer
176 views

What are these features in the Tombouctou Region?

I’ve recently been very interested in globe-trotting via Google Earth. At first I was using it to plan out hikes to possible mineral deposits locally, or potential fossils/ archeology sites. However I ...
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1answer
168 views

Is there any mineral identification techniques that works for all minerals?

Are there any mineral identification techniques that work for all minerals(non-metallic/metallic), so that an electronic device could be made to distinguish between all minerals?
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344 views

Muscovite with pleochroic halos?

Is it possible to find pleochroic halos in muscovite ? I would have said that it must be biotite (also, in PPL it is brown!), but then.. why does it have interference colors so similar to muscovite ? ...
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Differentiate a rock and mineral

How to differentiate between a rock and a mineral by merely looking at it as a thumb rule?
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Strange coating in old lime mine shaft

Near Prague,Czech Republic is old lime mine. Most of it is closed but one short transport tunnel under one hill is publicly accessible. Tunnel has profile around 2,5x2,5m and it's slightly bended and ...
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209 views

What are the cubic formations found inside Larimar gemstones?

I recently noticed what appears to be common cubic formations just beneath the surface of Pectolite (Larimar) gemstones. They quite resemble transparent sugar sprinkles. Each formation isn't perfectly ...
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Why do gold deposits form only in certain areas of the earth?

In the map above you can find that most elements are spread evenly throughout Earth's crust and that they are available all around the Earth. However, gold can only be found in certain areas of the ...
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Are there any areas on Earth with purplish-colored soil/sand/rock/land?

This sort of comes from my related question, but only sort of. Are there any areas on Earth with purplish-colored soil? The purple tint would come from some mineral, perhaps deposited by rivers or ...
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1answer
39 views

Name of majorite endmember $\ce{Mg3(FeSi)Si3O12}$

Does the majorite garnet $\ce{Mg3(FeSi)Si3O12}$ have a name?
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2k views

Does ground-to-cloud lightning create crystals as well?

I've read that cloud-to-ground lightning can create fulgurites. Does ground-to-cloud lightning also create crystals within the earth as it surges through the minerals?
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4answers
563 views

What is this Lake Michigan rock? [closed]

Rock found along northern Lake Michigan, (Charlevoix, MI). Made up of very thin crystalline layers. There are small, round bubble like bumps that protrude from the surface. Doesn't show well in the ...
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Database of color wavelengths of minerals

I was wondering about the physics of color, and now am interested in finding out if there are any resources (databases, text files, html tables, or pdf listings) of minerals and their associated ...
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Why does the colour of amethyst fade if exposed to too much light?

It is well known that the purple hue that is characteristic of the amethyst quartz ($\ce{SiO2}$) will fade if the crystal is exposed to light for a prolonged period of time. What is the underlying ...
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14k views

What determines a mineral's hardness?

Mohs Hardness Scale is basically a measurement of the hardness of a material, or more specific, a rock or mineral. But I have never been able to figure out why some minerals are harder than others.
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In what geological situations can I find gold?

I've heard that gold ore is often associated with quartz veins. What geological processes enable gold particles to naturally cluster together like this? What characteristics/properties should I look ...
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Peak phosphorus - what are the sinks?

The minable phosphorus reserves are limited. Where is the mined phosphoprus landing, what are the global phosphorus sinks? I would assume that most phosphorus is used for fertilizer and ultimately ...
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What does the unit cell of petitjeanite look like?

The question in Chemistry SE What is the crystal structure of bismuth oxyhydroxyphosphate (BOHP)? is about a catalyst synthesized by accident. A link in this comment points to the page https://www....
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Chloride and evaporation

I have a layered aquifer with water that contains high concentrations of calcium and sulfate (~400 mg/L Ca2+, ~1300 mg/L SO42-), at 50 cm below ground surface (bgs), 250 cm bgs and 300 cm bgs. The ...
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1answer
2k views

What's the difference between cleavage and fracture?

I see both terms refereing to fractures on crystals or minerals, so I wonder if they could be considered synonymous. If no, what's the difference between both terms?
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129 views

An oblique-square-prism crystal?

Does any mineral crystallize in the shape of an oblique square prism? If so, what crystal system (monoclinic, cubic, hexagonal, etc.) would such a mineral fall under?
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63 views

Can gemstones be cut into sheets? [closed]

TL;DR: Without lasers, electricity, or otherwise modern tools, could large transparent gems be sliced (like glass window)? So I’m world building. On this planet they have caves with enormous gemstone/...
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1answer
22 views

Does the shear modulus of silicate minerals vary significantly with changes in P and T?

I know that the bulk modulus, K, varies with pressure and temperature for silicate minerals and liquids, but what about the shear modulus? If so, is the change drastic for changes from standard ...
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77 views

Phase relation for mantle?

I have information about temperature, pressure, normal and shear stresses, viscosity, conductivity, density, heat capacity and adiabatic heating for a particular area of mantle in the form of 2D ...
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299 views

How are minerals classified?

What exactly is done to classify minerals in Earth Sciences such as Geology? How can it be known if one mineral is the same as another if they should be visually different?
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1answer
127 views

Mineral identification - please help!

I'm currently writing an essay on a mosaic in the British Museum, and am unsure about which stone the frame is constructed from (pictured). I would be most grateful for help identifying it. Thanks! ...
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1answer
188 views

Where/how people find minerals

Forever I have seen little shops here and there offer minerals like those crystals and neat shaped rocks of different kinds, turquoise and amethyst and many others and such. But I never really thought ...
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111 views

Do Pyroelectric gemstones really exist? Can they be found on web market?

I just got the curiosity today to know whether the gems that produce electricity non stop without an end exist, and I have found this site. But I’m having doubts about it, thinking that it could be ...