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Lecture 5 (9/20/2006)

Crystal Chemistry

Part 4:
Compositional Variation of Minerals
Solid Solution
Mineral Formula Calculations
Graphical Representation of Mineral
Compositions
Solid Solution in Minerals
Where atomic sites are occupied by variable
proportions of two or more different ions
Dependent on:
similar ionic size (differ by less than 15-
30%)
results in electrostatic neutrality
temperature of substitution (more
accommodating at higher temperatures)
Types of Solid Solution
1) Substitutional Solid Solution
Simple cationic or anionic substitution
e.g. olivine (Mg,Fe)
2
SiO
2
; sphalerite (Fe,Zn)S
Coupled substitution
e.g. plagioclase (Ca,Na)Al
(1-2)
Si
(3-2)
O
8
(Ca
2+
+ Al
3+
= Na
+
+ Si
4+
)
2) Interstitial Solid Solution
Occurrence of ions and molecules within large voids
within certain minerals (e.g., beryl, zeolite)
3) Omission Solid Solution
Exchange of single higher charge cation for two or more
lower charged cations which creates a vacancy (e.g.
pyrrhotite Fe
(1-x)
S)
Recalculation of Mineral Analyses
Chemical analyses are usually reported in weight
percent of elements or elemental oxides
To calculate mineral formula requires
transforming weight percent into atomic percent
or molecular percent
It is also useful to calculate (and plot) the
proportions of end-member components of
minerals with solid solution
Spreadsheets are useful ways to calculate
mineral formulas and end-member components
Next Lecture
Crystal Chemistry V:
Crystallization under Igneous, Metamorphic,
and Near-surface Conditions

Read p. 104-115