Edenite

Edenite
Edenite crystal from Bancroft District, Ontario
General
Category Inosilicate, amphibole
Formula
(repeating unit)
NaCa2Mg5AlSi7O22(OH)2
Crystal symmetry Monoclinic prismatic
H-M symbol: (2/m)
Space group: C 2/m
Unit cell a = 9.83 Å, b = 17.95 Å, c = 5.3 Å, β = 105.18°; Z=2
Identification
Formula mass 834.25 g
Color White to gray, pale to dark green, also brown and pale pinkish-brown
Crystal habit Prismatic crystals, fibrous, as reaction rims on pyroxenes
Crystal system Monoclinic
Twinning Simple or multiple parallel to {010}
Cleavage Good on (110)
Fracture Conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
Mohs scale hardness 5–6
Luster Vitreous
Streak White
Diaphaneity Semitransparent
Specific gravity 3.05 - 3.37
Optical properties Biaxial (+)
Refractive index nα = 1.606 - 1.649, nβ = 1.617 - 1.660, nγ = 1.631 - 1.672
Birefringence δ = 0.025
Pleochroism Distinct, greens, blue-greens, and yellow-browns
2V angle 50–82°
References [1][2][3]

Edenite is a double chain silicate mineral of the amphibole group with the general chemical composition NaCa2Mg5AlSi7O22(OH)2. Edenite is named for the locality of Edenville, Orange County, New York, where it was first described.[3]

Occurrence

Edenite has been found primarily in metamorphic rocks, occurring in pods of other magnesium rich minerals within a marble formation or with garnet rich lherzolites from deep within the Earth's crust.[4][5] Thus, finding edenite in the field can indicate high temperature regional metamorphism of the surrounding rocks.

Uses and importance

While edenite is not important for commercial or industrial applications, it is often studied because of its unique chemical substitution properties. Results from research performed on amphiboles have shown that edenite is particularly suited for fitting chlorine anions into its chemical framework.[6] This makes edenite a good candidate for use in chlorine isotope fractionation in amphibole-bearing rocks. Many synthetic variations of edenite are also used in geochemical research to produce a boron analogue of fluroedenite.[7]

Crystal habit

Edenite is a member of the monoclinic crystal system and is in the crystal class 2/m (space group C2/m).[4] This means crystalline edenite is symmetrical around a two-fold rotation axis that is then reflected across a mirror plane perpendicular to the long axis of the mineral.[8]

Optical properties

Edenite is a biaxial positive mineral. When viewed in thin section with a petrographic microscope, it is white-gray with pale green pleochorism in plane-polarized light. Under crossed polars, its interference colors range from first order gray to first order blue.[2]

References

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