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Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?

Posted by Bela Feher  
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 18, 2008 08:49PM
    
All,

There is also a amphibole subcommittee working at the moment and allot of this might be cleared up.

Stu
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 18, 2008 08:56PM
    
This is probably a text book example why the CNMNC discourages the publication of a mineral name before there is a published description of the mineral from a type locality.
Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 21, 2008 05:37AM
Hi, Andy:

Hopefully Stu is right, and some of amphibole nomenclature might get cleared up by the current Amphibole Subcommittee. However, my take on aluminotschermakite is that the name was approved by the IMA, and an analysis corresponding to the definition can be found in DH&Z, 2nd ed., vol. 2B (1997), Table 12, analysis 10. Therefore I think that the status "A" (Approved) is probably appropriate.

Regarding potassichastingsite, several descriptions have been published under various names, including potassium hastingsite, magnesian postassium-hastingsite and magnesian potassic hastingsite. In my database, which forms the basis of the IMA Mineral List, the mineral has Rn (Revised Name) status because the name potassichastingsite was formally approved by the IMA.

Aluminokatophorite presents a different problem. The name was included in the 1978 Amphibole Report, but missing from the 1997 report. Does that mean that approval has been rescinded? It's hard to say, so I have given it "Q" (Questionable) status in my database.

As you can see, it is not always easy to provide adequate information by the use of a simple status symbol. Perhaps we will get some guidance in the next report of the Amphibole Subcommittee.

Cheers, Ernie...
Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 21, 2008 07:53AM
Ernie,

I'm playing devil's advocate here so bear with me!
How do you (or the IMA) justify giving aluminotschermakite an approved "full species" status when it has not been formally described?
Where is its type locality?
Where is the type specimen?

Wouldn't it be better to tag it as a (N) "named amphibole" until it is formally described? It could go in with aluminowinchite, aluminosadanagaite, alumino-ferropargasite and alumino-ferro-edenite (I know of data corresponding to all of these).

One comment for those on the amphibole subcommittee - please could you publish a computer program (ideally an excel spreadsheet) to calculate amphibole names when the nomenclature is revised. With most amphibole data collected using an electron microprobe, naming amphiboles is a nightmare - especially as Fe3+ has to be taken into account.
Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 03:54AM
Andy:

I am certainly not going to defend the practice of giving species names to hypothetical minerals for which there are no known occurrences, as has been done by the Amphibole Subcommittee. Such names present a problem when it comes to assigning a status designation and, under these circumstances, I was obliged to make the least bad choice. I queried Prof. Leake, the former chairman of the Subcommittee, about such minerals, and, in the case of aluminotschermakite, he pointed me to a reference in DH&Z as representing a mineral the composition of which corresponds to the definition of aluminotschermakite. The locality given for this mineral is Warsak in northwest Pakistan, so this could, perhaps be regarded as the type locality. So this gives us a name approved by the IMA, an occurrence, and the chemical composition of a naturally occurring mineral. This information, of course, falls far short of the normal requirements for establishing a mineral species, and it is difficult to decide what the formal status of such a mineral should be. Your suggestion of "N" (not approved) is not really correct because the name WAS approved. "H" is not appropriate, either, because there is natural occurrence of the mineral. "A" is also not entirely appropriate because a detailed description is lacking. So I had to make a choice from among several unsatisfactory alternatives, and "A" seemed to be closest to the mark. Perhaps a different status designation could be invented. Any ideas?

Ernie...
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 04:22AM
    
Andy and others,

I passed your comments onto the current amphibole subcommittee.

Stu
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 09:41AM
    
Perhaps status "K" = Known occurence in nature but lacking in detailed description ?

Antonio
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 09:45AM
Isn't 'K' the same, effectively, as 'G'?

Even though it seems a little silly to be adding NEW grandfathered names, the logic behind them is the same - something believed to be a valid mineral but hasn't had a formal approval process based on a thorough analysis of type material?

Jolyon
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 11:46AM
    
How about 'P' for 'problematic' or 'pain in the ****'?
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 01:14PM
How about a two-lettter system to avoid confusion

AP - Approved pending further clarification and publication.
AT - Approved with a published type description
AG - Accepted due to grandfather status
AN - Approved name for an end-member not yet proven in nature

PP - Not valid, published without approval
PR - Not valid, needs further research, eg lack of type material
PO - Not valid due to anthropogenic/organic origin

NR - Not valid, rejected
ND - Not valid, discredited

etc.

We could then have a distinction between minerals that are approved and not yet published with those that are published, and the status would change from AP to AT once the description is published, so IMA2008-0xx entries would be AP status.

AN could also change to AT after further research and publication if a valid sample that satisfies tfhe 50% rule is found.

We also have an easy way of then saying if it starts with A it's a valid mineral, if it starts with P then it's probably not, but might be (depending on future research) and if it starts with N then it isn't. The distinction for P and N is important to list those things that need further research, and everythting in P should be shifted to an A or an N over time, with luck (and enough material or better test equipment in the future).

Jolyon



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2008 01:21PM by Jolyon Ralph.
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 01:41PM
Also, things could be rejected as NR or PR depending on how 'final' the decision is!

Jolyon
Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 04:50PM
    
You also have the 'named amphiboles' where a name, based on chemical analysis and crystal system, that agrees with the system of amphibole nomenclature can be published without IMA apporval. They are not considered new species of amphibole (see the article CM 42,1881) until they are submitted to the Commission and are approved.
IMA 'H' status or 'N' status.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2008 04:52PM by Jim Ferraiolo.
Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 22, 2008 07:31PM
Ernie,

"............Your suggestion of "N" (not approved) is not really correct because the name WAS approved."
I was not suggesting this - I suggested "N" to represent "named amphiboles". I was in effect suggesting lumping together the IMA approved amphibole species that do not have formal descriptions (like aluminotschermakite) together with those that are not IMA approved (the named amphiboles) - such as aluminowinchite. This would combine all those amphiboles lacking formal descriptions. All the names I listed in my previous email have published compositional data confirming their existence and so you could argue they have type localities (but not carefully curated type specimens).

Just checking - "named amphiboles" can be defined on the basis of a partial chemical analysis? Is that right? I'd guess most published amphibole data does not have supporting XRD data or analyses of Li, Fe2+ or Fe3+

I find Jolyon's two letter coding attractive. I'd give the "named amphiboles" an NM designation (named mineral). I wouldn't want them called NA as that is too restrictive. I know of two "named tourmalines" - fluor-elbaite and fluor-schorl. Both with data reported in the literature, but not IMA approved. Perhaps Jolyon would like "named minerals" designated with a P - so PN is another possible abbreviation for them.

Andy
Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 23, 2008 07:37AM
Thanks for the suggestions. Jolyon's 2-letter coding certainly has merit, as it has the potential of removing the ambiguity in status designation that has been revealed by this exchange. As the status codings are included in the IMA Mineral List, I think that authorization for major changes, such as those suggested, should be obtained from the CNMNC. Stu, do you think that this is a project that could be taken on, possibly by the vice-chairman on classification?

Ernie
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 23, 2008 09:38AM
Obviously my particular example two letter codes may or may not be appropriate - they were quick five minute examples to show the concept, but I think the general concept will work well and obviously we'd support the new coding system in mindat as soon as they are announced by the IMA.

Jolyon
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 23, 2008 12:10PM
Hi all,
I haven't gone deeper in to this discussion but it certainly must touch upon something I brought up and discussed with (at least) Ernie more than 2 years ago:
The issue was grandfathered (G marked) minerals that erroneously had become approved (A marked) with reference to appendix table 2 in an 1987 article (Am Min 72, 1031). It concerned several mineral names affected by the Levinson rule, for example the minerals yttrotantalite and yttrocolumbite. I see in the latest IMA/CNMNC list that the problem "has been taken care of" by not giving this reference any longer. The minerals are still erroneously Approved but now using other references, e.g. Handbook of Mineralogy 1997.
The fact remains that these minerals were and are only grandfathered and their names were and are only revised, i.e. RENAMED, to yttrotantalite-(Y) and yttrocolumbite-(Y), NO scientific rework had been done on the minerals and consequently no decisions have been taken on their species status.
Yttrotantalite-(Y) and yttrocolumbite-(Y) are only given as examples. I am not reflecting on their possible validity/non-validity as minerals, but only referring to their present publicly known status. According to the present shorthand for status they ought to be marked G, Rn or equivalent - nothing else.

all best



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2008 12:33PM by Johan Kjellman.
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 23, 2008 03:46PM
Ok, if someone wants to run with the two-letter idea and put together a formal proposal, please consider this:

Do not choose two letter combinations that are easily inverted, eg:

AP - Approved, Published

PA - Pending Approval

because it will happen that one will get mistyped as the other.

You also might want to think about proximity of keys on keyboard and also how these things are spoken phonetically so if someone gives AS as a code over the phone it isn't mistaken for AF, or vice versa.

If you're going to think up a new system, do it right :)

Jolyon
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 23, 2008 11:18PM
    
Ernie, it is possible, but it will have to go behind the 2 major projects we aree working on now.
Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
October 24, 2008 05:44AM
Hi, Johan:

You are right about yttrotantalite and yttrocolumbite. I will change their status from A to Rn (renamed), as the IMA decision was simply a renaming exercise. I will see if a similar treatment should be applied to any other minerals.

Cheers, Ernie
avatar Re: Approved mineral species without finding in the nature?
November 02, 2008 12:18PM
Reference:
• Robinson, P., Solli, A., Engvik, A., Erambert, M., Bingen, B., Schiellerup, H., Njange, F. (2008): Solid solution between potassic-obertiite and potassic-fluoro-magnesio-arfvedsonite in a silica-rich lamproite from northeastern Mozambique. European Journal of Mineralogy, 20, (in press).

I think that they are other two Named Minerals.
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