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Cordierite

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Louis Cordier
Formula:
(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
Also given as (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).n(H2O,CO2,Na+,K+);
X0-1(Mg,Fe,Li)2(Al,Si,Be)9O18 (X = H2O, CO2, Ar, Xe, Na, K); (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).[Ch]X
System:
Orthorhombic
Colour:
Grey, blue, blue-violet, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
7 - 7½
Name:
After Pierre Louis A. Cordier (1777-1861), French mining engineer and geologist, who first studied this species.
Dimorph of:
The Mg analogue of Sekaninaite. Cordierite-Sekaninaite Series.

The hexagonal high-temperature dimorph of cordierite is indialite.
Cordierite is often altered into pinite.

May be confused with members of the Osumilite Group.

Structure of cordierite and indialite is somewhat similar to that of beryl.

Microporous cordierite (and beryl) may contain some molecular N2 (Bebout et al,. 2016).

HT- and LP-cordierites characterize in potassium admixtures and are characteristic of pyrometamorphic rocks (e.g., Schreyer et al., 1990). They may also have abnormal Al/Si ratioes. Potassium is localized in structural channels (e.g., Daniels, 1992). Presence of argon ("at the centre of large holes") and water (likely attached to wall of large cavities) is described, e.g., by Smith & Schreyer (1962), while aliphatic hydrocarbons (likely dominated by butane, also localized in channels, with molecular axes || b) are reported to occur (in pegmatitic material) by Khomenko and Langer (1999).

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Cordierite.

Classification of Cordierite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
9.CJ.10

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
J : [Si6O18]12- 6-membered single rings (sechser-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions
61.2.1.1

61 : CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
2 : Six-Membered Rings with Al substituted rings
16.19.2

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
19 : Aluminosilicates of Fe and Mg
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Type Occurrence of Cordierite

Occurrences of Cordierite

Geological Setting:
Thermally metamorphosed argillaceous sedimentary rocks; high-grade regionally metamorphosed schists, gneisses and granulites; also in mafic igneous rocks and granites.

Physical Properties of Cordierite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Grey, blue, blue-violet, greenish, yellowish brown; colourless to very light blue in transmitted light.
Hardness (Mohs):
7 - 7½
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Imperfect/Fair
On {100}, fair; On {001} and {010}, poor.
Fracture:
Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
2.6 - 2.66 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.505 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Cordierite

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cccm
Space Group Setting:
Cccm
Cell Parameters:
a = 17.079(3) Å, b = 9.730(2) Å, c = 9.356(2) Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 1.755 : 1 : 0.962
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,554.77 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crystals short prismatic, striated parallel to [001]. Commonly granular to compact, massive.
Twinning:
Common on {110} and {130}, simple, lamellar, and cyclical.

Crystallographic forms of Cordierite

Crystal Atlas:
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Cordierite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cordierite no.30 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Crystal Structure

Structure
Reference
Gibbs G V (1966) The polymorphism of cordierite I: The crystal structure of low cordierite. American Mineralogist 51:1068-1087.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Cordierite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.527 - 1.560 nβ = 1.532 - 1.574 nγ = 1.538 - 1.578
2V:
Measured: 75° to 89°, Calculated: 54° to 86°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.011 - 0.018
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
r < v, weak to marked
Pleochroism:
Strong
Comments:
X = c = Pale yellow, green
Y = a = Violet, blue-violet
Z = b = Light blue

Chemical Properties of Cordierite

Formula:
(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)

Also given as (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).n(H2O,CO2,Na+,K+);
X0-1(Mg,Fe,Li)2(Al,Si,Be)9O18 (X = H2O, CO2, Ar, Xe, Na, K); (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).[Ch]X
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Mn,Fe,Ti,Ca,Na,K

Relationship of Cordierite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Sekaninaite (see here)
9.CJ.05BazziteBe3Sc2(Si6O18)
9.CJ.05BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
9.CJ.05IndialiteMg2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.05StoppaniiteBe3Fe23+(Si6O18) · H2O
9.CJ.10Sekaninaite(Fe,Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.15aCombeiteNa2Ca2(Si6O18)0.5
9.CJ.15bImandriteNa12Ca3Fe23+(Si6O18)2
9.CJ.15aKazakoviteNa6Mn2+Ti(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15cKoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2O
9.CJ.15aLovozeriteNa2Ca(Zr,Ti)(Si6O12)[(OH)4O2] · H2O
9.CJ.15aTisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.15aZirsinaliteNa6(Ca,Mn2+,Fe2+)Zr(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15aLitvinskiteNa2(◻,Na,Mn)ZrSi6O12(OH,O)6
9.CJ.15aKapustiniteNa5(Na,Mn2+)<1Zr(H2Si6O18)
9.CJ.25BaratoviteKCa7(Ti,Zr)2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.25KatayamaliteKLi3Ca7Ti2(SiO3)12(OH)2
9.CJ.25AleksandroviteKCa7Sn2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.30DioptaseCuSiO3 · H2O
9.CJ.35KostyleviteK2Zr(Si3O9) · H2O
9.CJ.40PetarasiteNa5Zr2(Si6O18)(Cl,OH) · 2H2O
9.CJ.45Gerenite-(Y)(Ca,Na)2(Y,REE)3Si6O18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.50OdintsoviteK2Na4Ca3Ti2Be4Si12O38
9.CJ.55MathewrogersitePb7FeAl3GeSi12O36(OH,H2O)6
9.CJ.60PezzottaiteCs(Be2Li)Al2(Si6O18)
16.19.1IndialiteMg2Al3(AlSi5O18)
16.19.3Sekaninaite(Fe,Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
16.19.4Ferro-gedrite☐{Fe22+}{Fe32+Al2}(Al2Si6O22)(OH)2
16.19.5StauroliteFe22+Al9Si4O23(OH)
16.19.6Chloritoid(Fe2+,Mg,Mn2+)Al2(SiO4)O(OH)2
16.19.7AmesiteMg2Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4
16.19.8Corundophilite(Mg,Fe,Al)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH)8
16.19.9YoderiteMg(Al,Fe3+)3(SiO4)2O(OH)
16.19.10Delessite(Mg,Fe,Fe,Al)(Si,Al)4O10(O,OH)8
16.19.11Ferrocarpholite(Fe2+,Mg)Al2(Si2O6)(OH)4
16.19.12Magnesiocarpholite(Mg,Fe2+)Al2(Si2O6)(OH)4
16.19.13Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
16.19.14Orthochamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH,O)8
16.19.15Berthierine(Fe2+,Fe3+,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
16.19.16Odinite(Fe,Mg,Al,Fe,Ti,Mn)2.4((Si,Al)2O5)(OH)4
16.19.17ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.19.18Gedrite☐{Mg2}{Mg3Al2}(Al2Si6O22)(OH)2
16.19.19Magnesiogedrite
16.19.20Diabantite(Mg,Fe,Al)6((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)8
16.19.21SudoiteMg2Al3(Si3Al)O10)(OH)8
16.19.22VermiculiteMg0.7(Mg,Fe,Al)6(Si,Al)8O20(OH)4 · 8H2O
16.19.23Corrensite(Mg,Fe)9((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)10 · nH2O

Other Names for Cordierite

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Cordierite

Reference List:
Venkatesh, V. (1952) Development and growth of cordierite in para-lavas. American Mineralogist: 37: 831-847.

Miyashiro, A., T. Iiyama, M. Yamasaki, and T. Miyashiro (1955) The polymorphism of cordierite and indialite. American Journal of Science: 253: 185-208.

Smith, J.V., Schreyer, W. (1962): Location of Argon and Water in Cordierite. Mineralogical Magazine: 33(258): 226-236

Seifert F., Schreyer, W. (1970): Lower temperature stability limit of Mg cordierite in the range 1–7 kb water pressure: A redetermination. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 27, 3, 225-238

Stout, J. H. (1975). Apparent Efrects of Molecular Water on the Lattice Geometrv of Cordierite. American Mineralogist, vol 60, pp 229-234.

Stout, J. H. (1976). Apparent effects of molecular water on the lattice geometry of cordierite: A reply. American Mineralogist,vol. 61, pp 1041-1044.

Armbruster, T., & Irouschek, A. (1983). Cordierites from the Lepontine Alps: Na+ Be→ Al substitution, gas content, cell parameters, and optics.Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 82(4), 389-396.

Richet, P. and Bottinga, Y. (1984) Anorthite, andesine, wollastonite, diopside, cordierite, and pyrope thermodynamics of melting, glass transitions, and properties of the amorphous phases. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 67: 415-432.

Putnis, A., Fyfe, C.A., and Gobbi, G.C. (1985) Aluminum-silicon ordering in cordierite using "magic angle spinning" NMR. I. Silicon-29 spectra of synthetic cordierite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 12: 211-216.

Putnis, A. and Angel, R.J. (1985) Aluminum-silicon ordering in cordierite using "magic angle spinning" NMR. II: models of aluminum-silicon order from NMR data. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 12: 217-222.

American Mineralogist (1986): 71: 746-757.

Putnis, A., Salje, E., Redfern, S.A.T., Fyfe, C.A., and Strobl, H. (1987), Structural states of Mg-cordierite I: order parameters from synchrotron X-ray and NMR data. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 14: 446-454.

Schreyer, W., Maresch, W.V., Daniels, P., Wolfsdorff, P. (1990): Potassic cordierites: characteristic minerals for high-temperature, very low-pressure environments. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 105, 162-172.

Daniels, P. (1992): Structural effects of the incorporation of large-radius alkalis in high cordierite. American Mineralogist: 77: 407-411

Kihle, Jan (1993): Cordieritt-Bamble-sektorens gåtefulle blå mineral, Stein No.2, pp 88-94

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 140: 344-352.

Carrington, D. P., & Harley, S. L. (1996). Cordierite as a monitor of fluid and melt H2O contents in the lower crust: An experimental calibration. Geology,24(7), 647-650.

Khomenko, V.H., Langer, K. (1999): Aliphatic hydrocarbons in structural channels of cordierite: A first evidence from polarized single-crystal IR-absorption spectroscopy. American Mineralogist: 84: 1181-1185

Simandl, G.J., Marshall, D., Laird, J. (1999): Gem-quality Cordierite Deposits, Slocan Valley, British Columbia (NTS 82F/12E). British Columbia Geological Survey Geological Fieldwork 1999, Paper 2000-1: 349-358

Kolesov, B. A., & Geiger, C. A. (2000). Cordierite II: The role of CO2 and H2O. American Mineralogist, vol 85, pp 1265-1274.

Geiger, C. A., Armbruster, T., Khomenko, V., & Quartieri, S. (2000). Cordierite I: The coordination of Fe2+. American Mineralogist, vol 85, pp1255-1264.

Ogiermann, Jörn C. (2002): Cordierite and its retrograde breakdown products as monitors of fluid-rock interaction during retrograde path metamorphism: case studies in the Schwarzwald and the Bayerische Wald (Variscan belt, Germany). Dissertation submitted to theCombined Faculties for the Natural Sciences and for Mathematics of the Ruperto-Carola University of Heidelberg, Germany for the degree of Doctor of Natural Sciences. 199 pages

Bertoldi, C., Proyer, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Behrens, ., and Dachs, E. (2004) Comprehensive chemical analyses of natural cordierites: implications for exchange mechanisms. Lithos: 78: 389-409.

Yakubovich, O. V., Massa, V., Pekov, I. V., Gavrilenko, P. G. & Chukanov, N. V. (2004): Crystal structure of the Na-, Ca-, Be-cordierite and crystallochemical regularities in the cordierite-sekaninaite series. Crystallography Reports 49, 953-963.

Tamborenea, S., Mazzoni, A. D., & Aglietti, E. F. (2004). Mechanochemical activation of minerals on the cordierite synthesis. Thermochimica Acta, 411(2), 219-224.

Ganesha, A.V., Basavalingu, B., Tareen, J.A.K., Pasha, M.A. (2004): Breakdown of synthetic potassic cordierite at low P-T conditions. Current Science: 87(1): 104-108

Della Ventura, G., Radica, F., Bellatreccia, F., Cavallo, A., Capitelli, F., & Harley, S. (2012). Quantitative analysis of H2O and CO2 in cordierite using polarized FTIR spectroscopy. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology,164(5), 881-894.

Miletich, R., Scheidl , K. S., Schmitt, M., Moissl, A. P., Pippinger, T., Gatta, G. D., Schuster, B., Trautmann, C. (2014): Static elasticity of cordierite I: Effect of heavy ion irradiation on the compressibility of hydrous cordierite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals:41:8:579-591

Hövelmann, J., Austrheim, H., & Putnis, A. (2014). Cordierite formation during the experimental reaction of plagioclase with Mg-rich aqueous solutions.Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 168(3), 1-13.

Bebout, G.E., Lazzeri, K.E., Geiger, C.A. (2016): Pathways for nitrogen cycling in Earth’s crust and upper mantle: A review and new results for microporous beryl and cordierite. American Mineralogist: 101: 7-24






Internet Links for Cordierite

Specimens:
The following Cordierite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Cordierite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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