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Epsomite

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Formula:
MgSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
System:OrthorhombicColour:White, grey, colourless, ...
Lustre:Vitreous, Silky, EarthyHardness:2 - 2½
Member of:Epsomite Group
Name:
Named in 1806 by Jean-Claude Delamétherie for the type locality at Epsom, Surrey, England.


Epsomite Group; Epsomite-Morenosite Series; Epsomite-Goslarite Series.

A complete series exists to Morenosite and to Goslarite.

Usually found as crusts, delicate efflorescences, or botryoidal masses of tiny fibrous to acicular crystals, its color is white but it is often stained a variety of pale hues by impurities.


Classification of Epsomite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:6/C.07-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:7.CB.40

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
C : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, with H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations
Dana 7th edition ID:29.6.11.1
Dana 8th edition ID:29.6.11.1

29 : HYDRATED ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
6 : AXO4·xH2O
Hey's CIM Ref.:25.3.6

25 : Sulphates
3 : Sulphates of Mg
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Type Occurrence of Epsomite

Type Locality:Epsom, Surrey, England, UK
Year of Discovery:1806

Occurrences of Epsomite

Geological Setting:Typically found growing as efflorescences in sheltered spots on outcrops of dolomitic or calcerous rocks; often found growing on the walls of caves and in salt lake deposits; also often found growing on the walls of coal and metal mines, including on wooden supports and abandoned equipment.

Physical Properties of Epsomite

Lustre:Vitreous, Silky, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:White, grey, colourless, or pink, greenish; colourless in transmitted light.
Comment:Pink = cobaltoan; greenish = nickelian.
Streak:White
Hardness (Mohs):2 - 2½
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Fragile
Cleavage:Perfect
Perfect on {010}, distinct on {101}.
Fracture:Conchoidal
Translation gliding:T{110}, t[1_10] ?; T{100}, t[0_10] ?; T{011}, t[011] ?; T{101}, t[_101] ?.
Density (measured):1.675 - 1.679 g/cm3
Density (calculated):1.678 g/cm3
Comment:Measured on artificial material.

Crystallography of Epsomite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):2 2 2 - Disphenoidal
Space Group:P21 21 21
Cell Parameters:a = 11.86Å, b = 11.99Å, c = 6.858Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.989 : 1 : 0.572
Unit Cell Volume:V 975.22 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Crystals rare, usually as fibrous to acicular crusts, fibers elongated [001]; may be in botryoidal masses or stalactic; woolly efflorescences. Artificial crystals short prismatic [001] to equant.
Twinning:On {110}, rare.
Crystal Atlas:
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Epsomite no.23 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Epsomite no.28 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Epitaxial Relationships of Epsomite

Epitaxial Minerals:
Muscovite
KAl
 
2
(AlSi
 
3
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
2
Morenosite
NiSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
Goslarite
ZnSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
Epitaxi Comments:Oriented overgrowths with zinc (Goslarite) and nickel (Morenosite) analogues. Also on Muscovite with Epsomite {100} or {110} parallel Muscovite {001} and Epsomite [001] parallel to Muscovite [120], [310], [150], [1_20], [3_10], [1_50].
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
5.98(30)
5.34(30)
5.31(20)
4.22(100)
4.20(80)
2.88(20)
2.67(20)
2.66(30)

Optical Data of Epsomite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.433 nβ = 1.455 nγ = 1.461
2V:Measured: 52° , Calculated: 54°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.028

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:none

Chemical Properties of Epsomite

Formula:
MgSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:MgSO4·7H2O
Essential elements:H, Mg, O, S
All elements listed in formula:H, Mg, O, S
Analytical Data:Effloresces in dry air. Very soluble in water.
Common Impurities:Ni,Fe,Co,Mn,Zn

Relationship of Epsomite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Goslarite (see here)
Forms a series with Morenosite (see here)
Member of:Epsomite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Goslarite
ZnSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
Morenosite
NiSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
7.CB.05Dwornikite
(Ni,Fe)SO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
7.CB.05Gunningite
ZnSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
7.CB.05Kieserite
MgSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
7.CB.05Poitevinite
(Cu,Fe,Zn)SO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
7.CB.05Szmikite
MnSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
7.CB.05Szomolnokite
FeSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
7.CB.05Cobaltkieserite
CoSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
7.CB.07Sanderite
MgSO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
7.CB.10Bonattite
CuSO
 
4
· 3H
 
2
O
7.CB.15Aplowite
(Co,Mn,Ni)SO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.CB.15Boyleite
(Zn,Mg)SO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.CB.15Ilesite
(Mn,Zn,Fe)SO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.CB.15Rozenite
FeSO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.CB.15Starkeyite
MgSO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.CB.15Drobecite
CdSO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.CB.15Cranswickite
MgSO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
7.CB.20Chalcanthite
CuSO
 
4
· 5H
 
2
O
7.CB.20Jôkokuite
MnSO
 
4
· 5H
 
2
O
7.CB.20Pentahydrite
MgSO
 
4
· 5H
 
2
O
7.CB.20Siderotil
FeSO
 
4
· 5H
 
2
O
7.CB.25Bianchite
(Zn,Fe)SO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.25Chvaleticeite
(Mn,Mg)SO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.25Ferrohexahydrite
FeSO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.25Hexahydrite
MgSO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.25Moorhouseite
(Co,Ni,Mn)SO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.25Nickelhexahydrite
(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.30Retgersite
NiSO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.35Bieberite
CoSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.35Boothite
CuSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.35Mallardite
MnSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.35Melanterite
FeSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.35Zincmelanterite
(Zn,Cu,Fe)SO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.35Alpersite
(Mg,Cu)[SO
 
4
] · 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.40Goslarite
ZnSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.40Morenosite
NiSO
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.45Alunogen
Al
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 17H
 
2
O
7.CB.45Meta-alunogen
Al
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 12H
 
2
O
7.CB.50Aluminocoquimbite
FeAl(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 9H
 
2
O
7.CB.55Coquimbite
Fe
 
2-x
Al
 
x
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 9H
 
2
O, x ~0.5
7.CB.55Paracoquimbite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 9H
 
2
O
7.CB.55Rhomboclase
(H
 
5
O
 
2
)Fe
3+
 
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
7.CB.60Kornelite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 7H
 
2
O
7.CB.65Quenstedtite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
· 10H
 
2
O
7.CB.70Lausenite
Fe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
·6H
 
2
O
7.CB.75Lishizhenite
ZnFe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 14H
 
2
O
7.CB.75Römerite
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 14H
 
2
O
7.CB.80Ransomite
CuFe
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
7.CB.85Apjohnite
Mn
2+
 
Al
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 22H
 
2
O
7.CB.85Bílinite
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 22H
 
2
O
7.CB.85Dietrichite
(Zn,Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)Al
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 22H
 
2
O
7.CB.85Halotrichite
FeAl
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 22H
 
2
O
7.CB.85Pickeringite
MgAl
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 22H
 
2
O
7.CB.85Redingtonite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Ni)(Cr,Al)
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
·22H
 
2
O
7.CB.85Wupatkiite
(Co,Mg,Ni)Al
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
·22H
 
2
O
7.CB.90Meridianiite
MgSO
 
4
· 11H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
25.3.1Kieserite
MgSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
25.3.2Sanderite
MgSO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
25.3.3Starkeyite
MgSO
 
4
· 4H
 
2
O
25.3.4Pentahydrite
MgSO
 
4
· 5H
 
2
O
25.3.5Hexahydrite
MgSO
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
25.3.7Caminite
Mg
 
7
(SO
 
4
)
 
5
(OH)
 
4
· H
 
2
O
25.3.8Vanthoffite
Na
 
6
Mg(SO
 
4
)
 
4
25.3.9Blödite
Na
 
2
Mg(SO
 
4
)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
25.3.10Konyaite
Na
 
2
Mg(SO
 
4
)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
25.3.11Löweite
Na
 
12
Mg
 
7
(SO
 
4
)
 
13
· 15H
 
2
O
25.3.12Uklonskovite
NaMg(SO
 
4
)F · 2H
 
2
O
25.3.13Langbeinite
K
 
2
Mg
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
25.3.14Leonite
K
 
2
Mg(SO
 
4
)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
25.3.15Picromerite
K
 
2
Mg(SO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
25.3.16Efremovite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
Mg
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
25.3.17Boussingaultite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
Mg(SO
 
4
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
25.3.18Pickeringite
MgAl
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
4
· 22H
 
2
O

Other Names for Epsomite

Synonyms:
Bitter SaltsEpsom SaltEpsoniteReichardtiteSeelandite
Other Languages:
Catalan:Epsomita
Dutch:Epsomiet
French:Sel d'Epsom
German:Epsomit
Bittersalz
Epsonit
Gletschersalz
Reichardtit
Seidlitzensis
Seydschützensis
Hebrew:אפסומיט
Italian:Epsomite
Japanese:エプソマイト
Latin:Epsomensis
Magnesia vitriolata
Sal amarus
Sal Anglicanum
Sal Anglicus
Sal Catartica
Sal catharticum
Sal nativum catharticum
Sal neutrum acidulare
Polish:Epsomit
Portuguese:Epsomite
Russian:Эпсомит
Simplified Chinese:泻利盐
七水镁矾
镁盐
Spanish:Epsomita
Epsonita
Reichardtita
Ukrainian:Епсоміт
Varieties:
Aromite (of Darapsky)Cobaltoan EpsomiteCuprian Zincian EpsomiteFerroan EpsomiteManganoan Epsomite
Zincian Manganoan Epsomite

Other Information

Magnetism:Diamagnetic
Special Storage/
Display Requirements from:
Les Vieux Travaux mine,..., Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, Francehygroscopic. store in hermetic boxes or in controlled athmosphere
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Epsomite

Reference List:

- +
Hermann (1721) De Sale nativo cathartico in fodinis Hungariae recens invento, Posonii (as Sal nativum catharticum).

Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 184 (as Sal neutrum acidulare).

Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 184 (as Sal Anglicanum).

Wallerius, J.G. (1753) French edition of “Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket.” 2 volumes, Paris: 1: 339 (as Sel d'Epsom).

Scopoli (1761) De Hydrarg. Idriense Tent., Venet (as Halotrichum).

Klaproth, M.H. (1802) Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper. vol. 3: 104 (as Halotrichum).

Brooke (1823) Annals of Philosophy, London: 22: 40.

Beudant, F.S. (1824), Trailé élémentaire de Minéralogie, 8vo, Paris: 445.

Miller (1852): 546.

Rammelsberg (1854) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 91: 324.

Krause (1874) Zeitschrift für Naturwissenschaften, Halle: 44: 554 (as Reichardtit).

Krause (1874) Archiv Pharm.: 5: 423 (as Reichardtit).

Krause (1875) Archiv Pharm.: 6: 41 (as Reichardtit).

Dufet (1878) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 1: 58.

Dufet (1880) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 3: 180.

Blasius (1885) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 10: 227.

Dufet (1889) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 12: 22.

Retgers (1889) Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, Leipzig, Berlin: 3: 534.

Brunlechner (1893) Jahrbuch Nat. Land.-Mus. Klagenfurt: 22: 192 (as Seelandite).

Borel (1895) Arch. sc. phys. nat. Genève: [3]: 34: 230.

Retgers (1895) Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, Leipzig, Berlin: 16: 580.

Johnsen (1907) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Beil.-Bd.: 23: 315.

Groth, P. (1908) Chemische Krystallographie. Leipzig. 5 volumes: vol. 2: 401.

Lacroix, A. (1910) Minéralogie de la France et des ses colonies, Paris. 5 volumes: vol. 4: 212.

Tenne and Calderón (1910): 2: 235.

Gaudefroy (1913) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 157: 61.

Eyermann (1914) cited in Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 54: 100.

Johnsen (1915) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 33, 289.

Merwin (1915) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 55: 113.

Zsivny (1915) Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Nat. Hungar.: 13: 577.

Goldschmidt, V. (1916) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 3: 151.

Jenkins (1918) American Journal of Science: 46: 638.

Walker (1921) University of Toronto Stud., Geol. Ser., no. 12: 43, 44.

Longchambon (1922) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 45: 238.

Mellor, J.W. (1923) A Comprehensive Treatise on Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry. 16 volumes, London: 4: 329.

Onorato (1925) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Att.: [6]: 2: 204.

Cardoso (1926) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 63: 19.

Westenbrink (1926) Proceedings of the Academy of Science Amsterdam: 29: 1223.

Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1[3B]: 4346.

Mahl (1929) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Beil.-Bd.: 59: 273.

Shannon (1929) Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum: 74, Art. 13.

Kokta (1930) Příroda, Brno: 32: 381.

Porter (1930) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 75: 288.

Hey (1931) Mineralogical Magazine: 22: 510.

Barnes and Hunter (1932) Nature: 130: 96.

Royer (1932) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 194: 1088.

Vavrinecz (1932) Magyar Chem. Foly.: 38: 140.

Smythe (1933) The Vasculum, Newcastle-on-Tyne: 19: 12 (Min. Abs.: 5: 283).

Milton and Johnston (1938) Economic Geology: 33: 749.

Mélon (1944) Annales Société géologique de Belgique, Liége: 67: B56.

Hutton (1947) American Mineralogist: 32: 553.

Zirkl (1948) Min. Mitt.: 1: 185.

Meixner, H. (1950): Der Karinthin 11:242-252 (as Seelandite).

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 509-513.

Acta Crystallographica: 17: 1361-1369.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997), Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 612.

Internet Links for Epsomite

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  • Localities for Epsomite

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