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Goethite

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Formula:
α-Fe
3+
 
O(OH)
System:OrthorhombicColour:brownish black, ...
Hardness:5 - 5½
Member of:Diaspore Group
Name:
Named in 1806 by Johann Georg Lenz in honor of the German poet, novelist, playwright, philosopher, politician, and geoscientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [(August 28, 1749 Frankfurt, Germany – March 22, 1832 Weimar, Germany]. Goethe was Chief Minister of State of Weimar. (Portions of the Goethe mineral collection are reputedly held by the Goethe Society in New York, New York, USA.)


Diaspore Group.

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Classification of Goethite

IMA status:Approved
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/F.06-30
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:4.FD.10

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
F : Hydroxides (without V or U)
D : Hydroxides with OH, without H2O; chains of edge-sharing octahedra
Dana 8th edition ID:6.1.1.2

6 : HYDROXIDES AND OXIDES CONTAINING HYDROXYL
1 : XO(OH)
Hey's CIM Ref.:7.20.5

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
20 : Oxides of Fe
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Type Occurrence of Goethite

Type Locality:Hollertszug Mine (Hollerter Zug Mine), Dermbach, Herdorf, Siegerland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Year of Discovery:1806

Occurrences of Goethite

Geological Setting:Common weathering product, primary hydrothermal mineral, bog and marine environments.

Physical Properties of Goethite

Lustre:Adamantine, Silky, Metallic, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:brownish black, yellow-brown, reddish brown
Streak:yellowish brown, orange-yellow, ocher-yellow
Hardness (Mohs):5 - 5½
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=667 kg/mm2
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Perfect
{010}; {100} less perfect.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven
Density (measured):4.27 - 4.29 g/cm3
Density (calculated):4.18 g/cm3

Crystallography of Goethite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:a = 4.608Å, b = 9.956Å, c = 3.0215Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.463 : 1 : 0.303
Unit Cell Volume:V 138.62 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Prismatic [001] and striated [001]; also flattened into tablets or scales on {010}. Velvety aggregates of capillary crystals to acicular [001] and long prismatic forms often radially grouped. Massive, reniform, botryoidal, stalactitic. Bladed or columnar. Compact or fibrous concretionary nodules. Oolitic.
Crystal Atlas:
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Goethite no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Goethite no.29 - 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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Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
4.98 (12)
4.183 (100)
2.693 (35)
2.450 (50)
2.253 (14)
2.190 (18)
1.7912 (20)

Optical Data of Goethite

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 2.260 - 2.275 nβ = 2.393 - 2.409 nγ = 2.393 - 2.409
2V:Calculated: 20°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.133 - 0.134

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Dispersion:relatively strong r>v
Pleochroism:Visible
Comments:X = red b/yellow b = clear yellow
Y = red a/yellow c = brown-yellow
Z = red c/yellow a = orange-yellow

Chemical Properties of Goethite

Formula:
α-Fe
3+
 
O(OH)
Simplified for copy/paste:α-Fe3+O(OH)
Essential elements:Fe, H, O
All elements listed in formula:Fe, H, O
Common Impurities:Mn

Relationship of Goethite to other Species

Member of:Diaspore Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Bracewellite
CrO(OH)
Diaspore
AlO(OH)
Groutite
Mn
3+
 
O(OH)
Montroseite
(V
3+
 
,Fe
3+
 
)O(OH)
Tsumgallite
GaO(OH)
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
4.FD.05Spertiniite
Cu(OH)
 
2
4.FD.10Bracewellite
CrO(OH)
4.FD.10Diaspore
AlO(OH)
4.FD.10Groutite
Mn
3+
 
O(OH)
4.FD.10Guyanaite
CrO(OH)
4.FD.10Montroseite
(V
3+
 
,Fe
3+
 
)O(OH)
4.FD.10Tsumgallite
GaO(OH)
4.FD.15Manganite
Mn
3+
 
O(OH)
4.FD.20Yttrotungstite-(Y)
YW
 
2
O
 
6
(OH)
 
3
4.FD.20Yttrotungstite-(Ce)
(Ce,Nd,Y)W
 
2
O
 
6
(OH)
 
3
4.FD.20Unnamed (Nd-analogue of Yttrotungstite-(Ce))
(Nd,Ce,La)W
 
2
O
 
6
(OH)
 
3
4.FD.25Frankhawthorneite
Cu
 
2
Te
6+
 
O
 
4
(OH)
 
2
4.FD.30Khinite
Pb
2+
 
Cu
2+
3
Te
6+
 
O
 
6
(OH)
 
2
4.FD.30Parakhinite
Pb
2+
 
Cu
2+
3
Te
6+
 
O
 
6
(OH)
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
7.20.1Wüstite
FeO
7.20.2Magnetite
Fe
2+
 
Fe
3+
2
O
 
4
7.20.3Maghemite
Fe
3+
2
O
 
3
7.20.4Hematite
Fe
 
2
O
 
3
7.20.6Akaganeite
β-Fe
3+
 
O(OH,Cl)
7.20.7Feroxyhyte
Fe
3+
 
O(OH)
7.20.8Lepidocrocite
γ-Fe
3+
 
O(OH)
7.20.9Ferrihydrite
Fe
3+
5
O
 
3
(OH)
 
9
7.20.10Amakinite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)(OH)
 
2
7.20.11Magnesioferrite
MgFe
3+
2
O
 
4
7.20.12Muskoxite
Mg
 
7
Fe
 
4
O
 
13
· 10H
 
2
O
7.20.13Srebrodolskite
Ca
 
2
Fe
3+
2
O
 
5
7.20.14Hercynite
Fe
2+
 
Al
 
2
O
 
4
7.20.15Brownmillerite
Ca
 
2
(Al,Fe
3+
 
)
 
2
O
 
5

Other Names for Goethite

Synonyms:
Allchariteα-GoethiteChileit (of Breithaupt)Ehrenwerthite (of Cornu)Fullonite
GötheiteGöthiteHydrohematiteMesabitePrzibramite (of Glocker)
Yanthosiderite
Other Languages:
Basque:Goethita
Catalan:Goethita
Croatian:Getit
Czech:Goethit
Dutch:Goethiet
Estonian:Götiit
Finnish:Götiitti
French:Goethite
German:Goethit
Aëtit
Allcharit
α-Goethit
Fullonit
Götheit
Göthit
Haarförminge Brauneisenstein
Haarförminger Brauneisenstein
Mesabit
Nadeleisenerz
Prismatisches Eisenerz
Prismatisches Nadeleisenerz
Sammetblende
Samtblende
Samteisenerz
Yanthosiderit
Hebrew:גתיט
Hungarian:Goethit
Italian:Goethite
Goetite
Japanese:針鉄鉱
Lithuanian:Getitas
Polish:Goethyt
Portuguese:Goethita
Romanian:Goetit
Russian:Гётит
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Гетит
Simplified Chinese:针铁矿
Slovak:Goethit
Spanish:Goethita
Allcharita
α-Goethita
Fullonita
Götheita
Göthita
Hierro pardo
Mesabita
Yanthosiderita
Swedish:Goethit
Thai:เกอไทต์
Ukrainian:Ґетит
Varieties:
AlumogoethiteEhrenwerthite

Other Information

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

References for Goethite

Reference List:

- +
Posnjak and Merwin (1919), American Journal of Science: 47: 311.

Spencer (1919), Mineralogical Magazine: 18: 339.

Goldzstaub (1935), Bulletin soc. min.: 58: 6.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 680-685.

Canadian Mineralogist (1967): 9: 122.

Mindat.org articles about Goethite

Article entries:
Moqui Marble MysteriesDave Crosby

Internet Links for Goethite

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
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  • Look for Goethite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Goethite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Goethite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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    Localities for Goethite

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