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Arcanite

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Formula:
K
 
2
SO
 
4
System:OrthorhombicColour:Colourless, white
Hardness:2
Name:Named in 1845 by Wilhelm Carl von Haidinger from the Latin "arcanum duplicatum," for double secret, a medieval alchemical name. The original material was an exudate on the surface of discarded railroad track ties that had been used in the Santa Ana tin mine, Trabuco Canyon, Santa Ana Mountains, Orange County, California, USA.


Arcanite-Mascagnite Series

This species was described and named based on artificial material and the type occurrence, which is anthropogenic (pine rail tie in a mine). It has since been identified in nature.

Classification of Arcanite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:6/A.07-20
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:7.AD.05

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
A : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, without H2O
D : With only large cations
Dana 8th edition ID:28.2.1.2

28 : ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
2 : A2XO4
Hey's CIM Ref.:25.1.4

25 : Sulphates
1 : Sulphates of the alkali metals and ammonium
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Type Occurrence of Arcanite

Type Locality:Santa Ana Mine, Trabuco Canyon, Trabuco Canyon [town], Santa Ana Mts, Orange Co., California, USA
General Appearance of Type Material:Thin tablets in wood.
Year of Discovery:1845
Geological Setting of type material:Not applicable.

Physical Properties of Arcanite

Colour:Colourless, white
Hardness (Mohs):2
Cleavage:Distinct/Good
On {010} and {001}.
Density (measured):2.663 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.7 g/cm3

Crystallography of Arcanite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:a = 5.77Å, b = 10.07Å, c = 7.48Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.573 : 1 : 0.743
Unit Cell Volume:V 434.62 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Morphology:Thin tablets comprised of sixling cyclic twins bounded by {001}, {011}, and {112} (Santa Ana Mine). Artificial crystals frequently twinned.
Twinning:On {110}, cyclic at times; pseudo-hexagonal groupings.

Optical Data of Arcanite

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.494 nβ = 1.495 nγ = 1.497
2V:Measured: 67° , Calculated: 70°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.004

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:r > v strong

Chemical Properties of Arcanite

Formula:
K
 
2
SO
 
4
Simplified for copy/paste:K2SO4
Essential elements:K, O, S
All elements listed in formula:K, O, S

Relationship of Arcanite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Mascagnite (see here)
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
7.AD.05Mascagnite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
SO
 
4
7.AD.10Mercallite
KHSO
 
4
7.AD.15Misenite
K
 
8
H
 
6
(SO
 
4
)
 
7
7.AD.20Letovicite
(NH
 
4
)
 
3
H(SO
 
4
)
 
2
7.AD.25Glauberite
Na
 
2
Ca(SO
 
4
)
 
2
7.AD.30Anhydrite
CaSO
 
4
7.AD.35Anglesite
PbSO
 
4
7.AD.35Baryte
BaSO
 
4
7.AD.35Celestine
SrSO
 
4
7.AD.35Olsacherite
Pb
 
2
(SeO
 
4
)(SO
 
4
)
7.AD.40Kalistrontite
K
 
2
Sr(SO
 
4
)
 
2
7.AD.40Palmierite
(K,Na)
 
2
Pb(SO
 
4
)
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
25.1.1Thenardite
Na
 
2
SO
 
4
25.1.2Matteuccite
NaHSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
25.1.3Mirabilite
Na
 
2
SO
 
4
· 10H
 
2
O
25.1.5Mercallite
KHSO
 
4
25.1.6Misenite
K
 
8
H
 
6
(SO
 
4
)
 
7
25.1.7Aphthitalite
(K,Na)
 
3
Na(SO
 
4
)
 
2
25.1.8Mascagnite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
SO
 
4
25.1.9Letovicite
(NH
 
4
)
 
3
H(SO
 
4
)
 
2
25.1.10Ammonioalunite
(NH
 
4
)Al
 
3
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6

Other Names for Arcanite

Synonyms:
ArkaniteSulfate of Potash
Other Languages:
French:Potasse sulfatée
German:Arcanit
Arkanit
Kalisulphat
Schwefelsaures Kali
Russian:Арканит
Spanish:Arcanita
Arkanita
Varieties:
Taylorite (of Dana)

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.

References for Arcanite

Reference List:

- +
Haidinger, Wm. (1845) Handbuch der bestimmenden Mineralogie. Vienna: 492.

Tutton (1895) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 24: 5.

Eakle (1908) Bulletin of the Department of Geology, University of California: 5: 232.

Ogg (1928) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 5: 354.

Frondel, C. (1950) American Mineralogist: 35: 596.

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: 399-400.

Acta Crystallographica: B28: 2845-2852.

Canadian Mineralogist (1985): 23: 259.

Internet Links for Arcanite

Search Engines:
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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Arcanite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Localities for Arcanite

    The 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.
    (TL) indicates type locality. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
    Australia
     
    • Western Australia
      • Dundas Shire
        • Cocklebiddy Roadhouse
    Bideaux et al. Handbook of Mineralogy.
        • Madura Roadhouse
    [var: Taylorite (of Dana)] David Garske
    Chile
     
    • Tarapacá Region
      • Iquique Province
        • Iquique
          • Puerta Patillos
    http://forum.amiminerals.org/viewtopic.php?t=3756&highlight=patache
    France
     
    • Nord-Pas-de-Calais
      • Pas-de-Calais
    Naze-Nancy Masalehdani, M., Mees, F., Dubois, M., Coquinot, Y., Potdevin, J.-L., Fialin, M. & Blanc-Valleron, M.-M. (2009): Condensate minerals from a burning coal-waste heap in Avion, Northern France. Can. Mineral. 47, 573-591.
    Iran
     
    • Hormozgan Province
    Talbot, C., Farhadi, R., and Aftabi, P. (2009): Ore Geology Reviews 35, 352-366.
    Japan
     
    • Hokkaido
      • Iburi Province
    The Mineral Species of Japan (5th ed) Matsubara
    Mexico
     
    • Jalisco
      • Colima volcanic complex
    Ostrooumov, M., Arellano-Jimenez, M., Ponce, A., Taran, Y., Reyes-Gasga, J. (2008): La colimaíta, K3VS4, un nuevo mineral del volcán Colima (México). Boletín de Mineralogía, 18(1), 7-8
    Namibia
     
    • Khomas Region
      • Windhoek District
    Martini, J.E.J. (1992) Swaknoite [Ca(NH4)2·(HPO4)2·H2O, orthorhombic]: A new mineral from Arnhem cave, Namibia. Bulletin of the South African Speleological Association: 32: 72-74.
    Peru
     
    [var: Taylorite (of Dana)] Taylor (1859) Proceedings of the Academy of Science, Philadelphia: 309 (as Glascerite); 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: 400.
    Russia
     
    • Eastern-Siberian Region
      • Sakha Republic (Saha Republic; Yakutia)
        • Aldan Shield
          • Aldan
            • Inagli Massif
    Naumov, VB and Kamenetsky, VS and Thomas, R and Kononkova, NN and Ryzhenko, BN (2008): Inclusions of silicate and sulfate melts in chrome diopside from the Inagli deposit, Yakutia, Russia. Geochemistry International, 46, 554-564. [http://eprints.utas.edu.au/7673/1/GeochemInt2008-Inagli.pdf]
    • Far-Eastern Region
      • Kamchatka Oblast'
    Diederik Visser List #39, July 2006
          • Great Fissure eruption (Main Fracture)
            • Northern Breakthrough (North Breach)
    Pavel M. Kartashov analytical data, Elena Yu. Bykova material
    Saudi Arabia
     
    • Mintaqah Makkah
    Saudi Geological Survey Open-File Report SGS-OF-2004-12, 68 p.
    USA
     
    • California
      • Orange Co.
        • Santa Ana Mts
          • Trabuco Canyon [town]
            • Trabuco Canyon
    Eakle (1908) Bull. Dept. of Geology, Univ. of California: 5: 232. Frondel, C. (1950) Amer. Min.: 35: 596. Palache et al (1951) Dana's Sys. Min., 7th. ed.: 400.
      • Riverside Co.
        • Vivet Eye
    Ingalls, Walter Renton, ed. (1908) The Mineral Industry, Its Statistics, Technology and Trade during 1907, Vol. XVI, Hill Publishing Co., New York & London: 833.
    • New Mexico
      • Eddy and Lea Counties
    Northrop, Minerals of New Mexico, 3rd. rev. ed. (1996)
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