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Strontianite

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The way to the type locality of strontianite

Strontian, North West Highlands, Scotland, UK
Formula:
SrCO3
System:
Orthorhombic
Colour:
Colourless, white, gray, ...
Hardness:
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1791 by Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer after its discovery locality, Strontian, Scotland.
The Sr analogue of witherite.

Strontianite, strontium carbonate, is mainly found as a low-temperature mineral in limestone and also found as a gangue mineral in sulphide veins. It is almost always fluorescent.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Strontianite.

Classification of Strontianite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
5.AB.15

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates
14.1.3.3

14 : ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
1 : A(XO3)
11.5.1

11 : Carbonates
5 : Carbonates of Sr and Ba
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Type Occurrence of Strontianite

Year of Discovery:
1790
Geological Setting of Type Material:
In veins in gneiss.

Occurrences of Strontianite

Geological Setting:
Forms in low-temperature hydrothermal deposits in limestone and marl or as a gangue mineral in sulfide veins; as geodes or concretionary masses in limestone or clay.

Physical Properties of Strontianite

Vitreous, Resinous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Colourless, white, gray, light yellow, green, brown; colourless in transmitted light
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Very Good
On {110} nearly perfect; on {021} poor; on {010} in traces.
Parting:
None noted.
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
3.74 - 3.78 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.722 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Strontianite

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.1059(7) Å, b = 8.4207(13) Å, c = 6.0319(11) Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.606 : 1 : 0.716
Unit Cell Volume:
V 259.34 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crystals short to long prismatic [001], often acicular. Often pseudohexagonal in aspect due to equal development of {110} and {010} or of {hhl} and {0.2h.l}. {110} and {010} are striated horizontally, the steep {hhl} and {0kl} forms are rounded at times. Massive, columnar to fibrous; granular; rounded masses.
Twinning:
Very common. Twin plane {110}, usually as contact twins, rarely as penetration twins; also repeated, as trillings, fourlings, or polysynthetic, yielding enclosed twin lamellae.
Comment:
Non-standard space group setting (Pmcn).

Crystallographic forms of Strontianite

Crystal Atlas:
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Strontianite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Strontianite no.13 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
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 Strontianite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.516 - 1.520 nβ = 1.664 - 1.667 nγ = 1.666 - 1.668
2V:
Measured: 7° , Calculated: 12° to 8°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.150
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Dispersion:
weak

Chemical Properties of Strontianite

Formula:
SrCO3
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Ca

Relationship of Strontianite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Cerussite (see here)
Member of:
Other Members of Group:
5.AB.05CalciteCaCO3
5.AB.05Gaspéite(Ni,Mg,Fe)CO3
5.AB.05MagnesiteMgCO3
5.AB.05OtaviteCdCO3
5.AB.05RhodochrositeMnCO3
5.AB.05SideriteFeCO3
5.AB.05SmithsoniteZnCO3
5.AB.05SpherocobaltiteCoCO3
5.AB.10AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
5.AB.10DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
5.AB.10KutnohoriteCa(Mn,Mg,Fe)(CO3)2
5.AB.10MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2
5.AB.15AragoniteCaCO3
5.AB.15CerussitePbCO3
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2
5.AB.35AlstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.40OlekminskiteSr(Sr,Ca,Ba)(CO3)2
5.AB.40ParalstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.45BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.50Carbocernaite(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO3)2
5.AB.55Benstonite(Ba,Sr)6(Ca,Mn)6Mg(CO3)13
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2
11.5.2WitheriteBaCO3
11.5.3NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2
11.5.4AlstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
11.5.5ParalstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
11.5.6BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2
11.5.7Benstonite(Ba,Sr)6(Ca,Mn)6Mg(CO3)13

Other Names for Strontianite

Other Information

Fluorescent and phosphorescent in UV, X-rays, and electron beams.
Thermal Behaviour:
Inverts to a hexagonal modification upon heating.

Thermoluminescent at times.
Other Information:
Soluble in dilute HCl.

Alters to Celestine and found as an alteration of celestine.
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 Strontianite

Reference List:
Sulzer (1791) Lichtenberg's Magazine: 7, 3, 68.

Sulzer (1791) Bergmännisches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmännisches Journal): 1: 5, 433.

Macadam (1885) Mineralogical Magazine: 6: 173.

CAthrein (1888) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 14: 366.

Buchrucker (1891) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 19: 146.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 285.

Jackson (1894) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 65: 734.

Mallard (1895) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 18: 12.

Zirngibl (1897) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 27: 543.

Bary (1900) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 130: 776.

Beykirch (1900) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Beil.-Bd., Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 13: 427.

Kunz and Baskerville (1903) Science: 769.

Doelter, C. (1911) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie (in 4 volumes divided into parts): 1: 481.

Boeke (1913) Mitt. naturfor. Ges. Halle: 3: 10.

Goldschmidt, V. (1922) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 8: 91.

Hintze, Carl (1926) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1[3A]: 3034.

Szebellédy (1926) Inaugural Dissertation, Budapest [Min. Abs.: 3: 261 (1927)].

Wilson (1928) Physical Review, a Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics: 31: 305.

Cork and Gerhard (1931) American Mineralogist: 16: 71.

Köhler and Leitmeier (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 87: 146.

Krejci-Graf (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 88: 260.

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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 196-200.

American Mineralogist (1971): 56: 758-772.

American Mineralogist (1976): 61: 1001.

Reviews in Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America: 11.

Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie (1988): 111: 139.

Sanchez-Pastor, N. et al. (2011): Raman study of synthetic witherite-strontianite solid solutions. Spectroscopy Letters 44(7-8), 500-504.

Internet Links for Strontianite

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

Localities for Strontianite

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.
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