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Uranophane

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Formula:
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
System:MonoclinicColour:Light yellow, ...
Hardness:2 - 3
Name:Named in 1853 by Christian Friedrich Martin Websky for the chemical composition containing URANium plus Greek φαινερθαι "phainesthai", to appear, in allusion to the uncertainty of its composition as originally determined.
Dimorph of:β-Uranophane

Classification of Uranophane

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:8/B.34-40
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:9.AK.15

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
K : Uranyl neso- and polysilicates
Dana 8th edition ID:53.3.1.2

53 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and Other Anions or Complex Cations
3 : Insular SiO4 Groups and Other Anions of Complex Cations with (UO2)
Hey's CIM Ref.:14.16.10

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
16 : Silicates of U
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Type Occurrence of Uranophane

Type Locality:Miedzianka (Kupferberg), Jelenia Góra District, Rudawy Janowickie Mts, Lower Silesia (Dolnośląskie), Poland
Year of Discovery:1853

Occurrences of Uranophane

Geological Setting:Secondary mineral in uranium deposits and pegmatites.

Physical Properties of Uranophane

Lustre:Vitreous, Greasy, Silky, Dull, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Comment:Pearly on cleavage, waxy or dull when massive
Colour:Light yellow, lemon-yellow, honey-yellow, straw-yellow, green-yellow
Hardness (Mohs):2 - 3
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Perfect
on {100}
Density (measured):3.8 - 3.91 g/cm3
Density (calculated):3.78 g/cm3

Crystallography of Uranophane

Crystal System:Monoclinic
Class (H-M):2 - Sphenoidal
Space Group:P21
Cell Parameters:a = 15.85Å, b = 6.98Å, c = 6.64Å
β = 97.45°
Ratio:a:b:c = 2.271 : 1 : 0.951
Unit Cell Volume:V 728.40 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:2
Morphology:Composite needles, stellate aggregates, fibrous or felted crusts, massive.

Optical Data of Uranophane

Type:Biaxial (-)
RI values: nα = 1.643 nβ = 1.666 nγ = 1.669
2V:Measured: 32° to 45°, Calculated: 38°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.026

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:r < v strong
Pleochroism:Weak
Comments:X= colorless
Y= pale canary yellow
Z= canary yellow

Chemical Properties of Uranophane

Formula:
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:Ca(UO2)2[HSiO4]2·5H2O
Essential elements:Ca, H, O, Si, U
All elements listed in formula:Ca, H, O, Si, U

Relationship of Uranophane to other Species

Structurally related to group(s):
Uranophane Group
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
9.AK.05Soddyite
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
SiO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
9.AK.10Cuprosklodowskite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
9.AK.10Oursinite
(Co,Mg)(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
9.AK.10Sklodowskite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Boltwoodite
(K,Na)(UO
 
2
)[HSiO
 
4
] · 0.5H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Kasolite
Pb(UO
 
2
)[SiO
 
4
] · H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Natroboltwoodite
(H
 
3
O)(Na,K)UO
 
2
SiO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
9.AK.15β-Uranophane
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(HSiO
 
4
)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
9.AK.15Beta-Uranophane
9.AK.20Swamboite
UH
 
6
(UO
 
2
)
 
6
(SiO
 
4
)
 
6
· 30H
 
2
O
9.AK.25Haiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[Si
 
5
O
 
12
(OH)
 
2
] · 6H
 
2
O
9.AK.25Metahaiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
Si
 
6
O
 
15
· nH
 
2
O
9.AK.25Ranquilite
9.AK.30Weeksite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(Si
 
5
O
 
13
) · 4H
 
2
O
9.AK.30Coutinhoite
Th
 
x
Ba
 
(1-2x)
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
Si
 
5
O
 
13
· (H
 
2
O)
 
1+y
(0 < x < 0.5 and 0 < y < (2+x))
9.AK.35Ursilite
(Mg,Ca)
 
4
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
5.5
(OH)
 
5
· 13H
 
2
O
9.AK.35Magnioursilite
Mg
 
4
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
5
(OH)
 
6
· 20H
 
2
O
9.AK.35Calcioursilite
Ca
 
4
(UO
 
2
)
 
4
(Si
 
2
O
 
5
)
 
5
(OH)
 
6
· 15H
 
2
O
9.AK.40Uranosilite
UO
 
3
· 7SiO
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
14.16.1Uranosilite
UO
 
3
· 7SiO
 
2
14.16.2Coffinite
(U
4+
 
,Th)(SiO
 
4
)
 
1-x
(OH)
 
4x
14.16.3Soddyite
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
SiO
 
4
· 2H
 
2
O
14.16.4Swamboite
UH
 
6
(UO
 
2
)
 
6
(SiO
 
4
)
 
6
· 30H
 
2
O
14.16.5Weeksite
K
 
2
(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(Si
 
5
O
 
13
) · 4H
 
2
O
14.16.6Boltwoodite
(K,Na)(UO
 
2
)[HSiO
 
4
] · 0.5H
 
2
O
14.16.7Natroboltwoodite
(H
 
3
O)(Na,K)UO
 
2
SiO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
14.16.8Cuprosklodowskite
Cu(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
14.16.9Sklodowskite
Mg(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
14.16.11β-Uranophane
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
(HSiO
 
4
)
 
2
· 5H
 
2
O
14.16.12Haiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[Si
 
5
O
 
12
(OH)
 
2
] · 6H
 
2
O
14.16.13Metahaiweeite
Ca(UO
 
2
)
 
2
Si
 
6
O
 
15
· nH
 
2
O
14.16.15Steacyite
(◻,K)(Na,Ca)
 
2
(Th,U)[Si
 
8
O
 
20
]
14.16.16Ekanite
(Ca,Fe
2+
 
,Pb)
 
2
(Th,U)[Si
 
8
O
 
20
]
14.16.17Kasolite
Pb(UO
 
2
)[SiO
 
4
] · H
 
2
O
14.16.18Orlite
Pb
 
3
(UO
 
2
)
 
3
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O
14.16.19Oursinite
(Co,Mg)(UO
 
2
)
 
2
[HSiO
 
4
]
 
2
· 6H
 
2
O

Other Names for Uranophane

Synonyms:
α-UranotileAlpha-UranotileLambertiteUranofaneUranotil
Uranotile
Other Languages:
Dutch:Uranofaan
German:Uranophan
Lambertit
Uranophan-α
Uranophan-alpha
Italian:Uranofano
Russian:Уранофан
Simplified Chinese:硅钙铀矿
Spanish:Lambertita
Traditional Chinese:矽鈣鈾礦

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Weakly green, usually not fluorescent when massive
Health Warning:Contains uranium - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest. Avoid prolonged exposure in proximity of the body. Store away from inhabited areas.

References for Uranophane

Reference List:

- +
Zeits. deutsche Geol.Ges. (1853), 5, 427.

American Mineralogist (1939): 24: 324-328.

Ginderow, D. (1988) Structure de l'uranophane alpha, Ca(UO2)2(SiO3OH)2.5H2O. Acta Crystallographica: C44: 421-424.

American Mineralogist (1986): 71: 1489-1493.

Burns, P.C. (2005) U 6+ minerals and inorganic compounds: insights into an expanded structural hierarchy of crystal structures. Canadian Mineralogist: 43: 1839-1894.

Internet Links for Uranophane

Search Engines:
  • Look for Uranophane on Google
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  • External Links:
  • Look for Uranophane on Webmineral
  • Look for Uranophane on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Uranophane on Wikipedia
  • Look for Uranophane on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Uranophane details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Uranophane specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Uranophane

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