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Vermiculite

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Formula:
(Mg,Fe,Al)3((Al,Si)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
Brown, bronze-yellow
Hardness:
1½ - 2
Name:
From Latin "vermiculare", to breed worms, in allusion to its peculiar exfoliation on intense heating.
Montmorillonite-Vermiculite Group.

Forms as an alteration product of biotite or phlogopite, by weathering or hydrothermal action. Vermiculite is mined as a natural insulation material.

Classification of Vermiculite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
9.EC.50

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
E : Phyllosilicates
C : Phyllosilicates with mica sheets, composed of tetrahedral and octahedral nets
71.2.2d.3

71 : PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
2 : Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
16.19.22

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
19 : Aluminosilicates of Fe and Mg
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First Recorded Occurrence of Vermiculite

Year of Discovery:
1824

Physical Properties of Vermiculite

Colour:
Brown, bronze-yellow
Hardness (Mohs):
1½ - 2

Crystallography of Vermiculite

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.24Å, b = 9.17Å, c = 28.6Å
β = 94.6°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.571 : 1 : 3.119
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,369.83 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Vermiculite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.525 - 1.561 nβ = 1.545 - 1.581 nγ = 1.545 - 1.581
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.020
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
weak

Chemical Properties of Vermiculite

Formula:
(Mg,Fe,Al)3((Al,Si)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Ca,Na,K

Relationship of Vermiculite to other Species

Structurally related to group(s):
9.EC.05Minnesotaite(Fe,Mg)3(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.05TalcMg3(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.05Willemseite(Ni,Mg)3(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.10FerripyrophylliteFe23+(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.10PyrophylliteAl2(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15BoromuscoviteKAl2(BSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15CeladoniteK(Mg,Fe2+)Fe3+(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15Chernykhite(Ba,Na)(V3+,Al,Mg)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15Montdorite(K,Na)2(Fe2+,Mn2+,Mg)5(Si4O10)2(OH,F)4
9.EC.15MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15NanpingiteCsAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.15ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15RoscoeliteK(V3+,Al)2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15Tobelite(NH4,K)Al2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15AluminoceladoniteK(Mg,Fe2+)Al(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15ChromphylliteK(Cr,Al)2(AlSi3O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.15FerroaluminoceladoniteK(Fe2+,Mg)(Al,Fe3+)(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15FerroceladoniteK(Fe2+,Mg)(Fe3+,Al)(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15ChromceladoniteK(Mg,Fe2+)(Cr,Al)(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15TainioliteKLiMg2(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.15Ganterite(Ba,Na,K)(Al,Mg)2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20AnniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20EphesiteLiNaAl2(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20HendricksiteK(Zn,Mg,Mn2+)3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20Masutomilite(K,Rb)(Li,Mn3+,Al)3(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20NorrishiteKLiMn23+(Si4O10)O2
9.EC.20PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.20PolylithioniteKLi2Al(Si4O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20PreiswerkiteNaMg2Al(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20SiderophylliteKFe22+Al(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20TetraferriphlogopiteKMg3(Fe3+Si3O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.20FluorotetraferriphlogopiteKMg3(Fe3+Si3O10)F2
9.EC.20Wonesite(Na,K)(Mg,Fe,Al)6((Al,Si)4O10)2(OH,F)4
9.EC.20EastoniteKMg2Al(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20TetraferrianniteKFe32+((Fe3+,Al)Si3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20TrilithioniteK(Li1.5Al1.5)(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20FluoranniteKFe32+(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20ShirokshiniteKNaMg2(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.20ShirozuliteK(Mn2+,Mg)3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20SokolovaiteCsLi2Al(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.20AspidoliteNaMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20FluorophlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20UM2004-49-SiO:AlCsFHKLi(Cs,K)(Al,Li)2.6((Si,Al)4O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20Suhailite(NH4)Fe32+(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20YangzhumingiteKMg2.5(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.20OrloviteKLi2Ti(Si4O10)OF
9.EC.20OxyphlogopiteK(Mg,Ti,Fe)3[(Si,Al)4O10](O,F)2
9.EC.25Brammallite(Na,H3O)(Al,Mg,Fe)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.30MargariteCaAl2(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.35Anandite(Ba,K)(Fe2+,Mg)3((Si,Al,Fe)4O10)(S,OH)2
9.EC.35BityiteLiCaAl2(AlBeSi2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.35ClintoniteCa(Mg,Al)3(Al3SiO10)(OH)2
9.EC.35Kinoshitalite(Ba,K)(Mg,Mn2+,Al)3(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.35Ferrokinoshitalite(Ba,K)(Fe2+,Mg)3(Al2Si2O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.35Oxykinoshitalite(Ba,K)(Mg,Ti,Fe3+,Fe2+)3((Si,Al)4O10)(O,OH,F)2
9.EC.35FluorokinoshitaliteBaMg3(Al2Si2O10)F2
9.EC.40Beidellite(Na,Ca0.5)0.3Al2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
9.EC.40Kurumsakite(Zn,Ni,Cu)8Al8V25+Si5O35 · 27H2O (?)
9.EC.40Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
9.EC.40NontroniteNa0.3Fe2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
9.EC.40VolkonskoiteCa0.3(Cr,Mg,Fe)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.40Yakhontovite(Ca,Na)0.5(Cu,Fe,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 3H2O
9.EC.45HectoriteNa0.3(Mg,Li)3(Si4O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.45SaponiteCa0.25(Mg,Fe)3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
9.EC.45SauconiteNa0.3Zn3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.45SpadaiteMgSiO2(OH)2 · H2O (?)
9.EC.45Stevensite(Ca,Na)xMg3-x(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.45SwineforditeLi(Al,Li,Mg)4((Si,Al)4O10)2(OH,F)4 · nH2O
9.EC.45ZincsiliteZn3(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.45FerrosaponiteCa0.3(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.55Baileychlore(Zn,Fe,Al,Mg)6((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Clinochlore(Mg,Fe2+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Cookeite(Al2Li)Al2(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55FranklinfurnaceiteCa2Fe3+Mn32+Mn3+(Zn2Si2O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Gonyerite(Mn2+,Mg)5Fe3+(Fe3+Si3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Nimite(Ni,Mg,Al)6((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Orthochamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH,O)8
9.EC.55PennantiteMn52+Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Sudoite(Mg,Fe2+)2Al3(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55DonbassiteAl4.33(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55GlagoleviteNa(Mg,Al)6(AlSi3O10)(OH,O)8
9.EC.55BorocookeiteLi1+3xAl4-x(BSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.60AliettiteCa0.2Mg6((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 4H2O
9.EC.60Corrensite(Mg,Fe)9((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)10 · nH2O
9.EC.60DozyiteMg7Al2(Al2Si4O15)(OH)12
9.EC.60HydrobiotiteK(Mg,Fe2+)6((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · nH2O
9.EC.60Karpinskite(Ni,Mg)2Si2O5(OH)2 (?)
9.EC.60KulkeiteMg8Al(AlSi7O20)(OH)10
9.EC.60LunijianlaiteLi0.7Al6.2(AlSi7O20)(OH,O)10
9.EC.60Rectorite(Na,Ca)Al4((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 2H2O
9.EC.60Saliotite(Li,Na)Al3(AlSi3O10)(OH)5
9.EC.60TosuditeNa0.5(Al,Mg)6((Si,Al)8O18)(OH)12 · 5H2O
9.EC.60BrinrobertsiteNa0.3Al4(Si4O10)2(OH)4 · 3.5 H2O
9.EC.65Macaulayite(Fe,Al)24Si4O43(OH)2
9.EC.70BurckhardtitePb2(Fe3+,Mn3+)Te4+(AlSi3O10)O2(OH)2 · H2O
9.EC.75Ferrisurite(Pb,Ca)2.4Fe23+(Si4O10)(CO3)1.7(OH)3 · nH2O
9.EC.75Surite(Pb,Ca)3(Al,Fe2+,Mg)2((Si,Al)4O10)(CO3)2(OH)2
9.EC.75Niksergievite(Ba,Ca)2Al3(AlSi3O10)(CO3)(OH)6 · nH2O
9.EC.80KegelitePb8Al4(Si8O20)(SO4)2(CO3)4(OH)8
16.19.1IndialiteMg2Al3(AlSi5O18)
16.19.2Cordierite(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
16.19.3Sekaninaite(Fe,Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
16.19.4Ferro-gedrite☐{Fe22+}{Fe32+Al2}(Al2Si6O22)(OH)2
16.19.5Staurolite(Fe2+,Mg,Zn)1.5-2Al9(SiO4)4O6(OH,O)2
16.19.6Chloritoid(Fe2+,Mg,Mn2+)Al2(SiO4)O(OH)2
16.19.7AmesiteMg2Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4
16.19.8Corundophilite(Mg,Fe,Al)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH)8
16.19.9YoderiteMg(Al,Fe3+)3(SiO4)2O(OH)
16.19.10Delessite(Mg,Fe,Fe,Al)(Si,Al)4O10(O,OH)8
16.19.11Ferrocarpholite(Fe2+,Mg)Al2(Si2O6)(OH)4
16.19.12Magnesiocarpholite(Mg,Fe2+)Al2(Si2O6)(OH)4
16.19.13Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.19.14Orthochamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH,O)8
16.19.15Berthierine(Fe2+,Fe3+,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
16.19.16Odinite(Fe,Mg,Al,Fe,Ti,Mn)2.4((Si,Al)2O5)(OH)4
16.19.17Clinochlore(Mg,Fe2+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.19.18Gedrite☐{Mg2}{Mg3Al2}(Al2Si6O22)(OH)2
16.19.19Magnesiogedrite
16.19.20Diabantite(Mg,Fe,Al)6((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)8
16.19.21Sudoite(Mg,Fe2+)2Al3(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.19.23Corrensite(Mg,Fe)9((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)10 · nH2O

Other Names for Vermiculite

Name in Other Languages:
German:Vermiculit
Simplified Chinese:蛭石
Spanish:Vermiculita

Other Information

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 Vermiculite

Reference List:
American Journal of Science (1824): 7: 55.

American Mineralogist (1966): 51: 1124.

American Mineralogist (1975): 60: 175.

Clays and Clay Minerals (1992): 40: 335.

Badreddine, R.; Vandormael, D.; Fransolet, A.-M.; Long, G. J.; Stone, W. E. E. & Grandjean, F. (2002): A comparative X-ray diffraction, Mossbauer and NMR spectroscopic study of the vermiculites from Beni Bousera, Morocco and Palabora, Republic of South Africa. Clay Minerals 37, 367-376.

Internet Links for Vermiculite

Localities for Vermiculite

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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