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Autunite

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Formula:
Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
System:
Orthorhombic
Colour:
Yellow, greenish-yellow, ...
Hardness:
2 - 2½
Member of:
Name:
Named by Henry J. Brooke and William H. Miller in 1854 for the type locality at Saint Symphorien, Autun District, Saône-et-Loire, France.
Autunite Group.

A secondary mineral resulting from the oxidation of primary uranium minerals in hydrothermal veins, granite pegmatites, etc.

Classification of Autunite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
8.EB.05

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
E : Uranyl phosphates and arsenates
B : UO2:RO4 = 1:1
40.2a.1.1

40 : HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
2a : AB2(XO4)2·xH2O, containing (UO2)2+
19.11.15

19 : Phosphates
11 : Phosphates of U
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Type Occurrence of Autunite

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Natural History Museum, Paris H6307
Year of Discovery:
1852
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Granite pegmatite

Occurrences of Autunite

Geological Setting:
In the oxidation zone of uranium bearing rocks, including sandstones, hydrothermal veins, and granitic pegmatites.

Physical Properties of Autunite

Sub-Vitreous, Resinous, Waxy, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Comment:
Pearly on cleavage {001}
Colour:
Yellow, greenish-yellow, pale green; dark green, greenish black.
Comment:
Color may become yellower and less greenish with even slight dehydration
Streak:
Pale yellow
Hardness (Mohs):
2 - 2½
Tenacity:
Sectile
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {001}, indistinct on {100}
Fracture:
Micaceous
Comment:
Autunite is fragile and may easily split with low pressure. On cutting, the mineral may appear sectile, waxy, or slightly elastic.
Density:
3.05 - 3.2 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.14 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Comment:
Varies with hydration. Calculated for 10.5 water composition.

Crystallography of Autunite

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Pnma
Cell Parameters:
a = 14.0135(6) Å, b = 20.7121(8) Å, c = 6.9959(3) Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.677 : 1 : 0.338
Unit Cell Volume:
V 2,030.55 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crystals thin to thick tabular {001}, and with a rectangular or octagonal outline. Subparallel growths common; foliated or scaly aggregates, crusts.
Twinning:
Rare interpenetrant twinning on {110}.
Comment:
For synthetic material. Pseudotetragonal metrics. Often shown to be holosymmetrical Tetragonal.

Epitaxial Relationships of Autunite

Epitaxial Minerals:
TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Epitaxy Comments:
Oriented growths on prism. Crystals look concentrically zoned.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
10.35 (85)
5.185 (65)
4.930 (35)
3.569 (100)
3.502 (40)
2.187 (40)
2.074 (60)
Comments:
ICDD 41-1353

Optical Data of Autunite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.553 - 1.555 nβ = 1.575 nγ = 1.577 - 1.578 nω = 1.575 nε = 1.572
2V:
Measured: 10° to 53°
Birefringence:
0.024
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.003
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
r > v strong
Optical Extinction:
Z=c, Y={110}
Pleochroism:
Visible
Comments:
X = Colourless to pale yellow
Y = Z = Yellow to dark yellow
Comments:
Uniaxial - but commonly anomalously biaxial - dependent on the H2O content of the crystals. 2V decreases with decreasing water content.

Chemical Properties of Autunite

Formula:
Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Ba,Mg

Relationship of Autunite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
HeinrichiteBa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
KahleriteFe(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
MetarauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
Nováčekite-IMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
Nováčekite-IIMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
RauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
SabugaliteHAl(UO2)4(PO4)4 · 16H2O
SaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
UranocirciteBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
UranospiniteCa(UO2)(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
ZeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05HeinrichiteBa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05KahleriteFe(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05Nováčekite-IMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05SaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05UranocirciteBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05UranospiniteCa(UO2)(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05Xiangjiangite(Fe3+,Al)(UO2)4(PO4)2(SO4)2(OH) · 22H2O
8.EB.05ZeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05MetarauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.05RauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.10BassetiteFe2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10LehneriteMn2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10Meta-autuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6-8H2O
8.EB.10MetasaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10Metauranocircite-IBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 7H2O
8.EB.10MetauranospiniteCa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetaheinrichiteBa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetakahleriteFe2+(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetakirchheimeriteCo(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetanováčekiteMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 4-8H2O
8.EB.10MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetazeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10PrzhevalskitePb2(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)4 · 3H2O
8.EB.10Meta-lodèvite
8.EB.15AbernathyiteK(UO2)(AsO4) · 4H2O
8.EB.15Chernikovite(H3O)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.15Meta-ankoleiteK2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.15Natrouranospinite(Na2,Ca)(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 5H2O
8.EB.15Trögerite(UO2)3(AsO4)2 · 12H2O (?)
8.EB.15Uramphite(NH4)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.15Uramarsite(NH4,H3O)2(UO2)2(AsO4,PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.20ThreadgolditeAl(UO2)2(PO4)2(OH) · 8H2O
8.EB.20ChistyakovaiteAl(UO2)2(AsO4)2(F,OH) · 6.5H2O
8.EB.25ArsenuranospathiteHAl(UO2)4(AsO4)4 · 40H2O
8.EB.25Uranospathite(Al,☐)(UO2)2(PO4)2F · 20(H2O,F)
8.EB.30Vochtenite(Fe2+,Mg)Fe3+(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH) · 12-13H2O
8.EB.35CoconinoiteFe23+Al2(UO2)2(PO4)4(SO4)(OH)2 · 20H2O
8.EB.40RanunculiteHAl(UO2)(PO4)(OH)3 · 4H2O
8.EB.45TrianguliteAl3(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH)5 · 5H2O
8.EB.50FurongiteAl13(UO2)7(PO4)13(OH)14 · 58H2O
8.EB.55SabugaliteHAl(UO2)4(PO4)4 · 16H2O
19.11.1LermontoviteU(PO4)(OH) · H2O
19.11.2MetavanmeersscheiteU6+(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)6 · 2H2O
19.11.3VanmeersscheiteU6+(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)6 · 4H2O
19.11.4Chernikovite(H3O)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
19.11.5VyacheslaviteU(PO4)(OH) · nH2O
19.11.6MetanatroautuniteNa(UO2)(PO4)(H2O)3
19.11.7YingjiangiteK2Ca(UO2)7(PO4)4(OH)6 · 6H2O
19.11.8Meta-ankoleiteK2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
19.11.9Uramphite(NH4)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
19.11.10TorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
19.11.11MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
19.11.12SaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
19.11.13NingyoiteCaU(PO4)2 · 1-2H2O
19.11.14Meta-autuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6-8H2O
19.11.16Pseudo-autunite(H3O)4Ca2(UO2)2(PO4)4 · 5H2O
19.11.17PhurcaliteCa2(UO2)3(PO4)2O2 · 7H2O
19.11.18Phosphuranylite(H3O)3KCa(UO2)7(PO4)4O4 · 8H2O
19.11.19UlrichiteCaCu(UO2)(PO4)2 · 4H2O
19.11.20BergeniteCa2Ba4(UO2)9(PO4)6O6 · 16H2O
19.11.21Metauranocircite-IBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 7H2O
19.11.22UranocirciteBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
19.11.23RanunculiteHAl(UO2)(PO4)(OH)3 · 4H2O
19.11.24TrianguliteAl3(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH)5 · 5H2O
19.11.25MunditeAl(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5.5H2O
19.11.26UpaliteAl(UO2)3(PO4)2O(OH) · 7H2O
19.11.27FurongiteAl13(UO2)7(PO4)13(OH)14 · 58H2O
19.11.28ThreadgolditeAl(UO2)2(PO4)2(OH) · 8H2O
19.11.29PhuralumiteAl2(UO2)3(PO4)3(OH)2 · 13H2O
19.11.30MoreauiteAl3(UO2)(PO4)3(OH)2 · 13H2O
19.11.31SabugaliteHAl(UO2)4(PO4)4 · 16H2O
19.11.32Uranospathite(Al,☐)(UO2)2(PO4)2F · 20(H2O,F)
19.11.33AlthupiteAlTh(UO2)7(PO4)4(OH)5O2 · 15H2O
19.11.34Françoisite-(Nd)(Nd,Ce,Sm)(UO2)3(PO4)2O(OH) · 6H2O
19.11.35Kivuite(Th,Ca,Pb)(UO2)4(HPO4)2(OH)8 · 7H2O
19.11.36ParsonsitePb2(UO2)(PO4)2
19.11.37DewindtiteH2Pb3(UO2)2(PO4)4O4 · 12H2O
19.11.38DumontitePb2(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)4 · 3H2O
19.11.39PrzhevalskitePb2(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)4 · 3H2O
19.11.40LehneriteMn2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
19.11.41BassetiteFe2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
19.11.42Vochtenite(Fe2+,Mg)Fe3+(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH) · 12-13H2O

Other Names for Autunite

Other Information

Strong yellow-green (LW & SW UV).
Other Information:
Radioactive. Dehydrates in air. Soluble in acids.

Alters to Phosphuranylite.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Ore mineral of uranium.

References for Autunite

Reference List:
Berzelius, J.J. (1819) Nouveau système de Minèralogie. Translated from the Swedish. 8vo, Paris: 295 (as Sel à base de chaux, où l'oxide d'urane joue le rôle d'acide).

Berzelius (1844) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 1: 379.

Brooke, H.J. and Miller, W.H. (1852) Introduction to Mineralogy by Wm. Phillips, London, 1823. New edition by Brooke and Miller. 8vo, London: 519.

Breithaupt (1865) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 24: 302 (as Calcouranit).

Church (1875) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 28: 109.

Brezina (1879) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 3: 273.

Michel-Lévy aned Lacroix (1888) Les Minéraux des Roches: 157.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 857.

Hallimond (1916) Mineralogical Magazine: 17: 221.

Forjaz (1917) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 164: 102.

Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 5: 5.

Henrich (1922) Bereicht: 55: 1212 (cites Ewald).

Smith (1926) Rec. of the Australian Museum: 15: 69 (cites Greig).

Hintze, Carl (1931) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4B]: 982.

Iimori and Iwase (1938) Sci. Pap. Inst. Phys. Chem. Res., Tokyo: 34: 372.

Meixner (1940) Chemie der Erde, Jena: 12: 433.

Des Cloizeaux (1954) Annales des mines: 11: 261.

Shannon (1926) American Mineralogist: 11: 35.

American Mineralogist (1928): 13: 578-579.

Beintema (1938) Recueil des travaux chimiques des Pays-Bas et de la Belgique, Leyden: 57: 155.

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, 1124 pp.: 984-987.

Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie: 81: 4-10.

Frondel, C. (1958) Systematic mineralogy of uranium and thorium. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1064, 160–170.

Takano, Y. (1961) X-Ray study of autunite. American Mineralogist (1961): 46: 812-822.

Sowder, A. G.; Clark, S. B.; Fjeld, R. A. (2000): Dehydration of synthetic autunite hydrates. Radiochimica Acta 88, 533-538.

Locock, A.J. and Burns, P.C. (2003) The crystal structure of synthetic autunite, Ca[(UO2)(PO4)]2(H2O)11. American Mineralogist: 88: 240-244.

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 Autunite

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

Localities for Autunite

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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