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MgCl2 · 6H2O
Colourless to white; ...
1 - 2
For Karl Gustav Bischof (1792-1870), German geologist and mineral chemist, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany, and for F. Bischof, director of the Stassfurt salt works
A relatively rare constituent of saline deposits. Secondary in origin in part. Formed by alteration of Carnallite by water.

Classification of Bischofite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"

B : Simple halides, with H2O
B : M:X = 1:2

2 : AX2

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
4 : Halides of the alkaline earths and Mg URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Type Occurrence of Bischofite

Year of Discovery:
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Occurrences of Bischofite

Geological Setting:
In saline deposits; probably in part formed from carnallite

Physical Properties of Bischofite

Vitreous, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless to white; colourless in transmitted light
Hardness (Mohs):
1 - 2
Hardness Data:
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
1.591 - 1.604 g/cm3 (Measured)    1.5895 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Bischofite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.8607Å, b = 7.1071Å, c = 6.0737Å
β = 93.758°
a:b:c = 1.387 : 1 : 0.855
Unit Cell Volume:
V 424.74 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals short prismatic along [001]; commonly foliated, fibrous, crystalline granular, also massive
May twin polysynthetically under pressure

Crystallographic forms of Bischofite

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
Bischofite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Bischofite no.3 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
4.095 (100)
2.646 (69)
2.880 (58)
2.732 (39)
2.305 (39)
2.228 (27)
3.553 (26)
Recorded on synthetic material

Optical Data of Bischofite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.495 nβ = 1.507 nγ = 1.528
Measured: 79° , Calculated: 76°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.033
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v, weak

Chemical Properties of Bischofite

MgCl2 · 6H2O
All elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
Wet chemical analysis of material from Leopoldshall, Germany (1) and electron microprobe analysis of material from Stassfurt, Germany (2); water contents calculated from the mass balances.

       (1)      (2)

Mg   (11.86)  (11.5)
Ca             (0.9)
Cl   (35.04)  (34.2)
H2O  (53.10)  (51.4)
SO3            (2.0)

sum  100.00   100.00 wt.-% 
Common Impurities:

Relationship of Bischofite to other Species

3.BB.05EriochalciteCuCl2 · 2H2O
3.BB.10RokühniteFeCl2 · 2H2O
3.BB.20NickelbischofiteNiCl2 · 6H2O
3.BB.25SinjariteCaCl2 · 2H2O
3.BB.30AntarcticiteCaCl2 · 6H2O
3.BB.35TachyhydriteCaMg2Cl6 · 12H2O
8.4.4KorshunovskiteMg2Cl(OH)3 · 4H2O
8.4.5CarnalliteKMgCl3 · 6H2O
8.4.6TachyhydriteCaMg2Cl6 · 12H2O
8.4.8SinjariteCaCl2 · 2H2O
8.4.9AntarcticiteCaCl2 · 6H2O

Other Names for Bischofite

Name in Other Languages:
Simplified Chinese:水氯镁石
Traditional Chinese:水氯鎂石

Other Information

Other Information:
Readily soluble in alcohol and in water.
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 Bischofite

Reference List:
Ochsenius, C. (1877): Die Bildung der Steinsalzlager und ihrer Mutterlaugensalze unter specieller Berücksichtigung der Flöze von Douglashall in der Egeln´schen Mulde. Verlag Pfeffer (Halle), 172 p.

Ochsenius, C. (1877): Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der Chemie und verwandter Theile anderer Wissenschaften: 1284, 1285.

Ochsenius, C. (1877): Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 1: 414.

Przibylla (1904) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 238.

Dewar (1905) Chem. News: 91: 216.

Mügge (1906) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: I: 91.

Görgey (1910) Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 29: 200.

Doelter, C. (1928) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie: 4(2): 1212.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (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: 46-47.

Heide, K. and Kühn, W. (1965): Bischofit im carnallitschen Stassfurtlager der stillgelegten Kaliwerke Aschersleben/Anhalt (Schachtanlage V). Chemie der Erde 24, 211-214 (in German).

Sorrell, C. A., and Ramey, R. R. (1974): X-ray powder data and unit cell parameters of MgCl2.6H2O. Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data 19, 31-32.

Agron, P. A., and Busing, W. R. (1985): Magnesium dichloride hexahydrate, MgCl2.6H2O, by neutron diffraction. Acta Crystallographica C41, 8-10.

Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59.

Internet Links for Bischofite

Localities for Bischofite

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 for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? 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.
  • Saskatchewan
    • Rocanville
G. W. Robinson, V. King (1993) Whats New in Minerals. Mineralogical Record 24:381-395
  • Qinghai Province
    • Hainan Autonomous Prefecture
Sun Da-peng, Li Bing-xiao, Ma Yua-hua, and Lin Qun-zhu (2002): Journal of Salt Lake Research 10(4), 1-12.
    • Haixi Autonomous Prefecture
      • Da Qaidam Co. (Dachaidan Co.)
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10
Xiyu Zheng (1994): Journal of Lake Sciences 6(3), 267-275
      • Golmud Co. (Ge'ermu Co.)
Dongsheng Hu (1990): Scientia Geologica Sinica 3(7), 259-268; Xiyu Zheng (1994): Journal of Lake Sciences 6(3), 267-275
Botao Li, Yuanyi Zhao, Zuohua Qian, Pengcheng Jiao, Chenglin Liu, and Shijun Wang (2010): Mineral Deposits 29(4), 669-683
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10
      • Lenghu Co.
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10; Mianping Zheng and Xifang Liu (2010): Acta Geologica Sinica 84(11), 1585-1600
      • Mangnai Co. (Mangya Co.)
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10; Mily Wang, Yijie Wang, Chenglin Liu, and Yongzhi Chen (1993): Acta Geoscientica Sinica 15(1)
  • Xinjiang Autonomous Region
    • Tulufan Prefecture (Turfan Prefecture; Turpan Prefecture)
      • Tulufan Co. (Turfan Co.; Turpan Co.)
        • Turfan basin (Turpan basin)
Bingxiao Li (1992): Journal of Lake Sciences 4(1), 48-55
  • Hesse
    • Fulda
      • Neuhof
S. Weiß: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
    • Werra valley
      • Heringen
Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
      • Phillippsthal
Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
  • Lower Saxony
    • Celle
      • Hänigsen
Bode "Mineralien und Fundstellen BRD" from 1989 ISBN 3-925094-24-5 Pg.9
      • Wathlingen
Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
    • Vienenburg
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: 47; Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59
  • Saxony-Anhalt
    • Stassfurt Potash deposit
Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59
      • Egeln
        • Tarthun
No reference listed
      • Stassfurt
Dana 6:A3:14,43,46; Dana 7:II:430; Zr. Kr.:50(1911):139.
C. Ochsenius (1877): Die Bildung der Steinsalzlager und ihrer Mutterlaugensalze unter specieller Berücksichtigung der Flötze von Douglashall in der Egeln´schen Mulde.- Halle, Verlag Pfeffer, 172 p.; 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: 47.
  • Thuringia
    • Thuringian Forest
      • Merkers-Kieselbach
XRD analysis (T. Witzke)
  • Heves Co.
    • Mátra Mts
      • Recsk
No reference listed
  • Sicily
    • Caltanissetta Province
AA. VV., 1996. Collezionare minerali. Hobby & Work.
    • Enna Province
      • Enna (Castrogiovanni)
Montrasio A., Sciesa E., Vignola P. (1997): Collezionare minerali. Ed. Hobby & Work, Milano, 800 pp.
  • Aktobe Province (Aqtöbe Oblysy; Aktubinskaya Oblast')
    • Aksai Valley
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow; ERCOSPAN (2011) Independent Geological Report on the Zhilianskoe and Chelkar Potash Deposits in Kazakhstan EGB 11-012
  • Atyrau Province (Atyrau Oblysy; Atyrau Oblast')
    • Atyrau (Gur'yev)
Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59; Evseev, A. A. (1995) Kazaknstan and Middle Asia. A brief Mineralogical Guide. World of Stone 8:24-30; Pekov, I. V. & Abramov, D. V. (1993): Boron deposit of the Inder and its minerals. World of Stones, 1, 23-30.
  • Groningen
T.G. Nijland, J.C. Zwaan, D. Visser, J. Leloux - De mineralen van Nederland - 2007
  • Lima Department
P. Andresen collection, obtained from A. Robbemond, 2004.
  • Upper Silesia (Śląskie)
    • Upper Silesian Coal Basin
      • Rybnik Coal Area
        • Rybnik
Łukasz Kruszewski (2012) Unique chloride assemblage of exhalative origin from burning coal-mining dump in Radlin (Rybnik Coal Area, S Poland). Mineralogical Society of Poland Special Papers 40
  • Wielkopolskie
Jirásek, J.: Solný důl Kłodawa (Polsko). Minerál, 2004, roč. 12, č. 2, s. 98-102. ISSN 1213-0710 (excerpted from unpublished thesis Hanczke, T.: Mineralogia i petrografia soli czechstyńskich kopalni "Kłodawa". Doktroská práce, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Instytut nauk geologicznych, 1967.)
Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
  • Kouilou Department
Henry Rauche (2009) Updated Reserve and Resource Estimate for MagMinerals Kouilou Potash Project, Republic of Congo
  • Far-Eastern Region
    • Kamchatka Oblast'
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
        • Great Fissure eruption (Main Fracture)
          • Northern Breakthrough (North Breach)
Vergasova L P, Filatov S K, Starova G L, Matusevich Z L, Filosofova T M (1996) Vlodavetsite, AlCa2(SO4)2F2Cl·4H2O, a new mineral from volcanic exhalations, Transactions (Doklady) of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Earth science sections, 343, 173-176 abstract Am Min 81:768
  • Crimea Oblast'
    • Crimea peninsula
      • Krasnoperekopsk Area
Geologiya SSSR. Poleznye iskopaemye (The geology of USSR. Commercial mineral) - Nedra (Moscou), 1974, vol. VIII, 205 p.
  • New Mexico
    • Eddy and Lea Counties
Northrop, Minerals of New Mexico, 3rd. rev. ed. (1996)
    • Otero Co.
2008 New Mexico Mineral Symposium abstracts
  • Utah
    • Tooele Co.
UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
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