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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

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

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

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
Czech Republic
  • Moravia (Mähren; Maehren)
    • Moravia-Silesia Region
      • Karviná
        • Orlová
Matýsek D., Jirásek J., Osovský M., Skupien P.. Minerals formed by the weathering of sulfides in mines of the Czech part of the Upper Silesian Basin. Mineralogical Magazine, 2014, 78, 5, 1265-1286.
  • 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.); Wachowiak, J., Pieczka, A. (2016): Motukoreaite from the Kłodawa Salt Dome, Central Poland. Mineralogical Magazine, 80, 277-289
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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