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Pyroxene Group

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Name:Named in 1796 by Rene Just Haüy from the Greek words for fire (πυρ) and stranger (ξένος). Pyroxene was named because of its presence in a glassy or vitreous lava. Pyroxene was believed to be an impurity in the glass, and therefore a "stranger to fire" and not formed by the action of heat. Pyroxene was originally what might now be called "augite", but the name has been raised as a group name of structurally and chemically similar minerals.


A large group of inosilicate (chain silicate) minerals with the general formula ABSi2O6.
It is divided into the Clinopyroxene Subgroup (monoclinic) and the Orthopyroxene Subgroup (orthorhombic).

The most recent nomenclature is given by Morimoto (1988, 1989).

Classification of Pyroxene Group

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Relationship of Pyroxene Group to other Species

Group Members:
Clinopyroxene Subgroup 
  Aegirine 
NaFe
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Aegirine-augite 
(Na,Ca)(Fe
3+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Augite 
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Al,Fe
3+
 
,Ti)[(Si,Al)
 
2
O
 
6
]
  Clinoenstatite 
MgSiO
 
3
  Clinoferrosilite 
Fe
2+
 
SiO
 
3
  Diopside 
CaMgSi
 
2
O
 
6
  Esseneite 
CaFe
3+
 
[AlSiO
 
6
]
  Grossmanite 
CaTi
3+
 
AlSiO
 
6
  Hedenbergite 
CaFe
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Jadeite 
Na(Al,Fe
3+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Jervisite 
(Na,Ca,Fe
2+
 
)(Sc,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Johannsenite 
CaMn
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Kanoite 
Mn
2+
 
(Mg,Mn
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Kosmochlor 
NaCrSi
 
2
O
 
6
  Kushiroite 
CaAl[AlSiO
 
6
]
  Namansilite 
NaMn
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Natalyite 
Na(V
3+
 
,Cr)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Omphacite 
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Petedunnite 
Ca(Zn,Mn
2+
 
,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Pigeonite 
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Ca)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
  Spodumene 
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
Maclurite (of Nuttall and Torrey) 
Orthopyroxene Subgroup 
  Donpeacorite 
(Mn
2+
 
,Mg)Mg[SiO
 
3
]
 
2
  Enstatite 
MgSiO
 
3
  Ferrosilite 
FeSiO
 
3

Other Names for Pyroxene Group

Synonyms:
PyroxenePyroxene Family
Other Languages:
German:Pyroxen
Simplified Chinese:辉石族
Varieties:
Al-pyroxene

Other Information

Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Pyroxene Group

Reference List:

- +
Wyckoff, R.W.G., Merwin, H.E., and Washington, H.S. (1925) X-ray diffraction measurements upon the pyroxenes. American Journal of Science, 5th. Series: 10: 383-397.

Edgar, A.D., A. Mottana & N.D. MacRae (1969), The chemistry and cell parameters of omphacite and related pyroxenes: Mineralogical Magazine: 37: 61-74.

Fleet, M.E. (1974b) Mg,Fe 2+ site occupancies in coexisting pyroxenes. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 47: 207-214.

Reid, A.M., Brown, R.W., Dawson, J.B., Whitfield, G.G., and Siebert, J.C. (1976) Garnet and pyroxene compositions in some diamondiferous eclogites. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 58: 203-220.

Arndt, N.T. and Fleet, M.E. (1979): Stable and metastable pyroxene crystallization in layered komatiite lava flows. American Mineralogist: 64: 856-864.

Cameron, M. and Papike, J.J. (1981) Structural and chemical variations in pyroxenes. American Mineralogist: 66: 1-50.

Watanabe, S., M. Kitamura, & N. Morimoto (1985), A transmission electron microscope study of pyroxene chondrules in equilibrated L-group chondrites: Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 72: 87-98.

Morimoto, N. (1988): Nomenclature of Pyroxenes. Am. Mineral. 73, 1123-1133.

Morimoto, N. (1989) Nomenclature of pyroxenes. Canadian Mineralogist: 27: 143-156.

Brizi, E., & M. Mellini (1992), Kinetical modelling of exsolution textures in igneous pyroxenes: Acta Vulcanologica: 2: 87-93.

Bell, D.R., Ihinger, P.D., and Rossman, G.R. (1995) Quantitative analysis of trace OH in garnet and pyroxenes. American Mineralogist: 80: 465-474.

Wodland, A.B. (1998) The orthorhombic to high-P monoclinic phase transition in Mg-Fe pyroxenes. Can it produce a seismic discontinuity? Geophysical Research Letters: 25: 1241-1244.

Papike, J.J., Karner, J.M., and Shearer, C.K. (2005) Comparative planetary mineralogy: Valence-state partitioning of Cr, Fe, Ti and V among crystallographic sites in olivine, pyroxene, and spinel from planetary basalts. American Mineralogist: 90: 277-290.

Internet Links for Pyroxene Group

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    Localities for Pyroxene Group

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