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The Mineralogy of Thorium

General Properties
Symbol:Th
Atomic Number:90
Standard atomic weight (Ar):232.03806(2)
Electron configuration:[Rn] 6d2 7s2
Photos
Thorite - Th(SiO4)
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.3
Atomic Radius:179.8 pm
Ionic Radius:94 pm (+4)
1st Ionization energy:587 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:2,3,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:2023 K
Boiling Point:5093 K
Density:11.72 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:actinoid
Main isotopes of Thorium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
227Thtrace18.68d
228Thtrace1.9116y
229Thtrace7340yα225Ra
230Thtrace75400yα226Ra
231Thtrace25.5hβ−231Pa
232Th100%1.405x1010yα228Ra
234Thtrace24.1dβ−234Pa
Main ions of Thorium
NameIonExample minerals
thorium(IV)Th4+
[Th(H2O)9]4+
Other Information
Year Discovered:1829
Discovered By:
Jöns Jakob Berzelius
Named For:
Thor, the Norse god of thunder
CPK color coding:#00BAFF
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitridesthorium nitrideThN+3
Sulfidesthorium sulphideThS+2
thorium disulphideThS2+4
dithorium trisulphideTh2S3+3
Selenidesthorium diselenideThSe2+4
Hydridesthorium dihydrideThH2+2
Fluoridesthorium trifluorideThF3+3
thorium tetrafluorideThF4+4
Chloridesthorium tetrachlorideThCl4+4
Iodidesthorium diiodideThI2+2
thorium triiodideThI3+3
thorium tetraiodideThI4+4
Oxidesthorium dioxideThO2+4Thorianite
Mineral Diversity of Thorium
4. Oxides 2 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 2 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates5 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 9 valid mineral species
Total:18 valid species containing essential Thorium
Geochemistry of Thorium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
Th4+ is commonly concentrated in residual soils and sediments.
Elemental Abundance for Thorium
Crust (CRC Handbook)9.6 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)5.8 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)8.1 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)3.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)5.700 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.0700 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)1.0000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)1 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)1.5 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)5.0 x 10-8atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)4.5 x 10-8atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)3.35 x 10-8 (5.7%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Thorium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Thorium and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Thorium and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Thorium.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Thorium% of Th mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen48 minerals with Th and O100.00%31.24% higher
Hydrogen29 minerals with Th and H60.42%12.58% higher
Calcium27 minerals with Th and Ca56.25%129.16% higher
Silicon21 minerals with Th and Si43.75%57.98% higher
Cerium20 minerals with Th and Ce41.67%1,164.51% higher
Iron13 minerals with Th and Fe27.08%18.95% higher
Titanium13 minerals with Th and Ti27.08%293.29% higher
Niobium12 minerals with Th and Nb25.00%642.03% higher
Uranium11 minerals with Th and U22.92%379.83% higher
Sodium10 minerals with Th and Na20.83%10.33% higher
Phosphorus10 minerals with Th and P20.83%89.15% higher
Lanthanum9 minerals with Th and La18.75%1,000.95% higher
Yttrium9 minerals with Th and Y18.75%618.35% higher
Fluorine7 minerals with Th and F14.58%75.45% higher
Aluminium6 minerals with Th and Al12.50%36.89% lower
Boron4 minerals with Th and B8.33%64.29% higher
Tantalum4 minerals with Th and Ta8.33%516.67% higher
Neodymium4 minerals with Th and Nd8.33%765.71% higher
Potassium4 minerals with Th and K8.33%13.76% lower
Barium3 minerals with Th and Ba6.25%35.05% higher
Carbon3 minerals with Th and C6.25%15.38% lower
Manganese3 minerals with Th and Mn6.25%45.81% lower
Molybdenum2 minerals with Th and Mo4.17%263.04% higher
Strontium2 minerals with Th and Sr4.17%48.08% higher
Arsenic1 mineral with Th and As2.08%81.67% lower
Lithium1 mineral with Th and Li2.08%6.99% lower
Sulfur1 mineral with Th and S2.08%89.31% lower
Ytterbium1 mineral with Th and Yb2.08%1,775.69% higher
Praseodymium1 mineral with Th and Pr2.08%5,527.08% higher
Beryllium1 mineral with Th and Be2.08%6.22% lower
Samarium1 mineral with Th and Sm2.08%1,775.69% higher
Gadolinium1 mineral with Th and Gd2.08%1,775.69% higher
Magnesium1 mineral with Th and Mg2.08%84.83% lower
Lead1 mineral with Th and Pb2.08%78.19% lower
Zirconium1 mineral with Th and Zr2.08%13.43% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
 
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Th Relative Frequency
Actinium << Thorium >> Protactinium


Most widespread minerals containing Thorium
This list of minerals containing Thorium is built from the mindat.org locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Thorium mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
ThoriteTh(SiO4)Tetragonal843
ThorianiteThO2Isometric181
HuttoniteThSiO4Monoclinic28
EkaniteCa2ThSi8O20Tetragonal16
Grayite(Th,Pb,Ca)(PO4) · H2OHexagonal16
SteacyiteK0.3(Na,Ca)2ThSi8O20Tetragonal15
ThorbastnäsiteThCa(CO3)2F2 · 3H2O11
Thorutite(Th,U,Ca)Ti2(O,OH)6Monoclinic8
Turkestanite(K,◻)(Ca,Na)2ThSi8O20 · nH2OTetragonal7
UmbozeriteNa3Sr4Th[Si(O,OH)3-4]8Amorphous6
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Thorium mineral species
map should go here
1Poudrette quarry (De-Mix quarry; Demix quarry; Uni-Mix quarry; Carrière Mont Saint-Hilaire; MSH), Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada5 Th minerals
2Água de Pau Volcano (Fogo Volcano), Água de Pau Massif, São Miguel Island, Azores District, Portugal4 Th minerals
3Murunskii Massif, Chara and Tokko Rivers Confluence, Aldan Shield, Sakha Republic (Saha Republic; Yakutia), Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia4 Th minerals
4Thelenberg, Niedermendig, Mendig, Laach lake volcanic complex, Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany4 Th minerals
5In den Dellen quarries, Niedermendig, Mendig, Laach lake volcanic complex, Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany4 Th minerals
6Pumice quarries, Wingertsberg, Niedermendig, Mendig, Laach lake volcanic complex, Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany4 Th minerals
7Punta de Su Seinargiu (Su Seinargiu; Su Senargiu), Sarroch, Cagliari metropolitan city (Metropolitan City of Cagliari), Sardinia, Italy4 Th minerals
8San Vito quarry, San Vito, Ercolano, Monte Somma, Somma-Vesuvius Complex, Naples Province, Campania, Italy3 Th minerals


Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
Mineral and/or Locality  
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