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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
3. Halides1 valid mineral species
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:19 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
Oxygen126 minerals with Th and O100.00%24.73% higher
Hydrogen85 minerals with Th and H67.46%20.65% higher
Calcium71 minerals with Th and Ca56.35%130.35% higher
Silicon57 minerals with Th and Si45.24%59.92% higher
Cerium38 minerals with Th and Ce30.16%924.83% higher
Titanium35 minerals with Th and Ti27.78%304.90% higher
Iron31 minerals with Th and Fe24.60%12.13% higher
Sodium30 minerals with Th and Na23.81%24.23% higher
Niobium30 minerals with Th and Nb23.81%704.05% higher
Phosphorus30 minerals with Th and P23.81%102.90% higher
Uranium21 minerals with Th and U16.67%220.20% higher
Yttrium19 minerals with Th and Y15.08%530.67% higher
Aluminium18 minerals with Th and Al14.29%29.00% lower
Lanthanum17 minerals with Th and La13.49%1,083.17% higher
Fluorine17 minerals with Th and F13.49%73.01% higher
Boron10 minerals with Th and B7.94%52.48% higher
Potassium10 minerals with Th and K7.94%15.56% lower
Manganese9 minerals with Th and Mn7.14%35.49% lower
Tantalum8 minerals with Th and Ta6.35%431.09% higher
Carbon7 minerals with Th and C5.56%28.59% lower
Barium7 minerals with Th and Ba5.56%21.31% higher
Strontium6 minerals with Th and Sr4.76%86.26% higher
Molybdenum6 minerals with Th and Mo4.76%280.74% higher
Neodymium4 minerals with Th and Nd3.17%439.38% higher
Zirconium3 minerals with Th and Zr2.38%3.56% higher
Lead3 minerals with Th and Pb2.38%76.72% lower
Arsenic3 minerals with Th and As2.38%80.56% lower
Magnesium3 minerals with Th and Mg2.38%81.97% lower
Praseodymium1 mineral with Th and Pr0.79%2,057.54% higher
Ytterbium1 mineral with Th and Yb0.79%978.77% higher
Samarium1 mineral with Th and Sm0.79%2,057.54% higher
Gadolinium1 mineral with Th and Gd0.79%4,215.08% higher
Sulfur1 mineral with Th and S0.79%96.21% lower
Lithium1 mineral with Th and Li0.79%61.81% lower
Beryllium1 mineral with Th and Be0.79%64.34% 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
CheraliteCaTh(PO4)2Monoclinic49
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Thorium mineral species
map should go here
2Poudrette 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
5Água de Pau Volcano (Fogo Volcano), Água de Pau Massif, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal4 Th minerals
4Punta de Su Seinargiu (Su Seinargiu; Su Senargiu), Sarroch, Cagliari metropolitan city (Metropolitan City of Cagliari), Sardinia, Italy5 Th minerals
6Murunskii Massif, Chara and Tokko Rivers Confluence, Aldan Shield, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia4 Th minerals
7Thelenberg, Niedermendig, Mendig, Mayen-Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany4 Th minerals
8In den Dellen quarries, Niedermendig, Mendig, Mayen-Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany4 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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