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Natural pseudowollastonite: Crystal structure, associated minerals, and geological context

Posted by Marco E. Ciriotti  
Marco E. Ciriotti February 22, 2012 10:36AM
▪ Seryotkin, Yu.V., Sokol, E.V., Kokh, S.N. (2012): Natural pseudowollastonite: Crystal structure, associated minerals, and geological context. Lithos, 134–135, 75-90.

Pseudowollastonite, an extremely rare constituent of ultrahigh-temperature combustion metamorphic and igneous rocks, has been found as a rock-forming mineral in Ca-rich paralava veins of Nabi Musa fossil mud volcano (Dead Sea area). Pseudowollastonite-bearing paralavas are the products of combustion metamorphism associated with spontaneous burning of methane. The melt began to crystallize at 1480–1500 °C about the ambient pressure. Pseudowollastonite enters two mineral assemblages: (1) rankinite, larnite, nagelschmidtite, wollastonite (1T), gehlenite-rich melilite, Ti-rich andradite, cuspidine, and fluorapatite; (2) parawollastonite (2M), wollastonite (1T), gehlenite-rich melilite, Ti-rich andradite, fluorellestadite. In this study we present the first single-crystal structure determination of natural pseudowollastonite. Pseudowollastonite from Nabi Musa dome is stoichiometric CaSiO3 and belongs to the most widespread four-layer polytype: a = 6.83556(10) Å, b = 11.86962(18) Å, c = 19.6255(3) Å, β = 90.6805(13)°, V = 1592.21(4) Å3, space group C2/c. We argue that pseudowollastonite is so scarce in nature because its formation requires joint action of several uncommon factors: availability of hot melts of T > 1200 °C that bear free calcium but are poor in Mg and Fe (mostly as Fe3+) and their crystallization in the shallow crust followed by quenching.
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