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Whelanite

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Formula:
Cu22+Ca6[Si6O17(OH)](CO3)(OH)3 · 2H2O
System:
Orthorhombic
Colour:
Pale blue, greenish blue
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
Name:
Honors James A. Whelan (1928–2003), who was a professor of mineralogy at the University of Utah, where he taught from 1958 to 1992.
This page provides mineralogical data about Whelanite.


Classification of Whelanite

Approved
Approval Year:
1977
8/D.07-20

8 : Silicates
D : Unclassified silicates, mostly cations of small size Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu
07 : Ajoite series

Physical Properties of Whelanite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent
Colour:
Pale blue, greenish blue
Streak:
Pale blue
Hardness (Mohs):
Tenacity:
Flexible
Cleavage:
Perfect
perfect on {001} and good on {010}
Fracture:
Splintery
Density:
2.74 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.738 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Whelanite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.612(2) nβ = 1.622 nγ = 1.626
2V:
Measured: 64°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.014
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Pleochroism:
Weak
Comments:
X = Y (pale blue) < Z (light blue)
Comments:
The β RI was calculated from 2V (thinness of crystals).

Chemical Properties of Whelanite

Formula:
Cu22+Ca6[Si6O17(OH)](CO3)(OH)3 · 2H2O
IMA Formula:
Cu2Ca6[Si6O17(OH)](CO3)(OH)3 · 2H2O
Elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
From type description: Combination of electron microprobe analyses and thermogravimetric analyses (for CO2 and H2O). The empirical formula is based on O = 26.
CaO (34.46)
CuO (12.09)
FeO (1.52)
SiO2 (37.96)
CO2 (5.93)
H2O (8.86)
total 100.82 wt%

Crystallography of Whelanite

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mm2 - Pyramidal
Space Group:
Pnn2
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.6551 Å, b = 3.683 Å, c = 27.1372 Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 1.535 : 1 : 7.368
Unit Cell Volume:
V 565.3 ų
Z:
1
Morphology:
Irregular clusters and radial aggregates of platy to lath-like crystals up to 1 mm in length, flattened on {001} and elongated on [100]
Comment:
Pn2n
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
6.79(004) 52
3.072(111) 43
3.013(112) 100
2.921(113) 39
2.802(114) 45
2.522(116 205) 44
1.839(020 1.1.12) 37

Type Occurrence of Whelanite

General Appearance of Type Material:
Irregular clusters and radial aggregates of platy to lath-like crystals up to 1 mm in length.
Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Smithsonian Institution (U.S. National Museum of Natural History) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History (now known as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Found in a copper-rich, diopside–garnet–magnetite skarn
Empirical Formula:
Cu1.41Fe0.20Ca5.68Si5.84C1.25O26H9.09
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Relationship of Whelanite to other Species

8/D.07-10Ajoite(K,Na)Cu7AlSi9O24(OH)6 · 3H2O

Other Names for Whelanite

Name in Other Languages:
German:Whelanit
Spanish:Whelanita

Other Information

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 Whelanite

Reference List:
Murdoch, J. (1961): Crestmore, past and present. American Mineralogist 46, 245-257. [as Mineral Y; cf. http://www.mindat.org/mesg-6-55440.html]

Hindman, J.R. (1985): PhD dissertation University of Utah

Elements October 2007, p. 360 [mention of approval]

Kampf, A. R., Mills, S. J., Merlino, S., Pasero, M., McDonald, A. M., Wray, W. B., & Hindman, J. R. (2012). Whelanite, Cu2Ca6 [Si6O17 (OH)](CO3)(OH) 3 (H2O) 2, an (old) new mineral from the Bawana mine, Milford, Utah. American Mineralogist, 97(11-12), 2007-2015.

Internet Links for Whelanite

mindat.org URL:
https://www.mindat.org/min-11215.html
Please feel free to link to this page.

Localities for Whelanite

This 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.
USA
 
  • Arizona
    • Gila Co.
      • Dripping Spring Mts
        • Banner District
          • Christmas area
            • Christmas
Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 419.; Kampf, A. R., Mills, S. J., Merlino, S., Pasero, M., McDonald, A. M., Wray, W. B., & Hindman, J. R. (2012). Whelanite, Cu2Ca6 [Si6O17 (OH)](CO3)(OH) 3 (H2O) 2, an (old) new mineral from the Bawana mine, Milford, Utah. American Mineralogist, 97(11-12), 2007-2015.
  • California
    • Inyo Co.
      • Lee District
        • Nelson Range
Kampf, A. R., Mills, S. J., Merlino, S., Pasero, M., McDonald, A. M., Wray, W. B., & Hindman, J. R. (2012). Whelanite, Cu2Ca6 [Si6O17 (OH)](CO3)(OH) 3 (H2O) 2, an (old) new mineral from the Bawana mine, Milford, Utah. American Mineralogist, 97(11-12), 2007-2015.
    • Riverside Co.
      • Crestmore
Kampf, A. R., Mills, S. J., Merlino, S., Pasero, M., McDonald, A. M., Wray, W. B., & Hindman, J. R. (2012). Whelanite, Cu2Ca6 [Si6O17 (OH)](CO3)(OH) 3 (H2O) 2, an (old) new mineral from the Bawana mine, Milford, Utah. American Mineralogist, 97(11-12), 2007-2015.
  • Utah
    • Beaver Co.
      • Rocky Range
        • Rocky District
Kampf, A. R., Mills, S. J., Merlino, S., Pasero, M., McDonald, A. M., Wray, W. B., & Hindman, J. R. (2012). Whelanite, Cu2Ca6 [Si6O17 (OH)](CO3)(OH) 3 (H2O) 2, an (old) new mineral from the Bawana mine, Milford, Utah. American Mineralogist, 97(11-12), 2007-2015.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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