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KFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
Amber-yellow, yellow-brown, to brown or light yellow.
Sub-Adamantine, Vitreous, Resinous
2½ - 3½
Specific Gravity:
2.9 - 3.26
Crystal System:
Named in 1852 by Johann Friedrich August Breithaupt for the type locality, Barranco Jaroso in southern Spain.
The most common member of the alunite supergroup.
The Fe(III) analogue of alunite. Visually indistinguishable from natrojarosite.

Usually found as amber-yellow to brown crusts or coatings of minute crystals, larger crystals rather rare.

Desborough et al. (2010) showed there is only limited solid solution between jarosite and natrojarosite at low temperatures.

Synthetic samples may be monoclinic-pseudorhombohedral (Grey et al., 2010, 2013).

Mo-bearing jarosite was described by Žáček et al. (2008).

Jarosite has been used for dating (K-Ar method) of weathering processes.

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Classification of JarositeHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
B : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) with additional anions, without H2O
C : With medium-sized and large cations
Dana 7th ed.:

2 : (AB)2(XO4)Zq

25 : Sulphates
11 : Sulphates of Fe and other metals

Physical Properties of JarositeHide

Sub-Adamantine, Vitreous, Resinous
Sub-adamantine to vitreous on crystal faces; resinous on fractures.
Amber-yellow, yellow-brown, to brown or light yellow.
2½ - 3½ on Mohs scale
Hardness Data:
Distinct on {0001}.
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
2.9 - 3.26 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.25 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of JarositeHide

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.815 - 1.820 nε = 1.713 - 1.715
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.102 - 0.105
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Ε (X) = Colourless
(Y) = Reddish brown
Ο (Z) = Reddish brown
Commonly anomalously biaxial with a very small 2V and sectional development.

Chemical Properties of JarositeHide

KFe3+ 3(SO4)2(OH)6
IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of JarositeHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.304 Å, c = 17.268 Å
a:c = 1 : 2.364
Unit Cell V:
797.80 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals usually tiny, pseudocubic {01-13} or tabular {0001}. Typically found as granular crusts, it may also be in nodules or fibrous masses, pulverulent to earthy, or concretionary.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:

Type Occurrence of JarositeHide

Synonyms of JarositeHide

Other Language Names for JarositeHide

Varieties of JarositeHide

Calcium-JarositeProbably an impure Jarosite
KolosorukiteA variety of Jarosite low in Fe3+ (possibly with a hydronium jarosite or natrojarosite component).
Originally described from Korozluky (Kolosoruk), Most, Ústí Region, Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Czech Republic.

Relationship of Jarosite to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
AluniteKAl3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
Ammoniojarosite(NH4)Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
ArgentojarositeAgFe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
Beaverite-(Cu)Pb(Fe3+2Cu)(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
Beaverite-(Zn)Pb(Fe3+2Zn)(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
Hydroniumjarosite(H3O)Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
NatroaluniteNaAl3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
Natroalunite-2c(Na,Ca0.5,K)Al3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
NatrojarositeNaFe3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
OsarizawaitePb(Al2Cu2+)(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
PlumbojarositePb0.5Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
Forms a series with:

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz40 photos of Jarosite associated with Quartz on
Rodalquilarite27 photos of Jarosite associated with Rodalquilarite on
Goethite25 photos of Jarosite associated with Goethite on
Natrojarosite24 photos of Jarosite associated with Natrojarosite on
Scorodite20 photos of Jarosite associated with Scorodite on
Gypsum17 photos of Jarosite associated with Gypsum on
Brochantite11 photos of Jarosite associated with Brochantite on
Hematite10 photos of Jarosite associated with Hematite on
Gold9 photos of Jarosite associated with Gold on
Baryte8 photos of Jarosite associated with Baryte on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

7.BC.10AluniteKAl3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
7.BC.10Ammoniojarosite(NH4)Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
7.BC.10ArgentojarositeAgFe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
7.BC.10Beaverite-(Cu)Pb(Fe3+2Cu)(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
7.BC.10Hydroniumjarosite(H3O)Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
7.BC.10Natroalunite-2c(Na,Ca0.5,K)Al3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
7.BC.10NatroaluniteNaAl3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
7.BC.10NatrojarositeNaFe3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
7.BC.10OsarizawaitePb(Al2Cu2+)(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
7.BC.10PlumbojarositePb0.5Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
7.BC.10Beaverite-(Zn)Pb(Fe3+2Zn)(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
7.BC.20AtlasoviteK(BiO)Cu6Fe3+(SO4)5O3ClTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/ncc
7.BC.25ChlorothioniteK2Cu(SO4)Cl2Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.BC.30FedotoviteK2Cu3(SO4)3OMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.BC.35KamchatkiteKCu3(SO4)2OClOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.BC.40PiypiteK4Cu4O2(SO4)4 · (Na,Cu)ClTet.
7.BC.45AlumoklyuchevskiteK3Cu3(Al,Fe3+)(SO4)4O2Tric. 1 : P1
7.BC.50CaledonitePb5Cu2(SO4)3(CO3)(OH)6Orth. mm2 : Pmn21
7.BC.55WherryitePb7Cu2(SO4)4(SiO4)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/m
7.BC.60MammothitePb6Cu4AlSb5+O2(OH)16Cl4(SO4)2Mon. 2 : B2
7.BC.65LinaritePbCu(SO4)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
7.BC.65MunakataitePb2Cu2(Se4+O3)(SO4)(OH)4Mon. 2/m : P21/m
7.BC.70ChenitePb4Cu(SO4)2(OH)6Tric. 1 : P1
7.BC.75KrivovichevitePb3Al(OH)6(SO4)(OH)Trig. 3m : R3c

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 3m : R3m 3m : R3m 3m (3 2/m) : R3m 3m (3 2/m) : R3m 3m (3 2/m) : R3m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

25.11.1NatrojarositeNaFe3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
25.11.2SideronatriteNa2Fe(SO4)2(OH) · 3H2OOrth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
25.11.3MetasideronatriteNa2Fe(SO4)2(OH) · H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
25.11.4FerrinatriteNa3Fe(SO4)3 · 3H2OTrig. 3 : P3
25.11.5AmarilliteNaFe(SO4)2 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
25.11.6YavapaiiteKFe(SO4)2Mon. 2/m : B2/m
25.11.7KrausiteKFe(SO4)2 · H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
25.11.8GoldichiteKFe(SO4)2 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
25.11.10VoltaiteK2Fe2+5Fe3+3Al(SO4)12 · 18H2OIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3c
25.11.11UngemachiteK3Na8Fe(SO4)6(NO3)2 · 6H2OTrig. 3 : R3
25.11.12MetavoltineNa6K2FeFe6(SO4)12O2 · 18H2OTrig.
25.11.13Sabieite(NH4)Fe3+(SO4)2Trig. 3 2 : P3 2 1
25.11.14Ammoniojarosite(NH4)Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m : R3m
25.11.15Clairite(NH4)2Fe3(SO4)4(OH)3 · 3H2OTric.
25.11.16Mohrite(NH4)2Fe(SO4)2 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
25.11.17Lonecreekite(NH4)Fe3+(SO4)2 · 12H2OIso.
25.11.18Godovikovite(NH4)Al(SO4)2Trig. 3 2 : P3 2 1
25.11.19BotryogenMgFe3+(SO4)2(OH) · 7H2OMon. 2/m
25.11.21Slavíkite(H3O+)3Mg6Fe15(SO4)21(OH)18 · 98H2OTrig. 3 : R3
25.11.23SturmaniteCa6(Fe3+,Al,Mn3+)2(SO4)2[B(OH)4](OH)12 · 25H2OTrig. 3m : P3 1c
25.11.25AluminocopiapiteAl2/3Fe3+4(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2OTric. 1 : P1
25.11.26HalotrichiteFeAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2OMon. 2 : P2
25.11.27Idrizite(Mg,Fe)(Al,Fe)2(SO4)3(OH)2 · 15H2O or near
25.11.28LishizheniteZnFe2(SO4)4 · 14H2OTric. 1 : P1
25.11.29ZincovoltaiteK2Zn5Fe3+3Al(SO4)12 · 18H2OIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3c

Other InformationHide

Strongly pyroelectric.
Insoluble in water; soluble in HCl.
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 JarositeHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Rammelsberg (1838) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 43: 132 (as Gelbeisenerz).
Haidinger, Wm. (1845) 512 (as Misy).
Hausmann, J.F.L. (1847) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen. Second edition: vol. 2, in two parts: 1205 (as Vitriolgelb).
Breithaupt (1852) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 6: 68 (as Jarosit).
Shepard C.U. (1857) Treatise on Mineralogy, third edition: vol. 2: 4 (suppl. app.) (as Moronolite).
Bergemann (1866) Naturhistorischer Verein der Rheinlande und Westfalens, Bonn. Sitzungsberichte Verhandlungen: 27: 17 (as Pastréit).
Weisbach, Albin (1875) Synopsis mineralogical, systematische Übersicht des Mineralreiches., 1st. edition, 78 pp., Freiberg: 42 (Kolosorukite variety).
Koenig (1880) American Chemical Journal: 2: 375.
Koenig (1880) Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia: 331.
Genth (1890) American Journal of Science: 39: 73.
Penfield (1890) American Journal of Science: 39: 73.
Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 974.
Azema (1910) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 33: 130.
Schaller (1916) USGS Bull. 610: 137.
Hintze, Carl (1889) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3]: 4200.
Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 92.
Gordon (1925) Proceedings of the Academy of Science, Philadelphia: 77: 1.
Locke (1926) Leached Outcrops as Guides to Copper Ore: 107.
Jirkovsky (1927) Časopis Nârod. Musea, Prague, Czech Republic: 101: 151.
Westgate and Knopf (1932) USGS Professional Paper 171: 47.
Hendricks (1937) American Mineralogist: 22: 773.
Blanchard (1944) American Mineralogist: 29: 111.
Breshenkov (1946) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S.: 52: 329.
Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 560-562.
Canadian Mineralogist (1976): 14: 156.
Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1976): 406-417.
Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997) Dana's New Mineralogy: The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 630.
Drouet, C. and Navrotsky, A. (2003) Synthesis, characterization, and thermochemistry of K-Na-H3O jarosites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 67: 2063-2076.
Drouet, C., Baron, D., and Navrotsky, N. (2003) On the thermochemistry of the solid solution between jarosite and its chromate analog. American Mineralogist: 88: 1949-1954.
Papike, J. J.; Burger, P. V.; Karner, J. M.; Shearer, C. K.; Lueth, V. W. (2007) Terrestrial analogs of martian jarosites: Major, minor element systematics and Na-K zoning in selected samples. American Mineralogist 92, 444-447.
Žáček, V., Škoda, R. & Laufek, F. (2008) Molybdenem bohatý jarosit z oxidační zóny středověkého Au-Ag ložiska v Hůrkách u Rakovníka (Česká republika). Bulletin mineralogicko-petrologického oddělení Národního muzea v Praze 16 (2), 190-192 (in Czech with English abstract).
Sato, E., Nakai, I., Miyawaki, R. & Matsubara, S. (2009) Crystal structures of alunite family minerals: beaverite, corkite, alunite, natroalunite, jarosite, svanbergite, and woodhouseite. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie Abhandlungen 185, 313-322.
Basciano, L. C. & Peterson, R. C. (2010) A crystallographic study of the incomplete solid solution between plumbojarosite and jarosite. Can. Mineral. 48, 651-659.
Desborough, G. A., Smith, K. S., Lowers, H. A., Swayze, G. A., Hammarstrom, J. M., Diehl, S. F., Leinz, R. W. and Driscoll, R. L. (2010) Mineralogical and chemical characteristics of some natural jarosites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74, 1041-1056.
Grey, I.E., Scarlett, N.N.V. & Brand, H.E.A. (2010) Ordering of iron vacancies in monoclinic jarosites. American Mineralogist, 95, 1590-1593. [synth. samples].
Xu, Hongwu; Zhao, Yusheng; Vogel, Sven C.; Hickmott, Donald D.; Daemen, Luke L.; Hartl, Monika A. (2010) Thermal expansion and decomposition of jarosite: a high-temperature neutron diffraction study. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 37, 73-82.
I. E. Grey, N. V. Y. Scarlett, P. Bordet, and H. E. A. Brand (2011) Jarosite–butlerite intergrowths in non-stoichiometric jarosites: crystal chemistry of monoclinic natrojarosite–hydroniumjarosite phases. Mineral. Mag. 75, 2775-2791.
H. E. A. Brand, N. V. Y. Scarlett and I. E. Grey (2012) In situ studies into the formation kinetics of potassium jarosite. J. Appl. Crystallogr. 45, 535-545.
Grey, I.E.; Scarlett, N.V.Y.; Brand, H.E.A. (2013) Crystal chemistry and formation mechanism of non-stoichiometric monoclinic K-jarosites. Mineralogical Magazine 77, 249-268.
N. V. Y. Scarlett, I. E. Grey and H. E. A. Brand (2013) In situ synchrotron diffraction studies on the formation kinetics of jarosites. J. Synchrotron Rad. 20, 366-375.
Mills, S. J., Nestola, F., Kahlenberg, V., Christy, A. G., Hejny, C. & Redhammer, G. (2013) Looking for jarosite on Mars: the low-temperature crystal structure of jarosite. American Mineralogist, 98, 1966-1971.

Internet Links for JarositeHide

Localities for JarositeHide

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.

Locality ListShow