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MgCO3 · 5H2O
Colorless (fresh), white ...
After the town of Lansford, Pennsylvania, USA, near where it was initially found.
Stable for several months at RT (Nestola et al., 2016), but may slowly dehydrate, ultimately altering to nesquehonite.

Classification of Lansfordite

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

C : Carbonates without additional anions, with H2O
A : With medium-sized cations

1 : A(XO3)·xH2O

11 : Carbonates
3 : Carbonates of Mg

Physical Properties of Lansfordite

Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Colorless (fresh), white (exposed); colourless in transmitted light.
Hardness (Mohs):
Hardness Data:
On {001}, on {100} less perfect.
1.6 g/cm3 (Measured)    1.7 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Lansfordite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.465 nβ = 1.468 nγ = 1.507
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.042
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v strong

Chemical Properties of Lansfordite

MgCO3 · 5H2O
Elements listed in formula:

Crystallography of Lansfordite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Space Group Setting:
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.3458 Å, b = 7.6232 Å, c = 12.4737 Å
β = 101.722°
a:b:c = 0.964 : 1 : 1.636
Unit Cell Volume:
V 683.81 ų
Minute short-prismatic crystals [001]; also stalactitic.

Type Occurrence of Lansfordite

General Appearance of Type Material:
Small stalactites attached to carbonaceous shale.
Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Harvard University
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Anthracite coal mine underground workings.
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Relationship of Lansfordite to other Species

Common Associates:
5.CA.05NesquehoniteMgCO3 · 3H2O
5.CA.15BarringtoniteMgCO3 · 2H2O
5.CA.20HellyeriteNiCO3 · 6H2O
11.3.2BarringtoniteMgCO3 · 2H2O
11.3.3NesquehoniteMgCO3 · 3H2O
11.3.6ArtiniteMg2CO3(OH)2 · 3H2O
11.3.7HydromagnesiteMg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 4H2O
11.3.8GiorgiositeMg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 5H2O
11.3.9DypingiteMg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 5H2O

Other Names for Lansfordite

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Other Information:
Effloresces readily, altering to nesquehonite. Soluble in dilute acids with effervescence.
Special Storage/
Display Requirements:
Slowly effloresces at room temperature, altering to nesquehonite.
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 Lansfordite

Reference List:
Genth (1888) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 14: 255.

Genth and Penfield (1890) American Journal of Science: 39: 121.

Cesàro (1910) Académie royale des sciences de Belgique, Cl. sc., Bull., Brussels: 4: 234.

Leitmeier (1910) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 47: 104.

Poitevin (1924) American Mineralogist: 9: 225.

Fenoglio (1933) Periodico de Mineralogia-Roma: 4: 443.

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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 228-230.

Mineralogical Magazine (1982): 46: 341, 455.,11,252297,252297#msg-252297

Nestola, F., Kasatkin, A.V., Potapov, S.A., Chervyatsova, O.Ya., Lanza, A. (2016): First crystal-structure determination of natural lansfordite, MgCO3·5H2O. Mineralogical Magazine: 80 (in press); (2016)

Internet Links for Lansfordite URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Localities for Lansfordite

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.
  • Styria
    • Leoben
      • Kraubath an der Mur
R. Exel: Die Mineralien und Erzlagerstätten Österreichs (1993)
      • St Stefan ob Leoben
Offenbacher (1983)
Meixner, H. (1950): Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 2(3), 195-209.
J.Taucher (2001)
  • Upper Austria
    • Gmunden
      • Hallstatt
        • Obertraun
Journal "Die Höhle"
  • British Columbia
    • Atlin Mining Division
American Mineralogist (1924): 9: 224; 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: 230.
  • Yukon
    • Dawson Mining District
Wilson, S.A., Raudsepp, M. & Dipple, G.M. (2006) Verifying and quantifying carbon fixation in minerals from serpentine-rich mine tailings using the Rietveld method with X-ray powder diffraction data. American Mineralogist 91, 1331-1341.
  • Attikí Prefecture (Attica; Attika)
    • Lavrion District (Laurion; Laurium)
      • Lavrion District Mines
        • Sounion area
          • Sounion Mines
Kolitsch, U., Rieck, B., Brandstätter, F., Schreiber, F., Fabritz, K. H., Blaß, G. & Gröbner, J. (2014): Neufunde aus dem altem Bergbau und den Schlacken von Lavrion (I). Mineralien-Welt 25 (1), 60-75 (in German).
  • Aosta Valley
    • Cogne Valley
      • Cogne
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: 230; Gramaccioli, C.M. (1975)-Minerali alpini e Prealpini-Edizioni Atlas Bergamo
  • Piedmont
    • Torino Province
      • Lanzo Valleys
        • Viù Valley
          • Viù
Piccoli, G.C., Maletto, G., Bosio, P., Lombardo, B. (2007): Minerali del Piemonte e della Valle d'Aosta. Associazione Amici del Museo "F. Eusebio" Alba, Ed., Alba (Cuneo) 607 pp.
  • Møre og Romsdal
    • Sunndal
      • Litjdalen
Taagvold, H. (2015): Verket kromgruve i Sunndal kommune, Møre og Romsdal. Stein. 42 (1), 4-6.
  • Sør-Trøndelag
    • Røros
Moore, A. C. & Hultin, I. (1980): Petrology, mineralogy, and origin of the Feragen ultramafic body, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway. Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift 60, 235-254
  • Upper Silesia (Śląskie)
Warchulski, R., Gawęda, A., Szopa, K. (2014): Secondary phases from the Zn-Pb smelting slags from Katowice – Piekary Śląskie area, Upper Silesia, Poland: a SEM – XRD overview. Mineralogia Special Papers: 42: 110-111
  • Bratislava Region
    • Pezinok Co.
      • Pezinok
Majzlan J., Števko M., Lánczoš T. (2016): Soluble secondary minerals of antimony in Pezinok and Kremnica (Slovakia) and the question of mobility or immobility of antimony in mine waters. Environmental Chemistry, 13, 6, 927-935.
  • Wallis (Valais)
    • Zermatt - Saas Fee area
      • Matt Valley
        • Zermatt
Lapis 32 (11) 12 (ad)
  • Arizona
Garvie, L. A. (2003). Decay-induced biomineralization of the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). American Mineralogist, 88(11-12), 1879-1888.
Corbett, R.G., Hanner, B.M., and Quick, T.J. (1989) Seeps and efflorescent minerals in the Grand Canyon: Predicted vs. identified phases [abs.]: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 21, no. 4, p. 8. Grant, Raymond W., Bideaux, R.A., and Williams, S.A. (2006) Minerals Added to the Arizona List 1995-2005: 5; Garvie, L.A.J. (2003) Decay-induced biomineralization of the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantean). American Mineralogist: 88: 1879-1888.
  • Colorado
    • Jefferson Co.
      • Clear Creek pegmatite Province
        • Robinson Gulch pegmatite
Cobban et al., 1997, Minerals of Colorado.
  • Pennsylvania
    • Carbon Co.
      • Lansford
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: 230.
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: 226; The Mineralogy of Pennsylvania 1922-1965, A Montgomery. pgs 64-65. ref.2) The Mineralogy of Pennsylvania (1874-1922); S. Gordon pg. 68; Genth F A, Penfield S L (1890) On lansfordite, nesquehonite, a new mineral, and pseudomorphs of nesquehonite after lansfordite, The American Journal of Science, 139, 121-137
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