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Melanterite

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Formula:
FeSO4 · 7H2O
Often contains minor Cu, which causes bluish colours.
Colour:
Colorless to white or green, also greenish-blue to blue with increased Cu content; colourless to pale green in transmitted light.
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
2
Specific Gravity:
1.89
Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Name:
Named in 1850 from the Greek μελαντηρία for "copperas," meaning ferrous sulfate.
Melanterite Group.
Iron analogue of boothite and zincmelanterite.

Melanterite is a hydrated iron sulphate formed after the decomposition of pyrite or other iron minerals due to the action of surface waters. It is often found in mines as a post-mining formation on mine walls. Other iron sulphates such as halotrichite, chalcanthite, rozenite etc. are characteristic accompanying minerals.

May dehydrate to siderotile.

CAUTION: Melanterite is an indicator of the possible presence of sulfuric acid and should not be handled with bare hands or inhaled.


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Classification of MelanteriteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
7.CB.35

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
C : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, with H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations
Dana 7th ed.:
29.6.10.1
29.6.10.1

29 : HYDRATED ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
6 : AXO4·xH2O
25.10.5

25 : Sulphates
10 : Sulphates of Fe alone

Physical Properties of MelanteriteHide

Vitreous
Transparency:
Translucent, Opaque
Colour:
Colorless to white or green, also greenish-blue to blue with increased Cu content; colourless to pale green in transmitted light.
Comment:
Usually a yellowish-white after exposure to air and moisture.
Streak:
White.
Hardness:
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {001}, distinct on {110}.
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
1.89 g/cm3 (Measured)    1.893 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of MelanteriteHide

Type:
Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.470 - 1.471 nβ = 1.477 - 1.480 nγ = 1.486
2V:
Measured: 86° , Calculated: 80°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.016
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Dispersion:
none

Chemical Properties of MelanteriteHide

Formula:
FeSO4 · 7H2O

Often contains minor Cu, which causes bluish colours.
IMA Formula:
Fe2+SO4 · 7H2O
Common Impurities:
Cu,Mg

Crystallography of MelanteriteHide

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
P21/b
Setting:
P21/c
Cell Parameters:
a = 14.077 Å, b = 6.509 Å, c = 11.054 Å
β = 105.6°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 2.163 : 1 : 1.698
Unit Cell V:
975.54 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crystals rare, equant to short prismatic parallel to [001] with prominent {110} and {001}; thick tabular {010} or {10_1}, also pseudo-octahedral due to equal development of {110}, {001}, and {_101}; more typically found as beard-like efflorescences, or as capillary to fibrous aggregates; it may also be stalactic or concretionary.
Twinning:
None reported.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
5.49(10)
4.90(100)
4.87(50)
4.03(10)
3.78(60)
3.73(20)
3.29(20)
3.21(10)

Synonyms of MelanteriteHide

Other Language Names for MelanteriteHide

Varieties of MelanteriteHide

Cuprian MelanteriteCrystals rare but usually simple in habit and pseudo-rhombohedral with {110} and {001} and short to long prismatic [001].
CuprokiroviteA variety containing 3.36% MgO and 3.18% CuO - from underground fires.
KiroviteA magnesian variety of Melanterite.
Manganoan MelanteriteA manganoan melanterite
Mg-bearing Melanterite
Zincian MelanteriteMelanterite with part of the Fe replaced by Zn.
NOT = the species zinc-melanterite!

Relationship of Melanterite to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
Alpersite(Mg,Cu)[SO4] · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
BieberiteCoSO4 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
BoothiteCuSO4 · 7H2OMon.
MallarditeMnSO4 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
Zincmelanterite(Zn,Cu,Fe)SO4 · 7H2OMon.

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Halotrichite10 photos of Melanterite associated with Halotrichite on mindat.org.
Pyrite9 photos of Melanterite associated with Pyrite on mindat.org.
Chalcanthite7 photos of Melanterite associated with Chalcanthite on mindat.org.
Gypsum6 photos of Melanterite associated with Gypsum on mindat.org.
Pickeringite6 photos of Melanterite associated with Pickeringite on mindat.org.
Copiapite5 photos of Melanterite associated with Copiapite on mindat.org.
Rozenite4 photos of Melanterite associated with Rozenite on mindat.org.
Römerite4 photos of Melanterite associated with Römerite on mindat.org.
Jarosite3 photos of Melanterite associated with Jarosite on mindat.org.
Pyrrhotite3 photos of Melanterite associated with Pyrrhotite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

7.CB.05Dwornikite(Ni,Fe)SO4 · H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.CB.05GunningiteZnSO4 · H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.CB.05KieseriteMgSO4 · H2OMon. 2/m
7.CB.05Poitevinite(Cu,Fe,Zn)SO4 · H2OTric.
7.CB.05SzmikiteMnSO4 · H2OMon.
7.CB.05SzomolnokiteFeSO4 · H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.CB.05CobaltkieseriteCoSO4 · H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.CB.07SanderiteMgSO4 · 2H2OOrth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
7.CB.10BonattiteCuSO4 · 3H2OMon.
7.CB.15Aplowite(Co,Mn,Ni)SO4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m
7.CB.15Boyleite(Zn,Mg)SO4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.15Ilesite(Mn,Zn,Fe)SO4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m
7.CB.15RozeniteFeSO4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.15StarkeyiteMgSO4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.15DrobeciteCdSO4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
7.CB.15CranswickiteMgSO4 · 4H2OMon. m : Bb
7.CB.20ChalcanthiteCuSO4 · 5H2OTric. 1 : P1
7.CB.20JôkokuiteMnSO4 · 5H2OTric.
7.CB.20PentahydriteMgSO4 · 5H2OTric.
7.CB.20SiderotilFeSO4 · 5H2OTric.
7.CB.25Bianchite(Zn,Fe)SO4 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
7.CB.25Chvaleticeite(Mn,Mg)SO4 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.CB.25FerrohexahydriteFeSO4 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
7.CB.25HexahydriteMgSO4 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
7.CB.25Moorhouseite(Co,Ni,Mn)SO4 · 6H2OMon.
7.CB.25Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2OMon.
7.CB.30RetgersiteNiSO4 · 6H2OTet. 4 2 2 : P41 21 2
7.CB.35BieberiteCoSO4 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
7.CB.35BoothiteCuSO4 · 7H2OMon.
7.CB.35MallarditeMnSO4 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
7.CB.35Zincmelanterite(Zn,Cu,Fe)SO4 · 7H2OMon.
7.CB.35Alpersite(Mg,Cu)[SO4] · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.40EpsomiteMgSO4 · 7H2OOrth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
7.CB.40GoslariteZnSO4 · 7H2OOrth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
7.CB.40MorenositeNiSO4 · 7H2OOrth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
7.CB.45AlunogenAl2(SO4)3 · 17H2OTric. 1
7.CB.45Meta-alunogenAl2(SO4)3 · 12H2O
7.CB.50AluminocoquimbiteFeAl(SO4)3 · 9H2OTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3 1c
7.CB.55CoquimbiteFe2-xAlx(SO4)3 · 9H2O, x ~0.5Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3 1c
7.CB.55ParacoquimbiteFe2(SO4)3 · 9H2OTrig. 3 : R3
7.CB.55Rhomboclase(H5O2)Fe3+(SO4)2 · 2H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.CB.60KorneliteFe2(SO4)3 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
7.CB.65QuenstedtiteFe2(SO4)3 · 11H2OTric. 1 : P1
7.CB.70LauseniteFe2(SO4)3·5H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
7.CB.75LishizheniteZnFe2(SO4)4 · 14H2OTric. 1 : P1
7.CB.75RömeriteFe2+Fe3+2(SO4)4 · 14H2OTric. 1 : P1
7.CB.80RansomiteCuFe2(SO4)4 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.85ApjohniteMn2+Al2(SO4)4 · 22H2OMon.
7.CB.85BíliniteFe2+Fe3+2(SO4)4 · 22H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.85Dietrichite(Zn,Fe2+,Mn2+)Al2(SO4)4 · 22H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.85HalotrichiteFeAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2OMon. 2 : P2
7.CB.85PickeringiteMgAl2(SO4)4 · 22H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
7.CB.85Redingtonite(Fe2+,Mg,Ni)(Cr,Al)2(SO4)4·22H2OMon.
7.CB.85Wupatkiite(Co,Mg,Ni)Al2(SO4)4·22H2OMon.
7.CB.90MeridianiiteMgSO4 · 11H2OTric. 1 : P1

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

29.6.10.2BoothiteCuSO4 · 7H2OMon.
29.6.10.3Zincmelanterite(Zn,Cu,Fe)SO4 · 7H2OMon.
29.6.10.4BieberiteCoSO4 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m
29.6.10.5MallarditeMnSO4 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P2/m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

25.10.1SzomolnokiteFeSO4 · H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
25.10.2RozeniteFeSO4 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
25.10.3SiderotilFeSO4 · 5H2OTric.
25.10.4FerrohexahydriteFeSO4 · 6H2OMon. 2/m : B2/b
25.10.6Rhomboclase(H5O2)Fe3+(SO4)2 · 2H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
25.10.7LauseniteFe2(SO4)3·5H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
25.10.8KorneliteFe2(SO4)3 · 7H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
25.10.9CoquimbiteFe2-xAlx(SO4)3 · 9H2O, x ~0.5Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3 1c
25.10.10ParacoquimbiteFe2(SO4)3 · 9H2OTrig. 3 : R3
25.10.11QuenstedtiteFe2(SO4)3 · 11H2OTric. 1 : P1
25.10.12FerricopiapiteFe5(SO4)6O(OH) · 20H2OTric. 1 : P1
25.10.13MetahohmanniteFe3+2(SO4)2O · 4H2OTric. 1 : P1
25.10.14HohmanniteFe3+2(SO4)2O · 8H2OTric. 1
25.10.15ButleriteFe3+(SO4)(OH) · 2H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
25.10.16ParabutleriteFe3+(SO4)(OH) · 2H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
25.10.17AmarantiteFe3+2(SO4)2O · 7H2OTric. 1
25.10.18FibroferriteFe3+(SO4)(OH) · 5H2OMon.
25.10.19Hydroniumjarosite(H3O)Fe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
25.10.20RömeriteFe2+Fe3+2(SO4)4 · 14H2OTric. 1 : P1
25.10.21BíliniteFe2+Fe3+2(SO4)4 · 22H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
25.10.22CopiapiteFe2+Fe3+4(SO4)6(OH)2 · 20H2OTric. 1 : P1

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
Contains sulfuric acid - avoid contact with skin, especially wet or moist skin, use gloves. Always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest. Always treat decrepitated pyrite (pyrite disease) as melanterite / sulfuric acid.

References for MelanteriteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Beudant, F.S. (1832) Traité élémentaire de Minéralogie, second edition, 2 volumes: 2: 482 (as Mélantérie).
Chapman, E.J. (1843) Practical Mineralogy. London, Paris, and Leipzig: 14 (as Melantherite).
Haidinger, Wm. (1850) Handbuch der bestimmenden Mineralogie. Vienna, 2nd. Edition: 489 (as Melanterit).
Erofejeff (1867) Konigliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Sitzber.: 56: 63.
Raimondi, A. (1878) Minéraux du Pérou: Catalogue raisonné d’une collection des principaux types minéraux de la République. 336pp., Paris: 212 (as Alcaparrosa verde).
Zepharovich (1879) Konigliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Sitzber.: 79: 183.
Retgers (1889) Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, Leipzig, Berlin: 3: 534.
Michel (1894) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 17: 204.
Edgren (1901) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 23: 329.
Schaller (1903) University of California, Department of Geology Bull.: 3: 191.
Pilipenko (1915) Bull. Imp. Tomsk. Univ., no. 63 [Min. Abs.: 2: 113 (1923)].
Goldschmidt, V. (1916) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 3: 111.
Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 120.
Collins (1923) Mineralogical Magazine: 20: 32.
Niggli and Faesy (1924) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 59: 258.
Vavrinecz (1927) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 66: 167.
Westenbrink (1927) Recueil des travaux chimiques des Pays-Bas et de la Belgique, Leyden: 46: 105.
Zsivny (1928) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 66: 651.
Vavrinecz (1929) Magyar Chemiai Folyóirat, Budapest: 35: 1.
Hey (1930) Mineralogical Magazine: 22: 413.
Eckel (1933) American Mineralogist: 18: 449.
Machatschki (1935) Zbl. Min.: 53.
Ungemach (1935) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 58: 159.
Simpson (1937) Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia: 23: 17.
Milton and Johnston (1938) Economic geology: 33: 749.
Ness (1940) Naturwissenschaften: 28: 78.
Mélon (1944) Ann. soc. géol. Belgique: 67: B56.
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.: 499-504.
Baur, W.H. (1964) On the crystal chemistry of salt hydrates. III. The determination of the crystal structure of FeSO4.7H2O (melanterite). Acta Cryst., 17:
1167–1174.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (1970) National Bureau of Standards Monograph 25: Standard X-ray Diffraction Powder Patterns, section 8. (http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/techreports/PDF/NBS25-8.pdf)
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: 611.
Peterson, R.C. (2003b) Dehydration of mine waste. The relationship among melanterite FeSO4·7H2O, siderotile FeSO4·5H2O and rozenite FeSO4·4H2O. Geological Association of Canada-Mineralogical Association of Canada-Society of Economic Geologists Abstracts Volume 28: 134-135.

Internet Links for MelanteriteHide

Localities for MelanteriteHide

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

Mineral and/or Locality  
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