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Named in honour of Dr. Friedrich Seifert (1941- ), founding Director of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut (Bavarian Geoinstitute) at Bayreuth, Germany.
The densest and hardest polymorph of silica found in nature so far, with a structure similar to that of alpha-PbO2. Found first in the Shergotty meteorite, and since then in several other Martian meteorites. Stable only above pressures of 780 kilobars, so it could theoretically also form in the Earth's mantle at depths over 1,700 km, if any free silica is present. Suggested as a minor phase near the core-mantle boundary by Zhang et al. (2016), who synthesized seifertite; in the experiment it was associated with (Mg,Fe)SiO3 post-perovskite.

Classification of Seifertite

Approval Year:

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
D : Metal: Oxygen = 1:2 and similar
A : With small cations: Silica family

75 : TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
1 : Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si

Physical Properties of Seifertite

4.294 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Chemical Properties of Seifertite

Elements listed in formula:

Crystallography of Seifertite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.097(1) Å, b = 5.0462(8) Å, c = 4.4946(8) Å
a:b:c = 0.812 : 1 : 0.891
Unit Cell Volume:
V 92.92 ų
parameters for the synthesized material (Zhang et al., 2016): a=3.7277, b=4.6576, c=4.1609, V=72.243
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
characteristic reflections

Occurrences of Seifertite

Type Occurrence of Seifertite

General Appearance of Type Material:
lamellae occurring in composit silica grains
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Presumably formed by impact shock in basaltic Mars rock.
Empirical Formula:

Relationship of Seifertite to other Species

4.DA.Carbon Dioxide IceCO2
4.DA.10OpalSiO2 · nH2O
4.DA.25Melanophlogite46SiO2 · 6(N2,CO2) · 2(CH4,N2)

Other Names for Seifertite

Name in Other Languages:
Simplified Chinese:塞石英

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 Seifertite

Reference List:
El Goresy, A., Dera, P., Sharp, T.G., Prewitt, C.T., Chen, M., Dubrovinsky, L., Wopenka, B., Boctor, N.Z., Hemley, R.J. (2008) Seifertite, a dense orthorhombic polymorph of silica from the Martian meteorites Shergotty and Zagami. European Journal of Mineralogy: 20: 523-528.

Bläß, U., Langenhorst, F. (2011) High-pressure phase transformation of SiO2 polymorphs to Seifertite. Joint Meeting of the DGK, DMG and ÖMG, Salzburg, Austria, September 20-24, 2011; Abstracts Volume, p. 46.

Zhang, L., Popov, D., Meng, Y., Wang, J., Ji, C., Li, B., Mao, H. (2016): In-situ crystal structure determination of seifertite SiO2 at 129 GPa: Studying a minor phase near Earth’s core–mantle boundary. American Mineralogist: 101: 231-234

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

Localities for Seifertite

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.
  • Sahara Desert
Shohei Kaneko, Eiji Ohtani, Masaaki Miyahara, Takeshi Sakai, Masahiro Kayama, Hirotsugu Nishido, Yasuo Oishi, Naohisa Hirao (2011) Dynamic event recorded in a lunar meteorite NWA 4734. Japan Geooscience Union Meeting Makuhari, Chiba Japan.
India (TL)
  • Bihar
    • Gaya District
El Goresy, A. et al. (2008):European J. Mineralogy 20,523-528.
  • Katsina State
Zhidong Xie et al. , Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI (2005), 1216.pdf
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