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Olivine Group

This page kindly sponsored by John Weidner
M = Ca, Fe, Mn, Ni, Mg
The evolution of the term "olivine group" is complex. The earliest name given to an olivine group species was chrysolite and was named by Johan Gottschalk Wallerius in 1747, although the name chrysolite was later used by Balthasar Georges Sage in 1777 for what is now known as prehnite. Chrysolite was renamed, olivine, in 1789 by Abraham Gottlieb Werner for the usual olive green color of this mineral (N.B. chrysolite has a similar etymology.) The second member of the group was named tephroite in 1823 by Johann Friedrich August Breithaupt. The common Mg-dominant member of the group was re-named, forsterite, by Serve-Dieu Abailard "Armand" Lévy in 1824. Hemy C. Salmon in 1859 explicitly used "olivine group" to designate minerals which were chemically analogous to "olivine". In the USA, James Dwight Dana and George Jarvis Brush began organizing groups in their "System" and organized the "chrysolite group" in 1868 and that group name was continued into 1892 by Edward Salisbury Dana. The universal acceptance of "olivine group" occurred in the twentieth century. (See also olivine.)
A group of simple orthosilicates. Polymorphous with ringwoodite and wadsleyite.

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Chemical Properties of Olivine GroupHide


M = Ca, Fe, Mn, Ni, Mg

Relationship of Olivine Group to other SpeciesHide

Group Members:
Calcio-olivine Ca2SiO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Fayalite Fe2+2SiO4Orth.
Forsterite Mg2SiO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Glaucochroite CaMn2+SiO4Orth.
Kirschsteinite CaFe2+SiO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
Laihunite Fe2+Fe3+2(SiO4)2Mon.
Liebenbergite (Ni,Mg)2SiO4Orth.
Monticellite CaMgSiO4Orth.
Olivine Orth.
Roepperite (of Brush) (Fe2+2,Mn,Zn)SiO4
Tephroite Mn2+2SiO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Olivine Group in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for Olivine GroupHide

Reference List:
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Salmon, Hemy C. (1859) On Rocks; their Chemical and Mineral Composition, and Physical Characteristics, The Geologist, v. 2, p. 228.

Internet Links for Olivine GroupHide

Localities for Olivine GroupHide

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

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