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About PachnoliteHide

NaCa[AlF6] · H2O
Colourless, white; colourless in transmitted light.
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
From the Greek πάχνη, frost, and λίθος, stone, in allusion to its appearance.
Dimorph of:
This page provides mineralogical data about Pachnolite.

Classification of PachnoliteHide

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

C : Complex halides
B : Neso-aluminofluorides

6 : Aluminofluorides - Isolated Octahedra

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
6 : Halides of Al

Physical Properties of PachnoliteHide

Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, white; colourless in transmitted light.
On {001}.
2.983 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.97 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of PachnoliteHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.411 nβ = 1.413 nγ = 1.420
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.009
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v

Chemical Properties of PachnoliteHide

NaCa[AlF6] · H2O
IMA Formula:
NaCaAlF6 · H2O

Crystallography of PachnoliteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Cell Parameters:
a = 12.117(4) Å, b = 10.414(3) Å, c = 15.680(4) Å
β = 90.37(2)°
a:b:c = 1.164 : 1 : 1.506
Unit Cell V:
1,978.56 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals prismatic [001], commonly acutely terminated. Terminated by {001} at times. {110} striated parallel to the intersection with {001}. Massive, cleavale to granular; stalactitic masses.
On {100} common, yielding crystals with an orthorhombic appearance; giving a grid pattern in thin section.
Non-standard space-group setting F2/d.

Crystallographic forms of PachnoliteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Pachnolite no.10 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Pachnolite no.11 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indices | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

Crystal StructureHide

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IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0005195PachnoliteHawthorne F C, Ferguson R B (1983) The crystal structure of pachnolite The Canadian Mineralogist 21 561-56619830293
CIF Raw Data - click here to close

Epitaxial Relationships of PachnoliteHide

Epitaxial Minerals:
ThomsenoliteNaCa[AlF6] · H2O
Epitaxy Comments:
Oriented growths of thomsenolite on pachnolite, with thomsenolite (001) and (110) quasi-parallel to pachnolite (110) and (001). Also with thomsenolite (110) and (110) quasi-parallel to pachnolite (110) and (001).

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
3.95 Å(100)
3.26 Å(10)
3.02 Å(20)
2.92 Å(10)
2.79 Å(70)
2.16 Å(50)
1.971 Å(90)

Type Occurrence of PachnoliteHide

Synonyms of PachnoliteHide

Other Language Names for PachnoliteHide

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
32 photos of Pachnolite associated with ThomsenoliteNaCa[AlF6] · H2O
9 photos of Pachnolite associated with Hydrokenoralstonite Na0.5(Al,Mg)2(F,OH)6 · H2O
8 photos of Pachnolite associated with SideriteFeCO3
4 photos of Pachnolite associated with CryoliteNa2NaAlF6
3 photos of Pachnolite associated with Limonite
2 photos of Pachnolite associated with PyriteFeS2
1 photo of Pachnolite associated with Kupletskite(K,Na)3(Mn,Fe)7Ti2Si8O26(OH)4F
1 photo of Pachnolite associated with ElpiditeNa2ZrSi6O15 · 3H2O
1 photo of Pachnolite associated with WulfenitePb(MoO4)
1 photo of Pachnolite associated with FluoriteCaF2

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

3.CB.05CryolithioniteNa3Al2(LiF4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
3.CB.15CryoliteNa2NaAlF6Mon. 2/m
3.CB.15ElpasoliteK2NaAlF6Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
3.CB.25WeberiteNa2Mg[AlF6]FOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Immm
3.CB.40ThomsenoliteNaCa[AlF6] · H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
3.CB.45CarlhintzeiteCa2[AlF6]F · H2OTric.
3.CB.50YaroslaviteCa3Al2F10(OH)2 · H2OOrth.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

8.6.2ChloraluminiteAlCl3 · 6H2OTrig.
8.6.3CadwaladeriteAl5(H2O)3(OH)12 · n(Cl,H2O)Amor.
8.6.4CryolithioniteNa3Al2(LiF4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
8.6.5CryoliteNa2NaAlF6Mon. 2/m
8.6.6ChioliteNa5Al3F14Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/mnc
8.6.7ElpasoliteK2NaAlF6Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
8.6.8WeberiteNa2Mg[AlF6]FOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Immm
8.6.9Hydrokenoralstonite Na0.5(Al,Mg)2(F,OH)6 · H2O Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
8.6.10KoeneniteNa4Mg9Al4Cl12(OH)22Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
8.6.11 Chlor-manasseiteMgxAl(OH)2x+2Cl · (x-0.8)H2O
x about 1.75
8.6.12GearksutiteCa[Al(F,OH)5(H2O)]Tric. 1 : P1
8.6.13ProsopiteCaAl2F4[(OH)4-xFx]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
8.6.14YaroslaviteCa3Al2F10(OH)2 · H2OOrth.
8.6.15CarlhintzeiteCa2[AlF6]F · H2OTric.
8.6.17ThomsenoliteNaCa[AlF6] · H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.6.19Zirklerite(Fe,Mg,Ca)9Al4Cl18(OH)12 · 14H2O (?)Trig.

Other InformationHide

Readily soluble in H2SO4.
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 PachnoliteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Knop (1863) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 127: 61.
Wöhler (1875) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 180: 231 (as Pyroconite).
Koenig (1876) Proceedings of the Academy of Science, Philadelphia: 42.
Des Cloizeaux (1882) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 5: 310.
Groth (1883) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 7: 457.
Cross and Hillebrand (1885) USGS Bulletin 20: 49.
Krenner (1885) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 10: 528.
Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 179.
Goldschmidt, V. (1920) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 6: 113.
Larsen, E.S. and Berman, H. (1934) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, Second edition, USGS Bulletin 848: 95.
Ferguson (1946) Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Sect. 4: 40: 11
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: 114-116.
Hawthorne, F.C. and Ferguson, R.B. (1983): The crystal structure of pachnolite. Canadian Mineralogist, 21, 561–566.
Pauly, H. and O.V. Petersen (1983): Pachnolite: new optical data with a note on artificial precipitates. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte, 241–250.
Mineralogical Record (1993): 24: 34.

Internet Links for PachnoliteHide

Localities for PachnoliteHide

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 ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
  • Córdoba Province
    • Punilla Department
      • San Roque District
        • Tanti
Dina, H. (1993). Hentschelita en Cerro Blanco, Tanti, Córdoba. Informacion Tecnologica, 48(3-4), 277-282.
American Mineralogist (1978): 53: 416-431.; Černý, P., Galliski, M. A., Oyarzábal, J. C., Teertstra, D. K., Chapman, R., MacBride, L., & Ferreira, K. (2003). Stranded and equilibrated assemblages of late feldspars in two granitic pegmatites in the Pampean Ranges, Argentina. The Canadian Mineralogist, 41(4), 1013-1026.; Demartin F, Gay H D, Gramaccioli C M, Pilati T (1997) Benyacarite, a new titanium-bearing phosphate mineral species from Cerro Blanco, Argentina. The Canadian Mineralogist 35, 707-712
  • Paraíba
    • Pedra Lavrada
Wegner, R., Pöllmann, H., Witzke, T., Schuckmann, W. (1998) Colquiriite, carlhintzeite, ralstonite and pachnolite from Serra Branca-Pegmatite/Brazil.- Proceedings 17th General Meeting, IMA, August 1998, Toronto: A151.
  • Kymenlaakso
    • Kotka
Ilkka Mikkola collection
  • Bavaria
    • Upper Palatinate
      • Neustadt an der Waldnaab District
        • Pleystein
Dill, H.G., Weber, B. (2009), Pleystein-City on Pegmatite, 4th International Symposium on Granitic Pegmatites, Recife, Brazil.
        • Waidhaus
          • Hagendorf
Greenland (TL)
  • Sermersooq
    • Arsuk Fjord
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: 112; Canadian Mineralogist, 21, 561 (1983); Lapis 11 (1985), 9.; Petersen, O.V. and Secher, K. (1993): The minerals of Greenland. Mineralogical Record 24 (2): 1-65 (p.36)
  • Viken
    • Lunner
Raade, G. & Haug, J. (1980): Rare Fluorides from a soda granite in the Oslo Region, Norway. Mineralogical Record, 11,83-91
  • Chelyabinsk Oblast
    • Ilmen Mountains
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow; Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980.
  • Zabaykalsky Krai
Starikova, Sharygin, V.V. (2015): Ba-dominant fluoroaluminates from the Katugin rare-metal deposit (Transbaikalia, Russia): chemical and Raman data. XXXII International Conference "Alkaline Magmatism of the Earth and Related Strategic Metal Deposits", August 7-14, Apatity, Kola, Russia; E. V. Sklyarov, D. P. Gladkochub, A. B. Kotov, A. E. Starikova, V. V. Sharygin, S. D. Velikoslavinsky, A. M. Larin, A. M. Mazukabzov, E. V. Tolmacheva, E. A. Khromova (2016): Genesis of the Katugin rare-metal ore deposit: Magmatism versus metasomatism. Russian Journal of Pacific Geology 10, 155–167.; Starikova, A. E., Bazarova, E. P., Savel’eva, V. B., Sklyarov, E. V., Khromova, E. A., & Kanakin, S. V. (2019) Pyrochlore-Group Minerals in the Granite-Hosted Katugin Rare-Metal Deposit, Transbaikalia, Russia. Minerals, 9(8), 490.
  • Zhytomyr Oblast
Yurk Yu.Yu., Gurov E.P., Gurova E.P. (1973) Pecularities of fluorin mineralogy of Ukrainian crystalline shield, - Naukova Dumka, Kiev, pp.184 (in Russian).; Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980.
  • Colorado
    • El Paso Co.
      • Cheyenne Mining District (St. Peters Dome Mining District)
Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
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: 112, 120, 122; Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Am Min 51:299-323
Am Min 51:299-323
Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.; Am Min 51:299-323; American Mineralogist (1936): 20: 319-333
    • Fremont Co.
"Minerals of Colorado, updated & revised", p. 16, by Eckel, Edwin B., 1997; Armbrustmacher, T. J. (1988) Geology and resources of thorium and associated elements in the Wet Mountains area, Fremont and Custer counties, Colorado. USGS Professional Paper: 1049-F
  • Florida
    • Hillsborough Co.
      • Tampa
AmMin 67:1258
  • Nevada
    • Mineral Co.
      • Fitting Mining District
        • Gillis Range
Mineralogical Record: 31: 204.
  • Virginia
    • Amelia Co.
      • Winterham
Kearns, L.E. (1995) Alumino-fluorides from the Morefield pegmatite, Amelia County, Virginia. The Mineralogical Record: 26(6): 551-556.; Richards, R.P., Kearns, L.E., Cook, W.R. (1998) Morphology of Chiolite twins from the Morefield mine, Amelia County, Virginia. The Canadian Mineralogist: 36: 1009-1016.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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