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Saponite

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Formula:
Ca0.25(Mg,Fe)3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
Colour:
White, gray-green, bluish, yellow
Lustre:
Greasy, Dull
Hardness:
1½ - 2
Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Member of:
Name:
From Latin, sap, soap, alluding to its greasy or soapy feel and appearance.
Smectite Group.
Beidellite-Saponite Series.
See also the Fe-dominant end-member ferrosaponite.


Classification of Saponite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
9.EC.45

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
E : Phyllosilicates
C : Phyllosilicates with mica sheets, composed of tetrahedral and octahedral nets
71.3.1b.2

71 : PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
3 : Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 clays
16.7.7

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
7 : Aluminosilicates of Mg

Physical Properties of Saponite

Greasy, Dull
Colour:
White, gray-green, bluish, yellow
Hardness:
1½ - 2 on Mohs scale

Optical Data of Saponite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.479 - 1.490 nβ = 1.510 - 1.525 nγ = 1.511 - 1.527
2V:
Calculated: 20° to 26°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.032 - 0.037
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
none

Chemical Properties of Saponite

Formula:
Ca0.25(Mg,Fe)3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
IMA Formula:
(Ca,Na)0.3(Mg,Fe2+)3(Si,Al)4O10(OH)2 · 4H2O
Common Impurities:
Ti,Mn,Ni,K,P

Crystallography of Saponite

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.3 Å, b = 9.14 Å, c = 16.9 Å
β = 97°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.58 : 1 : 1.849
Unit Cell V:
812.57 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)

Type Occurrence of Saponite

Synonyms of Saponite

Other Language Names for Saponite

Varieties of Saponite

Aluminium-saponite

Al rich Saponite

Bowlingite

Obsolete name for pseudomorphs of saponite after olivine

Cuprian Saponite

A copper-bearing variety of saponite

Ferroan Saponite

Originally reported from Santa Monica Mts, Los Angeles Co., California, USA.

See also the Fe-dominant end-member ferrosaponite.

Lithian Saponite

A Li-bearing saponite.

Sobotkite

Relationship of Saponite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
AliettiteCa0.2Mg6((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 4H2O
Beidellite(Na,Ca0.5)0.3Al2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
FerrosaponiteCa0.3(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
HectoriteNa0.3(Mg,Li)3(Si4O10)(F,OH)2
Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
NontroniteNa0.3Fe2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
PimeliteNi3Si4O10(OH)2·4H2O
Saliotite(Li,Na)Al3(AlSi3O10)(OH)5
SauconiteNa0.3Zn3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
Stevensite(Ca,Na)xMg3-x(Si4O10)(OH)2
SwineforditeLi(Al,Li,Mg)4((Si,Al)4O10)2(OH,F)4 · nH2O
VolkonskoiteCa0.3(Cr,Mg,Fe)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
Yakhontovite(Ca,Na)0.5(Cu,Fe,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 3H2O
ZincsiliteZn3(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
Forms a series with:

Common Associates

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Calcite12 photos of Saponite associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Mordenite11 photos of Saponite associated with Mordenite on mindat.org.
Quartz7 photos of Saponite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Chabazite-Na6 photos of Saponite associated with Chabazite-Na on mindat.org.
Analcime6 photos of Saponite associated with Analcime on mindat.org.
Epidote5 photos of Saponite associated with Epidote on mindat.org.
Siderite4 photos of Saponite associated with Siderite on mindat.org.
Pumpellyite4 photos of Saponite associated with Pumpellyite on mindat.org.
Phillipsite4 photos of Saponite associated with Phillipsite on mindat.org.
Chabazite3 photos of Saponite associated with Chabazite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping

9.EC.05MinnesotaiteFe2+3Si4O10(OH)2
9.EC.05TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
9.EC.05WillemseiteNi3Si4O10(OH)2
9.EC.10FerripyrophylliteFe3+Si2O5(OH)
9.EC.10PyrophylliteAl2Si4O10(OH)2
9.EC.15BoromuscoviteKAl2(BSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15CeladoniteK(Mg,Fe2+)Fe3+(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15Chernykhite(Ba,Na)(V3+,Al,Mg)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15Montdorite(K,Na)2(Fe2+,Mn2+,Mg)5(Si4O10)2(OH,F)4
9.EC.15MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15NanpingiteCsAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.15ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15RoscoeliteK(V3+,Al)2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15Tobelite(NH4,K)Al2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15AluminoceladoniteK(Mg,Fe2+)Al(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15ChromphylliteK(Cr,Al)2(AlSi3O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.15FerroaluminoceladoniteK(Fe2+,Mg)(Al,Fe3+)(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15FerroceladoniteK(Fe2+,Mg)(Fe3+,Al)(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15ChromceladoniteK(Mg,Fe2+)(Cr,Al)(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.15TainioliteKLiMg2(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.15Ganterite(Ba,Na,K)(Al,Mg)2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20AnniteKFe2+3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20EphesiteLiNaAl2(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20HendricksiteK(Zn,Mg,Mn2+)3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20Masutomilite(K,Rb)(Li,Mn3+,Al)3(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20NorrishiteKLiMn3+2(Si4O10)O2
9.EC.20PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20PolylithioniteKLi2Al(Si4O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20PreiswerkiteNaMg2Al(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20SiderophylliteKFe2+2Al(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20TetraferriphlogopiteKMg3(Fe3+Si3O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.20FluorotetraferriphlogopiteKMg3(Fe3+Si3O10)F2
9.EC.20Wonesite(Na,K)(Mg,Fe,Al)6((Al,Si)4O10)2(OH,F)4
9.EC.20EastoniteKMg2Al(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20TetraferrianniteKFe2+3((Fe3+,Al)Si3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20TrilithioniteK(Li1.5Al1.5)(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20FluoranniteKFe2+3(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20ShirokshiniteKNaMg2(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.20ShirozuliteK(Mn2+,Mg)3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20SokolovaiteCsLi2Al(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.20AspidoliteNaMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20FluorophlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20UM2004-49-SiO:AlCsFHKLi(Cs,K)(Al,Li)2.6((Si,Al)4O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.20Suhailite(NH4)Fe2+3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
9.EC.20YangzhumingiteKMg2.5(Si4O10)F2
9.EC.20OrloviteKLi2Ti(Si4O10)OF
9.EC.20OxyphlogopiteK(Mg,Ti,Fe)3[(Si,Al)4O10](O,F)2
9.EC.25Brammallite(Na,H3O)(Al,Mg,Fe)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.30MargariteCaAl2(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.35Anandite(Ba,K)(Fe2+,Mg)3((Si,Al,Fe)4O10)(S,OH)2
9.EC.35BityiteLiCaAl2(AlBeSi2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.35ClintoniteCa(Mg,Al)3(Al3SiO10)(OH)2
9.EC.35Kinoshitalite(Ba,K)(Mg,Mn2+,Al)3(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
9.EC.35Ferrokinoshitalite(Ba,K)(Fe2+,Mg)3(Al2Si2O10)(OH,F)2
9.EC.35Oxykinoshitalite(Ba,K)(Mg,Ti,Fe3+,Fe2+)3((Si,Al)4O10)(O,OH,F)2
9.EC.35FluorokinoshitaliteBaMg3(Al2Si2O10)F2
9.EC.40Beidellite(Na,Ca0.5)0.3Al2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
9.EC.40Kurumsakite(Zn,Ni,Cu)8Al8V5+2Si5O35 · 27H2O (?)
9.EC.40Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
9.EC.40NontroniteNa0.3Fe2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
9.EC.40VolkonskoiteCa0.3(Cr,Mg,Fe)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.40Yakhontovite(Ca,Na)0.5(Cu,Fe,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 3H2O
9.EC.45HectoriteNa0.3(Mg,Li)3(Si4O10)(F,OH)2
9.EC.45SauconiteNa0.3Zn3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.45SpadaiteMgSiO2(OH)2 · H2O (?)
9.EC.45Stevensite(Ca,Na)xMg3-x(Si4O10)(OH)2
9.EC.45SwineforditeLi(Al,Li,Mg)4((Si,Al)4O10)2(OH,F)4 · nH2O
9.EC.45ZincsiliteZn3(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.45FerrosaponiteCa0.3(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EC.50VermiculiteMg0.7(Mg,Fe,Al)6(Si,Al)8O20(OH)4 · 8H2O
9.EC.55Baileychlore(Zn,Fe2+,Al,Mg)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH)8
9.EC.55Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Al,Fe3+)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH,O)8
9.EC.55ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Cookeite(Al2Li)Al2(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55FranklinfurnaceiteCa2Fe3+Mn2+3Mn3+(Zn2Si2O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Gonyerite(Mn2+,Mg)5Fe3+(Fe3+Si3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Nimite(Ni,Mg,Al)6((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55Orthochamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH,O)8
9.EC.55PennantiteMn2+5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55SudoiteMg2Al3(Si3Al)O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55DonbassiteAl4.33(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.55GlagoleviteNa(Mg,Al)6(AlSi3O10)(OH,O)8
9.EC.55BorocookeiteLi1+3xAl4-x(BSi3O10)(OH)8
9.EC.60AliettiteCa0.2Mg6((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 4H2O
9.EC.60Corrensite(Mg,Fe)9((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)10 · nH2O
9.EC.60DozyiteMg7Al2(Al2Si4O15)(OH)12
9.EC.60HydrobiotiteK(Mg,Fe2+)6((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · nH2O
9.EC.60Karpinskite(Ni,Mg)2Si2O5(OH)2 (?)
9.EC.60KulkeiteMg8Al(AlSi7O20)(OH)10
9.EC.60LunijianlaiteLi0.7Al6.2(AlSi7O20)(OH,O)10
9.EC.60Rectorite(Na,Ca)Al4((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 2H2O
9.EC.60Saliotite(Li,Na)Al3(AlSi3O10)(OH)5
9.EC.60TosuditeNa0.5(Al,Mg)6((Si,Al)8O18)(OH)12 · 5H2O
9.EC.60BrinrobertsiteNa0.3Al4(Si4O10)2(OH)4 · 3.5 H2O
9.EC.65Macaulayite(Fe,Al)24Si4O43(OH)2
9.EC.70BurckhardtitePb2(Fe3+Te6+)[AlSi3O8]O6
9.EC.75Ferrisurite(Pb,Ca)2.4Fe3+2(Si4O10)(CO3)1.7(OH)3 · nH2O
9.EC.75Surite(Pb,Ca)3(Al,Fe2+,Mg)2((Si,Al)4O10)(CO3)2(OH)2
9.EC.75Niksergievite(Ba,Ca)2Al3(AlSi3O10)(CO3)(OH)6 · nH2O
9.EC.80KegelitePb8Al4(Si8O20)(SO4)2(CO3)4(OH)8

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals Grouping

16.7.1PyropeMg3Al2(SiO4)3
16.7.2SapphirineMg4(Mg3Al9)O4[Si3Al9O36]
16.7.3Sapphirine-1A(Mg,Al,Fe2+)8[(Al,Si,Fe3+)6O18]O2
16.7.4MagnesiochloritoidMgAl2(SiO4)O(OH)2
16.7.5KulkeiteMg8Al(AlSi7O20)(OH)10
16.7.6Palygorskite(Mg,Al)5(Si,Al)8O20(OH)2 · 8H2O
16.7.8AliettiteCa0.2Mg6((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 4H2O
16.7.9Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
16.7.10Baumite(Mg,Al,Mn,Zn,Fe)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)

71.3.1b.1Sobotkite(K,Ca0.5)0.33(Mg0.66Al0.33)3(Si3Al)O10(OH)2 · 1-5H2O
71.3.1b.3SauconiteNa0.3Zn3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
71.3.1b.4HectoriteNa0.3(Mg,Li)3(Si4O10)(F,OH)2
71.3.1b.5PimeliteNi3Si4O10(OH)2·4H2O
71.3.1b.6Stevensite(Ca,Na)xMg3-x(Si4O10)(OH)2
71.3.1b.7Yakhontovite(Ca,Na)0.5(Cu,Fe,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 3H2O
71.3.1b.8ZincsiliteZn3(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O

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 Saponite

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Palache, C., Vassar, H.E. (1925) Some minerals of the Keweenawan copper deposits: pumpellyite, a new mineral; sericite; saponite. American Mineralogist: 10: 412-418.
Fleischer, M. (1954) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 39: 402-408.
Journal of the Mineral Society of Japan (1971): 6: 299-312.
Gailhanou, H., Blanc, P., Rogez, J., Mikaelian, G., Horiuchi, K., Yamamura, Y., Saito, K., Kawaji, H., Warmont, F., Grenèche, J.M., Vieillard, P., Fialips, C.I., Giffaut, E., Gaucher, E.C. (2013) Thermodynamic properties of saponite, nontronite, and vermiculite derived from calorimetric measurements. American Mineralogist: 98: 1834-1847.
Treiman, A.H., Morris, R.V., Agresti, D.G., Graff, T.G., Achilles, C.N., Rampe, E.B., Bristow, T.F., Ming, D.W., Blake, D.F., Vaniman, D.T., Bish, D.L., Chipera, S.J., Morrison, S.M., Downs, R.T. (2014) Ferrian saponite from the Santa Monica Mountains (California, U.S.A., Earth): Characterization as an analog for clay minerals on Mars with application to Yellowknife Bay in Gale Crater. American Mineralogist: 99: 2234-2250.

Internet Links for Saponite

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https://www.mindat.org/min-3528.html
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Localities for Saponite

Mineral and/or Locality  
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