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Al3(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
Green to yellowish-green ...
Vitreous, Greasy, Pearly
3½ - 4
Member of:
Named by William Babington in 1805 in honor of Dr. William Wavell [20 December 1750 England - 15 May 1829 Barnstaple, England, England], a physician, botanist, historian, and naturalist in Harwood Parish, Devonshire, England, who discovered the mineral. Non-contemporary accounts suggest that Dr. Wavell discovered phosphate in the mineral, a constituent that was previously missed in analyses of hydrargilite. Dr. Wavell was educated in Edinburgh and was in medical partnership with Dr. William Curtis [b. 1746 Alton, Hampshire, England, UK - c1825 Branstaple, Devonshire, UK] - on Gracechurch Street, Barnstaple. Dr. Curtis was also an energetic botanist and also a correspondent with many naturalists (Curtis and Hooker, 1827).
A secondary mineral found most often in aluminous, low-grade metamorphic rocks. Usually found as radiating "starburst" clusters of green to yellow-green fibrous crystals on fracture surfaces in the matrix, these may grade into globular aggregates; more rarely in chalcedony-like or opaline masses, or stalactic; very rare as good distinct crystals.

The OH analogue of fluorwavellite.

Note: Allanpringite is a monoclinic-pseudoorthorhombic Fe3+-analogue of wavellite.

Visit for gemological information about Wavellite.

Classification of Wavellite

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

D : Phosphates, etc. with additional anions, with H2O
C : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4 = 1:1 and < 2:1
Dana 7th ed.:

10 : A3(XO4)2Zq·xH2O

19 : Phosphates
7 : Phosphates of Al alone

Physical Properties of Wavellite

Vitreous, Greasy, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Green to yellowish-green and yellow, greenish white, yellowish-brown, brown, brownish-black, blue, white and colourless; colourless in transmitted light.
Colouration may be zoned.
Hardness (Mohs):
3½ - 4
Hardness Data:
Perfect on {110}, good on {101}, distinct on {010}.
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
2.36 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.37 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Wavellite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.518 - 1.535 nβ = 1.524 - 1.543 nγ = 1.544 - 1.561
Measured: 60° to 72°, Calculated: 60° to 70°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.026
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v weak
X= Greenish
Z= Yellowish

Chemical Properties of Wavellite

IMA Formula:
Al3(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
Elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of Wavellite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.621 Å, b = 17.363 Å, c = 6.994 Å
a:b:c = 0.554 : 1 : 0.403
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,168.34 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals rare, stout to long prismatic parallel to [001], with {110} striated parallel to [001]. Found as hemispherical or globular aggregates with an internal radial or stellate structure of fibrous crystals; as crusts and stalactic; more rarely in chalcedony-like opaline masses.
None reported
Space Group: Pcmn

Crystallographic forms of Wavellite

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Wavellite no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Wavellite no.5 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Wavellite no.8 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:

Occurrences of Wavellite

Type Occurrence of Wavellite

Relationship of Wavellite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
AllanpringiteFe33+(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
8.DC.05NissoniteCu2Mg2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 5H2O
8.DC.07EuchroiteCu2AsO4(OH) · 3H2O
8.DC.10LegranditeZn2AsO4(OH) · H2O
8.DC.12StrashimiriteCu4(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 2.5H2O
8.DC.15ArthuriteCuFe23+(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15EarlshannoniteMn2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15OjuelaiteZnFe23+(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15WhitmoreiteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15CobaltarthuriteCoFe23+(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15BendadaiteFe2+Fe23+(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15KunatiteCuFe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15UKI-2006-(PO:FeHZn)ZnFe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.15UKI-2006-(PO:AlCuFeH)Fe2+Al23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.17KleemaniteZnAl2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 3H2O
8.DC.20BermaniteMn2+Mn23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.20CoralloiteMn2+Mn23+(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.DC.22KovdorskiteMg2PO4(OH) · 3H2O
8.DC.25FerristrunziteFe3+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
8.DC.25FerrostrunziteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2O
8.DC.25MetavauxiteFe2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.25MetavivianiteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2O
8.DC.25StrunziteMn2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2O
8.DC.27BerauniteFe2+Fe53+(PO4)4(OH)5 · 6H2O
8.DC.30GordoniteMgAl2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30LaueiteMn2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30MangangordoniteMn2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30ParavauxiteFe2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30PseudolaueiteMn2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 7-8H2O
8.DC.30SigloiteFe3+Al2(PO4)2(OH)3 · 7H2O
8.DC.30StewartiteMn2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30UshkoviteMgFe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30FerrolaueiteFe2+Fe23+(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30KastningiteMn2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30MaghrebiteMgAl2(AsO4)2(OH)2 · 8H2O
8.DC.30NordgauiteMnAl2(PO4)2F2 · 5H2O
8.DC.32TinticiteFe33+(PO4)2(OH)3 · 3H2O
8.DC.35VauxiteFe2+Al2(PO4)2(OH)2 · 6H2O
8.DC.37VantasseliteAl4(PO4)3(OH)3 · 9H2O
8.DC.40CacoxeniteFe243+AlO6(PO4)17(OH)12 · 75H2O
8.DC.45GormaniteFe32+Al4(PO4)4(OH)6 · 2H2O
8.DC.45SouzaliteMg3Al4(PO4)4(OH)6 · 2H2O
8.DC.47KingiteAl3(PO4)2F2(OH) · 7H2O
8.DC.50AllanpringiteFe33+(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5H2O
8.DC.52KribergiteAl5(PO4)3(SO4)(OH)4 · 4H2O
8.DC.55MapimiteZn2Fe33+(AsO4)3(OH)4 · 10H2O
8.DC.57OgdensburgiteCa2Fe43+Zn(AsO4)4(OH)6 · 6H2O
8.DC.60Nevadaite(Cu2+,◻,Al,V3+)6[Al8(PO4)8F8](OH)2 · 22H2O
8.DC.60CloncurryiteCu0.5(VO)0.5Al2(PO4)2F2 · 5H2O
19.7.4SenegaliteAl2PO4(OH)3 · H2O
19.7.5VarisciteAlPO4 · 2H2O
19.7.6MetavarisciteAlPO4 · 2H2O
19.7.7BolivariteAl2PO4(OH)3 · 4H2O
19.7.9EvansiteAl3PO4(OH)6 · 8H2O
19.7.10VantasseliteAl4(PO4)3(OH)3 · 9H2O
19.7.11KingiteAl3(PO4)2F2(OH) · 7H2O
19.7.12VashegyiteAl11(PO4)9(OH)6 · 38H2O

Other Names for Wavellite

Other Information

Other Information:
Readily soluble in acids.
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 Wavellite

Reference List:
Babbington, William in Davy, Humphrey (1805) An Account of Some Analytical Experiments on a Mineral Production from Devonshire Consisting Principally of Alumine and Water, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: p. 155-162.

Davy, Humphrey (1805) An Account of Some Analytical Experiments on a Mineral Production from Devonshire Consisting Principally of Alumine and Water, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: 155, 162 (as Hydrargillite).

Thomson & von Moll (1809) Jahrb. Efem.: 5: 148 (as Devonite).

Curtis, Samuel and Hooker, William Jackson (1827) Memoirs of the Life and Writing of the Late Mr. William Curtis, Curtis's Botanical Magazine; or Flower Garden Displayed, v. 1 (new series), v-xxxii.

Senff (1830) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 18: 474.

Fuchs (1831) Journal of Chemical Physics, Lancaster, PA: 62: 379 (as Lasionit).

Kenngott (1855) Uebers (as Kapnicit).

Kenngott (1856) Uebers (as Kapnicit).

Bořicky (1869) Königliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Sitzber.: 59: 593 (as Zepharovichite).

Des Cloizeaux (1872) Annales de chimie et de physique, Paris: 27: 405.

Des Cloizeaux, A. (1874) Manuel de minéralogie. 2 volumes and Atlas, Paris. volume 2, 1 Fasc., 208pp.: 455.

Carnot (1894) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 118: 995.

Cesàro (1899) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 31: 90.

Ungemach (1912) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 35: 536.

Slavík (1918) Ac. Sc. Bohéme, Bull.: 22: 32.

Wherry, Edgar T. (1919) Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum: 54: 379.

Gordon, Samuel (1922) Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia: 74: 113.

Laubmann (1922) Geognost. Jahresh.: 35: 193.

Shannon, Vincent E. (1922) Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum: 62, article 9.

Buttenbach (1929) Société géologique de Belgique, Ann., Publ. Congo Belge: 51: C117 (as Bialite).

Krenner (1930) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 163.

Ulrich (1930) Vešt. Stát. Geol. Úst. Českoslov. Rep.: 6: 108.

Hintze, Carl (1931) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4B]: 908.

Orlov (1931) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 77: 317.

Jansen (1933) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 85: 239.

Caglioti (1936) Atti V° congr. naz. chim., part 1: 310. (Min. Abstracts (1938): 7: 88).

Gordon, Samuel (1944) Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia: 96: 279.

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.: 906 (as Bialite), 962-964 (as Wavellite).

Araki, T. and Zoltai, T. (1968) The crystal structure of wavellite. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie 127, 21-33.

Klemic, H. and M. E. Mrose (1972) Geologic relations and X-ray crystallography of wavellite from Jackson County, Wisconsin, and their geologic implications. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 800C, 53–62.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig, Vandall T. King (1997): Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 922.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2000): Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume IV. Arsenates, Phosphates, Vanadates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 680 pp.: 645.

Internet Links for Wavellite URL:
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Localities for Wavellite

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