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About BischofiteHide

MgCl2 · 6H2O
Colourless to white; colourless in transmitted light
Vitreous, Dull
1 - 2
Specific Gravity:
1.591 - 1.604
Crystal System:
For Karl Gustav Bischof (1792-1870), German geologist and mineral chemist, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany, and for F. Bischof, director of the Stassfurt salt works
A relatively rare constituent of saline deposits. Secondary in origin in part. Formed by alteration of Carnallite by water.

Deliquescent and soluble in water.

Classification of BischofiteHide

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

B : Simple halides, with H2O
B : M:X = 1:2

2 : AX2

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
4 : Halides of the alkaline earths and Mg

Physical Properties of BischofiteHide

Vitreous, Dull
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless to white; colourless in transmitted light
1 - 2 on Mohs scale
Hardness Data:
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
1.591 - 1.604 g/cm3 (Measured)    1.5895 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of BischofiteHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.495 nβ = 1.507 nγ = 1.528
Measured: 79° , Calculated: 76°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.033
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v, weak

Chemical Properties of BischofiteHide

MgCl2 · 6H2O
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of BischofiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.8607 Å, b = 7.1071 Å, c = 6.0737 Å
β = 93.758°
a:b:c = 1.387 : 1 : 0.855
Unit Cell V:
424.74 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals short prismatic along [001]; commonly foliated, fibrous, crystalline granular, also massive
May twin polysynthetically under pressure

Crystallographic forms of BischofiteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Bischofite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Bischofite no.3 - 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

Unit Cell | Unit Cell Packed
2x2x2 | 3x3x3 | 4x4x4
Big Balls | Small Balls | Just Balls | Spacefill
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IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0010001BischofiteAgron P A, Busing W R (1985) Magnesium dichloride hexahydrate, MgCl2*6H2O, by neutron diffraction Acta Crystallographica C41 8-101985synthetic0293
0018111BischofiteAndress K, Gundermann J (1934) Die Struktur von Magnesiumchlorid- und Magnesiumbromidhexahydrat. _cod_database_code 1011249 Zeitschrift fur Kristallographie 87 345-36919340293
CIF Raw Data - click here to close

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
4.095 Å(100)
2.646 Å(69)
2.880 Å(58)
2.732 Å(39)
2.305 Å(39)
2.228 Å(27)
3.553 Å(26)
Recorded on synthetic material

Geological EnvironmentHide

Geological Setting:
In saline deposits; probably in part formed from carnallite

Type Occurrence of BischofiteHide

Synonyms of BischofiteHide

Other Language Names for BischofiteHide

Simplified Chinese:水氯镁石
Traditional Chinese:水氯鎂石

Varieties of BischofiteHide

Brom-bischofiteArtificial Bromine analogue of Bischofite

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

3.BB.05EriochalciteCuCl2 · 2H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
3.BB.10RokühniteFeCl2 · 2H2OMon.
3.BB.20NickelbischofiteNiCl2 · 6H2OMon.
3.BB.25SinjariteCaCl2 · 2H2OTet.
3.BB.30AntarcticiteCaCl2 · 6H2OTrig. 3 2 : P3 2 1
3.BB.35TachyhydriteCaMg2Cl6 · 12H2OTrig.

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide · 6H2OMon.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

8.4.1SellaiteMgF2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P42/mnm
8.4.2NeighboriteNaMgF3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
8.4.4KorshunovskiteMg2Cl(OH)3 · 4H2OTric.
8.4.5CarnalliteKMgCl3 · 6H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnna
8.4.6TachyhydriteCaMg2Cl6 · 12H2OTrig.
8.4.7FluoriteCaF2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
8.4.8SinjariteCaCl2 · 2H2OTet.
8.4.9AntarcticiteCaCl2 · 6H2OTrig. 3 2 : P3 2 1
8.4.10ChlorocalciteKCaCl3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
8.4.12JarliteNa(Sr,Na)7MgAl6F32(OH,H2O)2Mon. 2/m
8.4.14TikhonenkoviteSr[AlF4(OH)(H2O)]Mon. 2/m : P21/b
8.4.15AcuminiteSr[AlF4(OH)(H2O)]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
8.4.16FrankdicksoniteBaF2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
8.4.18BøgvaditeNa2SrBa2Al4F20Mon. 2/m

Other InformationHide

Readily soluble in alcohol and in water.
Special Storage/
Display Requirements:
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 BischofiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Ochsenius, C. (1877): Die Bildung der Steinsalzlager und ihrer Mutterlaugensalze unter specieller Berücksichtigung der Flöze von Douglashall in der Egeln´schen Mulde. Verlag Pfeffer (Halle), 172 p.
Ochsenius, C. (1877): Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der Chemie und verwandter Theile anderer Wissenschaften: 1284, 1285.
Ochsenius, C. (1877): Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 1: 414.
Przibylla (1904) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 238.
Dewar (1905) Chem. News: 91: 216.
Mügge (1906) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: I: 91.
Görgey (1910) Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 29: 200.
Doelter, C. (1928) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie: 4(2): 1212.
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (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: 46-47.
Heide, K. and Kühn, W. (1965): Bischofit im carnallitschen Stassfurtlager der stillgelegten Kaliwerke Aschersleben/Anhalt (Schachtanlage V). Chemie der Erde 24, 211-214 (in German).
Sorrell, C. A., and Ramey, R. R. (1974): X-ray powder data and unit cell parameters of MgCl2.6H2O. Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data 19, 31-32.
Agron, P. A., and Busing, W. R. (1985): Magnesium dichloride hexahydrate, MgCl2.6H2O, by neutron diffraction. Acta Crystallographica C41, 8-10.
Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59.

Internet Links for BischofiteHide

Localities for BischofiteHide

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.
Crétaux, J. F., Létolle, R., & Calmant, S. (2009). Investigations on Aral Sea regressions from Mirabilite deposits and remote sensing. Aquatic geochemistry, 15(1-2), 277-291.
  • Western Australia
    • Menzies Shire
      • Davyhurst Goldfield
        • Mulwarrie
Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 1, p236
  • Minsk Region
    • Pripyat Depression
USGS MRDS database potash:
  • Saskatchewan
Shang, Y. (2000). Mineralogy, lithostratigraphy and geochemistry of North Ingebright Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. PhD thesis University of Manitoba.
    • Rocanville
G. W. Robinson, V. King (1993) Whats New in Minerals. Mineralogical Record 24:381-395
  • Qinghai
    • Hainan
Sun Da-peng, Li Bing-xiao, Ma Yua-hua, and Lin Qun-zhu (2002): Journal of Salt Lake Research 10(4), 1-12.
    • Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
      • Da Qaidam (Dachaidan Co.)
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10
Xiyu Zheng (1994): Journal of Lake Sciences 6(3), 267-275
      • Golmud City (Ge'ermu Co.)
Dongsheng Hu (1990): Scientia Geologica Sinica 3(7), 259-268; Xiyu Zheng (1994): Journal of Lake Sciences 6(3), 267-275
Botao Li, Yuanyi Zhao, Zuohua Qian, Pengcheng Jiao, Chenglin Liu, and Shijun Wang (2010): Mineral Deposits 29(4), 669-683
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10
      • Mangnai City (Mangya Co.)
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10; Mily Wang, Yijie Wang, Chenglin Liu, and Yongzhi Chen (1993): Acta Geoscientica Sinica 15(1)
        • Lenghu Co.
Shaoxiu Yang (1991): Journal of Lake Sciences 3(1), 1-10; Mianping Zheng and Xifang Liu (2010): Acta Geologica Sinica 84(11), 1585-1600
  • Xinjiang
    • Tulufan Prefecture (Turfan Prefecture; Turpan Prefecture)
      • Gaochang District
        • Turfan basin (Turpan basin)
Bingxiao Li (1992): Journal of Lake Sciences 4(1), 48-55
Czech Republic
  • Moravian-Silesian Region
    • Karviná District
      • Orlová
Matýsek D., Jirásek J., Osovský M., Skupien P.. Minerals formed by the weathering of sulfides in mines of the Czech part of the Upper Silesian Basin. Mineralogical Magazine, 2014, 78, 5, 1265-1286.
  • Afar Region
    • Danakil depression
Hovland, Martin & Rueslatten, Hakon & Johnsen, Hans. (2019) Salt Formation, Accumulation, and Expulsion Processes During Ocean Rifting—New Insight Gained from the Red Sea. 10.1007/978-3-319-99408-6_11.
  • Hesse
    • Kassel Region
      • Fulda
        • Neuhof
S. Weiß: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
      • Hersfeld-Rotenburg
        • Heringen
Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
        • Phillippsthal
Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
  • Lower Saxony
    • Celle District
      • Wathlingen
Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
    • Goslar District
      • Goslar
        • Vienenburg
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: 47; Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59
    • Hanover Region
      • Uetze
        • Hänigsen
Bode "Mineralien und Fundstellen BRD" from 1989 ISBN 3-925094-24-5 Pg.9
  • Saxony-Anhalt
    • Stassfurt Potash deposit
Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59
      • Egeln
        • Tarthun
No reference listed
      • Stassfurt
Dana 6:A3:14,43,46; Dana 7:II:430; Zr. Kr.:50(1911):139.
C. Ochsenius (1877): Die Bildung der Steinsalzlager und ihrer Mutterlaugensalze unter specieller Berücksichtigung der Flötze von Douglashall in der Egeln´schen Mulde.- Halle, Verlag Pfeffer, 172 p.; 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: 47.
  • Thuringia
    • Wartburg District
      • Krayenberggemeinde
XRD analysis (T. Witzke)
  • Heves County
    • Recsk
No reference listed
  • Campania
    • Naples
      • Somma-Vesuvius Complex
        • Mt Vesuvius
Russo, M., and Punzo, I. (2004) I Minerali del Somma-Vesuvio. AMI Associazione Micro-mineralogica Italiana, Tipografia Fantigrafica s.r.l., Cremona, 320 pp.
  • Sicily
    • Agrigento Province
      • Racalmuto
        • Racalmuto saliferous deposit
Adamo S., Ramberti L. (1979): L'industria estrattiva del potassio in Italia. L'Industria Mineraria, 30, maggio-giugno 1979, 161-170.
Adamo S., Ramberti L. (1979): L'industria estrattiva del potassio in Italia. L'Industria Mineraria, 30, maggio-giugno 1979, 161-170
    • Caltanissetta Province
      • Caltanissetta
AA. VV., 1996. Collezionare minerali. Hobby & Work.
      • San Cataldo (San Cattaldo)
Adamo, S., and Ramberti, L. (1979) L'industria estrattiva del potassio in Italia. L'Industria Mineraria, 30, maggio-giugno 1979, 161-170.
    • Enna Province
      • Enna (Castrogiovanni)
Adamo, S., Ramberti, L. (1979) L'industria estrattiva del potassio in Italia. L'Industria Mineraria, 30, maggio-giugno 1979, 161-170; Montrasio, A., Sciesa, E., Vignola, P. (1996) Collezionare minerali. Hobby & Work Italiana Editrice, Bresso (Milano), 800 pp.
  • Aktobe Region
    • Shalkar
      • Aksai Valley
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow; ERCOSPAN (2011) Independent Geological Report on the Zhilianskoe and Chelkar Potash Deposits in Kazakhstan EGB 11-012
  • Atyrau Region
    • Inder
Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 59; Evseev, A. A. (1995) Kazaknstan and Middle Asia. A brief Mineralogical Guide. World of Stone 8:24-30; Pekov, I. V. & Abramov, D. V. (1993): Boron deposit of the Inder and its minerals. World of Stones, 1, 23-30.
  • Groningen
T.G. Nijland, J.C. Zwaan, D. Visser, J. Leloux - De mineralen van Nederland - 2007
  • Lima
    • Cañete Province
      • Raúl-Condestable Mine
P. Andresen collection, obtained from A. Robbemond, 2004.
  • Greater Poland Voivodeship
    • Koło County
      • Gmina Kłodawa
Jirásek, J.: Solný důl Kłodawa (Polsko). Minerál, 2004, roč. 12, č. 2, s. 98-102. ISSN 1213-0710 (excerpted from unpublished thesis Hanczke, T.: Mineralogia i petrografia soli czechstyńskich kopalni "Kłodawa". Doktroská práce, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Instytut nauk geologicznych, 1967.); Wachowiak, J., Pieczka, A. (2016): Motukoreaite from the Kłodawa Salt Dome, Central Poland. Mineralogical Magazine, 80, 277-289
  • Silesian Voivodeship
    • Wodzisław County
      • Radlin
Łukasz Kruszewski (2012) Unique chloride assemblage of exhalative origin from burning coal-mining dump in Radlin (Rybnik Coal Area, S Poland). Mineralogical Society of Poland Special Papers 40
Republic of the Congo
  • Kouilou Department
Henry Rauche (2009) Updated Reserve and Resource Estimate for MagMinerals Kouilou Potash Project, Republic of Congo
Milesi, J. P., Toteu, S. F., Deschamps, Y., Feybesse, J. L., Lerouge, C., Cocherie, A., ... & Nicol, N. (2006). An overview of the geology and major ore deposits of Central Africa: Explanatory note for the 1: 4,000,000 map “Geology and major ore deposits of Central Africa”. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 44(4-5), 571-595.
  • Crimea
    • Krasnoperekopsk Area
Geologiya SSSR. Poleznye iskopaemye (The geology of USSR. Commercial mineral) - Nedra (Moscou), 1974, vol. VIII, 205 p.
  • Kamchatka Krai
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
      • Great Fissure eruption (Main Fracture)
        • Northern Breakthrough (North Breach)
Vergasova L P, Filatov S K, Starova G L, Matusevich Z L, Filosofova T M (1996) Vlodavetsite, AlCa2(SO4)2F2Cl·4H2O, a new mineral from volcanic exhalations, Transactions (Doklady) of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Earth science sections, 343, 173-176 abstract Am Min 81:768
  • New Mexico
Northrop, Minerals of New Mexico, 3rd. rev. ed. (1996)
    • Otero Co.
2008 New Mexico Mineral Symposium abstracts
  • Utah
    • Tooele Co.
UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
Mineral and/or Locality  
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