, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 739-751

Aqualite, a new mineral species of the eudialyte group from the Inagli alkaline pluton, Sakha-Yakutia, Russia, and the problem of oxonium in hydrated eudialytes

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Abstract

Aqualite, a new eudialyte-group mineral from hydrothermally altered peralkaline pegmatites of the Inagli alkaline pluton (Sakha-Yakutia, Russia) is described in this paper. Natrolite, microcline, eckermanite, aegirine, batisite, innelite, lorezenite, thorite, and galena are associated minerals. Aqualite occurs as isometric crystals up to 3-cm across. The color is pale pink, with a white streak and vitreous luster. The mineral is transparent. The fracture is conchoidal. The mineral is brittle; no cleavage or parting is observed. The Mohs’ hardness is 4 to 5. The density is 2.58(2) g/cm3 (measured by the volumetric method) and 2.66 g/cm3 (calculated). Aqualite is optically uniaxial (+), α = 1.569(1) and β = 1.571(1). The mineral is pleochroic from colorless to pale pink on X and pink on Y, α < β. Aqualite is weakly fluorescent with a dull yellow color under ultraviolet light. The mineral is stable in 50% HCl and HNO3 at room temperature. Weight loss after ignition at 500°C is 9.8%. Aqualite is monoclinic, and the space group is R3. The unit-cell dimensions are a = 14.078(3) Å, c = 31.24(1) Å, V = 5362 Å3, and Z = 3. The strongest reflections in the X-ray powder pattern [d, Å (I)(hkl)] are: 4.39(100)(2005), 2.987(100)(315), 2.850(79)(404), 10.50(44)(003), 6.63(43)(104), 7.06(42)(110), 3.624(41)(027), and 11.43(39)(101). The chemical composition (electron microprobe, H2O determined with the Penfield method) is as follows (wt %): 2.91 Na2O, 1.93 K2O, 11.14 CaO, 1.75 SrO, 2.41 BaO, 0.56 FeO, 0.30 MnO, 0.17 La2O3, 0.54 Ce2O3, 0.36 Nd2O3, 0.34 Al2O3, 52.70 SiO2, 12.33 ZrO2, O.78 TiO2, 0.15 Nb2O5; 1.50 Cl, 9.93 H2O,-O=Cl2 0.34; where the total is 99.46. The empirical formula calculated on the basis of Si + Zr + Ti + Al + Nb = 29 apfu is as follows: [(H3O)7.94Na2.74K1.20Sr0.49Ba0.46Fe0.23Mn0.12]Σ13.18(Ca5.79REE0.19)Σ5.98 (Zr2.92Ti0.08)Σ3.0(Si25.57Ti0.21Al0.19Nb0.03)S26.0[O66.46(OH)5.54]Σ72.0 [(OH)2.77Cl1.23]Σ4.0. The simplified formula is (H3O)8(Na,K,Sr)5Ca6Zr3Si26O66(OH)9Cl. Aqualite differs from typical eudialyte by the extremely low contents of Na and Fe, with more than 50% Na being replaced with the (H3O)+ group. The presence of oxonium ions is confirmed by IR spectroscopic and X-ray single-crystal diffraction analysis. The mineral is compared with five structurally studied high-oxonium analogues from alkaline plutons of other regions. All of these minerals were formed at a relatively low temperature through the ion-exchange transformation of “protoeudialytes”; the successor minerals inherited the principal structural and compositional features of the precursor minerals. The name aqualite is derived from the Latin aqua in reference to its specific chemical composition. The type material of aqualite is deposited in the Fersman Mineralogical Museum, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Original Russian Text © A.P. Khomyakov, G.N. Nechelyustov, R.K. Rastsvetaeva, 2007, published in Zapiski Rossiiskogo Mineralogicheskogo Obshchestva, 2007, No. 2, pp. 39–55.
Mineral and mineral name were approved by the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names, International Mineralogical Association, April 3, 2003.