Skeletal crystals

  • Vivien Gornitz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-30720-6_130

A skeletal crystal is one that develops under conditions of rapid growth and high degree of supersaturation. Atoms are added more rapidly to the edges and corners of a growing crystal than to the centers of crystal faces, resulting in either branched, tree-like forms or hollow, stepped depressions. Branched crystals are considered to have a “dendritic” habit; the hollow stepped crystals are referred to as “hoppers.”

While the concentration gradient of matter to a growing crystal tends to be highest at corners and edges of faces, at low levels of supersaturation the overall growth rate is uninfluenced by local fluctuations in the degree of supersaturation, since flat, polyhedral faces are the general rule among crystals. Only above a critical level of supersaturation will the high corner and edge concentration gradients promote most rapid growth at these positions with the consequent development of skeletal forms.

The term “skeletal growth” may be used in two slightly different ways....
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Chernov, A. A., 1974. Stability of faceted shapes, J. Cryst. Growth, 24/25, 11–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dellwig, L. F., 1955. Origin of the Salina salt of Michigan, J. Sed. Petrology, 25, 83–110.Google Scholar
  3. Desautels, P. E., 1968. The Mineral Kingdom. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 251p.Google Scholar
  4. Fletcher, N. H., 1973. Dendritic growth of ice crystals, J. Cryst. Growth, 20, 268–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Foster, R. J., 1960. Origin of embayed quartz crystals in acidic volcanic rocks, Am. Mineralogist, 45, 892–894.Google Scholar
  6. Goldsztaub, S., and Kern, R., 1953. Study of the concentration of solution around a growing crystal, Acta Crystallogr., 6, 842–845. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gornitz, V., and Schreiber, C., 1981. Displacive halite hoppers from the Dead Sea: some implications for ancient evaporite deposits, J. Sed. Petr., in press.Google Scholar
  8. Holden, A., and Singer, P., 1960. Crystals and Crystal Growing. New York: Doubleday, 320p.Google Scholar
  9. Hollister, L. S., et al., 1971. Petrogenetic significance of pyroxenes in two Apollo 12 samples, Proc. 2nd Lunar Sci. Conf., 1, 529–557.Google Scholar
  10. Iwanaga, H.; Yamaguchi, T.; Shibata, N.; and Hirose, M., 1978, Growth mechanism of hollow ZnO crystals from ZnSe. II, J. Cryst. Growth, 43, p. 71–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Knight, C., and Knight, N., 1973. Snow crystals, Sci. American, 228, 100–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kobayashi, T., and Furukawa, Y., 1978. Epitaxial relationships during the formation of three-dimensional snow dendrites, J. Cryst. Growth, 45, 48–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lendvay, E., and Kovacs, P., 1970. Hollow single crystals of ZnS, J. Cryst. Growth, 7, 61–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nakaya, U., 1954. Snow Crystals: Natural and Artificial. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Simov, S. B., et al., 1974. Observations of hollow cadmium telluride crystals with the scanning electron microscope, J. Cryst. Growth, 26, 294–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Strickland-Constable, R. F., 1968. Kinetics and Mechanism of Crystallization. New York: Academic, 335p.Google Scholar
  17. Vanders, I., and Kerr, P. F., 1967. Mineral Recognition. New York: Wiley, 316p.Google Scholar
  18. Van Hook, A., 1961. Crystallization: Theory and Practice, New York: Reinhold, 325p.Google Scholar
  19. Walter, L. S., et al., 1971. Mineralogical studies of Apollo 12 samples, Proc. 2nd Lunar Sci. Conf., 1, 343–358.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivien Gornitz

There are no affiliations available