Event Title

Pet Rock Gets a Makeover: The Physical and Optical Properties Of Staurolite

Presenter Information

Emily Mininberg, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 3:00 PM

Project Type

Poster

Description

This project provides an overview of the mineral staurolite (Fe2Al9Si4O23 (OH)), which is categorized as a monoclinic and pseudo-orthorhombic mineral and is easily identified by its characteristic penetration twinning, which most commonly occurs at 600, forming an X shape, or at 900, forming a cross shape. In fact, it is the penetration twinning that gave staurolite its name. The word staurolite is derived from the Greek word stauros, which means cross and the word lithos, which means stone. Although penetration twinning is a reliable diagnostic tool for identifying staurolite, not all staurolite specimens are twinned; therefore, other physical and optical characteristics must be used to identify the specimen. Staurolite is widely used as an index mineral for medium-high grade metamorphism; meaning, when staurolite is present in a mineral assemblage it indicates the temperature and pressure conditions of the metamorphic event that created the rock in which it resides. This kind of information is useful because it allows for a more accurate reconstruction of a regions tectonic history, which can provide insight regarding the location and abundance of other minerals that may be of economic significance. In addition to serving as an index mineral, staurolite also has been found to have (limited) economic uses when it is found in quarrying waste products. The silica in the staurolite chemical structure can be extracted and purified (at an economically viable margin) to create products such as glass, bricks, and artificial soils.

Faculty Sponsor

Tasha Dunn

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Geology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

343

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May 1st, 2:00 PM May 1st, 3:00 PM

Pet Rock Gets a Makeover: The Physical and Optical Properties Of Staurolite

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

This project provides an overview of the mineral staurolite (Fe2Al9Si4O23 (OH)), which is categorized as a monoclinic and pseudo-orthorhombic mineral and is easily identified by its characteristic penetration twinning, which most commonly occurs at 600, forming an X shape, or at 900, forming a cross shape. In fact, it is the penetration twinning that gave staurolite its name. The word staurolite is derived from the Greek word stauros, which means cross and the word lithos, which means stone. Although penetration twinning is a reliable diagnostic tool for identifying staurolite, not all staurolite specimens are twinned; therefore, other physical and optical characteristics must be used to identify the specimen. Staurolite is widely used as an index mineral for medium-high grade metamorphism; meaning, when staurolite is present in a mineral assemblage it indicates the temperature and pressure conditions of the metamorphic event that created the rock in which it resides. This kind of information is useful because it allows for a more accurate reconstruction of a regions tectonic history, which can provide insight regarding the location and abundance of other minerals that may be of economic significance. In addition to serving as an index mineral, staurolite also has been found to have (limited) economic uses when it is found in quarrying waste products. The silica in the staurolite chemical structure can be extracted and purified (at an economically viable margin) to create products such as glass, bricks, and artificial soils.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/144