Silicate minerals

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Silicate minerals
Chrysocolla.jpg
Copper silicate mineral chrysocolla
Category Mineral
"Orthosilicate" redirects here. For anion, see Orthosilicate (ion).

The silicate minerals make up the largest and most important class of rock-forming minerals, constituting approximately 90 percent of the crust of the Earth. They are classified based on the structure of their silicate group which contain different ratios of silicon and oxygen.

Nesosilicates or orthosilicates[edit]

Basic (ortho-)silicate anion structure
Nesosilicate specimens at the Museum of Geology in South Dakota
Main category: Nesosilicates

Nesosilicates (from Greek νησος nēsos, island), or orthosilicates, have the orthosilicate ion, which constitute isolated (insular) [SiO4]4− tetrahedra that are connected only by interstitial cations. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.A

Kyanite crystals (unknown scale)

Sorosilicates[edit]

Sorosilicate exhibit at Museum of Geology in South Dakota
Main category: Sorosilicates

Sorosilicates (from Greek σωρός sōros, heap, mound) have isolated double tetrahedra groups with (Si2O7)6− or a ratio of 2:7. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.B

Cyclosilicates[edit]

Cyclosilicate specimens at the Museum of Geology, South Dakota
Main category: Cyclosilicates

Cyclosilicates (from Greek κύκλος kuklos, circle), or ring silicates, have linked tetrahedra with (TxO3x)2x- or a ratio of 1:3. These exist as 3-member (T3O9)6- and 6-member (T6O18)12- rings, where T stands for a tetrahedrally coordinated cation. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.C

Note that the ring in axinite contains two B and four Si tetrahedra and is highly distorted compared to the other 6-member ring cyclosilicates.

Inosilicates[edit]

Main category: Inosilicates

Inosilicates (from Greek ις is [genitive: ινος inos], fibre), or chain silicates, have interlocking chains of silicate tetrahedra with either SiO3, 1:3 ratio, for single chains or Si4O11, 4:11 ratio, for double chains. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.D

Single chain inosilicates[edit]

Double chain inosilicates[edit]

Phyllosilicates[edit]

Main category: Phyllosilicates

Phyllosilicates (from Greek φύλλον phyllon, leaf), or sheet silicates, form parallel sheets of silicate tetrahedra with Si2O5 or a 2:5 ratio. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.E. All phyllosilicate minerals are hydrated, with either water or hydroxyl groups attached.

Kaolin

Tectosilicates[edit]

Main category: Tectosilicates

Tectosilicates, or "framework silicates," have a three-dimensional framework of silicate tetrahedra with SiO2 or a 1:2 ratio. This group comprises nearly 75% of the crust of the Earth. Tectosilicates, with the exception of the quartz group, are aluminosilicates. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.F and 09.G, 04.DA (Quartz/ silica family)

Lunar Ferroan Anorthosite #60025 (Plagioclase Feldspar). Collected by Apollo 16 from the Lunar Highlands near Descartes Crater.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Further references[edit]

  • Deer, W.A.; Howie, R.A., Wise, W.S. & Zussman, J. (2004). Rock-forming minerals. Volume 4B. Framework silicates: silica minerals. Feldspathoids and the zeolites (2nd ed.). London: Geological Society of London. p. 982 pp. 
  • Hurlbut, Cornelius S. (1966). Dana's Manual of Mineralogy (17th ed.). ISBN 0-471-03288-3. 
  • Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis (1985). Manual of Mineralogy (20th ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0-471-80580-7. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Silicates at Wikimedia Commons