Heavy mineral

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In geology, a heavy mineral is one with a density that is greater than 2.9 g/cm3,[1] most commonly referring to dense components of siliciclastic sediments. A heavy mineral suite is the relative percentages of heavy minerals in a stone. Heavy mineral suites are used to help determine the provenance and history of sedimentary rocks.[1][2]

As heavy minerals are a minor constituent of most sedimentary rock, they must be separated out to be studied.[1] Heavy mineral separation generally uses a dense liquid in either a separatory funnel or centrifuge.[2] Liquids used include bromoform, tetrabromoethane, tribromoethane, methylene iodide, and polytungstate liquids.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Heavy minerals", McGraw-Hill Science & Technology Dictionary, Answers.com, retrieved 12 September 2011 
  2. ^ a b c "USGS CMG Menlo Park Fume Hood Lab--M3005A". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved April 24, 2012.