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Sonolite (in bottom left corner) with zincite and manganosite
Category Silicate minerals
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 9.AF.55
Dana classification 52.3.2d.3
Crystal system Monoclinic
Crystal class Prismatic (2/m)
Space group Monoclinic
H-M symbol: (2/m)
Space group: P21/b[1]
Unit cell a = 4.87 Å, b = 10.66 Å
c = 14.28 Å
β = 100.3°, Z = 2[1]
Color Red-orange, pinkish brown to dark brown
Colorless in thin section[1]
Twinning Common, singular or lamellar on {101}[1]
Mohs scale hardness 5.5
Luster Vitreous, Dull
Diaphaneity Transparent to translucent[2]
Density 3.82–4.00 (measured)[1]
Optical properties Biaxial (-)
Refractive index nα = 1.765
nβ = 1.778
nγ = 1.787
Birefringence δ = 0.022
2V angle 75° to 82° (measured)
Dispersion r > v[1]
References [3]

Sonolite is a mineral with formula Mn9(SiO4)4(OH,F)2. The mineral was discovered in 1960 in the Sono mine in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. In 1963, it was identified as a new mineral and named after the Sono mine.


Sonolite is transparent to translucent[2] and is red-orange, pinkish brown to dark brown in color and colorless in thin sections. The mineral has a granular habit or occurs as prismatic to anhedral crystals up to 2.5 cm (0.98 in).[1] Sonolite is the manganese analogue of clinohumite,[4] a dimorph of jerrygibbsite,[1] and a member of the humite group.[3]

The mineral occurs in metamorphosed manganese-rich deposits. Sonolite has been found in association with calcite, chlorite, franklinite, galaxite, manganosite, pyrochroite, rhodochrosite, tephroite, willemite, and zincite.[1]


In 1960, Mayumi Yoshinaga was investigating alleghanyite and other manganese orthosilicates in Japan. He discovered a dull, red-brown mineral on the first level ore body of the Sono Mine, and later from a number of other sites.[4] Using samples from ten locations in Japan and one in Taiwan, the mineral was described in 1963 and identified as a new mineral species.[5] It was named sonolite after the mine in which it was first found and the name was approved by the International Mineralogical Association.[3][4]


As of 2012, sonolite has been found in Austria, France, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States.[3] The type material is held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Sonolite" (PDF). Handbook of Mineralogy. Mineral Data Publishing. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Sonolite". Webmineral. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Sonolite". Mindat. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Yoshinaga 1963, p. 1.
  5. ^ Yoshinaga 1963, pp. 1–2.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Sonolite at Wikimedia Commons