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The chemical formula of mineral Arnhemite is indicated by (K,Na)2Mg2(P2O7)•5(H2O). This mineral is commonly found occuring as flakes that form aggregates making up the principal component of a thin layer of white, friable slag in the profile of cave-floor soil. Mineral Arnhemite is most commonly found at its type of locality at Arnhem Cave, Namibia. This mineral was named after its locality. Arnhemite is known to crystallize in the hexagonal system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, the hexagonal system of crystallization comprises crystals having four axes. Three of which are positioned in a single plane with equal length and are symmetrically spaced. The fourth axis is found to be perpendicular to the other three axes.

            Arnhemite is usually found showing perfect cleavage when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. It is most commonly found white in hand sample. The specific gravity measure of the mineral Arnhemite is usually found ranging from 2.33 to 2.35 grams per cubic centimeters. Most crystals of mineral Arnhemite are found transparent in appearance. Mineral Arnhemite is usually found showing friable fracture when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. This is the crumbly disintegration of earthy materials or highly fractured minerals. Mineral Arnhemite is commonly found leaving white streak when rubbed on white porcelain streak plate. Arnhemite is commonly found showing uniaxial negative figure when evaluated between crossed nicols of polarized microscope for mineralogists. It is also commonly found showing 0.0130 birefringence. Arnhemite has a barely detectable radioactivity as evaluated.    



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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 at 1:33 am
Category:
Optical Mineralogy
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