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The chemical formula of mineral Pirssonite is indicated by Na2Ca(CO3)2 – 2H2O or Hydrated Sodium Calcium Carbonate. Pirssonite is actually a Carbonate mineral. Pirssonite is most commonly used as mineral specimen and it is most often found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of polarizing microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Mineral Pirssonite was named after Louis Pirsson, an American geologist. The chemistry of Pirssonite is only a bit different to mineral Gaylussite whose chemical formula is indicated by Na2Ca(CO3)2 – 5H2O. They differ only in the number of water molecules, but their symmetries are quite different. In optical mineralogy, this is an indication of a change in their respective crystal structures. When viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope, mineral Pirssonite is usually found showing a distinctive tabular diamond-shaped crystal form. It has been known in the field of optical mineralogy that Pirssonite can actually lose its water molecules so specimens should be stored in a sealed container.

 

            Mineral Pirssonite is most commonly found showing colorless, white or yellowish crystal color when viewed closely with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Pirssonite is also most commonly found exhibiting vitreous luster when viewed in reflected light of polarized microscope for mineralogists or the ones used in optical mineralogy. Most Pirssonite crystals are found transparent to translucent in appearance. Pirssonite is also known to crystallize in the orthorhombic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this orthorhombic crystal system comprises crystals having three mutually perpendicular axes, of which all are of different lengths. The crystal habit of mineral Pirssonite as described in optical mineralogy includes prismatic and tabular diamond-shaped or distorted hexagon-shaped crystals, but also massive and encrusting. When mineral Pirssonite is viewed with the aid of polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy, it is most commonly found exhibiting conchoidal fracture. The hardness measure of mineral Pirssonite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually ranging from 3 to 3.5. When specimen of mineral Pirssonite is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate, it is commonly found leaving a white streak. The specific gravity measure of mineral Pirssonite is usually found 2.4 grams per cubic centimeters, which is slightly below average.

 

Pirssonite is also one of several carbonate minerals that form in non-marine evaporite deposits. It has been known in the field of optical mineralogy that evaporite minerals including Pirssonite are geologically important because they clearly are related to the environmental conditions that existed at the time of their arid deposition. Pirssonite can also be recrystallized in laboratories in order to confirm their specific characteristics of formation. Pirssonite is most commonly associated with other interesting minerals such as trona, halite, analcime, gaylussite, and northupite. The best field indicators of mineral Pirssonite include crystal habit, locality, density, and its environment of formation. Pirssonite notably occurs at its type of locality including Searles Lake, San Bernardino County, California and Deep Spring Lake, Inyo County as well as Borax Lake, Lake County, California, USA. It can be also found at Mont Saint Hilaire, Quebec, Canada and elsewhere.



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Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 4:13 am
Category:
The Carbonates and Borates Mineral Class
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