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MINERALS DOWN THE

MICROSCOPE
AUGITE {PYROXENE; (Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe,Al)
(Si,Al)2O6}:

UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract High
ive
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

Colorless
N.A
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

Medium

High Distinct

2 sets
Subhedral and
Prismatic
Sometimes present

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot
ropic:
Interference
color:
Extinction:

Twinning:

Anisotropic
2nd order
green
Inclined
extinction
o
(45 )
Simple twin

Distinguishing Property:
inclined extinction, higher birefringence,
2nd order interference colours, low 2V,
optically positive in comparison with opx

Microcline {K(AlSi3O8)}:
UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract Low
ive
Index:
Cleavage:

Colorless
N.A
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

Low

2 sets

Low

Less distinct

Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

Anhedral
Absent

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot Anisotropic
ropic:
Interference
1st order white to
color:
grey
Extinction:
Not studied
Twinning:

Tartan twin

Distinguishing Property:
Commonly cross-hatched twin pattern
(tartan/gridiron) formed by intersecting
albite and perthite twins. It may be
untwinned or have simple twins: commonly
Carlsbad, Baveno and Maneback twins.
Exsolved albite may form lamellae, irregular
ribbons and blebs to form perthite.

Orthoclase (KAlSi3O8):
UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:

Colorless
N.A

Refract Low
ive
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

Brightne Relie Grain


ss:
f:
boundary:

Low

Low

Indistinct

2 sets
Subhedral
Absent

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot Anisotropic
ropic:
Interference
1st order white to

color:
Extinction:

grey

Roughly
Parallel; 0-12o

Twinning:

Distinguishing Property
Orthoclase is often confused with quartz
- try looking for cloudy patches on
individual crystals in plain polarized light
which indicate weathering of the crystal.
Also take notice of the right angle
cleavage

Hypersthene{(Mg, Fe)SiO3}

UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract Mediu
m
ive
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

Light pink to
colorless
Yes
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

Low

High Distinct

1 set prominent; 2
sets
Euhedral to subhedral
Present

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot Anisotropic
ropic:
Interference
Blue (2nd order)
color:
Extinction:
Straight w.r.t
Twinning:

cleavage
Absent

Distinguishing Property:
Low birefringence, first order colors.
Parallel extinction in longitudinal
sections, pale pink to green pleochroism.
Approximatly 90 cleavage planes. Thin
irregular and wavy lamellae common.

Enstatite
UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract Mediu
m to
ive
high
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

Colorless
N.A
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

Low

High More or less


distinct

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot
ropic:
Interference
color:
Extinction:

Anisotropic

Twinning:

Distinguishing Property

Nepheline{Na3K(Al4Si4O16)}
UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract Low
ive
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

Colorless
N.A
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

Low

Low

1 set
Anhedral
Present

Indistinct

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot Anisotropic
ropic:
Interference
1st order grey
color:
Extinction:
Straight w.r.t
Twinning:

cleavage
Absent

Distinguishing Property:
Resembles feldspars but nepheline is
uniaxial, lacks good cleavage and twinning,
and has a low birefringence. Nepheline is
softer than quartz and differs in optic sign.

Olivine{(MgFe)2SiO4}
UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract High
ive
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

Colorless
N.A
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

Medium
to high

High Distinct

Indistinct
Euhedral (6 sided)
Present and along
fracture serpentinized

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot Anisotropic
ropic:
Interference
2nd order red
color:
Extinction:
Straight w.r.t

Twinning:

grain
boundary
Absent

Distinguishing Property:
Alteration, grain boundary and interference
color.

Tremolite
UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract
ive
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

N.A
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot
ropic:
Interference
color:
Extinction:

Anisotropic

Twinning:

Distinguishing Property

}
UNDER PPL:

Color:
Pleochroism:
Refract
ive
Index:
Cleavage:
Grain shape
and habit:
Alteration:

N.A
Brightne Relie Grain
ss:
f:
boundary:

UNDER XPL:

Isotropic/Anisot
ropic:
Interference
color:
Extinction:

Anisotropic

Twinning:

Distinguishing Property