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Title: Wavellite  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Phosphate minerals, Taranakite, Allanpringite, Fluellite, Aheylite
Collection: Aluminium Minerals, Orthorhombic Minerals, Phosphate Minerals
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Wavellite cluster from Saline County, Arkansas (size: 4.5 x 4.2 x 3.6 cm)
Category Phosphate minerals
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 08.DC.50
Crystal symmetry Orthorhombic dipyramidal
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Space group: Pcmn
Unit cell a = 9.621 Å, b = 17.363 Å,
c = 6.994 Å; Z = 4
Color Green to yellowish-green and yellow, brown, white and colorless
Crystal habit Spherical, radial aggregates; striated prisms; crusty to stalactitic
Crystal system Orthorhombic
Cleavage [110] perfect, [101] good, [010] distinct
Fracture Uneven to subconchoidal
Mohs scale hardness 3.5 - 4
Luster Vitreous to resinous, pearly
Streak White
Diaphaneity Translucent
Specific gravity 2.36
Optical properties Biaxial (+)
Refractive index nα = 1.518 - 1.535 nβ = 1.524 - 1.543 nγ = 1.544 - 1.561
Birefringence δ = 0.026
Pleochroism Weak; X = greenish; Z = yellowish
2V angle Measured: 60° to 72°
Fusibility Infusable, swells and splits on heating
Solubility Insoluble
References [1][2][3][4]

Wavellite is a phosphate mineral with formula Al3(PO4)2(OH, F)3·5H2O. It normally occurs as translucent green radial or spherical clusters.

Discovery and occurrence

It was first described in 1805 for an occurrence within the High Down Quarry, Filleigh, Devon, England and named for William Wavell (20 Dec 1750 - 15 Jan 1829) of England who discovered the mineral.[3]

It occurs in association with crandallite and variscite in fractures in aluminous metamorphic rock, in hydrothermal regions and in phosphate rock deposits.[1] It is found in a wide variety of locations notably in the Mount Ida, Arkansas area in the Ouachita Mountains.

See also


  1. ^ a b Handbook of Mineralogy
  2. ^ Webmineral
  3. ^ a b Mindat
  4. ^ Klein, Corneis and Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr., Manual of Mineralogy, Wiley, 20th ed. 1985, p. 362-3 ISBN 0-471-80580-7
Wavellite from the Avant Mine, Garland County, Arkansas, showing spherical structure (size: 3.4 x 2.0 x 1.1 cm)
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