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The basic serpentine structure is extremely simple. In spite of the simple crystal-chemical features involving the nearest neighbours (namely, the coordination polyhe-dra), complexity arises because of the different ways in which the basic polyhedra assemble together, forming flat layers in lizardite, curled layers in chrysotile, alternating layers in antigorite, flat kinked layers in polygonal serpentine, and flat geodesically kinked layers in polyhedral serpentine.

Further complexity is derived from not-nearest-neighbour relations, such as polytyp-ism and polysomatism, that may occur as ordered and disordered distributions. A peculiar feature of chrysotile and polygonal serpentine is the presence of local fivefold symmetry. Chrysotile...

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