Abstract

Alumoåkermanite, (CaNa)2(Al,Mg,Fe2+)(Si2O7), is a new mineral member of the melilite group from the active carbonatite-nephelinite-phonolite volcano Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania. The mineral occurs as tabular phenocrysts and microphenocrysts in melilite-nephelinitic ashes and lapilli-tuffs. Alumoåkermanite is light brown in colour; it is transparent, with a vitreous lustre and the streak is white. Cleavages or partings are not observed. The mineral is brittle with an uneven fracture. The measured density is 2.96(2) g/cm3. The Mohs hardness is ∼4.5-6. Alumoåkermanite is uniaxial (-) with ω = 1.635(1) and ϵ = 1.624-1.626(1). In a 30 μm thin section (+N), the mineral has a yellow to orange interference colour, straight extinction and positive elongation, and is nonpleochroic. The average chemical formula of the mineral derived from electron microprobe analyses is: (Ca1.48Na0.50Sr0.02K0.01)Σ2.01(Al0.44Mg0.30

\(\mathrm{Fe}_{0.17}^{2+}\)
\(\mathrm{Fe}_{0.07}^{3+}\)
Mn0.01)Σ0.99(Si1.99Al0.01O7). Alumoåkermanite is tetragonal, space group P
\({\bar{4}}\)
21m with a = 7.7661(4) Å, c = 5.0297(4) Å, V = 303.4(1) Å3 and Z = 2. The five strongest powder-diffraction lines [d in Å, (I/Io), hkl] are: 3.712, (13), (111); 3.075, (25), (201); 2.859, (100), (211); 2.456, (32), (311); 1.757, (19), (312). Single-crystal structure refinement (R1 = 0.018) revealed structure topology typical of the melilite-group minerals, i.e. tetrahedral [(Al,Mg)(Si2O7)] sheets interleaved with layers of (CaNa) cations. The name reflects the chemical composition of the mineral.

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