Abstract

Demicheleite-(I), ideally BiSI, is the iodine-dominant analogue of demicheleite-(Br) and demicheleite-(Cl). It was found in an active medium-temperature intracrateric fumarole at La Fossa crater, Vulcano Island, Aeolian archipelago, Sicily, Italy. The mineral is the first bismuth sulphoiodide so far discovered in a wholly natural environment, and corresponds to the already known synthetic compound. It occurs as acicular to stout, translucent crystals up to 0.25 mm long in an altered pyroclastic breccia, together with demicheleite-(Br), bismoclite, bismuthinite, godovikovite, panichiite, aiolosite, brontesite, adranosite and other new phases under study. The colour is dark red to black, the lustre submetallic. The unit cell is orthorhombic, space group Pnam, with a = 8.4501(7) Å, b = 10.1470(9) Å, c = 4.1389(4) Å, V = 354.88(4) Å3, and Z = 4. The crystal habit is prismatic, with the main forms {110} and {111} inferred from analogy with demicheleite-(Br). Twinning was not observed. The strongest 6 lines in the X-ray powder diffraction pattern [dobs.(Å)(I/I0)(hkl)] are: 6.490 (100) (110); 4.346 (94) (120); 3.896 (90) (210); 2.709 (60) (310); 2.161 (38) (330); 3.243 (22) (220). The chemical analysis obtained by WDS electron microprobe gave: Bi 58.32, S 9.43, I 23.69, Br 5.66, Cl 1.01, totalling 98.11 wt.%, corresponding to an empirical formula (based on 3 a.p.f.u.) of: Bi0.97S1.03(I0.65Br0.25Cl0.10)Σ1.00. The unit-cell data are close to those of the synthetic compound, whose crystal structure is already known. The calculated density is 6.411 g cm−3.

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