Abstract

A structure hierarchy is developed for chain-, ribbon- and tube-silicate based on the connectedness of one-dimensional polymerisations of (TO4)n tetrahedra, where T = Si4+ plus P5+, V5+, As5+, Al3+, Fe3+, B3+, Be2+, Zn2+ and Mg2+. Such polymerisations are described by a geometrical repeat unit (with ng tetrahedra) and a topological repeat unit (or graph) (with nt vertices). The connectivity of the tetrahedra (vertices) in the geometrical (topological) repeat units is denoted by the expression cTr (cVr) where c is the connectivity (degree) of the tetrahedron (vertex) and r is the number of tetrahedra (vertices) of connectivity (degree) c in the repeat unit. Thus cTr = 1Tr12Tr23Tr34Tr4 (cVr = 1Vr12Vr23Vr34Vr4) represents all possible connectivities (degrees) of tetrahedra (vertices) in the geometrical (topological) repeat units of such one-dimensional polymerisations. We may generate all possible cTr (cVr) expressions for chains (graphs) with tetrahedron (vertex) connectivities (degrees) c = 1 to 4 where r = 1 to n by sequentially increasing the values of c and r, and by ranking them accordingly. The silicate (sensu lato) units of chain-, ribbon- and tube-silicate minerals are identified and associated with the relevant cTr (cVr) symbols. Following description and association with the relevant cTr (cVr) symbols of the silicate units in all chain-, ribbon- and tube-silicate minerals, the minerals are arranged into decreasing O:T ratio from 3.0 to 2.5, an arrangement that reflects their increasing structural connectivity. Considering only the silicate component, the compositional range of the chain-, ribbon- and tube-silicate minerals strongly overlaps that of the sheet-silicate minerals. Of the chain-, ribbon- and tube-silicates and sheet silicates with the same O:T ratio, some have the same cVr symbols (vertex connectivities) but the tetrahedra link to each other in different ways and are topologically different. The abundance of chain-, ribbon- and tube-silicate minerals decreases as O:T decreases from 3.0 to 2.5 whereas the abundance of sheet-silicate minerals increases from O:T = 3.0 to 2.5 and decreases again to O:T = 2.0. Some of the chain-, ribbon- and tube-silicate minerals have more than one distinct silicate unit: (1) vinogradovite, revdite, lintisite (punkaruaivite) and charoite have mixed chains, ribbons and/or tubes; (2) veblenite, yuksporite, miserite and okenite have clusters or sheets in addition to chains, ribbons and tubes. It is apparent that some chain-ribbon-tube topologies are favoured over others as of the ~450 inosilicate minerals, ~375 correspond to only four topologically unique graphs, the other ~75 minerals correspond to ~46 topologically unique graphs.

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