Abstract

Prewittite, ideally KPb1.5Cu6Zn(SeO3)2O2Cl10, was found in the fumarole field of the second cinder cone of the North Breach of the Great fissure Tolbachik eruption (1975–1976, Kamchatka peninsula, Russia). It occurs as separate olive-green tabular crystals up to 0.2 mm in maximum dimension. It has vitreous luster and brownish-green streak. Prewittite is orthorhombic, space group Pnnm, a = 9.132(2), b = 19.415(4), c = 13.213(3) Å, V = 2342.6(9) Å3, Z = 4, Dcalc = 3.89 g/cm3, Dmeas = 3.90(2) g/cm3. The eight strongest lines of the powder X-ray diffraction pattern are {I [d(Å)] hkl}: 70 (8.26) 110; 60 (7.53) 101; 90 (4.111) 220, 132, 141; 100 (3.660) 212, 123; 40 (2.996) 223; 50 (2.887) 062; 40 (2.642) 322, 214; 40 (2.336) 073, 180, 244. Prewittite is biaxial (–). The optical orientation is X = a, Y = c, Z = b. The mineral has clear pleochroism: X, Y – olive green, Z – red-brown. The mineral is very brittle with the perfect cleavage on (010) and (101). The most developed crystal forms are {010}, {001}, and {101}. The chemical composition determined by the electron-microprobe is (wt%): K2O 1.76, PbO 21.18, CuO 33.24, ZnO 8.00, SeO2 15.74, Cl 26.06, O=Cl –5.88, total 100.10. The empirical formula derived on the basis of O+Cl = 18 and sum of positive charges of cations equal to 26 is K0.53Pb1.33Cu5.87Zn1.38Se1.99O7.67Cl10.33. The crystal structure was solved by direct methods and refined to an agreement index R1 = 0.034 on the basis of 1522 independent reflections with I ≥ 2σI. It is based upon metal oxide selenite chloride layers parallel to (010) and linked through K-Cl and Pb-Cl bonds to the K and Pb atoms located in the interlayer. The mineral name honors Charles T. Prewitt (b. 1933) in recognition of his important contributions to crystal chemistry of minerals and planetary materials.

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