Editorial Feature

Abhurite – Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Abhurite was named after its locality - namely,  the Sharm Abhur Cove in Saudi Arabia. It was discovered in 1983. It contains tin, oxygen, hydrogen, and chlorine.

This mineral is formed when pure tin is exposed to sea water.

Properties of Abhurite

Important properties of Abhurite are displayed below:

  • Cell Data
    • Space group: R3m, R3m , or R32
    • a = 10.0175(3)
    • c = 44.014(2)
    • Z = 3

  • Crystal Data
    • Hexagonal
    • Point group: 3 2/m, 3m, or 32
    • As thin, six-sided crystals, platy to tabular on (0001), showing {0115} and {0001}, to 2mm; as cryptocrystalline crusts
    • Twinning: On {0001}
    • X-ray powder pattern: 2.5313 (100), 2.8915 (70), 4.139 (50), 3.404 (50), 2.8175 (50), 3.271 (35), 3.244 (35)

  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    Sn 73.4 73.44
    Cl 15.7 16.71
    O 11 9.43
    H 0.4 0.42
    Total 100.5 100

  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Uniaxial (+)
    • ω = 2.06
    • ε = ~2.11
    • 2V (meas.) = Small, observed on strained plates

  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 3.83 gm/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Abhurite = 4.35 gm/cm3
    Photoelectric PEAbhurite = 234.54 barns/electron
    U = PEAbhurite x ρElectron density = 898.24 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.12
    Boson index = 0.88
    Radioactivity GRapi = 0 (Gamma Ray American Petroleum Institute Units)
    Abhurite is not radioactive

How to Identify Abhurite

Abhurite can be identified in the field by its colorless and transparent form with no cleavage. However, it does have a hackly-jagged and torn surface.

It has a density range of 4.29 to 4.34, and a hardness of 2 - approximate to gypsum. Abhurite has a chatoyant lustre, with white streak, and occurs as well-formed euhedral crystals.

Global Distribution

Abhurite has been found around shipwrecks. The significant findings are listed below:

  • It was found in the cargo of a ship wrecked off Hidra, Norway
  • It was found at the ship wreck about 30km north-north-west of St. Ives in Cornwall, England

Occurrence of Abhurite and Useful Mineral Association

The occurrence of this mineral was found in the blister-like protuberances on the surface of a tin ingot, recovered from a shipwreck near the Sharm Abhur cove in Saudi Arabia.

It is often associated with minerals such as romarchite, kutnohorite, and aragonite.





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