Editorial Feature

Titanite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Titanite is a calcium titanium nesosilicate mineral, first observed in Passau in Bavaria, Germany. The name of the mineral reflects its titanium content.

Properties of Titanite

The following are the key properties of Titanite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: P21/a or A2/a
    • a = 7.057
    • b = 8.707
    • c = 6.555
    • β = 113.81°
    • Z = 4

  • Crystal Data
    • Monoclinic
    • Point Group: 2/m
    • Crystals: wedge-shaped, flattened || {001} or prismatic by extension along [110], to 16cm; compact, massive
    • Twinning: On {100}, contact and penetration; less commonly lamellar on {221}
    • X-ray Powder Pattern: 3.233 (100), 2.989 (90), 2.595 (90), 2.058 (40), 1.643 (40), 1.494 (40), 1.418 (40)

  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    TiO2 39.43 30.39
    SiO2 30.61 30.75
    CaO 28.57 27.96
    Fe2O3 1.14 2.92
    Al2O3 0.09 4.93
    F - 2.27
    RE2O3 - 1.22
    Nb2O5 - 1
    -O = F2 - 0.95
    Total 99.84 100.49

  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Biaxial (+)
    • Pleochroism: Distinct when deeply colored
    • X = nearly colorless
    • Y = yellow to green
    • Z = red to yellow-orange
    • Orientation: Z ^ c = 51°
    • Dispersion: r > v; strong
    • α = 1.843 -1.950
    • β = 1.870 - 2.034
    • γ = 1.943 - 2.110
    • 2V(meas.) = 17°- 40°

  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 3.47 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Titanite = 3.55 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PETitanite = 27.56 barns/electron
    U = PETitanite x ρElectron density = 95.53 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.03
    Boson index = 0.97
    Radioactivity
    Titanite is radioactive

How to Identify Titanite

Titanite is commonly found to be red, green, yellow, gray and reddish-brown in color. It has a transparent to translucent appearance, distinct cleavage, reddish-white streak and fluorescent properties. Its fractures developed in semi-curved surface brittle materials, and are sub-conchoidal in nature.

The average density of titanite is 3.48 g/cm3, and its relative hardness ranges from 5 to 5.5.

Global Distribution

Titanite is distributed in the following places:

  • Tavetsch, GraubÄunden, Switzerland
  • Val Maggia and St. Marcel, Val d'Aosta, Italy
  • Schwartzenstein and Rothenkopf Mountains, Zillertal, Tirol, Austria
  • Arendal, Norway
  • Nordmark, VÄarmland, Sweden
  • Lovozero and Khibiny massifs, Kola Peninsula, Russia
  • Dodo mine, about 100km west-north-west of Saranpaul, Subpolar Ural Mountains, Russia
  • Monroe, Orange Co. New York
  • Eganville and on Turner's Island, in Lake Clear, Renfrew Co. Ontario
  • Litchfield, Quebec
  • Baja California, El Rodeo, La Huerta and Pino Solo, Mexico
  • Campo do Boa, Capelinha, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Naevatanana and Ambalavaokely, Madagascar

Occurrence of Titanite and Useful Mineral Association

Titanite occurs as a common accessory mineral in intermediate and felsic plutonic rocks, pegmatites, and alpine veins. It can be also observed in schists, gneisses, and skarns.

It is closely associated with calcite, diopside, biotite, nepheline, ilmenite, magnetite, monazite, allanite, apatite, epidote, chlorite, and albite.

References

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