Definitions

albite

albite

[al-bahyt]
albite: see feldspar.

Common feldspar mineral, a sodium aluminosilicate (NaAlSi3O8) that occurs most widely in pegmatites and acid igneous rocks such as granites. It may also be found in low-grade metamorphic rocks (those formed under relatively low temperature and pressure conditions) and in certain sedimentary rocks. Albite usually forms brittle, glassy crystals that may be colourless, white, yellow, pink, green, or black. It is used in the manufacture of glass and ceramics, but its primary geologic importance is as a rock-forming mineral.

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Albite is a plagioclase feldspar mineral. It is the sodium endmember of the plagioclase solid solution series. As such it represents a plagioclase with less than 10% anorthite content. The pure albite endmember has the formula NaAlSi3O8. It is a tectosilicate.

Albite crystallizes with triclinic pinacoidal forms. Its specific gravity is about 2.62 and it has a Mohs hardness of 6 - 6.5. Albite almost always exhibits crystal twinning often as minute parallel striations on the crystal face. Albite often occurs as fine parallel segregations alternating with pink microcline in perthite as a result of exolution on cooling. It occurs in granitic and pegmatite masses, in some hydrothermal vein deposits and forms part of the typical greenschist metamorphic assemblage for rocks of originally basaltic composition.

It was first reported in 1815 for an occurrence in Sweden. The name is from Latin, albus for the typical white color.

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