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TAIBAH UNIVERSITY

Introduction to Crystallography

and Mineral Crystal Systems

Geol 101

By

Dr. Hana Salem

Gypsum

Monoclinic

Dolomite

Crystallography

Emerald

Andalusite

Orthorhombic

Garnet

Isometric

Triclinic

Hexagonal

Definition of Crystallography

mineralogy.

smooth faces, which is assumed by a chemical

compound, due to the action of its interatomic forces,

when passing from the state of a liquid or gas to that of a

solid.

FACES).

Crystal Morphology

Space groups for atom symmetry

Point groups for crystal face symmetry

Crystal Faces = limiting surfaces of growth

Crystal Morphology

Nicholas Steno (1669): Law of Constancy of Interfacial

Angles

Quartz

120o

120o

120o

120o

120o

120o

120o

faces

braces indicate a form {210}

pinacoid

related by a mirror

or a 2-fold axis

prism

pyramid

related by n-fold

axis or mirrors

dipryamid

faces braces indicate a form {210}

Quartz = 2 forms:

Hexagonal prism (m = 6)

Hexagonal dipyramid (m = 12)

Zone

Any group of faces || a common axis

Use of h k l as variables for a, b, c

intercepts

(h k 0) = [001]

If the MIs of 2 non-parallel faces are

added, the result = MI of a face between

them & in the same zone

ELEMENTS OF SYMMETRY

PLANES OF SYMMETRY

Any two dimensional surface that, when passed through the center of

the crystal, divides it into two symmetrical parts that are MIRROR

IMAGES is a PLANE OF SYMMETRY

A cube has 9 planes of symmetry, 3 of one set and 6 of another.

In the left figure the planes of symmetry are parallel to the faces of the cube form, in

the right figure the planes of symmetry join the opposite cube edges.

90o

degrees, then we have fourfold or

TETRAGONAL SYMMETRY.

4-fold symmetry (90o)

Symmetry

AXES OF SYMMETRY

4-fold axes (90o)

120 degrees, then we have threefold

or TRIGONAL SYMMETRY.

http://home.planet.nl/~bartdw/sphalerite.htm

Symmetry

3-fold axes (120o)

AXES OF SYMMETRY

FOR EXAMPLE:

then we have sixfold or HEXAGONAL

SYMMETRY.

When rotation repeats form every 180 degrees,

then we have twofold or BINARY SYMMETRY.

Crystal Form

There are only 7 symmetry classes; each mineral belongs to only ONE symmetry

class, and thus all crystals exhibit that symmetry only!

isometric

tetragonal

orthorhombic

hexagonal

monoclinic

triclinic

http://members.aol.com/jmichaelh/part1.html

Introduction to Mineral

Identification Basics

Welcome to the fascinating world of

Minerals. The purpose of this is to

present you with some of the basic

techniques used to identify minerals.

A CRYSTAL is the outward form of the

internal structure of the mineral.

The 7 basic crystal systems are:

ISOMETRIC

HEXAGONAL

TETRAGONAL

ORTHORHOMBIC

MONOCLINIC

TRIGONAL

TRICLINIC

Crystal Forms

During the process of crystallization, crystals assume various

geometric shapes dependent on the ordering of their atomic

structure and the physical and chemical conditions under which

they grow. These forms may be subdivided, using geometry, into

six systems.

CRYSTALLOGRAPHIC

AXES

systems:

(1) CUBIC

(2) TETRAGONAL

(3) ORTHORHOMBIC

(4) HEXAGONAL

(5) TRIGONAL

(6) MONOCLINIC

(7) TRICLINIC

CRYSTAL SYSTEMS are divided into 7 main groups.

ISOMETRIC. This literally

means equal measure and

refers to the equal size of the

crystal axes.

ISOMETRIC CRYSTALS

a3

ISOMETRIC or CUBIC

In this crystal system there are 3

axes. Each has the same length (as

a2 indicated by the same letter a).

They all meet at mutual 90o angles

in the center of the crystal.

a1

ISOMETRIC

Basic Cube

typically blocky or ball-like.

are

ISOMETRIC CRYSTALS

ISOMETRIC CRYSTALS

a3

a3

a2

a1

a2

a1

crystal axes.

ISOMETRIC CRYSTALS

crystal model is the

OCTAHEDRAL crystal

form

Form

Number of Faces

(1) Cube

6

(2) Octahedron

8

(3) Dodecahedron

12

(4) Tetrahexahedron

24

(5) Trapezohedron

24

(6) Trisoctahedron

24

(7) Hexaoctahedron

48

Cubic System

Spinel

Octahedron

Garnet

Trapezohedron

Fluorite

Cube

Garnet - Dodecahedron

Pyrite

Cube with

Pyritohedron

Striations

TETRAGONAL CRYSTALS

a

1

a

2

TETRAGONAL

Crystal Axes

two of which are equal in

length (a1 and a2) and one (c)

which is different in length

(shorter or longer).

Note: If c was equal in length to a or

b, then we would be in the cubic

system!

TETRAGONAL CRYSTALS

TETRAGONAL

TETRAGONAL Crystal

Model

PRISM enclosing a DIPYRAMID.

TETRAGONAL CRYSTALS

Form

(1) Pinacoid

(3) Ditetragonal Prism

Number

of Faces

2

4

8

16

TETRAGONAL CRYSTALS

WULFENITE

Same crystal seen edge on.

TETRAGONAL CRYSTALS

Apophyllite crystal

looking down the

c axis.

APOPHYLLITE on Stilbite

the position of the

pinacoid

(perpendicular to the

c axis).

HEXAGONAL CRYSTALS

a3

a2

a1

HEXAGONAL SYSTEM

plane and intersect at the axial cross at 120

degrees between the positive ends.

These 3 axes, labeled a1, a2, and a3, are the same

length. The fourth axis, termed c, may be longer

or shorter than the a axes set. The c axis also

passes through the intersection of the a axes set at

right angle to the plane formed by the a set.

HEXAGONAL CRYSTALS

HEXAGONAL

This model represents a hexagonal PRISM (the

outside hexagon - six sided shape). The top and

bottom faces are called PINACOIDS and are

perpendicular to the vertical c axis.

Within this model is the SCALENOHEDRAL

form. Each face is a scalenohedron. Calcite

often crystallizes with this form.

HEXAGONAL Crystal

Model

HEXAGONAL CRYSTALS

Form

(1) Pinacoid

Number

of Faces

2

12

Hexagonal Prism

12

6

12

24

HEXAGONAL CRYSTALS

These hexagonal

CALCITE crystals

nicely show the six

sided prisms as well as

the basal pinacoid.

TRIGONAL CRYSTALS

which are equal in length and lie at an angle

of 120 from each other. The fourth is either

longer or shorter but must be at a right angle

to the other corners.

TRIGONAL FORMS

Form

Number

of Faces

(1Rhombohedrom

6

(2) Scalenohedron

12

Pyramid

Dolomite

Faces

Prism

RHOMBOHEDRON

Faces

Pyramid

Face

Quartz

SCALENOHEDRON

Rhodochrosite

ORTHORHOMBIC CRYSTALS

ORTHORHOMBIC

c

axes of different lengths.

b

ORTHORHMOBIC Crystal

Axes

to any other, then we would be in

the tetragonal system!

ORTHORHOMBIC CRYSTALS

ORTHORHOMBIC

This model shows the alternative axes

where the vertical c axis is not the

longest axis.

ORTHORHMOBIC

Crystal Model

shape of the PRISM and the inner shape is

a DIPYRAMID. The top and bottom

faces are called PINACOIDS and are

perpendicular to the c axis.

ORTHROMBIC FORMS

Form

Number

of Faces

2

2

2

4

2

8

ORTHORHOMBIC CRYSTALS

ORTHORHOMBIC CRYSTALS

The view above is looking down

the c axis of the crystal.

ORTHORHOMBIC CRYSTALS

Pinacoid View

Prism View

STAUROLITE

ORTHORHOMBIC CRYSTALS

garnets attached.

MONOCLINIC CRYSTALS

MONOCLINIC

In this crystal form the axes are of

unequal length.

c

b

a

MONOCLINIC Crystal

Axes

Axes b and c are perpendicular.

angle and with each other.

MONOCLINIC CRYSTALS

MONOCLINIC

In this model the outside shape is

the PRISM. It looks like a

distorted brick - flattened out of

shape.Inside is the DIPYRAMID.

MONOCLINIC Crystal

Model

MONOCLINIC FORMS

Form

Number

of Faces

2

2

2

Mono. . Dipyramid

2

2

2

8

MONOCLINIC CRYSTALS

Top View

Mica

Gypsum

Orthoclas

TRICLINIC CRYSTALS

TRICLINIC CYSTAL

a

TRICLINIC Crystal

Axes

all unequal in length and intersect

at three different angles (any

angle but 90 degrees).

TRICLINIC CRYSTALS

TRICLINIC

Again in this model the outside

shape is the PRISM.

Located within the prism is the

DIPYRAMID.

TRICLINIC Crystal

Model

TRICLINIC FORMS

Form

Number

of Faces

2

2

2

TRICLINIC CRYSTALS

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