AskDefine | Define glauconite

Dictionary Definition

glauconite n : a green mineral consisting of hydrated silicate of potassium or iron or magnesium or aluminum; found in greensand

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. A greenish form of mica found in greensand

Extensive Definition

Glauconite is a phyllosilicate (mica group) mineral.
It can also be referred to as an iron silicate. It crystallizes with monoclinic geometry. The name is derived from the Greek glaucos (γλαυκος) meaning 'gleaming' or 'silvery', to describe the appearance of the blue-green color, presumably relating to the sheen and blue-green color of the sea's surface. Its color ranges from olive green, black green to bluish green. It is probably the result of the iron content of the mineral. In the Mohs scale it has hardness of 2. The relative specific gravity range is 2.4 - 2.95. It is normally found in dark green rounded nodules of sand size dimension. It can be confused with chlorite or with some clays.
Normally, glauconite is considered diagnostic of continental shelf marine depositional environments with slow rates of accumulation. Typically, it appears in Jurassic/lower Cretaceous deposits of greensand, so-called after the coloration provided by the glauconite. It can also be found in impure limestones and in chalk. It develops as a consequence of diagenetic alteration of sedimentary deposits, changes in the biotite micas, for example, being influenced by the decaying process of the organic matter in animal shells. Glauconite forms under reducing conditions in sediments and such deposits are commonly found in nearshore sandstones, open oceans and the Mediterranean Sea but not in the Black Sea or in fresh-water lakes. It oxidises on contact with air; the resulting deoxygenated air is a hazard to miners.
Glauconite has long been used in Europe as an artistic oil paint, especially in Russian "icon paintings". It is found as a pigment in wall paintings from Roman Gaul.
The wide distribution of these sandy deposits was first made known by naturalists on board H.M.S. Challenger, in the expedition of 1872-1876.

References

glauconite in German: Glaukonit
glauconite in Spanish: Glauconita
glauconite in French: Glauconite
glauconite in Italian: Glauconite
glauconite in Hebrew: גלאוקוניט
glauconite in Lithuanian: Glaukonitas
glauconite in Dutch: Glauconiet
glauconite in Polish: Glaukonit
glauconite in Portuguese: Glauconita
glauconite in Slovak: Glaukonit
glauconite in Swedish: Glaukonit
glauconite in Ukrainian: Глауконіт
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