Frondel, Clifford Formerly, Department of Geological Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Hurlbut, Cornelius S., Jr. Department of Geological Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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A fibrous or needlelike mineral belonging to the zeolite family of silicates. It crystallizes in the monoclinic system in pseudo-orthorhombic prismatic crystals which are often acicular (see illustration). Most commonly it is found in radiating fibrous aggregates. There is perfect prismatic cleavage, the hardness is 5–5½ on Mohs scale and the specific gravity is 2.25. The mineral is white or colorless with a vitreous luster that inclines to pearly in fibrous varieties. The chemical composition is Na2(Al2Si3O10) · 2H2O, but some potassium is usually present substituting for sodium.
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