Ribbe, Paul H. Formerly, Department of Geological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Additional Reading
Potassium feldspar (Or = KAlSi3O8) that usually contains up to 30 mole % albite (Ab = NaAlSi3O8) in solid solution. Its hardness is 6; specific gravity, 2.57–2.5, depending on Ab content; mean refractive index, 1.52; color, white to dull pink or orange-brown; good (001) and (010) cleavages at 90° to one another. Some orthoclases may be intergrown with relatively pure albite which exsolved during cooling from a high temperature in pegmatites, granites, or granodiorites. This usually is ordered low albite, but in rare cases it may show some degree of Al,Si disorder, requiring it to be classified as analbite or high albite. If exsolution is detectable by eye, the Or-Ab composite mineral is called perthite; if microscopic examination is required to distinguish the phases, it is called microperthite; and if exsolution is detectable only by x-ray diffraction or electron optical methods, it is called cryptoperthite.
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