Mineral Data

From Mindat.org Manual
Jump to: navigation, search

If you want to add any additional information about a mineral, you should click the mouse on that mineral in the Minerals listed area of the form (this takes you to the Mineral Edit form). If you want to edit the mineral from a locality page, you need to click on the Info.gif icon to the right of the mineral to display the detailed mineral page. Then click on "edit this mineral" link.

Type Locality

In general, information on the type locality is already in the database. If you think that this information is incorrect, please post a message in the Errors section of the Forum.

Delete this entry

If this mineral does not occur at this locality, click on the box to put a check in this field. Then click on the GO button. This mineral will then be deleted from this locality's mineral list. Use this option if there was an error when entering into the mindat database (the mineral is not listed for the location in the reference) or if the mineral does not have a reference. See the Confirmation status below if the reference has subsequently been proved incorrect.

Confirmation Status

Normally it is Confirmed. If there is questions about the occurrence of this mineral at a location, click on the drop down arrow to the right of this box and bring up the "? Unconfirmed" status. This will put a question mark after the mineral in the locality display. If a mineral was previously reported from a locality in some literature, but this was later found to be in error, you should use the erroneously reported option. You should provide both the original reference as well as the one that says it is erroneous. In the comment section, you should list what the mineral actually was. This is NOT to be used if it was simply an entry error into the database, but you should rather just delete the entry.

Confirmation Reference ID

If there is a confirmation method listed, such as XRD, there may be a reference ID provided by the institution that carried out the analysis, this code can be entered here, it is optional.


Methods

This allows one to specify the methods that were used in the identification of the mineral species at this locality.

  • Visual Identification - This includes checking of the physical properties of a specimen, hardness, cleavage, specific gravity, magnetism, reaction to acids.
  • Visual (Fluorescence) - Some minerals have a characteristic fluorescence such as the white of scheelite.
  • Optical Analysis - This includes such properties such as refractive index, whether the mineral is isotropic, uniaxial, biaxial, pleochroic, etc. Techniques include using various refractive index fluids on grain samples or using a spindle stage.
  • Polarised-light microscopy - thin section - This is similar to the optical analysis, but uses an extremely thin (30 micron) slice of rock to determine the optical parameters of the specimen.
  • Ore microscopy - polished section - This method is used on minerals that are opaque to light (mainly various sulfides, sulfosalts and some oxides). Optical properties such as reflectivity, color, and pleochroism; and physical properties such as polishing hardness and pitting (cleavage) are used to identify opaque minerals.
  • Wet Chemical - This is an older method of chemical analysis of a mineral specimen. It has become pretty much obsolete since the 1970's.
  • Blow pipe analysis - This technique relies on the reactions of a mineral when it is heated in a flame or in a powdered flux. It gives a qualitative measure of the elements that are present in a specimen.
  • XRD - X-Ray diffraction. This technique uses a powdered sample of the mineral and uses X-rays to determine the spacing between various planes in a crystal. The spacings and intensities of the diffracted X-rays can be compared to known mineral patterns. This is a common technique used by scientists to identify a mineral.
  • XRF - X-ray fluorescence. This is primarily a qualitative measurement of the elements in a particular specimens. It relies on the emission of characteristic wavelengths of X-rays when a specimen is illuminated by shorter wavelength X-rays.
  • EPMA - Electron Probe microanalysis - This technique is used to determine the quantitative amounts of elements in a polished section of materials. The electrons cause the elements in the sample to emit X-rays of a particular wavelength for each element. This is the most common current technique used by scientists to determine the chemistry of a mineral.
  • SEM-EDS - Scanning Electron Microscope with energy dispersive spectrometry - A microscope which uses electrons to image a specimen and qualitatively measures elements.
  • SEM-WDS - Scanning Electron Microscope with wavelength dispersive spectrometry - Like the SEM-EDS but captures elemental with a different type of measuring tools
  • Ion Microprobe - This instrument uses ions to create X-rays which are then measured. Used primarily for trace element determinations.
  • TEM - Transmission electron microscope. It is similar to the SEM in operation, but the samples are extremely thin slices instead of the entire specimen.
  • ICP-MS - Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectroscopy. Liquid samples are nebulized and solid samples are laser ablated to provide sample particles. A plasma is created by a radio frequency coil and the gases are analyzed by mass spectroscopy. This is usually done to find trace amounts of elements (ppm - ppb ranges).
  • ICP-AES Inductively Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. A liquid is nebulized and injected into a plasma which then emits light at particular wavelengths. This light is then analyzed by a spectrometer to determine elements present in the sample.
  • Infrared Spectroscopy - A powdered sample is mixed with KBr in a pellet or an oriented crystal is polished and the transmissivity to various wavelengths of infrared radiation is measured.
  • Raman Spectroscopy - A laser is used to illuminate a specimen and the spectrum is measured for the inelastically scattered light.


Crystal habits

The habit can include the crystal shapes (tabular crystals, acicular, platy, equant, etc.) and sizes as well as an aggregate habit (ie. druzy, stellated, etc.) at this specific locality.


Colours

Colour of the mineral or the range of colors that a mineral exhibits at this specific locality.

Please note that for consistency BRITISH ENGLISH spellings are to be used in the site, this means GREY not GRAY.


Fluorescence

These are the visible colors produced by a fluorescing mineral that is illuminated by ultraviolet light or other source of excitation energy, from this specific locality. You should give the color as well as the type of activation energy

SW - shortwave UV;
LW - longwave UV;
MR - mid-range UV;
X-Ray - X-ray;
GAL - gas argon laser
etc.

For example you can enter: "red in SW and blue-green in LW". You can also comment on related phenomena such as phosphorescence, triboluminescence, and cathodeluminescence.


Quality for species at this locality

There are five settings. If you select "Excellent", you will also need to fill in the color, habit and reference fields.

Rock forming mineral/non-crystalline/little interest for  collectors.(##)
Poor for species, only of interest for locality collectors.  
not specified / average specimens
Good crystals or rich for species  - important (!)
Excellent - world  class for species or very significant. (!!)

Rarity at site

There are seven settings.

Extremely Rare: One known specimen or historical specimen(s) lost
Very Rare: Small number of specimens known
Rare: Very infrequently found
not specified/average
Common - Frequently found
Very common - significant amounts present
Extremely common - major deposit or primary rock constituent

Comments

This is for information that does not fit the above classifications. This would include information such as where in a mine a particular mineral is found, any historical information about the discovery of the species, if the mineral pseudomorphs another species, etc.

Reference

This will normally be here if you have entered the reference when you have added the minerals en masse. You should use the reference that you are actually using, not any reference cited in the paper that you are using. Entering the reference provides an important quality check for the database (one can go to the paper and make sure that it was properly entered). It also allows anyone interested in that locality to find published works about that locality.

Submitting

When you have the form the way you want, Click on the Submit button to change the database.

Associated Minerals

You need to mouse click on "Enter minerals associated with X at this site". This will bring up another page to enter minerals that are commonly associated with this mineral. The associated minerals must already be on the mineral list for this locality.

To enter minerals associated with another mineral all you have to do is go through the minerals listed in the "Associates for" box and click on the boxes to the left of the mineral names to add these minerals as being associated with the mineral being edited. When all of the associated minerals are selected, click on the "Submit Changes" box to commit the changes to the database. If you want to have mineral A associated with mineral B and Mineral B associated with mineral A, you have to do this with both minerals (the association of B with A is not automatically done).


Add Minerals to a Locality Delete a locality