A NEW ZIRCONOLITE-RELATED MINERAL FROM THE EIFEL VOLCANIC REGION, GERMANY
Minerals 2018, 8(10), 449
The new mineral nöggerathite-(Ce) was discovered in a sanidinite volcanic ejectum from the Laach Lake (Laacher See) paleovolcano in the Eifel region, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Associated minerals are sanidine, dark mica, magnetite, baddeleyite, nosean, and a chevkinite-group mineral. Nöggerathite-(Ce) has a color that ranges from brown to deep brownish red, with adamantine luster; the streak is brownish red. It occurs in cavities of sanidinite and forms long prismatic crystals measuring up to 0.02 × 0.03 × 1.0 mm, with twins and random intergrowths. Its density calculated using the empirical formula is 5.332 g/cm3. The Vickers hardness number (VHN) is 615 kgf/mm2, which corresponds to a Mohs’ hardness of 5½. The mean refractive index calculated using the Gladstone–Dale equation is 2.267. The Raman spectrum shows the absence of hydrogen-bearing groups. The chemical composition (electron microprobe holotype/cotype in wt %) is as follows: CaO 5.45/5.29, MnO 4.19/4.16, FeO 7.63/6.62, Al2O3 0.27/0.59, Y2O3 0.00/0.90, La2O3 3.17/3.64, Ce2O3 11.48/11.22, Pr2O3 1.04/0.92, Nd2O3 2.18/2.46, ThO2 2.32/1.98, TiO2 17.78/18.69, ZrO2 27.01/27.69, Nb2O5 17.04/15.77, total 99.59/99.82, respectively. The empirical formulae based on 14 O atoms per formula unit (apfu) are: (Ce0.59La0.165Nd0.11Pr0.05)Σ0.915Ca0.82Th0.07Mn0.50Fe0.90Al0.045Zr1.86Ti1.88Nb1.07O14 (holotype), and (Ce0.57La0.19Nd0.12Pr0.05Y0.06)Σ0.99Ca0.79Th0.06Mn0.49Fe0.77Al0.10Zr1.89Ti1.96Nb1.00O14 (cotype). The simplified formula is (Ce,Ca)2Zr2(Nb,Ti)(Ti,Nb)2Fe2+O14. Nöggerathite-(Ce) is orthorhombic, of the space group Cmca. The unit cell parameters are: a = 7.2985(3), b = 14.1454(4), c = 10.1607(4) Å, and V = 1048.99(7) Å3. The crystal structure was solved using single-crystal X-ray diffraction data. Nöggerathite-(Ce) is an analogue of zirconolite-3O, ideally CaZrTi2O7, with Nb dominant over Ti in one of two octahedral sites and REE dominant over Ca in the eight-fold coordinated site. The strongest lines of the powder X-ray diffraction pattern (d, Å (I, %) (hkl)) are: 2.963 (91) (202), 2.903 (100) (042), 2.540 (39) (004), 1.823 (15) (400), 1.796 (51) (244), 1.543 (20) (442), and 1.519 (16) (282), respectively. The type material is deposited in the collections of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia (registration number 5123/1).