The crystal structure of bannisterite

Peter J. Heaney, Jeffrey E. Post, Howard T. Evans

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The crystal structure of bannisterite, a modulated, mica-like mineral species, of general composition Ca0.5(K,Na)0.5(Mn,Fe,Mg,Zn)10(Si,Al)16O38(OH)8 · nH2O, has been solved and refined for specimens from Franklin Furnace, New Jersey (FF), and Broken Hill, Australia (BH). The crystals are mono-clinic in space group A2/a, with (for FF) a = 22.265(1) Å, b = 16.368(1) Å, c = 24.668(2) Å, β = 94.285(5)°; and (for BH) a = 22.286(1) Å, b = 16.386(1) Å, c = 24.575(2) Å, β = 94.355(7)°; Z = 8. Refinement with anisotropic thermal factors reached Rw = 0.034 (FF) and 0.039 (BH). Like stilpnomelane and ganophyllite, bannisterite has a modified 2:1 trioctahedral layer structure in which some of the tetrahedra are inverted towards the interlayer region and linked to inverted tetrahedra in the opposite layer. The octahedral sheet is strongly corrugated along b. The tetrahedral sheet consists of 5-, 6-, and 7-fold rings, and bond distance calculations indicate that Al is concentrated into two of the four inverted tetrahedra. The interlayer Ca, K, and H2O species are highly disordered, as indicated by anomalously large temperature factors and partial occupancies. Localized differences in the Al/Si arrangements in the inverted tetrahedra induce disorder among the interlayer cations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-144
Number of pages16
JournalClays and Clay Minerals
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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