Phlogopite is a yellow, greenish, or reddish-brown member of the mica family of phyllosilicates. It is also known as magnesium mica.

Phlogopite is the magnesium endmember of the biotite solid solution series, with the chemical formula KMg3AlSi3O10(F,OH)2. Iron substitutes for magnesium in variable amounts leading to the more common biotite with higher iron content. For physical and optical identification, it shares most of the characteristic properties of biotite.

Phlogopite 3
CategoryMica, phyllosilicates
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification9.EC.20
Crystal systemMonoclinic
Crystal classPrismatic (2/m)
(same H-M symbol)
Space groupC2/m
ColorBrownish red, dark brown, yellowish brown, green, white
Crystal habitTabular, scaly masses, rarely perfect phenocryst tablets
TwinningComposition twinning
CleavagePerfect basal (001)
TenacityTough, flexible thin laminae
Mohs scale hardness2–2.5
LusterPearly, sometimes slightly metallic on cleavage surfaces
DiaphaneityTransparent to translucent
Specific gravity2.78 - 2.85
Optical propertiesBiaxial (-), 2V=12
Refractive indexnα = 1.530 - 1.573 nβ = 1.557 - 1.617 nγ = 1.558 - 1.618
Birefringenceδ =0.0280-0.0450
2V angle16 - 20°
Other characteristicsFluorescent


Phlogopite is an important and relatively common end-member composition of biotite. Phlogopite micas are found primarily in igneous rocks, although it is also common in contact metamorphic aureoles of intrusive igneous rocks with magnesian country rocks and in marble formed from impure dolomite (dolomite with some siliclastic sediment).

The occurrence of phlogopite mica within igneous rocks is difficult to constrain precisely because the primary control is rock composition as expected, but phlogopite is also controlled by conditions of crystallisation such as temperature, pressure, and vapor content of the igneous rock. Several igneous associations are noted: high-alumina basalts, ultrapotassic igneous rocks, and ultramafic rocks.

Basaltic association

The basaltic occurrence of phlogopite is in association with picrite basalts and high-alumina basalts. Phlogopite is stable in basaltic compositions at high pressures and is often present as partially resorbed phenocrysts or an accessory phase in basalts generated at depth.

Ultrapotassic association

Phlogopite mica is a commonly known phenocryst and groundmass phase within ultrapotassic igneous rocks such as lamprophyre, kimberlite, lamproite, and other deeply sourced ultramafic or high-magnesian melts. In this association phlogopite can form well preserved megacrystic plates to 10 cm, and is present as the primary groundmass mineral, or in association with pargasite amphibole, olivine, and pyroxene. Phlogopite in this association is a primary igneous mineral present because of the depth of melting and high vapor pressures.

Phlogopite peridotite
Phlogopite bearing peridotite from Finero, Italy. Coin of 1 Swiss franc (diameter 23 mm) for scale. The phlogopites are the glittering minerals surrounded by the green groundmass of olivine.

Ultramafic rocks

Phlogopite is often found in association with ultramafic intrusions as a secondary alteration phase within metasomatic margins of large layered intrusions. In some cases the phlogopite is considered to be produced by autogenic alteration during cooling. In other instances, metasomatism has resulted in phlogopite formation within large volumes, as in the ultramafic massif at Finero, Italy, within the Ivrea zone. Trace phlogopite, again considered the result of metasomatism, is common within coarse-grained peridotite xenoliths carried up by kimberlite, and so phlogopite appears to be a common trace mineral in the uppermost part of the Earth's mantle. Phlogopite is encountered as a primary igneous phenocryst within lamproites and lamprophyres, the result of highly fluid-rich melt compositions within the deep mantle.


The largest documented single crystal of phlogopite was found in Lacey mine, Ontario, Canada; it measured 10x4.3x4.3 m3 and weighed about 330 tonnes.[5] Similar-sized crystals were also found in Karelia, Russia.[6]


  1. ^ Mineralienatlas
  2. ^ Phlogopite WebMineral
  3. ^ Handbook of Mineralogy
  4. ^ Mindat
  5. ^ P. C. Rickwood (1981). "The largest crystals" (PDF). American Mineralogist. 66: 885–907.
  6. ^ "The giant crystal project site". Archived from the original on 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  • Deer, W.A., R.A. Howie, and J. Zussman, (1963) Rock-forming minerals, v. 3, "sheet silicates", p. 42–54

Aeschynite-(Nd) is a rare earth mineral of neodymium, cerium, calcium, thorium, titanium, niobium, oxygen, and hydrogen with formula: (Nd,Ce,Ca,Th)(Ti,Nb)2(O,OH)6. Its name comes from the Greek word for "shame". Its Mohs scale rating is 5 to 6. It is a member of the hydroxide minerals.

It was first reported for an occurrence in Bayan Obo Inner Mongolia in 1982. In that rare earth mining deposit it occurs in veins within metamorphosed dolomite and slate. It occurs associated with aegirine, riebeckite, barite, fluorite, albite, phlogopite and magnetite.

Aggregate (geology)

In the Earth sciences, aggregrate has three possible meanings.

In mineralogy and petrology, an aggregate is a mass of mineral crystals, mineraloid particles or rock particles. Examples are dolomite rock, which is an aggregate of crystals of the mineral dolomite, and rock gypsum, an aggregate of crystals of the mineral gypsum. Lapis lazuli is a type of rock composed of an aggregate of crystals of many minerals including lazurite, pyrite, phlogopite, calcite, potassium feldspar, wollastonite and some sodalite group minerals.In the construction industry, an aggregate (often referred to as a construction aggregate) is sand, gravel or crushed rock that has been mined or quarried for use as a building material.

In pedology, an aggregate is a mass of soil particles. If the aggregate has formed naturally, it can be called a ped; if formed artificially, it can be called a clod.


Annite is a phyllosilicate mineral in the mica family. It has a chemical formula of KFe32+AlSi3O10(OH)2. Annite is the iron end member of the biotite mica group, the iron rich analogue of magnesium rich phlogopite. Annite is monoclinic and contains tabular crystals and cleavage fragments with pseudohexagonal outlines. There are contact twins with composition surface {001} and twin axis {310}.Annite was first described in 1868 for the first noted occurrence in Cape Ann, Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts, US. It also occurs on Pikes Peak, El Paso County, Colorado. It occurs in igneous and metamorphic rocks that are deficient in magnesium. It occurs associated with fluorite and zircon in the type locality.


Biotite is a common phyllosilicate mineral within the mica group, with the approximate chemical formula K(Mg,Fe)3AlSi3O10(F,OH)2. More generally, it refers to the dark mica series, primarily a solid-solution series between the iron-endmember annite, and the magnesium-endmember phlogopite; more aluminous end-members include siderophyllite. Biotite was named by J.F.L. Hausmann in 1847 in honor of the French physicist Jean-Baptiste Biot, who performed early research into the many optical properties of mica.Biotite is a sheet silicate. Iron, magnesium, aluminium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen form sheets that are weakly bound together by potassium ions. It is sometimes called "iron mica" because it is more iron-rich than phlogopite. It is also sometimes called "black mica" as opposed to "white mica" (muscovite) – both form in the same rocks, and in some instances side-by-side.

Bird's eye maple (mineral property)

Bird's eye maple, or bird's eye extinction, is a specific type of extinction exhibited by minerals of the mica group under cross polarized light of the petrographic microscope. It gives the mineral a pebbly appearance as it passes into extinction. This is caused when the grinding tools used to create petrographic thin sections of precise thickness alter the alignment of the previously perfect basal cleavage planes which split micas up into its characteristic thin sheets. The resulting, slightly roughened surface alters the extinction angle of various parts of the crystal lattice, leading to this type of extinction. Since it is not a natural feature of the mineral, bird's eye maple is not observed in all mica crystals, nor from all angles, but it is quite common, and is used as a diagnostic feature for micas.

Common micas which exhibit this include biotite (and the magnesium end-member phlogopite) and muscovite.


Cafetite is a rare titanium oxide mineral with formula (Ca,Mg)(Fe,Al)2Ti4O12·4(H2O). It is named for its composition, Ca-Fe-Ti.It was first described in 1959 for an occurrence in the Afrikanda Massif, Afrikanda, Kola Peninsula, Murmanskaja Oblast', Northern Region, Russia. It is also reported from the Khibiny and Kovdor massifs of the Kola Peninsula and from Meagher County, Montana, US.It occurs in pegmatites in a pyroxenite intrusion as crystals in miarolitic cavities. It occurs associated with ilmenite, titaniferous magnetite, titanite, anatase, perovskite, baddeleyite, phlogopite, clinochlore and kassite.


Not to be confused with the political term ClintoniteClintonite is a calcium magnesium aluminium phyllosilicate mineral. It is a member of the margarite group of micas and the subgroup often referred to as the "brittle" micas. Clintonite has the chemical formula: Ca(Mg,Al)3(Al3Si)O10(OH)2. Like other micas and chlorites, clintonite is monoclinic in crystal form and has a perfect basal cleavage parallel to the flat surface of the plates or scales. The Mohs hardness of clintonite is 6.5, and the specific gravity is 3.0 to 3.1. It occurs as variably colored, colorless, green, yellow, red, to reddish-brown masses and radial clusters.

The brittle micas differ chemically from the micas in containing less silica and no alkalis, and from the chlorites in containing much less water; in many respects, they are intermediate between the micas and chlorites. Clintonite and its iron-rich variety xanthophyllite are sometimes considered the calcium analogues of the phlogopites.Typical formation environment is in serpentinized dolomitic limestones and contact metamorphosed skarns. It occurs with talc, spinel, grossular, vesuvianite, clinopyroxene, monticellite, chondrodite, phlogopite, chlorite, quartz, calcite and dolomite.Clintonite was first described in 1843 for an occurrence in Orange County, New York. It was named for De Witt Clinton (1769–1828).


Cuspidine is a fluorine bearing calcium silicate mineral (sorosilicate) with formula: Ca4(Si2O7)(F,OH)2. Cuspidine crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system and occurs as acicular to spear shaped pale red to light brown crystals. It is a member of the wöhlerite group.

Cuspidine was first described in 1876 for an occurrence in Monte Somma, Italy. The name is from the Greek cuspis for spear from its characteristic crystal form. Cuspidine occurs as crystals in tuff from Monte Somma. In the Franklin, New Jersey mine area it occurs in contact metamorphosed limestone. In Dupezeh Mountain, Iraq, it occurs in melilite bearing skarn. Associated minerals include augite, hornblende, diopside, grossular, biotite, phlogopite, monticellite, wollastonite, calcite, spinel, magnetite and perovskite.


Dudleyite is a mineral, named after Dudleyville, Alabama. It is a vermiculite, hydrous mica, derived from margarite, or phlogopite.

Elliott County Kimberlite

The Elliott County Kimberlite (Sometimes called the Ison Creek Kimberlite) was discovered in Elliott County, Kentucky, by Albert R. Crandall in 1884 over two years before Carvill Lewis named a similar porphyritic peridotite occurring near Kimberley, South Africa, a kimberlite. It occurs as three separate elongate intrusive bodies 1/4 to 1/2 mi in length and a few hundred feet in width, within an area of about a square mile. The rock is a dark-green peridotite (kimberlite) composed of serpentinized olivine and a number of accessory minerals, including phlogopite, pyrope, calcite, enstatite, magnesian ilmenite, and others. Xenoliths, mainly of shale, and igneous rock inclusions are abundant in the three intrusive bodies as described by William Brown in 1977. Detailed petrographic descriptions of the peridotite are presented by Diller in 1887 and Bolivar in 1982. The peridotite has been dated to early Permian time by K-Ar and Rb-Sr dating of xenocrystic biotite from one of the intrusive masses, however more recent evidence points to a Cretaceous emplacement. The rock is relatively nonresistant, is commonly disintegrated to as much as 50 feet, and usually asserts no topographical expression. Unweathered rock is hard, dark greenish black and weathers to grayish olive. The saprolite is yellowish to reddish brown and strewn with garnet and ilmenite fragments and xenoliths.

Several attempts have been made to find diamonds in the kimberlite with no success.


Hiärneite is an oxide mineral named after the Swedish geologist Urban Hiärne (1641-1727). The mineral can be found in rocks that mainly consists of fine grained phlogopite. Hiärneite is the first known mineral that contains both of the chemical elements antimony and zirconium. The mineral was described in 1997 for its occurrence in a skarn environment in Långban iron–manganese deposit of the Filipstad district, Värmland, Sweden.


Kimberlite is an igneous rock, which sometimes contains diamonds. It is named after the town of Kimberley in South Africa, where the discovery of an 83.5-carat (16.70 g) diamond called the Star of South Africa in 1869 spawned a diamond rush and the digging of the open-pit mine called the Big Hole. Previously, the term kimberlite has been applied to olivine lamproites as Kimberlite II, however this has been in error .

Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes, as well as igneous dykes. Kimberlite also occurs as horizontal sills. Kimberlite pipes are the most important source of mined diamonds today. The consensus on kimberlites is that they are formed deep within the mantle. Formation occurs at depths between 150 and 450 kilometres (93 and 280 mi), potentially from anomalously enriched exotic mantle compositions, and they are erupted rapidly and violently, often with considerable carbon dioxideand other volatile components. It is this depth of melting and generation that makes kimberlites prone to hosting diamond xenocrysts.

Despite its relative rarity, kimberlite has attracted attention because it serves as a carrier of diamonds and garnet peridotite mantle xenoliths to the Earth's surface. Its probable derivation from depths greater than any other igneous rock type, and the extreme magma composition that it reflects in terms of low silica content and high levels of incompatible trace-element enrichment make an understanding of kimberlite petrogenesis important. In this regard, the study of kimberlite has the potential to provide information about the composition of the deep mantle and melting processes occurring at or near the interface between the cratonic continental lithosphere and the underlying convecting asthenospheric mantle.


Lamproite is an ultrapotassic mantle-derived volcanic or subvolcanic rock. It has low CaO, Al2O3, Na2O, high K2O/Al2O3, a relatively high MgO content and extreme enrichment in incompatible elements.

Lamproites are geographically widespread yet are volumetrically insignificant. Unlike kimberlites, which are found exclusively in Archaean cratons, lamproites are found in terrains of varying age, ranging from Archaean in Western Australia, to Palaeozoic and Mesozoic in southern Spain. They also vary widely in age, from Proterozoic to Pleistocene, the youngest known example being 56,000 ± 5,000 years old.

Lamproite volcanology is varied, with both diatreme styles and cinder cone or cone edifices known.


Lamprophyres (Greek λαµπρός (lamprós) = "bright" and φύρω (phýro) = to mix) are uncommon, small volume ultrapotassic igneous rocks primarily occurring as dikes, lopoliths, laccoliths, stocks and small intrusions. They are alkaline silica-undersaturated mafic or ultramafic rocks with high magnesium oxide, >3% potassium oxide, high sodium oxide and high nickel and chromium.

Lamprophyres occur throughout all geologic eras. Archaean examples are commonly associated with lode gold deposits. Cenozoic examples include magnesian rocks in Mexico and South America, and young ultramafic lamprophyres from Gympie in Australia with 18.5% MgO at ~250 Ma.


The mica group of sheet silicate (phyllosilicate) minerals includes several closely related materials having nearly perfect basal cleavage. All are monoclinic, with a tendency towards pseudohexagonal crystals, and are similar in chemical composition. The nearly perfect cleavage, which is the most prominent characteristic of mica, is explained by the hexagonal sheet-like arrangement of its atoms.

The word mica is derived from the Latin word mica, meaning a crumb, and probably influenced by micare, to glitter.


Norbergite is a nesosilicate mineral with formula Mg3(SiO4)(F,OH)2. It is a member of the humite group.

It was first described in 1926 for an occurrence in the Östanmoss iron mine in Norberg, Västmanland, Sweden, for which it is named.

It occurs in contact metamorphic zones in carbonate rocks intruded by plutonic rocks or pegmatites supplying the fluorine. Associated minerals include dolomite, calcite, tremolite, grossular, wollastonite, forsterite, monticellite, cuspidine, fluoborite, ludwigite, fluorite and phlogopite.


Serendibite is an extremely rare silicate mineral that was first discovered in 1902 in Sri Lanka by Dunil Palitha Gunasekera and named after Serendib, the old Arabic name for Sri Lanka.

The mineral is found in skarns associated with boron metasomatism of carbonate rocks where intruded by granite. Minerals occurring with serendibite include diopside, spinel, phlogopite, scapolite, calcite, tremolite, apatite, grandidierite, sinhalite, hyalophane, uvite, pargasite, clinozoisite, forsterite, warwickite and graphite.

Ultrapotassic igneous rocks

Ultrapotassic igneous rocks are a class of rare, volumetrically minor and generally ultramafic or mafic silica-depleted igneous rocks.

Ultrapotassic rocks are defined by molar K2O/Na2O >3 in much of the scientific literature. In other papers written as recently as 2005, they are defined as rocks with weight percents K2O/Na2O >2. Hence, caution is indicated in interpreting use of the term "ultrapotassic", and the nomenclature of these rocks continues to be debated.

Genesis of these ultrapotassic rocks has been much discussed. The magmas probably are produced by a variety of mechanisms and from a variety of sources. The magma production may be favored by the following:

great depth of partial melting

low degrees of partial melting

lithophile element (K, Ba, Cs, Rb) enrichment in sources

peridotite (variety harzburgite) so enriched, especially in potassium

pyroxene and phlogopite-rich volumes within the mantle, not from peridotite alone

carbon dioxide or water in sources (each condition leading to a distinctive magma);

reaction of melts with surrounding rock as they rise from their sourcesMantle sources of ultrapotassic magmas may contain subducted sediments, or the sources may have been enriched in potassium by melts or fluids partly derived from subducted sediments. Phlogopite and/or potassic amphibole probably are typical in the sources from which many such magmas have been derived. Ultrapotassic granites are uncommon and may be produced by melting of the continental crust above upwelling mafic magma, such as at rift zones.


Vermiculite is a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral. It undergoes significant expansion when heated. Exfoliation occurs when the mineral is heated sufficiently, and the effect is routinely produced in commercial furnaces. Vermiculite is formed by weathering or hydrothermal alteration of biotite or phlogopite. Large commercial vermiculite mines currently exist in Russia, South Africa, China, and Brazil.

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