Skip to main content Accessibility help

Crystal chemistry of leucite from the Roman Comagmatic Province (central Italy): a multi-methodological study

  • G. D. Gatta (a1) (a2), N. Rotiroti (a1) (a2), F. Bellatreccia (a3) and G. Della Ventura (a3)


A multi-methodological study, based on electron microprobe analysis (in wavelength dispersive mode), single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy and single-crystal Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was performed in order to describe the crystal chemistry of four leucite samples from different localities of the Roman Comagmatic Province (central Italy). All the crystals examined were found to be tetragonal (space group I41/a with a = 13.076–13.103 Å and c = 13.744–13.784 Å) and characterized by a complex twinning (merohedric twins: on the tetragonal planes (110) and (1̄10) with the two individuals having parallel crystallographic axes with a and b interchanged; pseudo-merohedric twins: on the tetragonal planes (101), (011), (1̄01), (01̄ 1), with the two individuals having parallel a (or b) axes and the remaining two axes not parallel). The chemical analyses show that all the samples contain minor Na and Fe. Infrared spectroscopy shows that all samples contain structurally bound water molecules, up to unexpectedly large amounts (~0.4 wt.%) for a nominally anhydrous mineral, suggesting that ‘analcime-like’ substitution (K to Na + H2O) occurs in the leucite samples investigated here. The detection limits of the ‘analcime-like’ substitution by singlecrystal XRD are also discussed.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Armbruster, T. and Gunter, M.E. (2001) Crystal structures of natural zeolites. Pp. 1–57 in: Natural Zeolites: Occurrence, Properties, Application (Bish, D.L. and Ming, D.W., editors). Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 45, Mineralogical Society of America and the Geochemical Society, Washington D.C.
Baerlocher, Ch., Meier, W.M. and Olson, D.H. (2001) Atlas of Zeolite Framework Types. 5th edition, Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 302 pp.
Balassone, G., Beran, A., Fameli, G., Amalfitano, C. and Petti, C. (2006) The hydrous component in leucite from Somma–Vesuvius and Roccamonfina volcanoes (southern Italy)–a FTIR spectroscopic investigat i o n. Neues Jahrbuch für Mi neralogie Abhandlungen, 182, 149–156.
Bellatreccia, F., Della Ventura, G., Ottolini, L., Libowitzky, E. and Beran, A. (2005) The quantitative analysis of OH in vesuvianite: a polarized FTIR and SIMS study. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 32, 65–76.
Beran, A., Langer, K. and Andrut, M. (1993) Single crystal infrared spectra in the OH range fundamentals of paragenetic garnet, omphacite and kyanite in an eclogitic mantle xenolith. Mineralogy and Petrology, 48, 257–268.
Brown, I.W.M., Cardile, C.M., Mackenzie, K.J.D., Ryan, M.J. and Meinhold, R.H. (1987) Natural and synthetic leucites studied by solid state 29–Si NMR and 57–Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 15, 78–83.
Coombs, D.S., Alberti, A., Armbruster, T., Artioli, G., Colella, C., Galli, E., Grice, J.D., Liebau, F., Mandarino, J.A., Minato, H., Nickel, E.H., Passaglia, E., Peacor, D.R., Quartieri, S., Rinaldi, R., Ross, M., Sheppard, R.A., Tillmanns, E. and Vezzalini, G. (1997) Recommended nomenclature for zeolite minerals: report of the Subcommittee on Zeolites of the International Mineralogical Association, Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names. The Canadian Mineralogist, 35, 1571–1606.
Conticelli, S. and Peccerillo, A. (1992) Petrology and geochemistry of potassic and ultrapotassic volcanism in Central Italy: petrogenesis and inferences on the evolution of the mantle sources. Lithos, 28, 221–240.
Conticelli, S., D’Antonio, M., Pinarelli, L. and Civetta, L. (2002) Source contamination and mantle heterogeneity in the genesis of Italian potassic and ultrapotassic volcanic rocks: Sr–Nd–Pb isotope data from the Roman Province and Southern Tuscany. Mineralogy and Petrology, 74, 189–222.
Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A. and Zussman, J. (2004) The Rock–forming Minerals. Vol. 4B: Framework Silicates. The Geological Society, London, UK.
Della Ventura, G., Bellatreccia, F. and Piccinini, M. (2008) Presence and zoning of hydrous components in leucite from the Alban Hills volcano (Rome, Italy). American Mineralogist (in press).
Dove, M.T., Cool, T., Palmer, D.C., Putnis, A., Salje, E.K.H. and Winkler, B. (1993) On the role of Al–Si ordering in the cubic–tetragonal phase transition in leucite. American Mineralogist, 78, 486–492.
Faust, G.T. (1963) Phase transition in synthetic and natural leucite. Schweizerische Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen, 43, 165–195.
Federico, M., Peccerillo, A., Barbieri, M. and Wu, T.W. (1994) Mineralogical and geochemical study of granular xenoliths from the Alban Hill volcano, central Italy: bearing on evolutionary processes in potassic magma chambers. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 115, 384–401.
Gatta, G.D., Nestola, F. and Boffa Ballaran T. (2006) Elastic behavior, phase transition and pressure induced structural evolution of analcime. American Mineralogist, 91, 568–578.
Gatta, G.D., Rotiroti, N., Boffa Ballaran, T. and Pavese, A. (2008) Leucite at high–pressure: elastic behaviour, phase stability and petrological implications. American Mineralogist (in press).
Gottardi, G. and Galli, E. (1985) Natural Zeolites. Springer–Verlag, Berlin. 409 pp.
Heaney, P.J. and Veblen, D.R. (1990) A high–temperature study of the low–high leucite phase transition using the transmission electron microscope. American Mineralogist, 75, 464–476.
Larson, A.C. (1970) Crystallographic Computing (Ahmed, F.R., Hall, S.R. and Huber, C.P., editors). Munksgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark. 291–294 pp.
Libowitzky, E. and Rossman, G.R. (1997) An IR absorption calibration for water in minerals. American Mineralogist, 82, 1111–1115.
Mazzi, F., Galli, E. and Gottardi, G. (1976) The crystal structure of tetragonal leucite. American Mineralogist, 61, 108–115.
Newton, H., Hayward, S.A. and Redfern, S.A.T. (2008) Order parameter coupling in leucite: a calorimetric study. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 35, 11–16.
DOI 10.1007/s00269–007–0193–3. Oxford Diffraction (2005) Xcalibur CCD system. CrysAlis Software system, Version 1.170. Oxford Diffraction Ltd.
Palmer, D.C., Putnis, A. and Salje, E.K.H. (1988) Twinning in tetragonal leucite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 16, 298–303.
Palmer, D.C., Salje, E.K.H. and Schmahl, W.W. (1989) Phase transitions in leucite: X–ray diffraction studies. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 16, 714–719.
Palmer, D.C., Bismayer, U. and Salje, E.K.H. (1990) Phase transitions in leucite: order parameter behaviour and the Landau potential deduced from Raman spectroscopy and birefringence studies. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 17, 259–265.
Palmer, D.C., Dove, M.T., Ibberson, R.I. and Powell, B.M. (1997) Structural behavior, crystal chemistry, and phase transitions in substituted leucite: highresolution neutron powder diffraction studies. American Mineralogist, 82, 16–29.
Peacor, D.R. (1968) A high temperature single crystal diffractometer study of leucite, (K, Na)AlSi2O6. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, 127, 213–224.
Peccerillo, A. (1998) Relationships between ultrapotas– sic and carbonate–rich volcanic rocks in central Italy: petrogenetic and geodynamic implications. Lithos, 43, 267–279.
Peccerillo, A. (2003) Plio–Quaternary magmatism in Italy. Episodes, 26, 222–226.
Peccerillo, A. (2005) Plio–Quaternary Volcanismin Italy. Petrology, Geochemistry, Geodynamics. Springer, Heidelberg, 365 pp.
Putnis, C.V., Geisler, T., Schmid–Beurmann, P., Stephan, T. and Giampaolo, C. (2007) An experimental study of the replacement of leucite by analcime. American Mineralogist, 92, 19–26.
Sheldrick, G.M. (1997) SHELX–97. Programs for crystal structure determination and refinement. University of Göttingen, Germany.
Taylor, D. and Henderson, C.M.B. (1968) The thermal expansion of the leucite group of minerals. American Mineralogist, 53, 1476–1489.
Taylor, D. and MacKenzie, W.S. (1975) A contribution to the pseudoleucite problem. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 49, 321–333.
Wilson, A.J.C. and Prince, E. (editors) (1999) International Tables for X–ray Crystallography, Volume C: Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Tables (2nd edition), Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Gatta et al. supplementary material
Deposited Table 5, Bond distances and angles pertaining to the four natural samples of leucite.

 Unknown (8 KB)
8 KB

Crystal chemistry of leucite from the Roman Comagmatic Province (central Italy): a multi-methodological study

  • G. D. Gatta (a1) (a2), N. Rotiroti (a1) (a2), F. Bellatreccia (a3) and G. Della Ventura (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed