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Discreditation of the pyroxenoid mineral name ‘marshallsussmanite’ with a reinstatement of the name schizolite, NaCaMnSi3O8(OH)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 April 2019

Joel D. Grice*
Canadian Museum of Nature, PO Box 3443 Stn D, Ottawa Canada, KIP 6P4, Canada
Aaron J. Lussier
Canadian Museum of Nature, PO Box 3443 Stn D, Ottawa Canada, KIP 6P4, Canada
Henrik Friis
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, PO Box 1172, Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway
Ralph Rowe
Canadian Museum of Nature, PO Box 3443 Stn D, Ottawa Canada, KIP 6P4, Canada
Glenn G. Poirier
Canadian Museum of Nature, PO Box 3443 Stn D, Ottawa Canada, KIP 6P4, Canada
Zina Fihl
Natural History Museum of Denmark, Øster Volgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
*Author for correspondence: Joel D. Grice, Email:


Schizolite, originating from the type locality, Tutop Agtakôrfia, in the Ilímaussaq alkaline complex, Julianehåb district, South Greenland, was described initially by Winther (1901) with additional data being supplied by Bøggild (1903). Recently, a proposal for the new mineral ‘marshallsussmanite’ was submitted to, and approved by, the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (IMA2013-067) by Origlieri et al. (2013). Results from the detailed examination of two schizolite cotype samples presented here, using single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, and optical properties, confirms it to be equivalent to ‘marshallsussmanite’. Historical precedence sets a priority for discrediting the name ‘marshallsussmanite’ in favour of the original, more-than-a century-old name, schizolite. The two schizolite samples investigated vary slightly in physical and chemical properties but are consistent overall. The prismatic crystals are pale red or pink to brownish. Schizolite is brittle with a splintery aspect. It is biaxial (+), with average optical parameters: α = 1.626 ± 0.003, β = 1.630 ± 0.002, γ = 1.661 ± 0.002, 2Vmeas = 71(4)° and 2Vcalc = 40°; there is no pleochroism. Electron microprobe analysis shows both samples have nearly identical compositions (differences <0.4 wt.% oxide), with the mean values of: SiO2 52.6(4); Al2O3 0.005(1); FeO 2.54(2); MnO 13.86(9); CaO 17.9(4); Na2O 8.9(1); and H2O 2.59(2) wt.% oxide; this corresponds to a mean formula of: Na1.00(2)Ca1.11(7)Mn0.68(1)Fe0.12(0)Si3.041(1)O8(OH). Final least-squares structure refinements for both samples converged at R1 values ≤2.0%; H atoms were located in all refinements.

Copyright © Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2019 

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Associate Editor: Ferdinando Bosi


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