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Scenicite, a new uranyl-sulfate mineral from the White Canyon district, San Juan County, Utah, USA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 May 2022

Anthony R. Kampf*
Mineral Sciences Department, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
Jakub Plášil
Institute of Physics ASCR, v.v.i., Na Slovance 1999/2, 18221 Prague 8, Czech Republic
Travis A. Olds
Section of Minerals and Earth Sciences, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
Chi Ma
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
Joe Marty
Mineral Sciences Department, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
*Author for correspondence: Anthony R. Kampf, Email: *E–mail:


The new mineral scenicite (IMA2021-057), [(UO2)(H2O)2(SO4)]2⋅3H2O, was found in the Green Lizard, Giveaway–Simplot, Markey and Scenic mines, White Canyon district, San Juan County, Utah, USA, where it occurs as a secondary phase on granular quartz matrix in association with various combinations of deliensite, gypsum, natrozippeite, rietveldite and shumwayite. Scenicite crystals are transparent, light green yellow, poorly formed blades or prisms, up to 0.1 mm in length. The mineral has white streak and vitreous lustre. It exhibits bright greenish-white fluorescence (405 nm laser). It is brittle with irregular, curved fracture and a Mohs hardness of ~2. It has excellent {100} and good {001} cleavages. The calculated density is 3.497 g cm–3. Optically, the mineral is biaxial (–) with α = 1.556(2), β = 1.573(2), γ = 1.576(2) (white light); 2V = 45(3)°; extreme r < v dispersion; orientation: X = c, Y = a, Z = b; pleochroism: X and Y = colourless, Z = light green–yellow; and X = Y < Z. The Raman spectrum exhibits bands consistent with UO22+, SO42– and O–H. Electron microprobe analysis provided the empirical formula U1.996S2.005O19H13.997. The five strongest powder X-ray diffraction lines are [dobs Å(I)(hkl)]: 7.69(70)(201), 5.63(100)(111), 4.92(84)(202,310), 4.80(93)(401) and 3.398(55)(020,120,511,601). Scenicite is orthorhombic, Pca21, a = 21.2144(15), b = 6.8188(3) c = 11.2554(6) Å, V = 1628.18(16) Å3 and Z = 4. In the structure of scenicite (R1 = 0.0365 for 1259 I > 2σI), linkages of pentagonal bipyramids and tetrahedra form an infinite neutral [(UO2)(SO4)(H2O)2] chain. The structure of shumwayite contains topologically identical chains.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland

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Associate Editor: Oleg I Siidra


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