Taranakite

Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula 3 (, 3+ ) 5 (PO 4 ) 2 (HPO 4 ) 6 ·18H 2 O.wikipedia
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Guano

bat guanowanudroppings
It forms from the reaction of clay minerals or aluminous rocks with solutions enriched in phosphate derived from bat or bird guano or, less commonly, from bones or other organic matter.
It may react with the rocky substrate of islands like basalt to form authigenic, phosphatic minerals including taranakite and leucophosphite.

Sugar Loaf Islands

MikotahiSugar Loaf Islands / Ngā Motu
The type location, and its namesake, the Sugar Loaf Islands off Taranaki, New Zealand, is an example of a coastal occurrence. The material had been found by H. Richmond on the Sugar Loaf Islands of Taranaki, New Zealand (in the vicinity of -39.04909°N, 174.02771°W), as thin yellowish-white amorphous seams in fissures within trachytic rocks.
The Sugar Loaf Islands are the type locality of taranakite, a phosphate mineral that forms from the reaction of bird guano with the aluminous rocks comprising the islands.

Phosphate minerals

phosphate mineralphosphatesphosphate
Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula 3 (, 3+ ) 5 (PO 4 ) 2 (HPO 4 ) 6 ·18H 2 O.

Alkali

alkalinealkalisalkalinity
Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula 3 (, 3+ ) 5 (PO 4 ) 2 (HPO 4 ) 6 ·18H 2 O.

Iron

FeFe 2+ Fe(III)
Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula 3 (, 3+ ) 5 (PO 4 ) 2 (HPO 4 ) 6 ·18H 2 O.

Aluminium

aluminumAlall-metal
Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula 3 (, 3+ ) 5 (PO 4 ) 2 (HPO 4 ) 6 ·18H 2 O.

Phosphate

phosphatesphosphate groupinorganic phosphate
It forms from the reaction of clay minerals or aluminous rocks with solutions enriched in phosphate derived from bat or bird guano or, less commonly, from bones or other organic matter. Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula 3 (, 3+ ) 5 (PO 4 ) 2 (HPO 4 ) 6 ·18H 2 O.

Water

H 2 OHOliquid water
Taranakite is a hydrated alkali iron-aluminium phosphate mineral with chemical formula 3 (, 3+ ) 5 (PO 4 ) 2 (HPO 4 ) 6 ·18H 2 O.

Clay minerals

smectiteclay mineralclay
It forms from the reaction of clay minerals or aluminous rocks with solutions enriched in phosphate derived from bat or bird guano or, less commonly, from bones or other organic matter.

Type locality (geology)

type localitytype locationtype localities
The type location, and its namesake, the Sugar Loaf Islands off Taranaki, New Zealand, is an example of a coastal occurrence.

Taranaki

Taranaki RegionTaranaki Regional CouncilTaranaki, New Zealand
The type location, and its namesake, the Sugar Loaf Islands off Taranaki, New Zealand, is an example of a coastal occurrence.

Crystal structure

unit celllatticecrystal lattice
Taranakite crystallizes in the hexagonal system, and is noted as having the longest crystallographic axis of any known mineral: the c-axis of the taranakite unit cell is 9.505 nanometers long.

Nanometre

nmnanometernanometers
Taranakite crystallizes in the hexagonal system, and is noted as having the longest crystallographic axis of any known mineral: the c-axis of the taranakite unit cell is 9.505 nanometers long.

James Hector

HectorSir James HectorDr Hector
Taranakite was first described in 1866 by James Hector and William Skey.

William Skey

Taranakite was first described in 1866 by James Hector and William Skey.

Trachyte

trachytictrachytesorthophyre
The material had been found by H. Richmond on the Sugar Loaf Islands of Taranaki, New Zealand (in the vicinity of -39.04909°N, 174.02771°W), as thin yellowish-white amorphous seams in fissures within trachytic rocks.

Wavellite

Within the taranakite, dark yellow-brown seams were observed and thought to be wavellite.

Mohs scale of mineral hardness

Mohs hardnessMohs scalehardness
Physical differences—its relative softness and ease of fusibility—led Skey, the colonial New Zealand Government analyst, to undertake quantitative chemical analysis which identified the mineral as a double hydrous phosphate of aluminia and potash, with some replacement of aluminium with ferric iron.

Fusibility

fuse
Physical differences—its relative softness and ease of fusibility—led Skey, the colonial New Zealand Government analyst, to undertake quantitative chemical analysis which identified the mineral as a double hydrous phosphate of aluminia and potash, with some replacement of aluminium with ferric iron.

Iron(III)

ferricFe 3+ Fe(III)
Physical differences—its relative softness and ease of fusibility—led Skey, the colonial New Zealand Government analyst, to undertake quantitative chemical analysis which identified the mineral as a double hydrous phosphate of aluminia and potash, with some replacement of aluminium with ferric iron.

Monocalcium phosphate

superphosphatesuper phosphateTriple Super Phosphate
Hector and Skey identified bird guano as the most likely source of the phosphate required to form taranakite, and speculated on possible advantages of its use in making superphosphate, owing to the absence of carbonate and relatively small amounts of aluminium.

Hérault

Herault34department of Hérault
In 1894, Armand Gautier described a mineral which he called minervite from caves at Grotte de Minerve in Hérault, France and argued that it formed from decomposing guano and animal remains reacting with clays.

Ammonium phosphate

ammonium phosphatesE342S
He experimentally justified this by reacting ammonium phosphate with gelatinous aluminium oxide, iron carbonate, and limestone.

Aluminium oxide

aluminaaluminum oxideAl 2 O 3
He experimentally justified this by reacting ammonium phosphate with gelatinous aluminium oxide, iron carbonate, and limestone.

Powder diffraction

X-ray powder diffractionpowder X-ray diffractionpowders
These two minerals were later identified through X-ray powder diffraction as taranakite and discredited in favor of taranakite by historical priority.