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Mineralpedia Details for Dawsonite

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Dawsonite

Dawsonite

John William Dawson is the namesake of Dawsonite as a former Canadian geologist and Principal of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dawsonite is an uncommon mineral that occurs in localities in Canada, the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Albania, Hungary, Russia, Tanzania, Algeria, Australia, and a few others. In its Canadian locality is occurs as a coating on vug walls and fractures in hydrothermally altered feldspathic dikes and hornfels, in its US locality in the Green River formation as an authigenic mineral in alkaline shales and coal bearing rocks, and at its Tanzanian locality in saline soil in nepheline syenite tuff.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/dawsonite.pdf

Formula
NaAlCO3(OH)2 
Crystal System
Orthorhombic 
Crystal Habit
Radial, Acicular, Encrustations 
Cleavage
Perfect, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Silky 
Color
colorless, white 
Streak
white 
Class
Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Uneven 
Hardness
WebMineral
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Mindat
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Dawsonite from Amiata Mt., Tuscany, Italy

Dawsonite
            from Amiata Mt., Tuscany, Italy

Snow white acicular radial sprays to 1mm.

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Dawsonite from Oued Sidi Bou Ali, Tenes, Algeria

Dawsonite
            from Oued Sidi Bou Ali, Tenes, Algeria

White radial flat-lying crystal groups of Dawsonite to 0.5mm across.

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Dawsonite from Francon quarry, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Dawsonite
            from Francon quarry, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Special Info
Type Locality

Exceptionally large, and well-formed prismatic crystals with terminations in groups to 5mm. The crystal size is more like 2-3mm. The long bladed, creamy brown crystals are Celestine.

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Dawsonite from Komana, Drin valley, Shkodra Co., Albania

Dawsonite
            from Komana, Drin valley, Shkodra Co., Albania

Snow white, almost fibrous, Dawsonite crystals, in groups to 8mm.

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