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Mineralpedia Details for Hydromagnesite

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Hydromagnesite

Hydromagnesite

Named for the water content and its similarity to magnesite. Widespread with many minor localites, but still uncommon, Hydromagnesite is well studied from localities in the united Staes, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Austria, France, Iran, Zimbabwe, and Antarctica. Hydromagnesite is the most common carbonate in caves after calcite and aragonite. In caves it is a common component of speleothems and “moonmilk,” which is a white, creamy substance found in caves that never hardens. It also forms in hydrothermally altered dolomite xenoliths, marble, and altered ultramafic rocks and serpentinites as incrustations and a fracture filling.

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

Formula
Mg5(CO3)4(OH)2ยท4H2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Acicular, Encrustations 
Cleavage
Perfect, Distinct, None 
Luster
Silky 
Color
colorless, white 
Streak
white 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Uneven 
Hardness
3.5 
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Hydromagnesite from Lee River Valley, near Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Hydromagnesite
            from Lee River Valley, near Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Radial, flat, white crystals 5mm.

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Hydromagnesite from Aurora mine, San Benito Co., California, United States

Hydromagnesite
            from Aurora mine, San Benito Co., California, United States

Snow white incrustation of Hydromagnesite as "bubbly" growths on matrix.

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Hydromagnesite from Eibenthal, Almas Mts, Mehedinti Co., Romania

Hydromagnesite
            from Eibenthal, Almas Mts, Mehedinti Co., Romania

Snow white sprays to 1mm. Ex. Paul Nicholson collection with tag (see prov. tab).

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