University of Georgia Department of Geology

Abstracts for the Spring 2004 Journal Club seminar series

February 5 - Bruce Railsback, Department of Geology, University of Georgia

          A Systematic Explanation of Systematic Mineralogy

Systematic mineralogy (the study of the various chemically distinct mineral groups) is commonly presented with little over-arching organization or rationalization. The recently published Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions now provides a useful framework in which to understand patterns and trends in mineralogy. Application of the concept of ionic potential (ionic charge divided by ionic radius) to both cations and anions helps to show why some minerals exist and are quite stable, other minerals dissolve or decompose readily, and some compounds don't exist as minerals at all. The result is an easier way to understand or predict the chemistry of minerals (and the dissociation constants of acids).

Key Figures:

Introductory material:
       Table of simple minerals

The "ide" minerals: Chlorides, fluorides, oxides, and carbides:
       "ide" minerals - anhydrous and of single cations
       "ide" minerals - anhydrous but with additional cations
       "ide" minerals - including hydrous ones

Polyhedral linkage:
       Polyhedral linkage in the "ate" minerals (minerals of oxysalt anions)
       Bowen's Reaction Series

The "ate" minerals (to be viewed as a sequence):
       Nitrate minerals
       Sulfate minerals
       Carbonate minerals
       Phosphate minerals
       Silicate minerals

Summary diagrams:
       Summary slide 1: simple anhydrous minerals
       Summary slide 2: simple anhydrous minerals, with emphasis on non-minerals
       Summary slide 3: minerals with H2O and OH-

       A summary of the "-ate" minerals
       A summary of the "-ide" minerals
       A summary of both - the ultimate summary of this talk

Diagrams about acids, prepared for this talk but not used for lack of time:
       Dissociation constants of acids of simple anions (e.g. hydrochloric acid)
       Dissociation constants of acids of oxysalt anions (e.g. sulfuric acid)
       The same with some reactions added

The Spring 2004 Journal Club schedule
e-mail to Railsback (
Railsback's main web page
UGA Geology Department web page