Non-Equilibrium Highly Anisometric Crystals and Whiskers of Galena

I. K. Bonev
Geological Institue, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract: Unusual irregular galena crystals and whiskers were found in close proximity in some druse cavities from the Gradishte hydrothermal lead-zinc deposit in the Madan ore district, Bulgaria. The following crystal forms were observed: (1) straight thin [110] whiskers and thicker needles; (2) kinked whiskers; (3) curvilinear whiskers; (4) complex tortuous whiskers composed of segments with varying directions—[110], [100], [211]; (5) thicker irregular clongated crystals. Combinations of these forms occur also. The detailed SEM study shows that all these formations are single crystals of extreme anisometricity, bounded by octahedral and cubic faces as well as by stepped surfaces of these forms. Surface structures such as longitudinal grooves, jagged edges, striations, pits, etc., are abundant.

It is assumed that these highly non-equilibrium crystals with large surface areas were formed through rapid directed growth from highly supersaturated solutions under a diffusional regime. Such special environments arose in the ore veins as a result of tectonic shocks leading locally to a drastic volume increase and P and T decrease in the solutions.

Keywords: galena • crystal morphology • crystal growth • whiskers • Madan ore district

Mineralogical Magazine; June 1993 v. 57; no. 387; p. 231-240; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1993.057.387.05
© 1993, The Mineralogical Society
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