Forsterite

Forsterite

Mineral
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Forsterite

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Description:
Forsterite (Mg<sub>2</sub>SiO<sub>4</sub>) is the magnesium rich end-member of the olivine solid solution series. Forsterite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system (space group Pbnm) with cell parameters a 4.75 Å (0.475 nm), b 10.20 Å (1.020&nbsp;nm) and c 5.98 Å (0.598&nbsp;nm).

Forsterite is associated with igneous and metamorphic rocks and has also been found in meteorites. In 2005 it was also found in cometary dust returned by the Stardust probe.

Two polymorphs of forsterite are known: wadsleyite (also orthorhombic) and ringwoodite (isometric). Both are mainly known from meteorites.

Peridot is the gemstone variety of forsterite olivine.

Forsterite reacts with quartz to form the orthopyroxene mineral enstatite in the following reaction:

Mg<sub>2</sub>SiO<sub>4</sub> + SiO<sub>2</sub> → 2&nbsp;MgSiO<sub>3</sub>.


Composition

Pure forsterite is composed of magnesium, oxygen and silicon. The chemical formula is Mg<sub>2</sub>SiO<sub>4</sub>. Forsterite, fayalite (Fe<sub>2</sub>SiO<sub>4</sub>) and tephroite (Mn<sub>2</sub>SiO<sub>4</sub>) are the end-members of the olivine...
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