Rare Minerals from Larsemann Hills Image 4
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Rare Minerals from Larsemann Hills (Image 4)

June 29, 2010
Rare Minerals from Larsemann Hills (Image 4) Tassieite is one of three new phosphate minerals discovered by Edward S. Grew, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Maine, in the Larsemann Hills, a coastal exposure on Prydz Bay, East Antarctica, during the 2003-2004 field season. The photomicrograph (plane light) shows a relatively large bluish-green crystal of tassieite, which is a calcium-sodium-iron-magnesium phosphate, set in a matrix of apatite (calcium fluorophosphate). The Larsemann Hills are unique for the variety of phosphorus and boron minerals, some of which are found in spectacular specimens, and others of which are not found elsewhere. Three of the nine phosphate minerals found during the 2003-2004 season are new to science: stornesite (yttrium), tassieite and chopinite. This research was supported by National Science Foundation grant OPP 02-28842, "Boron in Antarctica granulite-facies rocks: under what conditions is boron retained in the middle crust?" (Date of Image: samples collected during austral summer 2003-2004; photomicrographs taken in 2004-2005) [One of four related images. See Next Image.]

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