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The pyrochlore supergroup of minerals: nomenclature

Atencio D., Andrade M.B., Christy A.G., Gieré R., Kartashov P.M.
2 010
Canadian Mineralogist
A new scheme of nomenclature for the pyrochlore supergroup, approved by the CNMNC–IMA, is based on the ions at the A, B and Y sites. What has been referred to until now as the pyrochlore group should be referred to as the pyrochlore supergroup, and the subgroups should be changed to groups. Five groups are recommended, based on the atomic proportions of the B atoms Nb, Ta, Sb, Ti, and W. The recommended groups are pyrochlore, microlite, roméite, betafite, and elsmoreite, respectively. The new names are composed of two prefixes and one root name (identical to the name of the group). The first prefix refers to the dominant anion (or cation) of the dominant valence [or H2O or □] at the Y site. The second prefix refers to the dominant cation of the dominant valence [or H2O or □] at the A site. The prefix “keno-” represents “vacancy”. Where the first and second prefixes are equal, then only one prefix is applied. Complete descriptions are missing for the majority of the pyrochlore-supergroup species. Only seven names refer to valid species on the grounds of their complete descriptions: oxycalciopyrochlore, hydropyrochlore, hydroxykenomicrolite, oxystannomicrolite, oxystibiomicrolite, hydroxycalcioroméite, and hydrokenoelsmoreite. Fluornatromicrolite is an IMA-approved mineral, but the complete description has not yet been published. The following 20 names refer to minerals that need to be completely described in order to be approved as valid species: hydroxycalciopyrochlore, fluornatropyrochlore, fluorcalciopyrochlore, fluorstrontiopyrochlore, fluorkenopyrochlore, oxynatropyrochlore, oxyplumbopyrochlore, oxyyttropyrochlore-(Y), kenoplumbopyrochlore, fluorcalciomicrolite, oxycalciomicrolite, kenoplumbomicrolite, hydromicrolite, hydrokenomicrolite, oxycalciobetafite, oxyuranobetafite, fluornatroroméite, fluorcalcioroméite, oxycalcioroméite, and oxyplumboroméite. For these, there are only chemical or crystal-structure data. Type specimens need to be defined. Potential candidates for several other species exist, but are not sufficiently well characterized to grant them any official status. Ancient chemical data refer to wet-chemical analyses and commonly represent a mixture of minerals. These data were not used here. All data used represent results of electron-microprobe analyses or were obtained by crystal-structure refinement. We also verified the scarcity of crystal-chemical data in the literature. There are crystal-structure determinations published for only nine pyrochlore-supergroup minerals: hydropyrochlore, hydroxykenomicrolite, hydroxycalcioroméite, hydrokenoelsmoreite, hydroxycalciopyrochlore, fluorcalciopyrochlore, kenoplumbomicrolite, oxycalciobetafite, and fluornatroroméite. The following mineral names are now discarded: alumotungstite, bariomicrolite, bariopyrochlore, bindheimite, bismutomicrolite, bismutopyrochlore, bismutostibiconite, calciobetafite, ceriopyrochlore-(Ce), cesstibtantite, ferritungstite, jixianite, kalipyrochlore, monimolite, natrobistantite, partzite, plumbobetafite, plumbomicrolite, plumbopyrochlore, stannomicrolite, stetefeldtite, stibiconite, stibiobetafite, stibiomicrolite, strontiopyrochlore, uranmicrolite, uranpyrochlore, yttrobetafite-(Y), and yttropyrochlore-(Y).
EES Authors: 
Reto Gieré

Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316