Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 883 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AMPHIBOLE, an important group of rock-forming minerals, very similar in chemical composition and general characters to the pyroxenes, and like them falling into three series according to the system of crystallization. They differ from the pyroxenes, however, in having an angle between the prismatic cleavage of 56° instead of 87°; they are specifically lighter than the corresponding pyroxenes; and, in their optical characters, they are distinguished by their stronger pleochroism and by the wider angle of extinction on the plane of symmetry. They are minerals of either original or secondary origin; in the former case occurring as constituents (hornblende) of igneous rocks, such as granite, diorite, andesite, &c. Those of secondary origin have either been developed (tremolite) in limestones by contact-metamorphism, or have resulted (actinolite) by the alteration of augite by dynamo-metamorphism. Pseudomorphs of amphibole after pyroxene are known as uralite. The name amphibole (from the Gr. aw/,i3oXos, ambiguous) was used by R. J. Hauy to include tremolite, actinolite and hornblende; this term has since been applied to the whole group. Numerous sub-species and varieties are distinguished, the more important of which are tabulated below in three series. The formulae of each will be seen to conform to the general meta-silicate formula R"SiO3.
End of Article: AMPHIBOLE

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