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Published September 1994 | metadata_only
Journal Article

A new titanium-bearing calcium aluminosilicate phase: II. Crystallography and crystal chemistry of grains formed in slowly cooled melts with bulk compositions of calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions


The crystallography and crystal chemistry of a new calcium- titanium-aluminosilicate mineral (UNK) observed in synthetic analogs to calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) from carbonaceous chondrites was studied by electron diffraction techniques. The unit cell is primitive hexagonal or trigonal, with a = 0.790 ± 0.02 nm and c = 0.492 ± 0.002 nm, similar to the lattice parameters of melilite and consistent with cell dimensions for crystals in a mixer furnace slag described by Barber and Agrell (1994). The phase frequently displays an epitactic relationship in which melilite acts as the host, with (0001)_(UNK) || (001)_(mel) and <101¯0>_(UNK) || <100>_mel. If one of the two space groups determined by Barber and Agrell (1994) for their sample of UNK is applicable (P3ml or P31m), then the structure is probably characterized by puckered sheets of octahedra and tetrahedra perpendicular to the c-axis with successive sheets coordinated by planar arrays of Ca. In this likely structure, each unit cell contains three Ca sites located in mirror planes, one octahedrally coordinated cation located along a three-fold axis and five tetrahedrally coordinated cations, three in mirrors and two along triads. The octahedron contains Ti but, because there are 1.3-1.9 cations of Ti/formula unit, some of the Ti must also be in tetrahedral coordination, an unusual but not unprecedented situation for a silicate. Tetrahedral sites in mirror planes would contain mostly Si, with lesser amounts of Al while those along the triads correspondingly contain mostly Al with subordinate Ti. The structural formula, therefore, can be expressed as Ca^(VIII)_3(Ti,Al)^(VI)(Al,Ti,Si)^(IV)_2(Si,Al)^(IV)_3O_(14) with Si + Ti = 4. Compositions of meteoritic and synthetic Ti-bearing samples of the phase can be described in terms of a binary solid solution between the end-members Ca_3TiAl_2Si_3O_14 and Ca_3Ti(AlTi)(AlSi_2)O_14. A Ti-free analog with a formula of Ca_3Al_2Si_4O_14 synthesized by Paque et al. (1994) is thought to be related structurally but with the octahedral site being occupied by Al, that is, Ca^(VIII)_3Al^(VI)(Al,Si)^(IV)_2(Si)^(IV)_3O_14.

Additional Information

© 1994 The Meteoritical Society. Received 1993 September 28; accepted in revised form 1994 May 3. The role of Ian Hutcheon in acting as an initial liaison for the authors is greatly appreciated. DJB wishes to thank Prof. W. F. Miller for his kind hospitality and for access to the CM12 microscope at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Germany. All of the authors acknowledge the helpful comments of A Brearley and an anonymous reviewer. This work was supported by NASA grants NAG9-105 and NAGW-3533, NERC grant GR3/5349 and SETI grant NCC 2-758. Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Division Contribution No. 5137. Editorial handling: K. Keil

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023