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In general, the sources of barium in groundwater can be barium-rich feldspars, plagioclases, micas, apatite, baryte, barium-carbonate minerals of the aragonite group, such as witherite and alstonite (= bromlite, barytocalcite), barium rare-earth uranium carbonates, etc.
Several minerals were first discovered in the North Pennines including witherite on Alston Moor by Dr William Witherite in 1783, Alstonite in 1835 and Brianyoungite, which was found by Northumberland geologist Brian Young in 1993.
Following the 1889 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, for example, he made the rounds in Cumberland with "a leading mineralogist," acquiring "butterfly" calcite, barite, fluorite, witherite, alstonite.
In some specimens the alstonite is intergrown with very thin hexagonal platy crystals of "nail-head" calcite.
In the early years of the 1800s alstonite was marketed as "brom-lite"; there is one such specimen in the Greenbank collection (LG-320), dated by the use of that discredited name on the label.
The Fallowfield mine is one of the two type localities for alstonite (the other being the Brownley Hill mine).
Witherite is occasionally found intergrown with alstonite crystals.
For years Lindsay had sought to relocate the original occurrence of the mineral alstonite, finally succeeding in 1987 at the Brownley Hill mine.
1974) The occurrence of alstonite at Cave-in-Rock, Illinois.
Association of barytocalcite and its polymorphous modifications, alstonite and paralstonite, with fluorite is well-known at numerous localities, whereas the first known barium-calcium fluorocarbonate in nature is podlesnoite, and its synthetic analog has yet to be produced.
It has recently produced exceptional specimens of the rare mineral alstonite, which was first discovered at the mine in the 1830s, and is also well known for galena, fluorite, millerite, sphalerite and rare supergene species such as brianyoungite and bottinoite.
This is the only known North American occurrence of alstonite.