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(ŏlĭv`ēn), an iron-magnesium silicate mineral, (Mg,Fe)2SiO4, crystallizing in the orthorhombic system. It is a common constituent of magnesium-rich, silica-poor igneous rocks; metamorphism of some high magnesium sediments also can form olivine. Dunite consists almost entirely of olivine. It also occurs in lunar rocks and meteorites. Olivine has a characteristic yellow-green to olive-green color, hence the name. Transparent olivine of good color can be cut into gemstones; the gem form is known as peridot. Sources of gem-quality olivine are St. John's Island in the Red Sea, Myanmar, and Arizona. Magnesium-rich olivine has a high melting point and is used in the manufacture of refractories. It was formerly called chrysolite.



(also peridot or chrysolite), a mineral of the neso-silicate class; the main representative of the olivine group. The olivine group includes forsterite, Mg2[SiO4]; olivine, (Mg,Fe)2[SiO4]; fayalite, Fe2[SiO4]; tephroite, Mn2[SiO4]; knebelite, (Fe,Mn)2[SiO4]; and monticellite, CaMg[SiO4].

The minerals of the olivine group differ from one another in both properties and composition. They crystallize in the ortho-rhombic system to form tabular or prismatic crystals. The olivine structure is composed of isolated tetrahedral SiO44- groups and of Mg2+ and Fe2+ cations surrounded by six oxygen ions. The structural distribution of magnesium and iron, as determined by Mössbauer spectra, serves as a geothermometer. Olivine has imperfect cleavage; its hardness on Mohs’ scale is 6.5–7.0, and its density is 3,200–4,400 kg/m3, depending on the number of heavy iron and manganese atoms per molecule. Its color varies from yellowish green to olive green; sometimes the mineral is colorless.

Olivine is widespread in nature as a rock-forming mineral in ultrabasic and basic rocks, such as dunites, peridotites, olivine gabbros, diabases, and basalts, including lunar basalt. The olivine structure rearranges to form a spinel-type lattice under high pressure (130–160 kilobars). The effect of hydrothermal solutions readily alters olivine into serpentine and sometimes also to talc. On the earth’s surface, olivine decomposes to yield magne-site, hydrous iron oxides, and opal. Transparent olivine crystals, or chrysolites, are precious stones.


Mineraly: Spravochnik, vol. 3, fasc. 1. Moscow, 1972.


(Mg,Fe2)SiO4 A neosilicate group of olive-green magnesium-iron silicate minerals crystallizing in the orthorhombic system and having a vitreous luster; hardness is 6½-7 on Mohs scale; specific gravity is 3.27-3.37.
References in periodicals archive ?
The early-forming olivine would be magnesium rich, while the olivine detected by Yutu has a composition that ranges from intermediate in iron to iron-rich.
The primary minerals include orthopyroxene (enstatite and bronzite) and olivine, with spinel as an accessory.
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And, olivine and the other minerals could have formed in the steamy center as well.
The Canada-based, Oslo Bors-listed mining company Crew Gold Corporation said on Friday (1 July) that its subsidiary Crew Minerals AS had received all regulatory approvals to sell all of its shares in Seqi Olivine A/S to Swedish industrial minerals company Minelco AB.
The most abundant minerals found were olivine, clinopyroxene, and orthopyroxene.
Early olivine, pyroxene, chromite and immiscible sulfide formation cause compatible elements (e.
An instrument aboard a Nasa spacecraft spotted a 30,000 square kilometre area rich in olivine in the Nili Fossae region of Mars.
Olivine Corporation owned and operated a waste incineration site.
From our studies, we determined that the most common assemblage at Dark Ridge is olivine + talc + tremolite + chlorite + chromite, which indicates metamorphism in the amphibolite facies.
The research described here investigated the use of iron oxide-coated olivine in slow-sand filtration, focusing on the removal of both turbidity and disinfection byproduct precursors.