Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


A black variety of biotite that is characterized by the presence of large amounts of ferric iron. Also known as iron mica.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a mineral of the trioctahedral mica group; an iron-rich variety of biotite. The approximate chemical composition of lepidomelane is K(Fe, Mg)3[AlSi3O10] • (OH)2. It is possible that part of the Al in the lamellae, as well as the Fe2+, is replaced by Fe3+ (up to 20 percent Fe2O3). Lepidomelane crystallizes in the monoclinic system. Its physical properties resemble those of biotite, and its color is black. Lepidomelane has a hardness of ~ 3 on Mohs’ scale and a density of 3,000–3,200 kg/m3. It occurs primarily in igneous rocks rich in iron and deficient in magnesium; sometimes it is found in alkali granites and nepheline syenites in association with aegirite and hornblende. Large crystals of lepidomelane are found in Hastings (Ontario, Canada), on Mount Brooks (Seward Peninsula, Alaska), in the alkali rocks on the Kola Peninsula, and in the southern Urals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.