Background Information on Ilvaite

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Background Information on Ilvaite

Ilvaite is a mixed-valence Ca-Fe sorosilicate which was named for Ilva, the latin name of the Elba island, where the type locality (Capo Calamita) is located. In the older literature, ilvaite is also known as lievrite, due to its discoverer (M. Lelièvre, in 1802) and yenite (or jenite), in commemoration of the Jena battle (Lelièvre, 1807; Brongniart, 1807; Webster, 1828; Thomson, 1837; Dana, 1854). Although it is not a common mineral, it is has been described in a wide variety of geological environments (Table S1). However, the most typical occurrence of ilvaite is iron-rich skarns, where it uses to be associated to hedenbergite, andradite, magnetite, quartz and calcite.

The composition of ilvaite can be represented by the formula CaFe22+Fe3+Si2O8(OH) and its structure was first resolved by Belov & Mokeeva (1954) and later confirmed by Beran & Bittner (1972, 1974) and Haga & Takéuchi (1976). Fe2+ and Fe3+ ions occur in octahedral (A sites) double chains parallel to the c axis. Larger octahedral (B sites) containing only Fe2+ ions are attached above and below these chains, which are cross-linked to the calcium atoms (in seven-fold coordination) and dimer [Si2O7] groups (Herzenberg & Riley, 1969; Yamanaka & Takéuchi, 1979; Xuemin et al., 1988). At room temperature ilvaite has a monoclinic crystal structure (space group P21/a; Ghose et al., 1984; Schmidbauer et al.,

2005) but between 333 and 343 K it switches (crystallographic phase transition) into an

orthorhombic structure (space group Pnam; Ghose et al., 1985, 1989). It is well known that ilvaite becomes antiferromagnetic below 120 K (Yamanaka & Takéuchi, 1979; Coey et al., 1984; Ghose et al., 1984; Xuemin et al., 1988). It also undergoes magnetic phase transitions at 40 and 120 K (Coey et al., 1984; Ghosh et al., 1987) and a thermal phase transition between 300 and 400 K due to electron delocalization (Gerard & Grandjean, 1971; Grandjean & Gerard, 1975; Nolet & Burns, 1979; Evans & Amthauer, 1980; Litterst & Amthauer, 1984; Ghose et al., 1990; Güttlher et al., 1989). A summary of the studies aimed at characterizing different physical properties of ilvaite is given in Table S2.


Table S1. Occurrence of ilvaite in different geologic contexts and related minerals, according to a literature review. Mineral symbols according to recommendations of the Mineralogical Association of Canada (, except ilvaite (Ilv), howieite (Hw), deerite (De), julgoldite (Jul) and babingtonite (Bab).



Related minerals


Skarn and skarnoids

Bartholomé & Dimanche (1967), Bartholomé et al. (1968), Burt (1971b), Plimer & Ashley (1978), Verkaeren & Bartholomé (1979), Bratus (1979), Gole (1981), Kwak & Askins (1981), Einaudi et al. (1981), Galley et al. (1993), Kwak (1983), Meinert, (1984, 1987), Vivallo (1985), Pesquera & Velasco (1986), Tornos (1989), Delgado (1993), Capitani & Mellini (2000), Logan (2000), Franchini et al. (2002), Larsen & Dahlgren (2002), Damian (2003), Bonev et al. (2005), Simanenko (2006), Levresse et al. (2006)

Fac, Hd, Adr, Gru, Stp, Chl, Qtz, Cal, Mgt, Po, Ep, Py, Sp

Typically associated to retrograde stages replacing the Adr/Hd prograde assemblages

Alteration of mafic rocks and serpentinites

Wager et al. (1957), Ramdohr (1967), Dietrich (1972), Graesser (1975), Naslund et al. (1983), Barton & Bergen (1984), Agata & Adachi (1995), Larsen & Dahlgren (2002)

Fac, Cum, Chl, Bt, Prh, Ep, Pl, Srp, Qtz, Cal

Fe-rich veins,

Cu-Ni ores associated to ultrabasic rocks

cited by Bartholomé & Dimanche (1967)


Lucchetti (1989)

granditic garnets, diopsidic Cpx, Chl, Amp, Mgt

Metarodingitic lenses within Atg-Srp schists

Metasomatism of alkaline igneous rocks

Soen & Sørensen (1964), Graser & Markl (2008)

Ab, Kfs, Adr (Adr44-Ad100) Ap, Ae

Endoskarns developed over persodic (agpaitic) magmatic rocks. Unusual Qtz-absent assemblages


Mücke (2003)

Gru, Ch, Stp

Mafic clots within granitic rocks

Hydrothermal/metasomatic alteration of volcanogenic massive sulfides

Plimer & Ashley (1978), Galley et al. (2000)

Hd, Adr, Fac, Mgt, Gru, Gre, Min, Stp

Associated to a Mgt-rich calcsilicate alteration

Iron-rich blueschists facies metamorphism

Muir-Wood (1982)

Hw, Rbk, Ae, Aug, Stp, De, Act

Sub-seafloor metalliferous sediments with calcsilicates (Atlantis II Deep, Red Sea)

Weiss et al. (1980), Zierenberg & Shanks (1983), Singer & Stoffers (1987), Ramboz et al. (1988)

Hem, Mgt, Grt, Cpx, Act, Vrm

Low temperature hydrothermal veins and cavities

Wise & Moller (1990)

Prh, Chl, Lmt, Qtz, Cal, Jul, Bab, Adr, Hem

Filled vugs in altered basalts. ~200 ºC and 50 MPa

Venus surface

Burns & Straub (1992)

Hypothetical occurrence

Table S2. Summary of studies involving ilvaite.



Optical properties

Beran (1980), Bonazzi et al. (2001)

Thermal behavior and spectrometry

Nolet & Burns (1979), Güttlher et al. (1989), Bonazzi & Bindi (1999, 2002)

Structural characterization

Belov & Mokeeva (1954), Bartholomé et al. (1968), Herzenberg & Riley (1969), Takéuchi et al. (1983),

Finger & Hazen (1987), Ghose et al. (1989), Ghazi-Bayat et al. (1993), Carrozzini (1994),

Bonazzi & Bindi (1999, 2002), Bonev (2005)

Isothermal compression

Finger & Hazen (1987), Ghazi-Bayat et al. (1993)

Isobaric thermal expansion

Robie et al. (1988)

Magnetic properties

Beran & Bittner (1974),Nolet (1978), Yamanaka & Takéuchi (1979), Coey et al. (1984), Xuemin et al. (1988),

Cesena et al. (1995), Fehr et al. (2005)

Electrical properties

Coey et al. (1984), Schmidbauer et al. (1998, 2005)


Gustafson (1974), Ghazi-Bayat et al. (1987), Ghazi-Bayat et al. (1989), Jenkins & Bozhilov (2003)

Thermodynamic properties

Robie et al. (1988)

Phase equilibria

Bartholomé & Dimanche (1967), Burt (1971a and c)

Stable isotopes fractionation factor

Yaqian & Jibao (1993)

References (supplement)

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