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Olivine Definition

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The Olivine is a mineral that is basically iron silicon blended with magnesium. The olivine chemical formula is (Mg2+Fe2+)2SiO4. It is considered to be a type of orthosilicate and nesosilicate. The main element of the upper mantle of Earth, it is a standard mineral in the subsurface of Earth; however, it weathers rapidly on the Earth’s surface. Because of this reason, it is considered to be the best element for accelerated weathering to CO2 (sequester) from the oceans or atmosphere of Earth. With the current situation of climatic changes, it is considered to be the best element.

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What is the Ratio of Elements included in Olivine?

Olivine primarily has two elements: iron and magnesium. The ratio between these two elements varies when the two endmembers of a solution are formed. This solution includes forsterite and fayalite. These compositions are usually expressed in the form of molar percentages. The melting temperature of forsterite is quite high under atmospheric pressure. It has a temperature of more than 1,900 degrees centigrade. However, when it comes to fayalite, the temperature is often recorded to stand at 1,200 degrees centigrade. The melting temperature often varies when it comes to both of these endmembers and the other properties. 


Olivine has minor elements that include oxygen, silicon, magnesium, and iron. Besides this, Manganese and Nickel are some other elements that are present in Olivine in huge concentrations. The crystal structure of Olivine also has aspects that include orthorhombic P Bravais lattice. This arises from the SiO4 (Silica) units joined by many divalent cations of metals with oxygen in the silica that is again bound to just three ions of metals. It also has spinel-like elements that are equivalent to magnetite; however, it just uses a single quadrivalent and a couple of divalent cations. 


What is the Identification of Olivine?

The name Olivine is introduced because of its usual olive-green color element. However, it can also alter its color to red if the iron oxide is formed from the equation. 


The translucent iron is mostly used in the form of gemstone that is called peridot. Also, many people call it chrysolite, which means gold and stone in Greek. However, both of these names are not much use when it comes to the English language. Many finest Olivine is obtained from mantle rocks that are present in the Red Sea.


Where does Olivine Occur?

Olivine mineral occurs in both the magic as well as ultramafic igneous olivine rock. It also occurs in many other metamorphic rocks. Mg-rich crystallizes Olivine from magma has low concentrations of silica and more concentrations in magnesium. This magma then crystallizes to those mafic rocks that include gabbro, basalt, and others. The ultramafic rocks also have substantial Olivine.


Many elements having more than 40 percent of Olivine is known as peridotites. If you are looking for olivine meaning, then it is a complex silicate that includes magnesium as well as iron that is used in refractories. 


Any element that has more than 90 percent of olivine content they are called Dunite. It accumulates to form crystallization and settle out of magma. Olivine and other materials constitute over about 50 percent of the upper mantle of the Earth. It is of the common minerals that are available in most common across all the world. The metamorphism or any other sedimentary rocks that have high magnesium or low silicon content also produces Olivine in huge quantities. 


Fe-rich fayalite is not available in common and occurs only on igneous rocks in minimal amounts. It is available in rare places that have granites or rhyolites. Fe-rich olivine content can only be present if there are stable quantities of quartz or tridymite available. On the other hand, Mg-rich olivine is not available where silica minerals are available. It would react and form an orthopyroxene compound. 


Where does Olivine Do in Extra-Terrestrial Regions?

It is discovered that Olivine is also available in meteorites on the Mars Planet or Moon. It falls into the infant stars and on asteroid 25143 Itokawa. There are many meteorites that are available, which includes chondrites and other debris collections from pallasites, iron-nickel regions, and Olivine. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q.1 What is Olivine’s Crystal Structure?

Ans: The minerals that are present in the Olivine group often crystallize in the system of orthorhombic elements. It has isolated silicate tetrahedral that means Olivine is considered to be nesosilicate. This Olivine structure is often explained as hexagonal, has a close-packed array of O2 ions with about 50 percent of octahedral sites that are occupied with high concentrations of magnesium and iron ions. There are mainly three distinct O2 sites that are present. It is marked as Oxygen 1 (O1), Oxygen 2 (O2), and Oxygen 3 (O3). There are a couple of distinct metal sites that are termed as M1 and M2. However, there is only one silicon site that is present. The O1, O2, Si, and M2 are present on the mirror planes. The M1 is present on the inversion center. However, the O3 is present in the general position.

Q.2 What are the Applications of Olivine?

Ans: Olivine is used across many places around the world. It is used for cheap processes that can help produce sequester CO2 by implementing various mineral reactions. It is known as enhanced weathering. Removing elements by reactions in Olivine is the best option for all the industrial workers. As Olivine is available in huge quantities, it reacts quickly with any acid (CO2) that is available in the atmosphere itself. When you crush Olivine, it weathers entirely within a couple of years. Although it depends on the sizes of the grains; however, the process is quite faster. All the carbon dioxide is produced by igniting a liter of oil that is sequestered by a small quantity of Olivine.


The end-products of these reactions are Silicon Dioxide, small quantities of iron oxide, as well as magnesium carbonate. It is also utilized as an alternative for dolomite in many steelworks. Also, it is widely used in the aluminium foundry industries.