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Exotic new mineral in Russian volcano

Date: 19 November 2020 Tags: Geography & Environment


Researchers have discovered a new and unique mineral from volcanic source that has not been documented before.



The mineral was named petrovite and found in the volcanic landscape of Russia's far-east, atop the Tolbachik volcano in the Kamchatka Peninsula.



  • The Tolbachik volcano holds about 130 types of locality minerals that were first identified here, the latest of which is petrovite.

  • Petrovite is a sulfate mineral that takes shape as blue globular aggregates of tabular crystals, many holding gaseous inclusions.

  • The copper atom in the crystal structure of petrovite has an unusual and very rare coordination of seven oxygen atoms.

  • At the chemical level, petrovite represents a new type of crystal that bears similarities to saranchinaite.


Volcanic landforms

  • Craters

Craters form as the result of explosive eruptive activity at a volcanic vent where rock, magma, and other material is ejected leaving a conical void.


  • Caldera

Calderas are large-scale landforms that develop after enormous eruptions of magma empty underground magma chamber. The volcanic landscape above the void collapses downward and forms the caldera.


Types of volcanoes

Shield Volcano

  • Shield volcanoes are built almost entirely of fluid lava flows. Flow after flow pours out in all directions from a central summit vent, building a broad, gently sloping cone of flat profile much like that of a warrior's shield.

  • They are built up slowly by the accretion of thousands of highly fluid lava flows called basalt lava that spread widely over great distances, and then cool as thin, gently dipping sheets.


Composite volcanoes

Composite volcanoes are sometimes called stratovolcanoes. They are typically steep-sided, symmetrical cones of large dimension built of alternating layers of lava flows, volcanic ash, cinders, blocks, and bombs and may rise as much as 8,000 feet above their bases.


Cinder cone

  • Cinder cones are the simplest type of volcano. They are built from particles and blobs of congealed lava ejected from a single vent.

  • As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as cinders around the vent to form a circular or oval cone.

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