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Title: Phyllosilicates  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kaolinite, Silicate, Chlorite group, Dickite, Halloysite, Paragonite, Sepiolite, Allophane, Nacrite, Aliettite
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The silicate minerals make up the largest and most important class of rock-forming minerals, constituting approximately 90 percent of the crust of the Earth. They are classified based on the structure of their silicate group which contain different ratios of silicon and oxygen.

Nesosilicates or orthosilicates

Nesosilicates (from Greek νησος nēsos, island), or orthosilicates, have isolated (insular) [SiO4]4− tetrahedra that are connected only by interstitial cations. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.A


Sorosilicates (from Greek σωρός sōros, heap, mound) have isolated double tetrahedra groups with (Si2O7)6− or a ratio of 2:7. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.B


Cyclosilicates (from Greek κύκλος kuklos, circle), or ring silicates, have linked tetrahedra with (TxO3x)2x- or a ratio of 1:3. These exist as 3-member (T3O9)6- and 6-member (T6O18)12- rings, where T stands for a tetrahedrally coordinated cation. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.C

Note that the ring in axinite contains two B and four Si tetrahedra and is highly distorted compared to the other 6-member ring cyclosilicates.


Inosilicates (from Greek ις is [genitive: ινος inos], fibre), or chain silicates, have interlocking chains of silicate tetrahedra with either SiO3, 1:3 ratio, for single chains or Si4O11, 4:11 ratio, for double chains. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.D

Single chain inosilicates

Double chain inosilicates


Phyllosilicates (from Greek φύλλον phyllon, leaf), or sheet silicates, form parallel sheets of silicate tetrahedra with Si2O5 or a 2:5 ratio. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.E


Tectosilicates, or "framework silicates," have a three-dimensional framework of silicate tetrahedra with SiO2 or a 1:2 ratio. This group comprises nearly 75% of the crust of the Earth. Tectosilicates, with the exception of the quartz group, are aluminosilicates. Nickel-Strunz classification: 09.F and 09.G, 04.DA (Quartz/ silica family)


See also

Earth sciences portal

Further references

  •, Dana classification
  • Webmineral : Dana's New Silicate Classification

External links

ar:معادن السيليكات de:Silikate eo:Silikatmineraloj fa:کانی‌های سیلیکات fr:Silicate mk:Силикатни минерали ja:ケイ酸塩鉱物 pt:Silicato (minerais)

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