Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences,
One of my most vivid field trip memories is encountering a dazzling white wollastonite marble in the desert in California. It had huge spears of wollastonite and was so tough sledgehammers simply bounced off it. (It's no longer collectible, alas, since it's inside the expanded boundaries of Death Valley National Park.)
Since calcium is a large cation, it won't fit into the M1 sites of a standard pyroxene. The only way to accomodate silica chains to it is to kink them differently. The chains consist of scalloped chains with a repeat interval of three.
Below: a view of wollastonite perpendicular to the silica chains. Yellow denotes Ca-O octahedra, and pink and purple signifies silica tetrahedra.
Below: end view of the wollastonite structure
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Created 22 April 2013, Last Update
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