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The concept of matrix
  
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Josele




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2020 05:14    Post subject: The concept of matrix  

Often the word matrix is used in mineral forums as the substrate of the main specie or most prominent crystals of a specimen, even when this substrate is another mineral specie and not the rock where these minerals have developed.
Would't be better to keep the concept of matrix as synonym of mother rock only?



P1210954.jpg
 Mineral: Fluorite on quartz
 Locality:
Sanming Prefecture, Fujian Province, China
 Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 6 cm
 Description:
Would not be better to call this "Fluorite on a quartz bed" than "Fluorite on quartz matrix"?
 Viewed:  9361 Time(s)

P1210954.jpg


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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2020 06:51    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

I fully agree with Josele's concept of the word "matrix". Here in the sedimentary environment of Indiana, the matrix is almost always limestone or closely related dolostone.

When I discuss the whole specimen, I would include the limestone (or dolostone) matrix as as a part of the whole specimen, but if discussing the collector part of the specimen, I leave out the matrix, just noting the mineral(s) upon the other mineral as its bed.

Here are 2 examples of very many from my collection. BOB



fullsizeoutput_29af.jpeg
 Mineral: Dolomite on Quartz
 Locality:
State Route 37 road cuts, Harrodsburg, Clear Creek Township, Monroe County, Indiana, USA
 Dimensions: Dolomite groupings to 1 cm in a 13 cm geode, in a 15 cm specimen
 Description:
Dolomite on Quartz, or if noting the whole specimen : Dolomite on Quartz in limestone matrix

I usually just refer to the collector part of the specimen, leaving out the matrix.
 Viewed:  9305 Time(s)

fullsizeoutput_29af.jpeg



fullsizeoutput_30cc.jpeg
 Mineral: Calcite on Dolomite
 Locality:
Corydon Stone Co. Quarry, Corydon, Harrison County, Indiana, USA
 Dimensions: Calcites to 1.7 cm in an 11 cm vug. The whole specimen is about 15 cm.
 Description:
Calcite on Dolomite, or if referring to the whole specimen : Calcite on Dolomite in dolostone matrix
 Viewed:  9302 Time(s)

fullsizeoutput_30cc.jpeg


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Kevin Schofield




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2020 10:33    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

Josele wrote:
Often the word matrix is used in mineral forums as the substrate of the main specie or most prominent crystals of a specimen, even when this substrate is another mineral specie and not the rock where these minerals have developed.
Would't be better to keep the concept of matrix as synonym of mother rock only?


Josele (and Bob),

I fully agree. When describing specimens "professionally" for inventory, I do not often use the word "matrix" at all. The piece you illustrate, for example, I would have as you do in your description line "Fluorite on Quartz", or maybe "Fluorite on Drusy Quartz" to emphasize the character of the underlying mineral. Bob's descriptions fit nicely with this M.O.
One occasion when I may give the matrix a nod is when there could be a stability issue as a "note to self" to be careful. Thus "Calcite on a friable limonitic matrix".
Another variant would be the co-equal presence of two "signature" minerals on a substrate of a third, which I would have as (for example in the case of a classic Elmwood Mine piece) "Calcite with Fluorite on Sphalerite".
Kevin

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Jesse Fisher




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2020 12:18    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

I am not sure that the terms "matrix" and "mother rock" are synonymous, as "mother rock" implies a genetic relationship and "matrix" does not. In the case of crystals developing in an igneous or metamorphic environment, there is not an outside infiltration of mineralizing solutions that are responsible for crystal growth. This is not the case in deposits of hydrothermal or metasomatic origin, where the "host rock" is pre-existing and the crystals of interest were the result of invading mineralizing solutions. The host rock is often highly altered during the mineralizing process, which may influence the chemistry of the environment in which the crystals grow, but it is not necessarily responsible for providing the basic ingredients for the crystallizing minerals.

A good example is the specimen below, a fluorite with calcite from the Heights Quarry, Weardale, England. The host rock for these mineral deposits is limestone of Carboniferous age, which was tectonically fractured and then invaded by mineralizing fluids of Permain age. The host limestone has been altered to varying degrees by this process, and in this case, the calcium carbonate that formed into crystals of calcite was likely derived from it. The fluorine necessary for the fluorite was likely derived from a deep-seated igneous source and introduced to the limestone through the circulation of heated groundwater. Sulfides such as galena and sphalerite are also common in these mineral deposits, and is thought to have formed in a similar fashion. I think that referring to the altered limestone on which the fluorite crystals sit as "mother rock" would be incorrect.



F403-9566r.JPG
 Mineral: Fluorite with Calcite
 Locality:
Heights Quarry, Westgate, Weardale, North Pennines Orefield, County Durham, England / United Kingdom
 Dimensions: 8x6x6 cm overall size
 Description:
 Viewed:  9212 Time(s)

F403-9566r.JPG


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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2020 15:12    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

I agree with Jesse Fisher. To me, the term "host rock" is more useful. Geologists generally use the term "matrix" for material surrounding and enclosing some interesting feature, such as a fossil. But, like many terms, there are inconsistencies in its use.
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Josele




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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2020 19:14    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

Let me clarify that I used the concept "mother rock" as literal translation of roca madre which is Spanish is synonym of "host rock" (roca encajante) and also synonym of "matrix rock" (roca matriz). I don't know if in English these concepts are synonyms too.

In short I would describe Jesse specimen as "fluorite and calcite on limestone matrix" but is really better Jesse description with the explanation of his genesis.
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Matt_Zukowski
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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2020 19:50    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

I believe you are right that this is a language thing. I have never heard the term "mother rock" except in talking to non-english speaking mineral enthusiasts. The term "host rock" brings to my mind a mineral deposit context. In my english context, "matrix" is the term for what we are referring to when describing something on something else. Even for syngentic material like "garnet on a schist matrix."
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Vinoterapia




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PostPosted: Jan 08, 2020 09:34    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

There is probably more than a simple question of language, but in which industry context the term is used. The Spanish term "roca madre" is widely used in the oil industry as the equivalent of the English term "source rock" ( ie. where the hydrocarbons were formed), probably in that industry nobody would use it as a synonym of "host rock".
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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: Jan 12, 2020 15:17    Post subject: Re: The concept of matrix  

Hi,
About the crystal support matrix.
This topic is somewhat off-topic. However, the notion of support (the matrix) comes into play.
In a glass bottle, the stopper is the only support for the occurrence of crystalline organic germs.
When the young wine is aged in the cellar, the lees are deposited and at the same time, tartar crystals appear only on contact with the cork, which by its roughness and its cellulosic nature is a favorable ground for inducing the appearance of crystalline germs from various organic salts including acidic K tartrates or sodium-potassium tartrate. Already in the old processes, chemical manipulations intervened to clarify and stabilize the wines.
These tartrates have a very weak crystalline symmetry, either triclinic or monoclinic.



Leon_Beyer_2AB_R.jpg
 Mineral: Sodium Potassium tartrate
 Description:
into wine
 Viewed:  8775 Time(s)

Leon_Beyer_2AB_R.jpg



Leon_Beyer_1_R.jpg
 Description:
 Viewed:  8773 Time(s)

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