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About GoethiteHide

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
brownish black, yellow-brown, reddish brown
Adamantine, Silky, Metallic, Dull
5 - 5½
Specific Gravity:
4.27 - 4.29
Crystal System:
Member of:
Named in 1806 by Johann Georg Lenz in honor of the German poet, novelist, playwright, philosopher, politician, and geoscientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [August 28, 1749, Frankfurt, Germany – March 22, 1832, Weimar, Germany]. Goethe was Chief Minister of State of Weimar. (Portions of the Goethe mineral collection are reputedly held by the Goethe Society in New York, New York, USA.)
The most common simple iron oxide mineral. A weathering product of numerous iron-bearing minerals.

Goethite may crystallize from a precursor - a not approved species called 'proto-goethite'. May also form due to mineralization of lichen (Parmelia conspersa) thalli on metamorphics (e.g., gneisses), granites, feldspars.

Sulfidation of goethite into mackinawite and pyrrhotite is described by Wang et al. (2015); the process is inactive in the CH4 atmosphere but is triggered by the addition of CO2.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Goethite.

Classification of GoethiteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
0 :
0 :

1 : XO(OH)

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
20 : Oxides of Fe

Pronounciation of GoethiteHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of GoethiteHide

Adamantine, Silky, Metallic, Dull
brownish black, yellow-brown, reddish brown
yellowish brown, orange-yellow, ocher-yellow
5 - 5½ on Mohs scale
VHN100=667 kg/mm2 - Vickers
{010}; {100} less perfect.
4.27 - 4.29 g/cm3 (Measured)    4.18 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of GoethiteHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 2.260 - 2.275 nβ = 2.393 - 2.409 nγ = 2.393 - 2.409
Calculated: 20°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.133 - 0.134
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
relatively strong r>v
X = red b/yellow b = clear yellow
Y = red a/yellow c = brown-yellow
Z = red c/yellow a = orange-yellow

Chemical Properties of GoethiteHide

IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of GoethiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.608 Å, b = 9.956 Å, c = 3.0215 Å
a:b:c = 0.463 : 1 : 0.303
Unit Cell V:
138.62 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Prismatic [001] and striated [001]; also flattened into tablets or scales on {010}. Velvety aggregates of capillary crystals to acicular [001] and long prismatic forms often radially grouped. Massive, reniform, botryoidal, stalactitic. Bladed or columnar. Compact or fibrous concretionary nodules. Oolitic.

Crystallographic forms of GoethiteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Goethite no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Goethite no.29 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

Edge Lines | Miller Indices | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
4.98 Å(12)
4.183 Å(100)
2.693 Å(35)
2.450 Å(50)
2.253 Å(14)
2.190 Å(18)
1.7192 Å(20)

Geological EnvironmentHide

Geological Setting:
Common weathering product, primary hydrothermal mineral, bog and marine environments.

Type Occurrence of GoethiteHide

Synonyms of GoethiteHide

Other Language Names for GoethiteHide

Varieties of GoethiteHide

AlumogoethiteAluminian Goethite
EhrenwerthiteA name for goethite pseudomorphs after Pyrite
SammetblendeA fuzzy variety of goethite with a velvety luster created by carpets of microscopic acicular crystals forming crusts or balls. The name is derived from the German word for "velvet" and is often used for this variety in Germany and Bohemia. A more modern s...
SammtblendeA fuzzy variety of goethite with a velvety luster created by carpets of microscopic acicular crystals forming crusts or balls. The name is derived from the German word for "velvet" and is often used for this variety in Germany and Bohemia. A more modern s...
SamtblendeA fuzzy variety of goethite with a velvety luster created by carpets of microscopic acicular crystals forming crusts or balls. The name is derived from the German word for "velvet" and is often used for this variety in Germany and Bohemia.
Wood Iron(1)Fibrous varieties of goethite or siderite

Relationship of Goethite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
BracewelliteCrO(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
DiasporeAlO(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
GroutiteMn3+O(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
564 photos of Goethite associated with QuartzSiO2
450 photos of Goethite associated with CalciteCaCO3
245 photos of Goethite associated with HematiteFe2O3
167 photos of Goethite associated with BaryteBaSO4
150 photos of Goethite associated with Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
149 photos of Goethite associated with VanadinitePb5(VO4)3Cl
132 photos of Goethite associated with Smoky QuartzSiO2
130 photos of Goethite associated with MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
128 photos of Goethite associated with PyriteFeS2
114 photos of Goethite associated with AmethystSiO2

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

4.00.Microlite GroupA2-mTa2X6-wZ-nIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
4.00.Pyrochlore GroupA2Nb2(O,OH)6Z
4.00.Ferrohögbomite-2N2S[(Fe2+,Mg,Zn,Al)3(Al,Ti,Fe3+)8O15(OH)]2Hex. 6mm : P63mc
4.00.Mapiquiroite(Sr,Pb)(U,Y)Fe2(Ti,Fe3+,Cr3+)18O38Trig. 3 : R3
4.00.AlmeidaitePbZn2(Mn,Y)(Ti,Fe3+)18O37(OH,O)Trig. 3 : R3
4.00.VapnikiteCa2CaUO6Mon. 2/m

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma,Fe3+)O(OH)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

7.20.1WüstiteFeOIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
7.20.2MagnetiteFe2+Fe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
7.20.3Maghemite(Fe3+0.670.33)Fe3+2O4Iso. 4 3 2 : P41 3 2
7.20.4HematiteFe2O3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
7.20.6Akaganeite(Fe3+,Ni2+)8(OH,O)16Cl1.25 · nH2OMon. 2/m
7.20.8Lepidocrociteγ-Fe3+O(OH)Orth. mm2 : Cmc21
7.20.11MagnesioferriteMgFe3+2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
7.20.12MuskoxiteMg7Fe4O13 · 10H2OTrig. 3m (3 2/m)
7.20.13SrebrodolskiteCa2Fe3+2O5Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.20.14HercyniteFe2+Al2O4Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
7.20.15BrownmilleriteCa2(Al,Fe3+)2O5Orth. mm2

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Iron ore

Goethite in petrologyHide

References for GoethiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Lenz, J.G. (1806) Göthit. In: Tabellen über das gesammte Mineralreich. Göpferdts, Jena, 46-46.
Posnjak, E., Merwin, H.E. (1919) The hydrated ferric oxides. American Journal of Science: 47: 311.
Spencer, L.J. (1919) Mineralogical characters of turite (=turgite) and some other iron-ores from Nova Scotia. Mineralogical Magazine: 18: 339.
Goldzstaub (1935) Bulletin soc. min., 58, 6.
Hoppe, W. (1940) Über die Kristallstruktur von α-AlOOH (Diaspor) und α-FeOOH (Nadeleisenerz). Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 103: 73-89.
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 680-685.
Szytula, A., Burewicz, A., Dimitrijevic, Z., Krasnicki, S., Rzany, H., Todorovic, J., Wanic, A., Wolski, W. (1968) Neutron diffraction studies of α-FeOOH. Physica Status Solidi: 26: 429-434.
Gualtieri, A.F., Venturelli, P. (1999) In situ study of the goethite-hematite phase transformation by real time synchrotron powder diffraction. American Mineralogist: 84: 895-904.
Frankel, R.B., Bazylinski, D.A. (2003) Biologically induced mineralization by bacteria. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry: 54: 95-114.
Burford, E.P., Kierans, M., Gadd, G.M. (2003) Geomycology: fungi in mineral substrata. Mycologist: 17(3): 98-107. DOI: 10.1017/S0269915X03003112
Yang, H., Lu, R., Downs, R.T., Costin, G. (2006) Goethite, α–FeO(OH), from single–crystal data. Acta Crystallographica: E62: i250-i252.
de Faria, D.L.A, Lopes, F.N. (2007) Heated goethite and natural hematite: can Raman spectroscopy be used to differentiate them? Vibrational Spectroscopy: 45: 117-121.
Wang, M., Chou, I-M., Lu, W., De Vivo, B. (2015) Effects of CH4 and CO2 on the sulfidization of goethite and magnetite: an in situ Raman spectroscopic study in high-pressure capillary optical cells at room temperature. European Journal of Mineralogy: 27: 193-201.

Internet Links for GoethiteHide

Localities for GoethiteHide

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListShow

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