Sonolite is a manganese silicate hydroxide mineral of the manganese-humite group. The analysis of [one particular] specimen is typical of the composition of sonolite from primary ores from Franklin; they have near end-member compositions with but minor solid solution of other cations.
The analysis of [another] specimen is typical of the composition of secondary crystals of sonolite from Sterling Hill. The chemical composition of these crystals is remarkably similar in several respects to that of the alleghanyite secondary crystals (Francis, 1985a) discussed above.
The analysis [of a third specimen] is of reaction rims of dark-brown sonolite on tephroite crystals from Sterling Hill. Because the cation ratios of the underlying tephroite are similar (Dunn, 1985a), these sonolite rims likely formed by hydration of the tephroite cores. Similar material was restudied by Grice and Dunn (1994).
Unlike secondary occurrences of willemite and some other species, secondary crystals of the Mn-humites admit more, not less, solid solution of octahedral cations than primary material.
Sonolite was first described from Franklin and Sterling Hill by Cook (1969). It was subsequently described, with much compositional data, by Dunn (1985a) and by White and Hyde (1982b).
Most sonolite is massive in the ores. Such material is not commonly recognized; the general appearance and color is too similar to that of some brown tephroite and the other manganese humites to permit facile visual identification. However, the common exsolution of willemite in tephroite is wholly lacking in sonolite and is a partially useful discriminant. Fine crystals are known from secondary seams at Sterling Hill. The color varies from light brown to dark brown and uncommonly pink; the luster is vitreous; and there is no discernible fluorescence in ultraviolet. X-ray diffraction is the best method for verification.
Sonolite occurs at both Franklin and Sterling Hill as both primary and secondary material. At Franklin sonolite occurs as an interstitial, granular constituent of the common calcium-poor ore, associated with willemite and franklinite; large 10 cm masses are known. At Franklin, the associated minerals variously include manganosite, willemite, sonolite, hetaerolite/franklinite exsolution intergrowths, jerrygibbsite, leucophoenicite, and also zincite which commonly has abundant hetaerolite exsolution. Specific assemblages were noted by Dunn (1985a). Sonolite is associated with willemite, andradite, and calcite in veins in ore, but the predominant occurrence is as grains in granular franklinite-willemite ore specimens.
Euhedral secondary crystals occur in seams and varied vein assemblages at Sterling Hill. The crystals occur on calcite-rich franklinite/willemite ore with no associated zincite; there is minor secondary sphalerite associated. The sonolite crystals are complexly formed, of prismatic habit, and at least a hundred specimens were preserved.
Sonolite also occurs between the 430 and 800 levels, and especially on the 700 level, in the east limb at Sterling Hill, as locally abundant dark-brown reaction rims on zincian tephroite crystals which have abundant willemite exsolution. The tephroite crystals are up to 15 cm in size, but most are 1-3 cm; the reaction rims are up to 3 cm thick, although most are thinner, being several mm thick. The associated minerals are zincite, franklinite, willemite, and calcite. Other assemblages from Franklin and Sterling Hill were listed by Dunn (1985a). (Dunn, 1995)

 Location Found: Ogdensburg
 Year Discovered: 1963
 Formula: Mn92+(SiO4)4(OH,F)2
 Essential Elements: Hydrogen, Manganese, Oxygen, Silicon
 All Elements in Formula: Fluorine, Hydrogen, Manganese, Oxygen, Silicon
 IMA Status: Approved
 To find out more about this mineral at minDat's website, follow this link   Sonolite

Dunn, Pete J. (1995). Franklin and Sterling Hill New Jersey: the world's most magnificent mineral deposits. Franklin, NJ.: The Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society. p.349

Frondel, Clifford (1972). The minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill, a checklist. NY.: John Willey & Sons. p.77

The Picking Table References
 PT Issue and PageDescription / Comment
View IssueV. 32, No. 1 - Spring 1991, pg. 15Mineral Notes, Research Reports, Manganese-Rich Ore Assemblages, Sonolite (small description)
View IssueV. 31, No. 1 - Spring 1990, pg. 18Research Reports, Sonolite and Jerrygibbsite
View IssueV. 27, No. 1 - Spring 1986, pg. 8Mineral Notes Research Reports, Sonolite
View IssueV. 19, No. 2 - September 1978, pg. 6Recent Mineral Occurrences at Sterling Hill by Stephen Sanford - Sonolite (small article)
View IssueV. 11, No. 1 - February 1970, pg. 6Mineral Data - Sonolite, Alleghanyite, Leucophoenicite
View IssueV. 11, No. 1 - February 1970, pg. 7Mineral Data - Sonolite
No Images at this time.


All content including, but not limited to, mineral images, maps, graphics, and text on the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society, Inc. (FOMS) website is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License