Thursday, July 11, 2013

Word of the Day - Botryoidal

Bored so I thought I'd toss up a quick post tonight...

Every fall semester, I teach a laboratory course on Physical Geology and one of the topics, of course, is minerals.  In looking at minerals, students learn a lot of terminology including words to describe a minerals crystal "habit" or shape.

Many of the terms are self-explanatory like cubic, platy, and fibrous.  Others are a bit more exotic including the term botryoidal which is unfamiliar to most students.

The term is derived from two Greek roots - botrus (βότρυς) which refers to a bunch of grapes and eidos (εἶδος) meaning resemblance or likeness.  It's a mineral that grows bulbous masses which (roughly) resemble a bunch of grapes.

A couple of common examples below:

Hematite - Fe2O3

Malachite - Cu2CO3(OH)2

 Rhodochrosite - MnCO3
Now you know a word you may not have before.  Go off and impress your friends.

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