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May-June 2010

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Diagenetic Uvite with Overgrown Dravite Bigelow, St. Lawrence County, New York

Continuing work on tourmaline-group minerals found in New York State demonstrates that much remains to be learned from their study. An ongoing survey of these tourmalines has uncovered species new to the state, such as rossmanite and olenite from Newcomb in Essex County (Lupulescu and Rakovan 2008) and species potentially new to science. These include the fluorine-dominant analog of dravite from a road cut north of Gouverneur in St. Lawrence County (Lupulescu 2008; Chamberlain, Lupulescu, and Rowe 2008), the fluorine-analog of feruvite from the Jayville iron deposit in St. Lawrence County, and the hydroxyl-dominant analog of uvite from a road cut on Interstate 81 southwest of Alexandria Bay in Jefferson County and from the Wight mine–Arnold pit in St. Lawrence County (Lupulescu 2008). Virtually all of the specimens studied in detail have come from Precambrian terrain in either the St. Lawrence Valley or Orange County. However, one tourmaline locality in the Village of Bigelow in St. Lawrence County (fig. 3) stands out as significantly different from most of the others. Here, large brown-to-green aggregates of tourmaline crystals developed in an unsorted sandstone filling paleokarst cavities in a Grenville-age marble body. At this occurrence tourmaline, rutile, and other minerals probably formed in the Cambrian Period because the Cambrian-age Potsdam Sandstone is the only sedimentary cover of the Precambrian metamorphic rocks in this region.

Dr. Marian Lupulescu is curator of geology at the New York State Museum.

Dr. Steven C. Chamberlain, a passionate collector specializing in the minerals of New York State, is the coordinator of the Center for Mineralogy at the New York State Museum.

Michael Walter is an earth science and geology teacher and an active field collector of the minerals of upstate New York and Canada.

Scott Wallace is an active field collector of the minerals of St. Lawrence County, New York.

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