“Iron Silicide Minerals” Article Submission Invitation

Invitation to submit to MINERALS – international peer-reviewed open access journal of natural mineral systems, mineral resources, mining, and mineral processing. Minerals is published monthly online by MDPI.

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Invitation to the Special Issue

Research, Review and Short Communication manuscripts are welcome.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Kord Ernstson Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Philosophy, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
Interests: meteorite impact cratering; meteorite mineralogy; shock metamorphism; impact rocks/impactites; geology and geophysics of impact structures; meteorite impact archeology

Dr. Pavel SvandaWebsite
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanics, Materials and Machine Parts, University of Pardubice, Pardubice, Czech Republic
Interests: microstructure; scanning electron microscopy (SEM); material properties; material engineering

Dr. Ioannis Baziotis. Website1 Website2 SciProfiles
Guest Editor
“Natural Resources Management & Agricultural Engineering” Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: shock metamorphism; Martian meteorites; high- and Ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks; mantle xenoliths; geomaterials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The theme of this Special Issue of Minerals, “Iron Silicide Minerals”, explicitly focuses on its occurrence in nature. In industry, the best known is iron monosilicide FeSi, which is used, among other things, for the production of various alloys.

Iron silicides in nature are very rare, little known, and have only become accessible to science in the last few decades. At the same time, much (origin, formation) is still unclear.

Minerals xifengite, Fe5Si3, and gupeiite, Fe3Si, components of the Yanshan meteorite at the type-locality Chengde, Lever in China, which was published in 1984, got their names from Xifengkou and Gubeikou at passages of the Great Wall of China. Somewhat earlier, in 1960, the natural equivalent of industrial FeSi, naquite, was discovered, but the industrial aspect of their origin remained essential for a long time. Other rare iron silicide minerals include the FeSi2 (linzhite), luobusaite (Fe0.84Si2), and nickel- and titanium-bearing iron silicide minerals suessite (Fe,Ni)3Si and zangboite (TiFeSi2). A special role has been given to the mineral hapkeite Fe2Si, which, based on a 1973 prediction by Prof. Bruce Hapke, was first detected on Earth in 2004 in the lunar meteorite Dhofar 280 and officially recognized as a mineral in the same year.

The reason for the rare occurrence of iron silicide minerals on Earth is the formation conditions, which require extreme temperatures and an extremely reducing environment, which is hardly ever present in terrestrial processes. Accordingly, iron silicides have been detected in some fulgurites, including most recently (2020) in a Michigan fulgurite. Eutectic intergrowth texture of two iron silicides revealed naquite and linzhiite or naquite and xifengite. Iron silicide particles found in Southern Urals, Russia, up to 1 m deep in Pleistocene sediments, were studied as a possible new class of meteorites, but in the end, a terrestrial formation from a completely unknown process was favored. Iron silicides, as a new class of meteorites, have also been considered for a while now.

Let us return to the cosmic connections. Recently, hapkeite (1–2 μm) was found in a meteorite from Koshava, Bulgaria and discovered in the meteorite DAG 1066; it also occurs in a grain from the FRO 90228 ureilite. Fe2Si reported for magnetic spherules in Hungary could be related to cosmic dust or a meteorite impact. Hapkeite was found also in a 7 μm Supernova graphite (OR1d3m-18) from the Orgueil meteorite. A few years ago, naquite, suessite, and xifengite were identified in the Khatyrka CV3 carbonaceous chondrite. An interesting discussion was also triggered on the origin and formation of various iron silicide phases in the aerogel of the Stardust mission. For this Special Issue, we invite recent advances in the investigation of natural iron silicides and their relations to mineralogy. Studies on industrial iron silicides will only be considered if there are direct and informative links to natural minerals.

Insights into the following topics are especially welcome:

  • Physical and optical properties
  • Terrestrial iron silicides
  • Iron silicide in meteorites
  • Cosmic relations
  • Formation processes
  • Geological environments
  • Shock metamorphism in iron silicide
  • Unnamed iron silicides
  • Deep Earth mantle iron silicides
  • Earth planets and iron silicides

Prof. Dr. Kord Ernstson
Dr. Pavel Svanda
Dr. Ioannis Baziotis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • xifengite
  • gupeiite
  • hapkeite
  • suessite
  • linzhite
  • naquite
  • ureilites
  • cosmic dust
  • shock metamorphism
  • meteorites
  • lunar iron silicides

The Steinheim Basin, the Ries crater “double disaster” and the mistaken Steinheim crater diameter

New article:

The Steinheim Basin, the Ries crater “double disaster” and the mistaken Steinheim crater diameter

by Kord Ernstson1 & Ferran Claudin2 (Febr. 2021)

Abstract. – The article, which we comment here, interprets sedimentological findings (seismite horizons) at a distance of 80 – 180 km from the two impact structures, the Ries crater and the Steinheim basin, to the effect that, contrary to the impacts at a distance of only 40 km from each other, which have always been assumed to be synchronous, the Steinheim basin is supposed to be several 10 000 years younger than the Ries impact. This is against all probability, but because of the purely statistical impact events, it cannot be completely ruled out. This article therefore does not criticize the statement itself, but refers to equally probable alternatives that have not been considered, as well as to a lack of literature citations. The article loses its fundamental significance to the point of the simple alternative: it may be, but it also may not be, a finding without recognizable importance. A major point of criticism of the article is the common practice in the impact literature of suppressing the diameter of the Steinheim impact structure, which at around 7-8 km is actually twice as large, as it was proven almost 40 years ago by detailed morphological analyses and gravimetric measurements and published in a renowned journal. Since the size of the Steinheim Basin is included in the estimates for the formation of the seismites, it must be stated that the authors started from partly false premises. Here, the findings on the much larger Steinheim impact structure, which cannot be explained away, are presented again, combined with the wish to deal with scientific findings more honestly.


1 University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg (Germany); kernstson@ernstson.de; 2 Associate Geological Museum Barcelona (Spain); fclaudin@xtec.cat

A PDF of the complete article may be downloaded here.

Continue reading “The Steinheim Basin, the Ries crater “double disaster” and the mistaken Steinheim crater diameter”

Shock metamorphism in calcite

Shocked calcite

shocked calcite multiple sets of planar deformation features Rubielos de la Cérida impact

Shock effect in calcite. Multiple sets of closely spaced planar features (micro twins). The width of the twins is of the order of only one micrometer. Thin section micrograph, crossed polarizers. From a polymictic breccia, rim region of the Rubielos de la Cérida impact basin crater chain.

Meteorite impact fluidization

Rock fluidization, Azuara Impact Structure (Spain)

impact rock fluidization in competent limestone Azuara impact Spain

Rock fluidization in strongly competent limestones/dolostones (Muschelkalk Fm.); Monforte de Moyuela, Azuara impact structure, Spain. See article Rock fluidization during peak-ring formation of large impact structures by U. Riller et al. Also focus on Acoustic fluidization (H.J. Melosh). Enlarged image.

Meteorite impact spallation

Impact spallation – completely underestimated by impact researchers.

shock spallation experiment microscopic megascopic Spanish impact structures

Left, from the top down: Shock spallation experiment producing typical open tensile fractures. – Spallation fractures in shocked quartzite cobble, Azuara/Rubielos de la Cérida impact event (Spain). Microscopic shock spallation in sandstone quartz grains, Rubielos de la Cérida impact basin. – To the right: Local megascopic impact spallation in well-bedded Jurassic limestones; Azuara (Spain) impact structure northern rim region south of Fuendetodos. Link to a full article on impact spallation.

Impact sulfate melt rock

Impact sulfate melt rock from the Rubielos de la Cérida  impact basin (Azuara impact event, Spain) – a rare meteorite impact signature

impact sulfate melt rock Rubielos de la Cérida Spain
Strongly shocked quartzite clasts in the low-density, highly porous CaSO4 matrix.
impact sulfate melt rock Rubielos de la Cérida impact basin Spain
impact sulfate melt rock SEM Rubielos de la Cérida impact basin Spain
Clast of sulfate melt rock in the Barrachina megabreccia -The sulfate melt rock under the SEM. Note the vesicular texture. – More about Azuara and Rubielos de la Cérida impact melt rocks (carbonate melt, carbonate-phosphate melt, silicate melt, carbonate-psilomelan melt).

Impact polymictic breccia dike

Polymictic impact breccia dike sharply cutting through well-bedded Muschelkalk limestone. – Rubielos de la Cérida impact basin (Spain) near Olalla.

polymictic breccia dike Rubielos de la Cérida impact structure
Very nice example of the many breccia dikes in the Spanish Azuara impact structure and the Rubielos de la Cérida impact basin (crater chain). – More about impressive breccia dikes (dike breccias) in the Rubielos de la Cérida basin and the Azuara structure.