Phosphate minerals – minerals with a long history

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Barite mineral from Red Bluff, Phillip Island.
Image: Frank Coffa
Source: Museum Victoria

Cyrilovite crystals from Rixons Quarry, Campbell's Creek.
Image: Rodney Start
Source: Museum Victoria

Wavellite mineral specimen from Killawarra Forest.
Source: Museum Victoria


In some areas, Cambrian and Ordovician sedimentary rocks contain large concentrations of elements such as phosphorus, barium and sulphur. The phosphorus came from dead animals that were buried in the sediments on the ocean floor. Long after the sediments were folded and uplifted, rock weathering released the phosphorus to form minerals such as wavellite and turquoise. Barite crystals also formed during rock weathering.


Sedimentary rocks map
Ordovician (488 - 433 mya)
Ordovician (488 - 433 mya)
Ordovician metamorphosed
Ordovician transformed by heat and pressure
Cambrian (542 - 488 mya)
Cambrian (542 - 488 mya)

These phosphate minerals were discovered in Victoria.


Other objects from the Ordovician