Epistilbite & Goosecreekite Crystals

Epistilbite from Nasik India

About Epistilbite and Goosecreekite crystals

Many times Epistilbite is confused with Stilbite.

Although there are some characteristics shared with stilbite, and both are zeolites, epistilbite is a completely distinct mineral.

To make things even more complicated Epistilbite and Goosecreekite are dimorphs, I.e. the same chemical composition but different crystal structure.

Both are mostly colorless or white. However, Epistilbite can also be pinkish or yellowish.

Both do form monoclinic crystals. Goosecreekite forms crystal aggregates in rounded prismatic groups, and in globular or hemispherical, ball-like formations. Crystals are usually wedge-shaped. Rounded or globular forms usually have individually recognizable crystals on rounded edges, which are often spiky or grainy.

The name Epistilbite comes from the Greek ‘epi’ for ‘near’ and the similar mineral stilbite. The name Goosecreekite comes from the type locality, the New Goose Creek Quarry in Leesburg, Virginia, USA.

There are three known occurrences in India of goosecreekite in basalt cavities that may have originated from the alteration of basalt in a region of high heat flow:

  • Pandulena Quarry near Nasik, where it occurs on quartz and is associated with mordenite, heulandite, stilbite, and apophyllite.
  • It also occurs 80 km east of Pandulena, and
  • at Kalyan northeast of Bombay.
Goosecreekite and heulandite from nasik india
Epistilbite from Nasik India
Goosecreekite on chalcedony from Nasik india

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The Geology of the Indian Deccan Traps.


The Deccan Traps is one of the largest volcanic features on Earth. It consists of numerous layers of solidified flood basalt that together are more than about 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) thick. Today it covers an area of about 500,000 square kilometers (200,000 sq mi), and has a volume of about 1,000,000 cubic kilometres (200,000 cu mi).

The term trap is derived from the Swedish word for stairs (trapp) and refers to the step-like hills forming the landscape of the region. The name Deccan has Sanskrit origins meaning “southern”.

The Deccan Traps began forming 66.25 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, when lava began to extrude through fissures in the crust known as fissure eruptions. This series of eruptions may have lasted for less than 30,000 years.

The release of volcanic gases, particularly sulfur dioxide, during the formation of the traps may have contributed to climate change. An average drop in temperature of about 2 °C (3.6 °F) was recorded during this period.

Work published in 2014 by geologist Gerta Keller and others on the timing of the Deccan volcanism suggests the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event may have been caused by both the volcanism at the decan traps and the Chicxulub impact event in North America, which would have produced a sunlight-blocking dust cloud that killed much of the plant life and reduced global temperature (this cooling is called an impact winter).


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