Feldspar Photos  
Cochise College               
Photos of Minerals
Geology Home Page

Roger Weller, geology instructor

wellerr@cochise.edu     copyright 2016-R.Weller

albite showing plagioclase twinning-1
close up view
If this piece of albite is turned to just right to the correct angle of a light source, light

is reflected off of a series of narrow strips on a cleavage surface.  This phenomenon,

which is common for plagioclase feldspars, is called "plagioclase twinning" or

"polysynthetic twinning".  The cleavage surface consists of two slightly different

crystal orientations which formed as the plagioclase cooled.  Light is being reflected

off one set of microcleavage surfaces of one of the crystalline orientations.  If the

crystal is tipped again slightly with respect to the light source, the other set of

reflecting cleavage surfaces will reflect light.  The reflections are very sharp lines.

Photo is copyright free for non-commercial educational uses.
Just credit photo to R.Weller/Cochise College.

Specimen courtesy of Dave Dechant