MinIdent: A data base for minerals and a computer program for their identification

Smith, D. G. W., & Leibovitz, D. P. (1986) MinIdent: A data base for minerals and a computer program for their identification. Canadian Mineralogist. 24(4): 695-708. (pdf)

MinIdent-PCAbstract: MinIdent is a program for interactive mineral identification and mineral data base management, rewritten in FORTRAN 77, Data have been stored for about 4000 mineral groups, species and varieties. These data comprise: composition, optical properties, symmetry, cell dimensions, density, Vickers and Mohs hardness, d-values and relative intensities for the strongest five X-ray powder-diffraction lines, the PDF number, polymorphs if any, occurrences, localities, year first described and sources of the data. As yet, however, not all minerals have data stored for all properties. The program will generate a list of minerals whose properties, lie within input ranges for an unidentified mineral or display and rank twenty possible identities for an unknown. It can also be used to tabulate chosen properties of matched minerals or to tabulate minerals (in the data base) that have certain specified properties. Tests using data for known species to simulate unidentified minerals show high reliability, given accurate input information, and surprising success even with qualitative input data. The MinIdent software currently uses about 400 kbytes of memory, and the data base used in mineral identification uses a further l0 Mbytes. Running time for a typical identification procedure ranges from about 0.05 to 3.0 seconds of CPU time on the AMDAHL 580/FF mainframe computer, on which the program has been developed. The cycle time of this computer is about 23 ns.

Current MinIdent-Win software available at



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