Whitlockite and apatite are the principal phosphate minerals in the surficial deposits of Enderbury Island; monetite and brushite are present in small amounts. All are derived from the guano of sea birds. The abundance of whitlockite discovered on Enderbury, and reported in samples from Remire Island in the Indian Ocean, indicates that the mineral is probably of common occurrence in young insular phosphate deposits. The composition of whitlockite from Enderbury Island is roughly (Ca, Mg, Sr, Na)3 (PO4, CO3)2, similar to the composition indicated for other insular occurrences by the sparse data available. The variety of apatite found on the island is carbonate fluor-hydroxylapatite, low in fluorine content. Whitlockite appears to have formed directly from guano components in surficial aqueous solutions, possibly accompanied by apatite, but changes with time to apatite.
|Title||Whitlockite and apatite of surficial phosphate occurrences on Enderbury Island, Phoenix Islands, Pacific Ocean|
|Authors||R. A. Gulbrandsen|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|