“Tartan plaid”, “plaid”, “gridiron,” or “cross-hatch” twinning is a combination of albite and pericline twinning. It is the dead giveaway of microcline.
In thin section, alkali feldspar grains often look like they’re sprinkled with dirt (PPL) or tiny confetti (XPL). You can find the explanation on the alkali feldspar page.
3D framework of linked tetrahedra
|Habit||Prismatic, stubby to elongate
|Cleavage||Perfect (001), good (010)|
|Fracture||Conchoidal to uneven|
|XPL||1st order grays
|after Perkins, 307-308|
Microcline in Hand Sample
Microcline in Thin Section
We wouldn’t normally circle the mineral in question on the slide. For some reason, almost everyone has trouble identifying microcline at first, so we thought we’d throw you a bone.
Thin Section GigaPans
Microcline. Magnification: 40x To view this grain in XPL, click here: https://youtu.be/183abevrp7U To explore this slide in PPL, click here: https://viewer.g…
Microcline displaying its characteristic plaid twinning. Magnification: 40x To explore this slide in PPL, click here: https://viewer.gigamacro.com/view/cgJwU…
Microcline displaying its distinctive “tartan plaid” twinning in cross polarized light. Magnification: 40x Rock: Conglomerate NVCC slide AM 44.