solid solution Solid crystalline phases representing a mixture of two or more end-members and which may vary in composition within finite limits without the appearance of another phase. A mineral may exhibit solid solution involving atoms of an isomorphous mineral; for example, magnesium and iron ions are similar in size, and complete solid solution occurs between forsterite (Mg2SiO4) and fayalite (Fe2SiO4) end-members of the olivine series, in the most common type of solid solution, known as ‘substitutional solid solution’. See also IONIC SUBSTITUTION.
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