Only on Earth are there so many minerals!

This is an unusual study that just came out in the journal American mineralogist. Researchers have investigated the minerals present in Structure du globe…” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>Land, with the aim of listing all existing types and how they were formed. The end result: a database of more than 10,500 combinations of mineral species and formation processes, with more than 6,000 minerals and 57 different processes. Among them, more than 250 minerals that would date from before the Earth and would come directly from meteoritesso fragments ofasteroids. “No one has undertaken this enormous task beforesaid Dr. Robert M. Hazen, first author of the study and a researcher within the Earth and Planets Laboratoryin the city of Washington. each specimen mineral has a story Everyone tells a story. Each is a time capsule that reveals Earth’s past like nothing else can. »

Life in the heart of minerals

It was after 15 years of research that the researchers managed to obtain such a result. To do this, they used pre-existing open access mineral databases, combined with thousands of articles and mineralogy research. From all this information they have created a gigantic database, the most complete ever obtained, which for the first time takes into account each training process for each known ore. From all the information they got from him, the importance of water is at the top. In fact, for 80% of the mineral species, water played an essential role. “This work fundamentally changes our view of the diversity of minerals on the planet, Dr. Hazen said. For example, more than 80% of the minerals on Earth were transported by water, making it of fundamental importance to the mineral diversity of this planet. By extension, this explains one of the main reasons why the Une lune avec un « L » minuscule est le satellite d’une planète. Par exemple Phobos et Deimos sont les deux lunes de la planète Mars.
La Lune
La Lune avec un « L » majuscule est l’unique satellite naturel de la Terre ; elle résulte sans doute d’une collision il y a 4,4…” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>Moon
et mercure and even Mars has far fewer mineral species than Earth. »

In addition, the study demonstrates the importance, beyond water, of life: for approximately 50% of minerals, biology has played a direct or indirect role in their formation. And for 1,900 species, or almost a third, the mineral was formed exclusively through biological processes! “The work also tells us something very profound about the role of biologyDr. Hazen added. A third of the minerals on Earth could not have been formed without biology: shells, bones and teeth, or Ce terme englobe une variété d’espèces très différentes, qu’elles soient procaryotes (bactéries) ou eucaryotes (levures, algues)….” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>microbes, for example, or the indirect but vital role of biology, such as creating an oxygen-rich atmosphere that gave rise to 2,000 minerals that would not otherwise have formed. »

An eye on Earth’s history

As the study explains, the Earth’s minerals are ultimately markers for the life it contains. Most of them also formed during the emergence of life, during the first 250 million years of our planet, as tiny crystals of 4.4 billion year old zircon. These are the oldest minerals created on Earth. But others are even older: 296 minerals have been recognized as “pre-Earth”, some of which would be more than 7 billion years old, therefore several billion years older than the Solar system.

Finally, the researchers explain in their study that it all started with Ainsi, par exemple, le cuivre (Cu) et l’ion cuivre…” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>chemical elements relatively abundant,Généralités
Symbole : H Numéro atomique :…” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>hydrogen
you Généralités
Symbole : CNuméro atomique : 6Électrons par niveau d’énergie : 2, 4Masse atomique : 12,011 uIsotopes les plus stables : 12C stable avec six…” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>carbon
oxygen or magnesium. They specify that the “Significant mineral diversification then occurred through two main processes, first by the gradual selection and concentration of rarer elements through fluid-rock interactions, then by processes of erosion andLa rouille, résultat de l’oxydation du fer
Ainsi, la rouille – un mélange d’oxydes et d’hydroxydes de fer – est le résultat de l’oxydation du fer.
Le terme…” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>oxidation
near the biologically induced surface.
Then the arrival of the human being, or rather the industrial revolution from 1800, contributed in turn: more than 600 identified minerals come fromhuman activities, including more than 500 mining. Finally, of these, 234 come exclusively from mining fires. Ces roches sont des combustibles fossiles qui se sont formées au Carbonifère, par lente transformation d’organismes morts sédimentés, sous l’action de la pression et de la…” data-image=”” data-url=”” data-more=”Lire la suite”>Coal.

Eventually, the researchers hope to trace themore detailed history of the earth, especially since its inception, thanks to this gigantic new database. In particular the geological history: each mineral found is an indicator of the physical-chemical conditions that prevailed where it was created. “The remarkable work of Hazen and Morrison offers a potential way to predictably discover potential minerals in nature. Minerals may be essential for reconstructing all past life and predicting future life on Earth,” and understanding the evolution of minerals will provide us with a new avenue to explore deep space and search for extraterrestrial life and habitable planets.” enthusiastic Anhua Lu, president of the International Association of Mineralogy (IMA).

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