Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Mineral Surfaces & Nanogeoscience
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# This periodic table from the 70s shows how much of each element there is

The size of each space in the above periodic table represents (more or less) the relative abundance of that element on our planet.
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# Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Mineral Surfaces & Nanogeoscience

Earth's Last Unexplored Worlds
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## Journey to Mars Webinar (March2017)

Journey to Mars Webinar featuring NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Scientist Doug Ming from the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.
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## Secrets hidden by the Fibonacci Number and Phi (Φ)

The Fibonacci numbers are the sequence of numbers defined by the linear recurrence equation.

The plot above shows the first 511 terms of the Fibonacci sequence represented in binary, revealing an interesting pattern of hollow and filled triangles (Pegg 2003). A fractal-like series of white triangles appears on the bottom edge, due in part to the fact that the binary representation of ends in zeros. Many other similar properties exist.

The Fibonacci numbers give the number of pairs of rabbits months after a single pair begins breeding (and newly born bunnies are assumed to begin breeding when they are two months old), as first described by Leonardo of Pisa (also known as Fibonacci) in his book Liber Abaci. Kepler also described the Fibonacci numbers (Kepler 1966; Wells 1986, pp. 61-62 and 65). Before Fibonacci wrote his work, the Fibonacci numbers had already been discussed by Indian scholars such as Gopāla (before 1135) and Hemachandra (c. 1150) who had long been interested in rhythmic patterns that are formed from one-beat and two-beat notes or syllables. The number of such rhythms having beats altogether is , and hence these scholars both mentioned the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, ... explicitly (Knuth 1997, p. 80).

The numbers of Fibonacci numbers less than 10, , , ... are 6, 11, 16, 20, 25, 30, 35, 39, 44, ... (OEIS A072353). For , 2, ..., the numbers of decimal digits in are 2, 21, 209, 2090, 20899, 208988, 2089877, 20898764, ... (OEIS A068070). As can be seen, the initial strings of digits settle down to produce the number 208987640249978733769..., which corresponds to the decimal digits of (OEIS A097348), where is the golden ratio. This follows from the fact that for any power function , the number of decimal digits for is given by .

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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## Evidence for early life in Earth’s oldest hydrothermal vent precipitates

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The authors describe putative fossilized microorganisms that are at least 3,770 million and possibly 4,280 million years old in ferruginous sedimentary rocks, interpreted as seafloor-hydrothermal vent-related precipitates, from the Nuvvuagittuq belt in Quebec, Canada.
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## Biomimetic mineral self-organization from silica-rich spring waters

Purely inorganic reactions of silica, metal carbonates, and metal hydroxides can produce self-organized complex structures that mimic the texture of biominerals, the morphology of primitive organisms, and that catalyze prebiotic reactions. To date, these fascinating structures have only been synthesized using model solutions. We report that mineral self-assembly can be also obtained from natural alkaline silica-rich water deriving from serpentinization. Specifically, we demonstrate three main types of mineral self-assembly: (i) nanocrystalline biomorphs of barium carbonate and silica, (ii) mesocrystals and crystal aggregates of calcium carbonate with complex biomimetic textures, and (iii) osmosis-driven metal silicate hydrate membranes that form compartmentalized, hollow structures. Our results suggest that silica-induced mineral self-assembly could have been a common phenomenon in alkaline environments of early Earth and Earth-like planets.
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## Diamond formation in the deep lower mantle: a high-pressure reaction of MgCO3 and SiO2

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The authors determined the phase relations in the MgCO3-SiO2 system up to 152 GPa and 3,100 K using a double sided laser-heated diamond anvil cell combined with in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction.
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## Manganese Oxide Reactions on Ni and Zn Speciation

Layered Mn oxide minerals (phyllomanganates) often control trace metal fate in natural systems. The strong uptake of metals such as Ni and Zn by phyllomanganates results from adsorption on or incorporation into vacancy sites.
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## Iron entangled : Nature Geoscience : Nature Research

Iron is an essential fuel for life in the oceans. The influence of this element on biogeochemistry [mdash] and nitrogen cycling in particular [mdash] varies across environments and time.
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## On the mineralogy of the “Anthropocene Epoch”

The “Anthropocene Epoch” has been proposed as a new post-Holocene geological time interval—a period characterized by the pervasive impact of human activities on the geological record. Prior to the influence of human technologies, the diversity and distribution of minerals at or near Earth’s surface arose through physical, chemical, and/or biological processes. Since the advent of human mining and manufacturing, particularly since the industrial revolution of the mid-eighteenth century, mineral-like compounds have experienced a punctuation event in diversity and distribution owing to the pervasive impact of human activities. We catalog 208 mineral species approved by the International Mineralogical Association that occur principally or exclusively as a consequence of human processes. At least three types of human activities have affected the diversity and distribution of minerals and mineral-like compounds in ways that might be reflected in the worldwide stratigraphic record. The most obvious influence is the widespread occurrence of synthetic mineral-like compounds, some of which are manufactured directly for applications (e.g., YAG crystals for lasers; Portland cement) and others that arise indirectly (e.g., alteration of mine tunnel walls; weathering products of mine dumps and slag). A second human influence on the distribution of Earth’s near-surface minerals relates to large-scale movements of rocks and sediments—sites where large volumes of rocks and minerals have been removed. Finally, humans have become relentlessly efficient in redistributing select natural minerals, such as gemstones and fine mineral specimens, across the globe. All three influences are likely to be preserved as distinctive stratigraphic markers far into the future.
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## Dated eclogitic diamond growth zones reveal variable recycling of crustal carbon through time

• Rb–Sr and Sm–Nd isotope systematics of individual silicate inclusions in diamonds.
• Sm–Nd ages from 0.1 to 2.3 Ga, with up to 2 Ga differences in individual diamonds.
• Relationship between 87Sr/86Sr of inclusion and δ13Cδ13C of diamond host.
• Variations in C–Sr isotope ratios controlled by regional geological events.
• Older diamonds more likely to have light δ13Cδ13C.

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## Iron persistence in a distal hydrothermal plume supported by dissolved-particulate exchange

The largest known hydrothermal plume moves dissolved iron halfway across the Pacific. In situ measurements show that dissolved and particulate iron transport is facilitated by reversible exchange of dissolved iron onto organic compounds.
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## Caesium-rich micro-particles: A window into the meltdown events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

All of the CsMPs (with sizes of 2.0–3.4 μm) comprise SiO2 glass matrices and ~10-nm-sized Zn–Fe-oxide nanoparticles associated with a wide range of Cs concentrations (1.1–19 wt% Cs as Cs2O).
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## Nuclear explosions could tell us why the moon has no water

Scientists are studying debris from the Trinity nuclear test to figure out how the moon lost its water.
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## Solving the mysteries of climate

Did you know that a tiny nanoparticle size of less than 0.000000001 meters can help us predict massive global changes? Watch a video of a new researc
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## Understanding Uranium Behavior in Sediments | EMSL

Uranium accumulates in oxygen-depleted sediments such as ore deposits, marine basins and contaminated aquifers. Identifying chemical forms of uranium that dominate sediments is key to understanding how this contaminant reacts and moves in sediments.
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## Cycles of nutrient trace elements in the Phanerozoic ocean

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## Process Mineralogy 2017

Petrolab are proud sponsors of Process Mineralogy 2017 in Cape Town and have the privilege of presenting two papers at the conference.
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## Three-dimensional preservation of cellular and subcellular structures suggests 1.6 billion-year-old crown-group red algae

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The authors studied exquisitely preserved fossil communities from ~1.6 billion-year-old sedimentary rocks in central India representing a shallow-water marine environment characterized by photosynthetic biomats.
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## International School on Biological Crystallization - ISBC Granada

The ISBC2017 belong to a series of International Crystallization Schools organized yearly every last week of May since 2006 in Granada. The whole series of ISC and ISBC are sponsored by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr), The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain, The International University Menendez Pelayo, The University of Granada, and the Specialized Group of Crystallography and Crystal Growth (GE3C) of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry, and it is supported by the Working Party on Crystallization (WPC) of the European Federation of Chemical Engineers and the International Organization of Crystal Growth.
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## The integral role of iron in ocean biogeochemistry

The micronutrient iron is now recognized to be important in regulating the magnitude and dynamics of ocean primary productivity, making it an integral component of the ocean’s biogeochemical cycles. In this Review, we discuss how a recent increase in observational data for this trace metal has challenged the prevailing view of the ocean iron cycle. Instead of focusing on dust as the major iron source and emphasizing iron’s tight biogeochemical coupling to major nutrients, a more complex and diverse picture of the sources of iron, its cycling processes and intricate linkages with the ocean carbon and nitrogen cycles has emerged.
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## The quest to crystallize time

Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not.
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## New Insights into the Chemical and Isotopic Composition of Human-Body Biominerals. II: COM Kidney Stones from #Greece

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We have analyzed kidney stones from patients from Greece in which the mineral phase was calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) as identified by powder-XRD and FTIR spectra. SEM-EDS analysis revealed microscale-COM crystal aggregates mixed with organic/biological matter. XRF revealed that in addition to Ca (max. ca. 21.4 wt. %; av. ca. 21 wt.%) and Sr (max. 35 ppm; av. 34 ppm), there were significant levels of heavy metal impurities, namely Zn (max. 214 ppm; av. 204 ppm), Pb (max. 149 ppm; av. 136 ppm), Fe (max. 136 ppm; av. 132 ppm) and Cu (max. 17 ppm; av. 15 ppm), as well as minor amounts of Br. As identified by IRMS, all three examined kidney stones presented a very light δ13C signature (average δ13C ca. -25.4‰ PDB) as compared to previously reported data on kidney stones from humans from different geographical locations. The δ18O values averaged ca. -7.31‰ PDB. With regard to radioactive isotopes, HR γ-ray spectrometry demonstrated the existence of the natural radionuclides 214Pb and 214Bi due to 238U-series, and also an additional amount of 40Κ. We conclude that these kidney stones from southeastern Europe are enriched in essential biometals (Zn and Fe), and also contain a high content of harmful heavy metals such as Pb, and traces of U. This elemental composition may be related to a toxic diet and/or environmental pollution.
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## Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits - University of Tasmania, Australia

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## Large gem diamonds from metallic liquid in Earth’s deep mantle

Standing at ~7-centimeters tall, this 404.2-carat rough diamond was recovered from the Lulo mine, Angola, in February 2016. Evidence from the interior of such large gem diamonds suggests that these diamonds grow from an iron-nickel metallic liquid in Earth's deep convecting mantle. The presence of metal in regions of the deep mantle has broad implications for Earth's geologic evolution. See page 1403. Photo: © SPOA/Orel SIMON

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## Microbial diversity in the deep-subsurface hydrothermal aquifer feeding the giant gypsum crystal-bearing Naica Mine, Mexico

The Naica Mine in northern Mexico is famous for its giant gypsum crystals, which may reach up to 11 m long and contain fluid inclusions that might have captured microorganisms during their formation. These crystals formed under particularly stable geochemical conditions in cavities filled by low salinity hydrothermal water at 54–58°C. scription
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