Scientists are deciphering and cataloging the various origins of the earth’s minerals

A 15-year study led by the Carnegie Institution for Science in the United States illustrates the origins and diversity of all known minerals on Earth, a historical work that will help reconstruct the history of life on Earth, guide the search for new minerals and deposits, predict potential properties for future life and facilitate the search for habitable planets. Habitat and life outside Earth.

In research papers published in the American Mineralogist and sponsored in part by NASA, Carnegie scientists Robert Hazen and Shaunna Morrison detail a new approach to grouping related types of minerals or separating new ones based on when and how they originated.

Once the origins of minerals are taken into account, the number of “types of minerals” – a newly coined term – comes to more than 10,500, a number that is nearly 75% more than the 6,000 minerals recognized by the International Minerals Association (IMA) based Only on crystal structure and chemical structure.

Aileen Morales

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