New analysis techniques unearth a trove of unusual minerals

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Nataliyamalikite was discovered in Kamchatka’s Avacha Volcano, which emits sulfurous vapor that’s high in thallium.YURI SMITYUK/GETTY IMAGES

THE LANDSCAPE OF Kamchatka Peninsula steams with sulfurous vapor, its 29 active volcanoes forming a hazy backdrop for the region’s herds of reindeer and rivers of salmon. One of the most geologically active places in the world, Kamchatka juts out from the eastern coast of Russia to resemble a larger version of Florida. A process almost like alchemy occurs here: Like a set of roiling cauldrons, Kamchatka’s volcanoes mix unusual combinations of atomic elements to forge minerals that are unlike anything anywhere else in the world.

And in the past few years, researchers have discovered several new minerals on Kamchatka. “They pop up by accident,” says Joël Brugger, a geologist at Monash University in Australia, who helped discover a new mineral on the peninsula called nataliyamalikite in 2017. “You just have to keep your eyes open.” Researchers don’t set out to make these discoveries, usually. Instead, they stumble upon new minerals during their studies of broader geologic processes that might, for example, cause rare metals to collect in unusually large concentrations in a specific volcano.

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Reawakening of Icelandic Volcano!!!

The volcano consists of inter–connected conduits, sills, and dikes that allow magma to rise from deep within the Earth.

Months of volcanic restlessness preceded the eruptions this spring of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, providing insight into what roused it from centuries of slumber.

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Upside-Down Answer for Deep Mystery: What Caused Earth to Hold Its Last Breath?

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Volcano eruption

When Earth was young, it exhaled the atmosphere. During a period of intense volcanic activity, lava carried light elements from the planet’s molten interior and released them into the sky. However, some light elements got trapped inside the planet. In the journal Nature, a Rice University-based team of scientists is offering a new answer to a longstanding mystery: What caused Earth to hold its last breath?

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Are Earth’s Oceans Made Of Extraterrestrial Material?

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Pacific ocean. Did water come from ice-covered asteroids that may have reached the Earth around one hundred million years after the birth of the planets?

Contrary to preconceived notions, the atmosphere and the oceans were perhaps not formed from vapors emitted during intense volcanism at the dawning of our planet. Francis Albarède of the Laboratoire des Sciences de la Terre (CNRS / ENS Lyon / Université Claude Bernard) suggests that water was not part of the Earth’s initial inventory but stems from the turbulence caused in the outer Solar System by giant planets. Ice-covered asteroids thus reached the Earth around one hundred million years after the birth of the planets.

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African Desert Rift Confirmed As New Ocean In The Making

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New research confirms that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world’s oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.

In 2005, a gigantic, 35-mile-long rift broke open the desert ground in Ethiopia. At the time, some geologists believed the rift was the beginning of a new ocean as two parts of the African continent pulled apart, but the claim was controversial.

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Tsunami Waves Reasonably Likely To Strike Israel, Geo-archaeological Research Suggests

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Ancient port city of Caesarea, Israel.

“There is a likely chance of tsunami waves reaching the shores of Israel,” says Dr. Beverly Goodman of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa following an encompassing geo-archaeological study at the port of Caesarea. “Tsunami events in the Mediterranean do occur less frequently than in the Pacific Ocean, but our findings reveal a moderate rate of recurrence,” she says.

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Banded Rocks Reveal Early Earth Conditions, Changes

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Pictured in 2008, a banded iron formation about 2.5 billion years old near Soudan Underground Mine State Park in Minnesota shows alternating layers of silica-rich (red) and iron-rich (gray) minerals.

The strikingly banded rocks scattered across the upper Midwest and elsewhere throughout the world are actually ambassadors from the past, offering clues to the environment of the early Earth more than 2 billion years ago. Continue reading… “Banded Rocks Reveal Early Earth Conditions, Changes”

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Ancient Earth’s Magnetic Field Was Structured Like Today’s Two-pole Model

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The well-exposed layering of basalt flows in formations near Lake Superior is aiding scientific understanding of the geomagnetic field in ancient times. Nicholas Swanson-Hysell, a Princeton graduate student, examines the details of the top of a lava flow.

Princeton University scientists have shown that, in ancient times, the Earth’s magnetic field was structured like the two-pole model of today, suggesting that the methods geoscientists use to reconstruct the geography of early land masses on the globe are accurate. The findings may lead to a better understanding of historical continental movement, which relates to changes in climate.

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