Friday, 3 March 2017

Post-Modern Mineralogy?

Human Formed Minerals

A recent paper, reported on HERE, suggests that human activity has led to a new age in mineral formation.

Examples are chalconatronite, a rare copper mineral forming blue crystals on ancient Egyptian Bronze; andersonite, forms green to yellow crystals on the walls of some mines, when uranium ore is exposed for the first time to water during the excavation of the tunnels.

My favourite is fordite, only found in old Detroit auto-painting facilities and formed by the deposition of layers of enamel paint.

My least favourite is plastiglomerate (actually a rock type, not a mineral) formed by burning plastic rubbish along the coasts of Hawaii. The melting plastic incorporates the pebbles of lava-rocks found on the beach, forming a never before seen type of conglomerate.

I suspect these new minerals are not very pretty as the article is illustrated by pictures of "traditional" minerals.

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