Mineral resources are defined as natural concentrations of minerals or, in an analysis of the canadian fur trade the.
Luiz Menezes Applying big data analysis to mineralogy offers a way to predict minerals missing from those known to science, where to find them, and where to find new deposits of valuable minerals such as gold and copper, according to a groundbreaking study.
In a paper published by American Mineralogist, scientists report the first application to mineralogy of network theory best known for analysis of e. The results, they say, pioneer a way to reveal mineral diversity and distribution worldwide, mineral evolution through deep time, new trends, and new deposits.
Millions of mineral specimens from hundreds of thousands of localities around the world have been described and catalogued. Databases containing details of where each mineral was discovered, all of its known occurrences, and the ages of those deposits are large and growing by the week.
Databases also record essential information on chemical compositions and a host of physical properties, including hardness, color, atomic structure, and more. Coupled with data on the surrounding geography, the geological setting, and coexisting minerals, Earth scientists now have access to "big data" resources ripe for analysis.
Network analysis offers new insight into minerals, just as complex data sets offer important understanding of social media connections, city traffic patterns, and metabolic pathways, to name a few examples.
These visualizations can reveal patterns of occurrence and distribution that might otherwise be hidden within a spreadsheet. In other words, big data provides an intimate picture of which minerals coexist with each other, as well as what geological, physical, chemical, and perhaps most surprising biological characteristics are necessary for their appearance.
This is a brand new idea in the paper and I think it will open up an entirely new direction in mineralogy. Ten have been found so far. The estimate came from a statistical analysis of carbon-bearing minerals known today, then extrapolating how many scientists should be looking for.
Additionally, understanding how minerals have changed through geologic time, coupled with our knowledge of biology, is leading to new insights regarding the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere. Here a network diagram for carbon-bearing minerals reveals previously hidden patterns in their diversity and distribution.
Each colored circle represents a different carbon mineral. The size and color of the circles indicates how common or rare each mineral is on Earth. Four examples illustrated are: The black circles represent more than different regional localities at which these minerals are found.
The sizes of the circles indicate how many carbon-bearing minerals are found at each locality, and the lines link mineral species and their localities. Keck DTDI Project In a test case, the researchers explored minerals containing copper, which plays critical roles in modern society e.
The element is extremely sensitive to oxygen, so the nature of copper in a mineral offers a clue to the level of oxygen in the atmosphere at the time the mineral formed.
The investigators also performed an analysis of common minerals in igneous rocks-those formed from a hot molten state.
The analysis showed the exact same sequence of minerals embedded in the mineral networks. The researchers hope that these techniques will lead to an understanding and appreciation of previously unrecognized mineral relationships in varied mineral deposits.Our materials analysis services evaluate material quality and provide the necessary insight to improve performance and resolve failure or contamination issues.
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