Questions tagged [geochemistry]

The science that uses the tools and principles of chemistry to explain the mechanisms behind major geological systems.

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4
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1answer
69 views

Employment of Volcanologists and Petrologists

What industries or government departments hire volcanologists and igneous petrologists/geochemists in the United States?
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Considering the thin piece of material on the surface of Mars in the image below, is there anything like it on Earth?

The above is a magnified part of the original image below captured by the Curiosity rover on Mars on sol 1729 (June 17, 2017). From the added information with that raw image it can be estimated that ...
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Why is mass fraction always abbreviated wt% and not ma%?

In most geology papers, major elements chemical analyses are expressed as mass fraction of oxides, i.e. SiO$_2$ 64.2 wt%, K$_2$O 4.3 wt%, etc. The mass fraction unit is always abbreviated as "wt%". ...
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Is weathering of rock a primary means of $\text{CO}_2$ scrubbing on primordial Earth?

I read somewhere that the reason Venus has a runaway greenhouse effect and Earth doesn't is because Venus failed to develop tectonic plates and instead formed a full tectonic plate enveloping the ...
5
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1answer
151 views

Does Xenon really covalently bond to oxygen within quartz?

Wikipedia's Xenon; occurrence and production says Within the Solar System, the nucleon fraction of xenon is $\small\mathsf{1.56 \times 10^{-8}}$, for an abundance of approximately one part in 630 ...
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2answers
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What is the history of atmospheric O₂ concentration?

(This is about O₂, not CO₂) How did the concentration of oxygen change? Over geologic time frames since plants began to produce it, and during the time since the carbon dioxide increase caused by ...
4
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1answer
65 views

Relationship Between Ratio of Atmospheric Gases and Ocean Gases

A version of this question was posted in Chemistry SE and Worldbuilding SE but I've been told it wasn't appropriate to either SE. I was told to give this SE a chance. If you think it doesn't belong on ...
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What was the first rock in the rock cycle?

I am an undergraduate student but I am a tutor at a High School, and one student asked me. Attempting to explain the rock cycle "if one rock turns into the other then which came first" my gut is ...
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XRF analysis - recalculating results

For TAS diagram plot, one need to recalculate Major oxide data (NaO, K2O, SiO2). Do one need to recalculate the ppms of Zr,Nb and Y and % of TiO2 for Zr/TiO2 vs Nb/Y diagram plotting for rock ...
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Looking for a complete table of minerals for a database

I am building an open source spatial geochemical/geological observational database for mineral exploration. I need to fill the mineral lookup table. Where can I find a complete list of all minerals ...
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Why was the temperature change greater in higher latitudes than in lower latitudes during the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum?

In the "Plankton cooled a greenhouse", which is the article written by Birger Schmitz, it is stated that the subtropical regions became warmer during the PETM(Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum) but the ...
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solubility of rare earth sulphides at different pH?

Will rare earth sulfides in soil be more soluble in aqueous solutions with lower pH? How can I know whether these sulfides will dissolve better at low or high pH or will it not be affected?
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1answer
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What are the cubic formations found inside Larimar gemstones?

I recently noticed what appears to be common cubic formations just beneath the surface of Pectolite (Larimar) gemstones. They quite resemble transparent sugar sprinkles. Each formation isn't perfectly ...
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1answer
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Why Earth's outer core does not dissolve into the mantle?

It is well accepted that the outer core is made out of liquid iron and nickel, and as everything else it should tend to reach chemical equilibrium with its surrounding. In particular, I would expect ...
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3answers
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Can you measure BOD/COD real time using any sensor?

There is a requirement to measure BOD/COD in a wastewater treatment plant in real time. Is it possible? And if so are there any sensors available in the market for it? COD: Chemical Oxygen Demand BOD:...
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1answer
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Does ground-to-cloud lightning create crystals as well?

I've read that cloud-to-ground lightning can create fulgurites. Does ground-to-cloud lightning also create crystals within the earth as it surges through the minerals?
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1answer
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Can someone please help me figure out what this rock/mineral is? [closed]

Inside of the rock there is some type of fossil and it looks like a tiny tooth. Whatever this is, it's very interesting and doesn't make any markings when drawn with. It is white and yellow, almost ...
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5answers
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How and why did the oceans form on Earth but not on other planets?

Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has copious amounts of water on it. Where did this water come from and why is there so much water on Earth compared to every other planet in the ...
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1answer
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Possible and probable source of Curiosity Rover's $\small\sf{CH_4}$ detection on Mars

Past week, NASA announced Curiosity Rover measured 21 ppbv of $\small\sf{CH_4}$ on Mars. This week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever ...
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1answer
38 views

Potassum-Argon Dating and Proportions of Daughter Products in Potassium 40 Decay Channel

So Potassium 40 decays in such a way that roughly 89% of it becomes Calcium 40 and 11% of it becomes Argon 40. When they list these figures are they implying that after 1 half-life, of the 50% of the ...
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1answer
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How is the difference in crust and mantle composition explained?

We know that the composition of the crust is SiAl and SiMa and the one of mantle is mostly ophiolites, but why? Which are the geological processes that make this difference exist?
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Molten salt seas on the future Earth

As the sun gets brighter, the oceans are expected to evaporate by the next billion years or so (the vapor slowly gets stripped off into space). The salt, which is less dense than most rocks, will be ...
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4answers
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What is the origin of the dominant atmospheric nitrogen content in Earth's atmosphere?

Comparing the atmospheric compositions of Earth with our nearest neighbours: As the table shows, the Earth's atmospheric nitrogen concentration is 78%, compared to 3.8% for Venus and 2.7% for Mars ...
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Why is sulfate reduction less important in freshwater sediments?

Is this due to increased salinity reducing sulfate concentration or the production of marsh gas converting sulfate to hydrogen sulfide or something else?
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1answer
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How does friction and radiolysis provide hydrogen for “unusual types of methane”?

The fascinating New York Times article Gas That Makes a Mountain Breathe Fire Is Turning Up Around the World talks about the Flames of Chimaera and the Deep Carbon Observatory: And a series of ...
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1answer
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Which are the mechanisms of the correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxid and global warming/cooling?

In the end of glacial periods there seems to be an increasing release of carbon dioxide as the global warming increase and at the end of these global warming periods the content of carbon dioxide in ...
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How much hydrogen can be extracted from the deep continental crust?

Far below the earth's surface, hydrogen gas is continuously produced through serpentinization. At least some fraction of this hydrogen remains trapped in the deep continental crust; indeed, Soviet ...
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3answers
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Why does Earth have abundant oxygen in the atmosphere?

Because of photosynthesis, obviously. But then it's not actually that obvious after all, because photosynthesis is mostly balanced by respiration. We can summarise the processes of photosynthesis ...
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2answers
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Peak phosphorus - what are the sinks?

The minable phosphorus reserves are limited. Where is the mined phosphoprus landing, what are the global phosphorus sinks? I would assume that most phosphorus is used for fertilizer and ultimately ...
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1answer
161 views

What controls the acidity of the ocean?

I have learned that: coral reefs are made up mostly of calcium carbonate coral reefs are mainly distributed in the tropical zone The calcium carbonate will be decomposed in the reaction as ...
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1answer
114 views

How acidic waters make rocks disappear?

I was working on this science project. I was on step 11, day. 4. Since day 2, I found out that my pH and the mass of the rock (limestone) stopped changing. This project should proves acidic water ...
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0answers
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How do you interpret Oxygen Isotope changes?

In a paper I am reading, the authors note "large (5-7%) negative shifts in the oxygen isotopic composition of geologic proxy materials" (Davis 2008, pg. 102) in several regional basins. This is then ...
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3answers
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Why is Earth's age given by dating meteorites rather than its own rocks?

Reading a course on Precambrian, I read that: Earth Age (around 4.5 billion years) is dated thanks to the meteorites hitting Earth during its formation rather than the inner materials composing the ...
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1answer
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Why the “Mission to Earth’s core” proposal suggests using liquid iron instead of lead?

Nature communications article "Mission to Earth's core — a modest proposal", suggests placing a large volume of liquid iron in a crack and let it sink all the way to the Earth's core, carrying along a ...
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Chloride and evaporation

I have a layered aquifer with water that contains high concentrations of calcium and sulfate (~400 mg/L Ca2+, ~1300 mg/L SO42-), at 50 cm below ground surface (bgs), 250 cm bgs and 300 cm bgs. The ...
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0answers
161 views

Where does molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere come from?

This figure from Wikipedia's Atmosphere of Earth shows a hydrogen fraction of 0.000055 percent by volume. Question: Where does molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere come from? Does this come directly ...
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3answers
708 views

Oxygen isotope ratio and Glaciers

The question is basically: During the Cretaceous there were no continental ice sheets. The ratio of O-18/O-16 in sea water was: a) Higher than today b) Lower than today The answer ...
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3answers
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Would oceans regenerate if removed?

On Earth, there is enough Hydrogen and Oxygen to make 13,88 million km$^3$ of water (calculation below). However, oceans contain only a tenth of that. Clearly, most of the hydrogen must be stored in ...
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4answers
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Are all natural diamonds made of organic carbon material?

I've read that diamonds are created at a depth of about 180 km. By volcanic activity it comes above. But did plants and trees of 300 million years ago sink so deep? Or is it possible that inorganic ...
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2answers
3k views

How much Uranium is there in the Earth's Crust?

Are there any estimates of the amount of Uranium there is in Earth's Crust? From what I know, it's supposed that there are large amounts of Uranium in Earth's Core, the decay of which is responsible ...
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Natural nuclear explosions

I'm aware of the Oklo reactor and other natural nuclear fission reactors, in which geological processes can lead to the formation of a sustained, self-regulating uranium fission reactor. Is it also ...
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0answers
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why igneous phosphate rocks contain less uranium than sedimentary rocks?

Sedimentary rock phosphates contain much higher concentrations of potentially hazardous elements (As, Cd, Cr,Pb, Se and U)than igneous rock phosphates. Why? Is it because U concentration in magmatic ...
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0answers
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Formation of Hematite on Mars via Perchlorates as an Oxidizer

Hematite on Mars is generally thought to have formed either in pools of water or from volcanic activity. A comment to the answer to the question: How do hematite and magnetite form? states that ...
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1answer
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How do hematite and magnetite form?

I want to understand the conditions under which hematite $\ce{Fe_2O_3}$ and magnetite $\ce{Fe_3O_4}$ form in nature. The linked Wikipedia articles explain various conditions under which they form, but ...
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1answer
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If the study of “minerals” is covered by inorganic chemistry

I am wondering what field studies "minerals", such as the minerals in Wikipedia's list. I keep thinking that perhaps it would be covered in inorganic chemistry (list of inorganic compounds wiki), but ...
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1answer
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The magnetite is in which type of magma

In which type of magma can I find magnetite? Peraluminous or peralkaline? I've been looking and the peraluminous magma have a lot of oxides so I thought it would be reduced magma so it would have ...
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1answer
58 views

Is it possible to form a diamond-sapphire hybrid?

I've been looking into diamonds recently and was made aware of diamond hybrids where diamond is grown on either a seed diamond or cubic zirconia. I was wondering if it would be possible to do ...
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Is oxygen the most abundant element on Earth?

When I was in school, I was taught that we need oxygen to breathe, but it actually constitutes only a small fraction of the atmospheric composition, and that nitrogen constituted the largest fraction ...
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1answer
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What kind of purple stone is this? [closed]

I found this stone and I do not know what type of stone is this?
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1answer
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Historically, how did the total amount of salt / NaCl on Earth develop?

After reading this question about the origin of NaCl on Earth, I'm wondering: How did the amount of NaCl develop historically? Is it a more or less linear growth until today? Was it such a linear ...