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50 votes
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Why is NaCl so hyper abundant in the ocean?

Fluoride salts tend to be not particularly soluble in water. Chloride salts are. The same goes for salts containing sodium versus those containing calcium. Sodium chloride is ridiculously easy to ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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44 votes

Why is NaCl so hyper abundant in the ocean?

Solubility. The question is quite chemical, in fact. Solubility works somewhat counter-intuitively: if two ions that are not soluble together are present in the solution, they find each other and form ...
fraxinus's user avatar
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22 votes
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Taking into account the decay products of transuranic elements, are the world's uranium reserves growing or shrinking?

Let's start with the easy question: given our current known reserves of transuranic elements and again taking into account their decay products, where will the greatest uranium reserves be in, say, ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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15 votes

Are fossil fuels really formed from fossils?

Let's look at this. A very large number of points for one question. First, the solar system. We do not see any hydrocarbons in the inner solar system (Mercury to Mars). This is because in this region ...
Andrew Jon Dodds's user avatar
13 votes

Do lead 206 and other daughter isotopes occur naturally?

While lead 206 does occur naturally, unless a zircon (a zirconium silicate crystal) is contaminated with lead or has been around a long time, it will contain no lead. Zirconium, uranium, and thorium ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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12 votes
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Why don't iron meteorites on Mars rust or oxidize? Why are they shiny?

tl;dr: Compared to Earth, the atmosphere on Mars is very thin; in addition, it contains much less of oxygen and water (i.e., is very dry). It is much colder there. These conditions may slow down ...
Buttonwood's user avatar
11 votes
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Diamond at the core of Jupiter

I would think this is questionable, though we don't have a definitive answer yet. We usually think Jupiter has a roughly solar composition, which according to the solar abundance measurments of ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
11 votes
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Non-invasive techniques to find rock composition

You are looking for a portable XRF. It does (almost) exactly what you said. It sends electromagnetic radiation to the rock (X-rays), which excites electrons in the atoms and when they bounce back ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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10 votes

Are there minerals which are not been found on earth but which are still possible to exist?

To answer the first part, there are many minerals on earth which do not involve silicate bonded structures. For instance, non-silicates (minerals of carbonates, sulfides, sulfates, phosphates, and ...
Tachylite's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes

Would oceans regenerate if removed?

I'm ignorant of all the organic and inorganic chemical reactions that can destroy or create water, and the factors controlling them. But I can give a shot to the part of the question related to ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is the iron on Earth's crust a leftover of the Iron catastrophe, or it was brought back by volcanoes?

Not all the iron sank to the core. Have a look at my answer to a previous question: https://earthscience.stackexchange.com/a/7076/725 Your question is similar, but coming the other way. You're ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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9 votes
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What are the cubic formations found inside Larimar gemstones?

Calcite and hematite may not be the the answer to my question Hematite is not the answer, but calcite is. The inclusions are not cubic, they are rhombohedral. This is precisely how calcite looks ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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9 votes

Do lead 206 and other daughter isotopes occur naturally?

The four stable isotopes of lead and their relative abundance on Earth are: 204Pb (1.4%), 206Pb (24.1%), 207Pb (22.1%) and 208Pb (52.4%). Lead-204 is a primordial nuclide and is not a radiogenic ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the origin of the ocean's salt?

I'd like to add a bit to the existing answer and maybe break it down to several simple things: Chloride likes water. The chloride ion, Cl- really likes being in water. It's one of the most ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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8 votes
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What "g" would be needed to keep helium on Earth?

Atmospheric escape is the loss of planetary atmospheric gases to outer space. You'd never be able to contain ALL of any gas forever by gravity. Ultimately you end up in the rarefied atmosphere where ...
MaxW's user avatar
  • 511
8 votes
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Where can fluorite be found on Long Island, New York?

I do not know of fluorite being reported to occur on Long Island. If fluorite is found in NYC, the Natural History museum might have specimens. You might try contacting a mineralogy / mineral ...
Earth Science Expatriate's user avatar
8 votes

What is the difference between N-MORB, E-MORB and OIB?

The nomenclature is confusing and recent studies have shown that among mid-ocean ridge basalts (generally called MORBs) that normal mid-ocean ridge basalts (NMORB) should reflect the statistically ...
dergeophysiker's user avatar
8 votes

Do scientists ever make rock vapor in a laboratory? If so, is it ever used to study planetary or lunar formation?

Not quite "rock vapour", but scientists do study gas-rock interactions. Some of that is used to understand processes forming in the moon. For example, this paper looked at volatile metals (...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
7 votes

Why silicon is abundant in earth surface?

Silicon, in the form of silica (oxidised silicon: Si4+ or SiO2), is indeed very common on Earth's surface. This answer has two parts: why is silicon common in the Earth as a whole, and why it is ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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7 votes
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Upon breaking apart andesite, what do you get?

By definition andesite is mainly plagioclase (mostly variety andesine),and pyroxene with either quartz or olivine (not both), and minor amounts of magnetite, ilmenite, zircon, apatite, possibly ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
7 votes

What kind of purple stone is this?

That's amethyst, a violet version of quartz See here
JulPal's user avatar
  • 734
7 votes

How to convert mol/m^2 to total mass ( e.g gram, kg etc )?

$\rm \frac{mol}{m^2}$ shows the amount of $\rm{NO_2}$ in the atmosphere over a square meter of surface area - in mols. The molar mass of the $\rm{NO_2}$ is $14+2\cdot 16=46$. It means, the mass of 1 ...
peterh's user avatar
  • 660
7 votes
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Why is silver found mainly in lead

This may not be a complete answer, but a big misconception here may be that silver is found "in" lead. It would be more correct to say that silver is more concentrated in the lead ore ...
desander's user avatar
  • 415
6 votes
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Why is uranium only in the crust, really?

(tl;dr below) First, a correction. Siderophile elements are "iron-loving" elements, those that go in the core with the Fe-Ni liquid. Uranium is lithophile, or "rock-loving". It partitions to silicate ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
6 votes
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Composition of Martian Crust

The most abundant elements on Earth are: ...
Earth Science Expatriate's user avatar
6 votes

What is the white coating "patina" we often see on deposited chalcedony/agate?

The white "patina" is most likely some form of opal as you suggest. I did some research and I'll explain how the agate becomes opal and why it's more common in the eroded rock. Some ...
Brittan Wogsland's user avatar
6 votes

Crystallization path of diopside-wollastonite-silica systems

The diopside–wollastonite–silica system ($\ce{CaMgSi2O6-CaSiO3-SiO2}$) was never studied for crystallisation paths in igneous systems. This is not a system encountered in terrestrial magmas, so no one ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
6 votes

Is this why oceans are salty?

No, because fresh rainfall has no salt in it, so as long as the river keeps moving the salt has no time to accumulate. Only stagnant sources of water on land, like lakes with no outlet, can become ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 1,804
6 votes

What does 5,000,000 tonnes of CO2 look like?

The question is hard to give a definitive answer to, as it depends on the pressure at which the gas is kept in the tank. But to try to give an intuitive sense of how much gas this is, let's work out ...
Semidiurnal Simon's user avatar

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