Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A tiny grain helps reveal the history of a rock

Date:
March 25, 2013
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Researchers can use the mineral rutile to learn about rock types and their history. Two articles now present a new application of a method for more easily tracing the mineral rutile.

"We can identify the rock from which the rutile originates, even if we only have a tiny grain of rutile,” says researcher Thomas Zack, University of Gothenburg.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Gothenburg

Researchers can use the mineral rutile to learn about rock types and their history. Two articles published in the journal Geology now present a new application of a method for more easily tracing the mineral rutile. The co-authors of the articles are researchers at the University of Gothenburg.

Related Articles


Rutile is used in ceramics and paints, but is particularly useful for finding out about the history of a rock.

Where mineral deposits are found, rutile is often also present. The new methods therefore bring opportunities for strategies to find other mineral deposits, such as gold.

Until now, rutile has been a relatively unknown mineral, despite not being rare. For example, rutile can be found on most sandy beaches around the world, including in Sweden.

"It's incredible to see how little attention was paid to rutile until around five years ago," says geologist and researcher Thomas Zack, from the University of Gothenburg's Department of Earth Sciences, who has devoted much of his scientific career to studying the mineral.

Now, geologists can identify rock types containing rutile and follow the changes in temperature and pressure that they have been exposed to throughout its history, even if rutile is barely visible to the naked eye. Previously, researchers had to investigate considerably more rutile-bearing samples in order to carry out analyses.

"But now we can identify the rock from which the rutile originates, even if we only have a tiny grain of rutile," adds Thomas Zack.

The new method is called "Laser Ablation ICP-MS," and produces results much faster than previous methods.

"In analytical terms, this is one of the most important analytical instruments at the Department of Earth Sciences here in Gothenburg," concludes Thomas Zack.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "A tiny grain helps reveal the history of a rock." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325093702.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2013, March 25). A tiny grain helps reveal the history of a rock. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325093702.htm
University of Gothenburg. "A tiny grain helps reveal the history of a rock." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325093702.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins