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.

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 August 1, 2014 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 August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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