Apr 25, 2017 | Updated: 03:00 PM EDT

Human Activity Produced 208 New Minerals, Approaching To A New Anthropocene Epoch

Mar 02, 2017 06:33 PM EST

New Kind of Mineral Found in Australia
(Photo : GeoBeats News/Youtube) A newly identified mineral called putnisite has been analyzed by scientists after being found near Lake Cowan, north of Norseman in remote Western Australia. The most recent addition to the estimated 4 thousand known minerals was found on volcanic rock, formed into small, brittle cubic crystals.

There are so many minerals on Earth that wouldn’t exist without human activity. Scientists have identified several minerals those are Naturally produced but, influenced by human civilization. Giving weight to this mineral diversity researchers defined this era as Anthropocene Epoch.

A research team from the Carnegie Institution for Science led by Robert Hazen started analyzing the minerals. Hazen and his team analyzed more than 5,200 minerals that had been officially recognized by the International Mineralogical Association and found 208 materials among them was actually produced by human activities. Hazen published about his findings in the journal of American Mineralogist.

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Lead researcher Robert Hazen said in his journal,“This is a spike of mineral novelty that is so rapid - most of it in the last 200 years, compared to the 4.5-billion-year history of Earth. There is nothing like it in Earth's history”. Those 208 human triggered minerals include Chalconatronite, Andersonite, Abhurite and much more.

According to The Guardian, Chalconatronite is a rare copper mineral, found from ancient Egyptian bronze artifacts in a bright blue crystal formation. Andersonite is a Uranium-laced mineral that can glow in the dark with green or yellow hue. Researchers found it from the wall of mine tunnels. Abhurite started forming since 1855 when the SS Cheerful sunk off the coast of Cornwall, England.

The team suggested that most of the minerals were found from mining sites, walls of smelters, geothermal piping systems, prehistoric sacrificial burning sites, giant waste dumps, encrusting old batteries and old electrical appliances. However, some new materials haven’t listed yet those were synthesized from magnets, batteries, and synthetic gemstones.

Minerals on Earth usually formed by the Oxidization process. That formation was started 2.3 billion years ago. Atmospheric Oxygen took place in this process with the help of Photosynthetic Bacteria. Over 4,000 varieties of minerals were formed during that period.

Hazen and his team now claiming International Commission on Stratigraphy to reorganize this new epoch as Anthropocene. This new study defines more human influence on this planet.


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