Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Science & Technology: Four Minerals Created by Geothermal Energy Production Could Help Announce the Anthropocene Epoch

Human industry and ingenuity has done more to diversify and distribute minerals on Earth than any development since the rise of oxygen over 2.2 billion years ago, experts say in a paper published today.

The work bolsters the scientific argument to officially designate a new geological time interval distinguished by the pervasive impact of human activities: the Anthropocene Epoch.

In the paper, published by American Mineralogist, a team led by Robert Hazen of the Carnegie Institution for Science identifies for the first time a group of 208 mineral species that originated either principally or exclusively due to human activities. That's almost 4% of the roughly 5,200 minerals officially recognized by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA).