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Minerals of the distant future
  
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Tom Mazanec




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PostPosted: Aug 04, 2023 10:54    Post subject: Minerals of the distant future  

Will there be new mineral species millions of centuries in the future, after geology has processed a trillion tons of plastics, aluminum, etc.?
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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: Aug 04, 2023 13:15    Post subject: Re: Minerals of the distant future  

There is no fear of the alteration of the mineral world by external factors such as pollution.
The mineral world is another world, inert and closed to human influences. Moreover, the IMA takes care not to recognize these new and dubious species. They are not minerals but artificial chemical compounds resulting from various alterations.
Pollution has an effect on life, but not on the inert mineral world from distant times.
Moreover, there are total incompatibilities of interactions in this neogeochemistry.
I think so.
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Aug 04, 2023 18:50    Post subject: Re: Minerals of the distant future  

I would not expect any new mineral species to form a million centuries in the future from human aluminium or plastic.

Aluminium will probably mostly disappear, turning into various well known Al-oxyhydroxide species or Al-phosphates.

Plastic might perhaps survive if buried under anaerobic conditions. A million centuries in the future is the same amount of time as from the mid-Cretaceous to today, and other amorphous organic materials, like amber, have survived that long. Amber slowly polymerizes to a harder, more brittle, less soluble resin, but does not crystallize; plastics might age similarly. Or the plastic might very slowly disappear completely, turning into CO2 and CH4 by bacterial activity. It seems some bacteria are already evolving to decompose plastics. So plastic garbage may well be an unsightly mess for thousands of years, but after 100 million? ...it will probably be gone. No new mineral species.

Roger, I must somewhat disagree with your statement, "...the IMA takes care not to recognize these new and dubious species. They are not minerals but artificial chemical compounds resulting from various alterations." There have been several new species accepted by the IMA that would not exist without human intervention, including various modern minerals from weathered slags, mine fires, mine dump fires, etc. And even after announcing that they would not approve such minerals in future, they have still gone ahead and approved some more! And some recently approved minerals are just industrial waste products, like dellagiustaite.
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Riccardo Modanesi




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PostPosted: Aug 05, 2023 04:15    Post subject: Re: Minerals of the distant future  

Hi to everybody!
As the biggest majority of you should know, minerals DO alter due to chemical agents, including air and water! Moreover, I could read in another issue that new minerals form by dead animals and/or human bodies! Therefore.... never say never!
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.

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Hi! I'm a collector of minerals since 1973 and a gemmologist. On Summer I always visit mines and quarries all over Europe looking for minerals! Ok, there is time to tell you much much more! Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.
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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Aug 05, 2023 09:07    Post subject: Re: Minerals of the distant future  

Maybe this is a philosophical issue, but I believe humanity is a natural and inevitable result of natural processes, and crystalline chemical compounds synthesized by humans qualify as minerals. The same goes for whatever replaces us.
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