This is a fascinating article from Science Alert about new minerals forming near the surface of the earth – ranging from e-waste landfill to the walls of mines. All of this reinforces the notion of the Anthropocene, a geological age influenced by humankind.
Simonkolleite – an anthropogenic mineral. Credit: RRUFF
Scientists have identified a sudden explosion of mineral diversity on the surface of our planet that would not exist if it weren’t for humans, adding weight to the argument that we’re living in a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene.
A new study has found that the incredible upsurge of new minerals around the time of the industrial revolution led to the unprecedented diversification of crystals on Earth, eclipsing even the Great Oxidation Event 2.3 billion years ago as the “greatest increase in the history of the globe”.
“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,” one of the team, Robert Hazen from the Carnegie Institution for Science told The Guardian.