It took scientists years to learn who is the culprit behind the loss of our Earth’s iron in the crust. This week, scientists published their answer in the journal Science Advances, revealing who’s behind the iron depletion.
The previous belief was that the iron missing from the surface of the Earth’s crust was because a mineral inside the earth – magnetite, and volcanoes had something to do with it. The magnetite would absorb iron from the magma inside the volcanoes and then it would result in a crust low in iron. But new research found a different culprit.
It Was Not Magnetite After All
Petrologists Cin-Ty Lee, Ming Tang, Monica Erdman and Graham Eldridge of the Rice University in Texas found out that the real thief is garnet, not magnetite. Their study points out that if magnetite would have been the culprit, it should be more abundant in the continental crust. Lee explained:
Scientists also tracked the rocks from the GEOROC database at the Max Planck Institute to see if other rocks from different volcanic eruptions contained the same concentration of garnet. Their suspicions turned out to be out true.
Checking the Recently Available Global Database
Tang explained they will need to do more research, on a global scale:
Now that they all know that Almandine is the real culprit, scientists will be able to begin other studies to have a better understanding of the subject.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.