Proposed new mineral classification system

Proposed new mineral classification system

The modern mineral classification system developed by the American geologist and mineralologist James Dwight Dana in the 1850s classified more than 5,400 mineral species based on their dominant chemical composition and crystalline structure.

Professor Robert Heisen of the Heophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute and George Mason University offers an additional classification system that can expand existing knowledge of how minerals develop over time without replacing existing symbols. In his new article published in American Mineragist, he argues for categories reflecting a deeper, more up-to-date understanding of the transformation of planetary scale over time.

"better reflect the internal confusion of planetary evolution," said Professor Hazen.

To be as effective as possible, the scientific classification system must not only organize and define, but must also reflect modern theory and allow it to expand and guide us to new conclusions.

Professor Hazen was a pioneer in the concept of mineral evolution, linking the explosion of mineral diversity to the rise of life on Earth and the resulting oxygen - rich atmosphere.

He then added another layer to his vision by presenting a mineral ecology that analyses the spatial distribution of the Earth's minerals to predict which of them remain undetected and to confirm the mineralogic uniqueness of our planet.

A categorization system that reflects not only the chemical composition and crystallistic structure of the mineral, but also the physical, chemical or biological processes by which it was formed could recognize that nanoalmages from space are fundamentally different from those formed in the earth ' s subsoil.

The existing classification system combines some minerals with different educational history, while others with similar origins are divided into different types of minerals.

Another example is that at present 32 different types of minerals in the turmalin group are determined by the distribution of the main elements of which they are composed.

Thus, one piece of turmalin with minor changes in chemistry often contains several types of minerals, even if they all formed in the same geological event.

The natural species classification system will correct this problem and allow for the inclusion of non-crystal materials such as volcanic glass, amber and coal, which are not currently considered minerals but can provide knowledge of our developing planet.

"," said Professor Hazen.

"But in order to gather all the nuances of this mineralogic text, we must adopt a new language to describe the creation of minerals that reflects the course of time."