Event Title

Olivine: History, Properties, and Occurrences

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

30-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2015 3:55 PM

Project Type

Poster

Description

The goal of the pet mineral project is to recognize important mineral characteristics and properties and use them to identify an unknown mineral. I identified my pet mineral as olivine. Olivine is an abundant mineral recognized by many, whether for its characteristic olive-green color or for its prevalence on Earth. As Olivine varies in chemical composition, it is often referred to as he olivine group, with the end members identified as forsterite and fayalite. Primarily, Olivine is a major constituent of the earth's upper mantle and oceanic crust. With a general formula of X2SiO4, where X is a divalent metal cation (most commonly Fe or Mg, though other elements can also be substituted), the olivine group consists of a variety of minerals, although the majority of olivine is either iron or magnesium rich, as with fayalite and forsterite, respectively. As natural olivines crystallize from melts, vapors, and solid media that contain a variety of ions, minerals in the olivine group have a variety of chemical compositions because minor and trace elements can enter their crystal structure. Because Olivine readily undergoes alteration reactions within a vast spectrum of temperatures, the variety of secondary minerals that are produced as a result can be used as an index of past geologic processes that were influential within a specific area. Prevalent within the earth's mantle, olivine is an important mineral for geological research. For instance, by studying the thermal properties of olivine, scientists are able to better understand the thermal regimes occurring within the mantle. Thus, olivine is more than just a pretty green mineral-it can shine light on processes occurring in places that are inaccessible to scientists.

Faculty Sponsor

Herb Wilson

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Geology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1423

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Apr 30th, 2:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:55 PM

Olivine: History, Properties, and Occurrences

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

The goal of the pet mineral project is to recognize important mineral characteristics and properties and use them to identify an unknown mineral. I identified my pet mineral as olivine. Olivine is an abundant mineral recognized by many, whether for its characteristic olive-green color or for its prevalence on Earth. As Olivine varies in chemical composition, it is often referred to as he olivine group, with the end members identified as forsterite and fayalite. Primarily, Olivine is a major constituent of the earth's upper mantle and oceanic crust. With a general formula of X2SiO4, where X is a divalent metal cation (most commonly Fe or Mg, though other elements can also be substituted), the olivine group consists of a variety of minerals, although the majority of olivine is either iron or magnesium rich, as with fayalite and forsterite, respectively. As natural olivines crystallize from melts, vapors, and solid media that contain a variety of ions, minerals in the olivine group have a variety of chemical compositions because minor and trace elements can enter their crystal structure. Because Olivine readily undergoes alteration reactions within a vast spectrum of temperatures, the variety of secondary minerals that are produced as a result can be used as an index of past geologic processes that were influential within a specific area. Prevalent within the earth's mantle, olivine is an important mineral for geological research. For instance, by studying the thermal properties of olivine, scientists are able to better understand the thermal regimes occurring within the mantle. Thus, olivine is more than just a pretty green mineral-it can shine light on processes occurring in places that are inaccessible to scientists.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/157