Cobalt mineral ecology

Robert M. Hazen, Grethe Hystad, Joshua J. Golden, Daniel R. Hummer, Chao Liu, Robert T Downs, Shaunna M. Morrison, Jolyon Ralph, Edward S. Grew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Minerals containing cobalt as an essential element display systematic trends in their diversity and distribution. We employ data for 66 approved Co mineral species (as tabulated by the official mineral list of the International Mineralogical Association, http://rruff.info/ima, as of 1 March 2016), representing 3554 mineral species-locality pairs (www.mindat.org and other sources, as of 1 March 2016). We find that cobalt-containing mineral species, for which 20% are known at only one locality and more than half are known from five or fewer localities, conform to a Large Number of Rare Events (LNRE) distribution. Our model predicts that at least 81 Co minerals exist in Earth's crust today, indicating that at least 15 species have yet to be discovered - a minimum estimate because it assumes that new minerals will be found only using the same methods as in the past. Numerous additional cobalt minerals likely await discovery using micro-analytical methods. Primary Co minerals include 26 species, most of which are hydrothermally deposited chalcogenides. We identify 33 additional plausible as yet undiscovered primary cobalt chalcogenide minerals, including 28 phases with spinel, nickeline, pyrite, and marcasite structural topologies. All 40 secondary cobalt minerals are oxides, and 37 of these phases also incorporate hydrogen. We tabulate an additional 117 plausible secondary Co minerals that are related compositionally and/or structurally to known species. New cobalt minerals are likely to be discovered in specimens collected at the 10 most prolific Co localities, all of which are mining districts with hydrothermal Co mineralization and hosting at least 10 different primary and secondary Co species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

ecology
Ecology
Cobalt
cobalt
Minerals
minerals
mineral
Oxide minerals
Chalcogenides
marcasite
Earth crust
new mineral
chalcogenides
pyrites
spinel
topology
lists
Hydrogen
analytical method
pyrite

Keywords

  • accumulation curves
  • Cobalt
  • LNRE distributions
  • mineral ecology
  • new minerals
  • philosophy of mineralogy
  • rarity
  • statistical mineralogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Hazen, R. M., Hystad, G., Golden, J. J., Hummer, D. R., Liu, C., Downs, R. T., ... Grew, E. S. (2017). Cobalt mineral ecology. American Mineralogist, 102(1), 108-116. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2017-5798

Cobalt mineral ecology. / Hazen, Robert M.; Hystad, Grethe; Golden, Joshua J.; Hummer, Daniel R.; Liu, Chao; Downs, Robert T; Morrison, Shaunna M.; Ralph, Jolyon; Grew, Edward S.

In: American Mineralogist, Vol. 102, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 108-116.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hazen, RM, Hystad, G, Golden, JJ, Hummer, DR, Liu, C, Downs, RT, Morrison, SM, Ralph, J & Grew, ES 2017, 'Cobalt mineral ecology', American Mineralogist, vol. 102, no. 1, pp. 108-116. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2017-5798
Hazen RM, Hystad G, Golden JJ, Hummer DR, Liu C, Downs RT et al. Cobalt mineral ecology. American Mineralogist. 2017 Jan 1;102(1):108-116. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2017-5798
Hazen, Robert M. ; Hystad, Grethe ; Golden, Joshua J. ; Hummer, Daniel R. ; Liu, Chao ; Downs, Robert T ; Morrison, Shaunna M. ; Ralph, Jolyon ; Grew, Edward S. / Cobalt mineral ecology. In: American Mineralogist. 2017 ; Vol. 102, No. 1. pp. 108-116.
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