IPFS News Link • Geology

Seawater trapped in ancient rocks opens a window into past ocean chemistry

• arclein

The breakthrough actually came about by chance, with a research team from the US and Canada originally studying the way arsenic leaches from a mineral called pyrite. These are also described as framboids, derived from the French word for raspberry, due to their resemblance to the fruit under the microscope. This close inspection led the team to identify tiny defects in their samples, which turned out to be small bubbles like those you might see trapped in a gemstone. "We looked at these samples through the electron microscope first, and we saw these kind of mini bubbles or mini features within the framboid and wondered what they were," Sandra Taylor, first author of the study and a scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.