Statistical analysis of mineral diversity and distribution: Earth's mineralogy is unique Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/3506-5254-7324-2084-CC

in language

  • English

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2015


  • Earth's mineralogical diversity arises from both deterministic processes and frozen accidents. We apply statistical methods and comprehensive mineralogical databases to investigate chance versus necessity in mineral diversity-distribution relationships. Hundreds of mineral species, including most common rock-forming minerals, distinguish an “Earth-like” planet from other terrestrial bodies. However, most of Earth's ∼5000 mineral species are rare, known from only a few localities. We demonstrate that, in spite of deterministic physical, chemical, and biological factors that control most of our planet's mineral diversity, Earth's mineralogy is unique in the cosmos.

publication date

  • 2015


  • 426