Special Issue "Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul Sylvester

Endowed Pevehouse Chair, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053, USA
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: 806-834-5091
Interests: laser ablation ICP-MS; automated SEM; accessory mineral geochronology; mineral geochemistry; ore mineralogy; shale mineralogy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We plan to publish a Special Issue of Minerals in order to present a broad overview of research in mineralogy. Authors will be the Editorial Board members, or those invited by the editorial office and the Editor-in-Chief. Both original research articles and comprehensive review papers are welcome, especially those that illustrate research frontiers. The papers would be published, free of charge, in Open Access after peer-review. The goal is to promote interest in the journal, particuarly to a wider readership, and encourage high-quality submissions in both traditional and non-traditional applications of research in mineralogy.

Prof. Dr. Paul Sylvester
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mineralogy and mineral resources
  • advances in mineral analytical techniques
  • new minerals and mineral data
  • gems and gem deposits
  • biomineralogy
  • industrial minerals
  • exploration and mining geology
  • mining, technology and mineral engineering
  • mineral metallurgy
  • mineral provenance, diagenesis and petroleum geology
  • minerals as paleoclimate archives
  • petrogenesis of igneous and metamorphic minerals
  • mineral isotope geochemistry, geochronology, thermochronology
  • environmental mineralogy and health

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Platy Galena from the Viburnum Trend, Southeast Missouri: Character, Mine Distribution, Paragenetic Position, Trace Element Content, Nature of Twinning, and Conditions of Formation
Minerals 2018, 8(3), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8030093
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
The Viburnum Trend of southeast Missouri is one of the world’s largest producers of lead. The lead occurs as galena, predominantly in two crystallographic forms, octahedrons and cubes. Many studies have shown that octahedral galena is paragentically early, the more abundant of the [...] Read more.
The Viburnum Trend of southeast Missouri is one of the world’s largest producers of lead. The lead occurs as galena, predominantly in two crystallographic forms, octahedrons and cubes. Many studies have shown that octahedral galena is paragentically early, the more abundant of the two crystal forms, and is commonly modified in the cube. Those studies also have shown that the cubic form is paragenetically later, less abundant than the octahedrons, and may exhibit minor octahedral modifications. Viburnum Trend galena crystals that exhibit a platy form have received almost no study. The reason for their lack of study is the rarity of their occurrence. This communication discusses their character, mine distribution, paragenetic position, trace element contents, nature of twinning, and speculated conditions of formation. It also compares their character to similar platy galena occurrences in Germany, Bulgaria, Russia, Mexico, and notes their occurrence at the Pine Point District in the Northwest Territories of Canada and at the Black Cloud mine in Colorado. Flat, platy galena crystals have been recognized to occur in very small amounts in the Magmont, Buick, Fletcher, Brushy Creek, and Sweetwater mines in the Viburnum Trend. In contrast, platy galena has never been observed to occur at the Casteel, West Fork, #27, #28, and #29 mines in the Trend. The platy crystals have formed early in the paragenetic sequence of the ores, prior to and coated by subsequently deposited druzy quartz and cubic galena. Spinel twinning of the octahedron produces flat platy crystals. The platy galena crystals of the Viburnum Trend are very similar in crystal morphology to platy galena crystals interpreted to be spinel twins in the Gonderbach Ag mine in NW Germany, the Dalnegorsk Pb-Zn (skarn deposit) mine in SE Russia, the Madan ore field of skarn Pb-Zn-Ag deposits of southern Bulgaria, and the large Naica skarn Pb mine of northern Mexico. The crystallization of certain crystal forms of galena has been ascribed to the incorporation of elevated contents of trace elements in some lead districts. Analysis of Viburnum platy galena crystals shows that they contain very low levels of trace elements: 3.1 ppm Ag, <2 ppm Bi, <2 ppm Sb, and <2 ppm As. Thus, elevated trace element content is not the cause for the development of Viburnum platy galena. It is speculated that the Viburnum spinel-twinned galena crystals were the result of rapid crystallization from oversaturated hydrothermal ore fluids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiple Stage Ore Formation in the Chadormalu Iron Deposit, Bafq Metallogenic Province, Central Iran: Evidence from BSE Imaging and Apatite EPMA and LA-ICP-MS U-Pb Geochronology
Minerals 2018, 8(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8030087
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The Chadormalu magnetite-apatite deposit in Bafq metallogenic province, Central Iran, is hosted in the late Precambrian-lower Cambrian volcano-sedimentary rocks with sodic, calcic, and potassic alterations characteristic of iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and iron oxide-apatite (IOA) ore systems. Apatite occurs as scattered irregular veinlets [...] Read more.
The Chadormalu magnetite-apatite deposit in Bafq metallogenic province, Central Iran, is hosted in the late Precambrian-lower Cambrian volcano-sedimentary rocks with sodic, calcic, and potassic alterations characteristic of iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and iron oxide-apatite (IOA) ore systems. Apatite occurs as scattered irregular veinlets and disseminated grains, respectively, within and in the marginal parts of the main ore-body, as well as apatite-magnetite veins in altered wall rocks. Textural evidence (SEM-BSE images) of these apatites shows primary bright, and secondary dark areas with inclusions of monazite/xenotime. The primary, monazite-free fluorapatite contains higher concentrations of Na, Si, S, and light rare earth elements (LREE). The apatite was altered by hydrothermal events that led to leaching of Na, Si, and REE + Y, and development of the dark apatite. The bright apatite yielded two U-Pb age populations, an older dominant age of 490 ± 21 Ma, similar to other iron deposits in the Bafq district and associated intrusions, and a younger age of 246 ± 17 Ma. The dark apatite yielded a U-Pb age of 437 ± 12 Ma. Our data suggest that hydrothermal magmatic fluids contributed to formation of the primary fluorapatite, and sodic and calcic alterations. The primary apatite reequilibrated with basinal brines in at least two regional extensions and basin developments in Silurian and Triassic in Central Iran. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Mica and Hematite (001) Surfaces on the Precipitation of Calcite
Minerals 2018, 8(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8010017
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 31 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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Abstract
The substrate effect of mica and hematite on the nucleation and crystallization of calcite was investigated using scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) methods. On mica, we found, in the absence of Mg2+, the substrates’ [...] Read more.
The substrate effect of mica and hematite on the nucleation and crystallization of calcite was investigated using scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) methods. On mica, we found, in the absence of Mg2+, the substrates’ (001) surfaces with hexagonal and pseudo-hexagonal two-dimensional (2-D) structure can affect the orientation of calcite nucleation with calcite (001) ~// mica (001) and calcite (010) ~// mica (010) to be the major interfacial relationship. On hematite, we did not observe frequent twinning relationship between adjacent calcite gains, but often saw preferentially nucleation of calcite at surface steps on hematite substrate. We suggest that calcite crystals initially nucleate from the Ca2+ layers adsorbed on the surfaces. The pseudo-hexagonal symmetry on mica (001) surface also leads to the observed calcite (001) twinning. A second and less common orientation between calcite {104} and mica (001) was detected but could be due to local structure damage of the mica surface. Results in the presence of Mg2+ show that the substrate surfaces can weaken Mg toxicity to calcite nucleation and lead to a higher level of Mg incorporation into calcite lattice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle
Subsolidus Evolution of the Magnetite-Spinel-UlvöSpinel Solid Solutions in the Kovdor Phoscorite-Carbonatite Complex, NW Russia
Minerals 2017, 7(11), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7110215
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
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Abstract
The Kovdor phoscorite-carbonatite ore-pipe rocks form a natural series, where apatite and magnetite first gradually increase due to the presence of earlier crystallizing forsterite in the pipe marginal zone and then decrease as a result of carbonate development in the axial zone. In [...] Read more.
The Kovdor phoscorite-carbonatite ore-pipe rocks form a natural series, where apatite and magnetite first gradually increase due to the presence of earlier crystallizing forsterite in the pipe marginal zone and then decrease as a result of carbonate development in the axial zone. In all lithologies, magnetite grains contain (oxy)exsolution inclusions of comparatively earlier ilmenite group minerals and/or later spinel, and their relationship reflects the concentric zonation of the pipe. The temperature and oxygen fugacity of titanomagnetite oxy-exsolution decreases in the natural rock sequence from about 500 °C to about 300 °C and from NNO + 1 to NNO − 3 (NNO is Ni-NiO oxygen fugacity buffer), with a secondary positive maximum for vein calcite carbonatite. Exsolution spinel forms spherical grains, octahedral crystals, six-beam and eight-beam skeletal crystals co-oriented with host magnetite. The ilmenite group minerals occur as lamellae oriented along {111} and {100} planes of oxy-exsolved magnetite. The kinetics of inclusion growth depends mainly on the diffusivity of cations in magnetite: their comparatively low diffusivities in phoscorite and carbonatites of the ore-pipe internal part cause size-independent growth of exsolution inclusions; while higher diffusivities of cations in surrounding rocks, marginal forsterite-rich phoscorite and vein calcite carbonatite result in size-dependent growth of inclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle
Mineral Quantification with Simultaneous Refinement of Ca-Mg Carbonates Non-Stoichiometry by X-ray Diffraction, Rietveld Method
Minerals 2017, 7(9), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7090164
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Quantitative phase analyses of carbonate rocks containing Mg-rich calcite and non-stoichiometric dolomite by the Rietveld method yielded improved results when the substitutions are refined for either minerals. The refinement is constrained by the c-axis of the lattice for both minerals using the [...] Read more.
Quantitative phase analyses of carbonate rocks containing Mg-rich calcite and non-stoichiometric dolomite by the Rietveld method yielded improved results when the substitutions are refined for either minerals. The refinement is constrained by the c-axis of the lattice for both minerals using the formula c = −1.8603 nMg + 17.061 for calcite, where nMg is the molar fraction of Mg replacing Ca, and c = 16.0032 + 0.8632ΔnCa for dolomite, with ΔnCa being the excess Ca in its B site. The one-step procedure was implemented into the Topas software and tested on twenty-two carbonate rock samples from diverse geological settings, considered analogues to petroleum system lithotypes of the pre-evaporite deposits of Southeastern Brazil. The case study spans over a wide range of calcite and dolomite compositions: up to 0.287 apfu Mg in magnesian calcite, and Ca in excess of up to 0.25 apfu in non-stoichiometric dolomite, which are maximum substitutions the formulas support. The method overcomes the limitations for the quantification of minerals by stoichiometry based on whole-rock chemical analysis for complex mineralogy and can be employed for multiple generations of either carbonate. It returns the mineral quantification with unprecedented detailing of the carbonates’ composition, which compares very well to spot analysis (both SEM-EDS and EMPA) if those cover the full range of compositions. The conciliation of the quantification results based on the XRD is also excellent against chemical analysis, thermogravimetry, and carbon elemental analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle
Growth Oscillatory Zoning in Erythrite, Ideally Co3(AsO4)2·8H2O: Structural Variations in Vivianite-Group Minerals
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7080136
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 30 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
The crystal structure of an oscillatory zoned erythrite sample from Aghbar mine, Bou Azzer, Morocco, was refined using synchrotron high-resolution powder X-ray diffraction (HRPXRD) data, Rietveld refinement, space group C2/m, and Z = 2. The crystal contains two sets of [...] Read more.
The crystal structure of an oscillatory zoned erythrite sample from Aghbar mine, Bou Azzer, Morocco, was refined using synchrotron high-resolution powder X-ray diffraction (HRPXRD) data, Rietveld refinement, space group C2/m, and Z = 2. The crystal contains two sets of oscillatory zones that appear to have developed during epitaxial growth. The unit-cell parameters obtained are a = 10.24799(3) Å, b = 13.42490(7) Å, c = 4.755885(8) Å, β = 105.1116(3)°, and V = 631.680(4) Å3. The empirical formula for erythrite, obtained with electron-probe micro-analysis (EPMA), is [Co2.78Zn0.11Ni0.07Fe0.04]∑3.00(AsO4)2·8H2O. Erythrite belongs to the vivianite-type structure that contains M1O2(H2O)4 octahedra and M22O6(H2O)4 octahedral dimers that are linked by TO4 (T5+ = As or P) tetrahedra to form complex layers parallel to the (010) plane. These layers are connected by hydrogen bonds. The average <M1–O>[6] = 2.122(1) Å and average <M2–O>[6] = 2.088(1) Å. With space group C2/m, there are two solid solutions: M3(AsO4)2·8H2O and M3(PO4)2·8H2O where M2+ = Mg, Fe, Co, Ni, or Zn. In these As- and P-series, using data from this study and from the literature, we find that their structural parameters evolve linearly with V and in a nearly parallel manner despite of the large difference in size between P5+ (0.170 Å) and As5+ (0.355 Å) cations. Average <T–O>[4], <M1–O>[6], and <M2–O>[6] distances increase linearly with V. The average <As–O> distance is affected by M atoms, whereas the average <P–O> distance is unaffected because it contains shorter and stronger P–O bonds. Although As- and P-series occur naturally, there is no structural reason why similar V-series vivianite-group minerals do not occur naturally or cannot be synthesized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessArticle
Rare Earth Element Behaviour in Apatite from the Olympic Dam Cu–U–Au–Ag Deposit, South Australia
Minerals 2017, 7(8), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7080135
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 29 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
Apatite is a common magmatic accessory in the intrusive rocks hosting the giant ~1590 Ma Olympic Dam (OD) iron-oxide copper gold (IOCG) ore system, South Australia. Moreover, hydrothermal apatite is a locally abundant mineral throughout the altered and mineralized rocks within and enclosing [...] Read more.
Apatite is a common magmatic accessory in the intrusive rocks hosting the giant ~1590 Ma Olympic Dam (OD) iron-oxide copper gold (IOCG) ore system, South Australia. Moreover, hydrothermal apatite is a locally abundant mineral throughout the altered and mineralized rocks within and enclosing the deposit. Based on compositional data for zoned apatite, we evaluate whether changes in the morphology and the rare earth element and Y (REY) chemistry of apatite can be used to constrain the fluid evolution from early to late hydrothermal stages at OD. The ~1.6 Ga Roxby Downs granite (RDG), host to the OD deposit, contains apatite as a magmatic accessory, locally in the high concentrations associated with mafic enclaves. Magmatic apatite commonly contains REY-poor cores and REY-enriched margins. The cores display a light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched chondrite-normalized fractionation pattern with a strong negative Eu anomaly. In contrast, later hydrothermal apatite, confined to samples where magmatic apatite has been obliterated due to advanced hematite-sericite alteration, displays a conspicuous, convex, middle rare earth element (MREE)-enriched pattern with a weak negative Eu anomaly. Such grains contain abundant inclusions of florencite and sericite. Within high-grade bornite ores from the deposit, apatite displays an extremely highly MREE-enriched chondrite-normalized fractionation trend with a positive Eu anomaly. Concentrations of U and Th in apatite mimic the behaviour of ∑REY and are richest in magmatic apatite hosted by RDG and the hydrothermal rims surrounding them. The shift from characteristic LREE-enriched magmatic and early hydrothermal apatite to later hydrothermal apatite displaying marked MREE-enriched trends (with lower U, Th, Pb and ∑REY concentrations) reflects the magmatic to hydrothermal transition. Additionally, the strong positive Eu anomaly in the MREE-enriched trends of apatite in high-grade bornite ores are attributable to alkaline fluid conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Microbiology of Molybdenum in Mining-Affected Environments
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8020042
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Molybdenum is an essential element for life, with growing production due to a constantly expanding variety of industrial applications. The potentially harmful effects of Mo on the environment, and on human and ecosystem health, require knowledge of Mo behavior in mining-affected environments. Mo [...] Read more.
Molybdenum is an essential element for life, with growing production due to a constantly expanding variety of industrial applications. The potentially harmful effects of Mo on the environment, and on human and ecosystem health, require knowledge of Mo behavior in mining-affected environments. Mo is usually present in trace amounts in ore deposits, but mining exploitation can lead to wastes with very high Mo concentrations (up to 4000 mg/kg Mo for tailings), as well as soil, sediments and water contamination in surrounding areas. In mine wastes, molybdenum is liberated from sulfide mineral oxidation and can be sorbed onto secondary Fe(III)-minerals surfaces (jarosite, schwertmannite, ferrihydrite) at moderately acidic waters, or taken up in secondary minerals such as powellite and wulfenite at neutral to alkaline pH. To date, no Mo-metabolising bacteria have been isolated from mine wastes. However, laboratory and in-situ experiments in other types of contaminated land have suggested that several Mo-reducing and -oxidising bacteria may be involved in the cycling of Mo in and from mine wastes, with good potential for bioremediation. Overall, a general lack of data is highlighted, emphasizing the need for further research on the contamination, geochemistry, bio-availability and microbial cycling of Mo in mining-affected environments to improve environmental management and remediation actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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Open AccessReview
Advances and Opportunities in Ore Mineralogy
Minerals 2017, 7(12), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7120233
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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Abstract
The study of ore minerals is rapidly transforming due to an explosion of new micro- and nano-analytical technologies. These advanced microbeam techniques can expose the physical and chemical character of ore minerals at ever-better spatial resolution and analytical precision. The insights that can [...] Read more.
The study of ore minerals is rapidly transforming due to an explosion of new micro- and nano-analytical technologies. These advanced microbeam techniques can expose the physical and chemical character of ore minerals at ever-better spatial resolution and analytical precision. The insights that can be obtained from ten of today’s most important, or emerging, techniques and methodologies are reviewed: laser-ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry; focussed ion beam-scanning electron microscopy; high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy; electron back-scatter diffraction; synchrotron X-ray fluorescence mapping; automated mineral analysis (Quantitative Evaluation of Mineralogy via Scanning Electron Microscopy and Mineral Liberation Analysis); nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry; atom probe tomography; radioisotope geochronology using ore minerals; and, non-traditional stable isotopes. Many of these technical advances cut across conceptual boundaries between mineralogy and geochemistry and require an in-depth knowledge of the material that is being analysed. These technological advances are accompanied by changing approaches to ore mineralogy: the increased focus on trace element distributions; the challenges offered by nanoscale characterisation; and the recognition of the critical petrogenetic information in gangue minerals, and, thus the need to for a holistic approach to the characterization of mineral assemblages. Using original examples, with an emphasis on iron oxide-copper-gold deposits, we show how increased analytical capabilities, particularly imaging and chemical mapping at the nanoscale, offer the potential to resolve outstanding questions in ore mineralogy. Broad regional or deposit-scale genetic models can be validated or refuted by careful analysis at the smallest scales of observation. As the volume of information at different scales of observation expands, the level of complexity that is revealed will increase, in turn generating additional research questions. Topics that are likely to be a focus of breakthrough research over the coming decades include, understanding atomic-scale distributions of metals and the role of nanoparticles, as well how minerals adapt, at the lattice-scale, to changing physicochemical conditions. Most importantly, the complementary use of advanced microbeam techniques allows for information of different types and levels of quantification on the same materials to be correlated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fundamentals and Frontiers in Mineralogy)
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