Minerals life

We used to regard the minerals life as unchanged, but in fact minerals are born, live, age, collapse and are reborn as new stones. One of the first Russian mineralogists, Academician V.M. Severgin, in his book The First Foundations of Mineralogy or Natural History of Fossil Bodies, published in 1798, speaks of the life of minerals: "The minerals life is subject to a common lot with other things, everything obeys the time : everything must be born, be and die, and everything turns into that immense Ocean from where it was produced, so that although the underground wealth, on the one hand, is immensely depleted, but on the other - it is through the destruction of all the bodies in nature, probably enriched".

We used to regard the minerals life as unchanged, but in fact minerals are born, live, age, collapse and are reborn as new stones

Hot water streams, meeting rocks and minerals, dissolve some of them and give rise to new chemical compounds: while the life of more and more new minerals arises. Having reached the earth's surface, water sources pour into streams, rivers, seas, oceans, and volatile compounds - vapors and gases - into the atmosphere. This is not limited to the life of minerals. Heat and frost, sun, wind, water destroy the minerals that make up the earth's crust, the stones crack from the change of heat and cold, they collapse, crumble, the wind disperses and carries the smallest fragments; water drills and corrodes minerals, carries away their constituent parts. Quartz - one of the most common minerals on earth - crumbles into small grains, forming sand; Feldspars are transformed into clay. Rivers dissolve minerals, carry them to the sea. Layer after layer settle the dissolved substances on the bottom of lakes, seas, oceans, forming new strata of rocks. They are closed by new layers, and they are again not on the surface, but in the depths of the Earth; and there they are again dissolved by hot water currents, again comes into contact with them magma, melts again, decomposes and solidifies, mostly in crystalline form. "Such changes," said M.V. Lomonosov, "did not occur at once, but happened at various times with an uncountable multitude of times and are now occurring, and hardly when they cease".

The life of minerals can be compared to living beings, for example, the ability to grow in the terrestrial interior. So, the mineral is olivite, from which the earth is composed chrysolites, grows per day by 0,6 mm, quartz - by 1 mm, and hematite can grow up to 50 mm. Like living creatures, starfish and lizards, crystals can repair broken parts and can even transmit information about their structure over considerable distances. Experts in mineralogy often discuss the so-called genetic memory of crystals, which seem to "remember" what kind they belong to, and build themselves according to certain laws. Undoubtedly, this is one of the forms of life of minerals.

An indispensable sign of the life of minerals is also self-diffusion, which is expressed in the fact that the constituent atoms of minerals periodically change their places and not only oscillate around the equilibrium positions, but also change these positions, i.e. "wander" along the lattice. However, minerals properties and their structure remain unchanged.

This is how the life of minerals takes place on our planet, which seems to us immutable only because all these processes are so slow that we can not notice them.