PerspectiveGEOSCIENCE

Minerals in the Deep Earth: A Message from the Asteroid Belt

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Science  28 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5343, pp. 1576-1577
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5343.1576

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Summary

Knowing what minerals form at different depths in the Earth's mantle is crucial for fully understanding processes such as plate tectonics and volcanism. Since the 1930s it has been known that some of this information can come from study of primitive meteorites, which may contain a record of the early solar system. In his Perspective, Stöffler discusses recent discoveries of pyroxene in meteorites by groups in Japan, the United States, and Europe. The particular crystal structures--ilmenite and perovskite--are also important constituents of Earth's lower mantle.