PerspectivePALEOENVIRONMENT

Clues from Fluid Inclusions

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Science  02 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5544, pp. 1009-1011
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066322

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Summary

The reconstruction of past conditions on Earth involves a multitude of disciplines and techniques. In his Perspective, Goldstein highlights the potential of fluid inclusions in small halite or calcite crystals, formed, for example, when marine waters evaporate. Such inclusions can provide information, for example, about seawater composition, paleoclimatic conditions, and paleobiology. For example, Lowenstein et al. have used inclusions in halite crystals to show that the chemical composition of ancient seawater was different from that of modern seawater and that plate tectonics probably controlled much of this variation.