Paper No. 231-2
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM
MSA ROEBLING MEDAL LECTURE: THE CO-EVOLUTION OF EARTH AND LIFE; INSIGHTS FROM ‘BIG DATA’ MINERALOGY
Large and growing data resources on mineral species and properties (rruff.info/ima) and mineral localities and associations (mindat.org) facilitate statistical exploration and visual representation of large-scale patterns in mineral evolution and mineral ecology. Ecological studies of mineral diversity and distribution reveal the numbers and nature of more than 1500 minerals that occur on Earth but have yet to be discovered and described. Evolution studies of Earth’s changing mineralogy through deep time, based on our new "Mineral Evolution Database" with more than 120,000 species/locality/age data, reveal a dynamic history of mineralization influenced by tectonic and biological processes, including the Wilson cycle, global glaciation, redox changes of the near-surface environment, microbial evolution, biomineralization, and the rise of the terrestrial biosphere. Of special note are recent applications of Social Network Analysis and "sociograms" to investigate complex patterns of mineral coexistence, especially for rock-forming minerals and ore deposits. New and modified visualization techniques, including cluster analysis, 2D- and 3D-Klee diagrams, skyline diagrams, chord diagrams, force-directed graphs, and collapsible force layouts, provide insights into the diversity and distribution of minerals and the mineralogical co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere.