Mineral dendrites

Mineral dendrites

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dendritic (branchlike) crystalline precipitations of certain minerals are a well-known occurrence in geology. Most common are dendrites of manganese and iron oxides that precipitate while water containing the dissolved minerals percolates along fractures and bedding planes in the rocks. The dendrites look like plant remains, but they are in fact entirely inorganic. They are a conspicuous feature in Solnhofen limestone, a Jurassic rock from Solnhofen in Germany that enjoys wide use for decorative tiling and cladding in the building industry. The example here displayed is from Utah, USA, and actual width 320 mm.

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Keywords: bedding-plane, beds, branched, branching, crystalline, crystals, dendrite, dendrites, dendritic, fractures, geology, inorganic, iron-oxide, manganese-oxide, no-one, nobody, oxides, percolation, precipitation, solnhofen, treelike

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