The researcher confirmed the rock was the hottest

The researcher confirmed the rock was the hottest

Zircon with baddeleyite rim holding cubic zirconia specifications. Available: University of Western Ontario

While it may be doubtful that a post-doctoral student in 2011 would be the hottest rock on Earth, new findings from a leading Western research group have rested.

Eleven years after Western researchers searched for what is known as the hottest rock on Earth, a new study has found four new zircon grains – a hard mineral that has always been known. Used as a substitute for diamonds – confirmed the stone’s maximum height was more than 2,370 C..

The study, published in the journal Earth and Earth Science Papers, led by world science post-doctoral student Gavin Tolometti and co-authors: Timmons Erickson from NASA Johnson Space Center, Gordon Osinski and Catherine Neish from the Earth Science Department; and Cayron Cyril from the Laboratory of Thermomechanical Metallurgy.

In 2011, then Ph.D. Student Michael Zanetti was working with Osinski at the Mistastin Lake volcano in Labrador when he found a glass rock with tiny zircon seeds dried in it. The rock was analyzed and found to have formed at 2,370 C temperatures as a result of an asteroid impact. These findings were presented in a study published in 2017.

In their own research using samples collected between 2009 and 2011, Tolometti and his colleagues were able to find four new zircon grains that confirmed the 2011 data to be true. They found researchers and found evidence elsewhere into the various effects of molten rock – rocks that are formed after the rock and clay have melted into water. after a meteor strikes – the temperature is different in more than one place. opinion.

“The biggest idea is that we’re getting a better idea of ​​the heat of these effects of the molten rock, which was first created when the meteorite hit the skin, and gives us an idea. best of the history of the smelter. and how cold this pit is, “said Tolometti.

“It can give us the knowledge to study the temperature and melt the other end holes.”

Tolometti also found that most of the evidence stored, such as glass samples and end -metal samples, was found near the second floor. By applying this information to other end pits, researchers can seek further evidence of the temperature levels found in the pits but in smaller studies.

“We’re starting to see that if we want to see reports of temperatures at this level, we need to look at the specifics before choosing a second pit,” he said.

More information

The paper found this to be the first time reidite – a mineral formed when zircon is exposed to high pressures and temperatures – has been seen on this site. The team found three reedites stored in zircon beads, as well as evidence that two more were sometimes seen but crystallized when the temperature exceeded 1,200. C, and at that time the rate is not fixed.

This mineral allows researchers to accurately record the pressure levels indicating that there may be a maximum concentration of around 30 or more above 40 gigapascals. These are the pressure conditions that are created when the meteorite hits the skin at that time. The closer it is to the final event, the higher the pressure. Some of the miners who were most affected by the event – called ‘shocked’ – left the homes where they could be taught.

“Considering the amount of reidite in our samples, we found that the minimum recorded was about 30 gigapascals. Gigapascals,” Tolometti explains.

This gives a better idea of ​​the amount of pressure exerted outside the melting point when the meteorite hits the skin. The smelter, in general, has pressures of over 100 gigapascals, during which time the rock is melted and melted outside of those conditions.

Increased research

The research team plans to expand this work to other endpoints on Earth. A Ph.D. Students will work with Osinski to explore craters such as Lac Wiyâshâkimî (Clearwater West crater) in Quebec. Tolometti also seeks to expand this work and look at Apollo lunar samples that have been returned to Earth, many of which can be made from volcanoes.

“If we look at the expressions of microstructures in zircon grains or other materials in hard conditions, we can get a very good idea of ​​the effect of cratering processes by like the moon, ”he said.

“It is possible to work ahead to test and understand how rocks are altered as a result of cratering in the entire solar system.

Changes in granular zircon are shown: Meteor Crater, Arizona

More information:
GD Tolometti et al, Hot rocks: Controlling the temperature conditions of the Mistastin Lake result in melting deposits using zircon grain microstructures, Earth and Earth Science Papers (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.epsl.2022.117523

Nicholas E. Timms et al, Cubic zirconia in> 2370 ° C melting point records global warming, Earth and Earth Science Papers (2017). DOI: 10.1016 / j.epsl.2017.08.012

Presented by the University of Western Ontario

Directions: Researcher confirmed the hottest rock in history (2022, April 14) retrieved on April 14, 2022 from

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