EARTH: Isotopes could reveal ancient American turquoise trade

December 03, 2015

Alexandria, VA - A new study from geoscience researchers has important implications for studies of Mesoamerica and North America prior to the arrival of European settlers. Using isotope geochemistry, scientists at Pennsylvania's Dickenson College and the University of Arizona are trying to identify if turquoise mineral specimens record the signature of their parent ore deposits.

Turquoise is a copper aluminum phosphate mineral that forms from water percolating through bedrock near copper ore deposits. Scientists thought that they should see signatures of the ore body where a specimen formed reflected in lead and strontium isotopes in the turquoise, and initial results suggest that they do. Learn what these chemical fingerprints say about where turquoise originates, and how this could improve our understanding of ancient trade routes in North America in EARTH Magazine: http://bit.ly/1N5Rohm.
-end-
EARTH continues bringing you the science behind the headlines in its December 2015 digital issue, and its November/December 2015 print issue available now. EARTH Magazine stories take you around the world - Nepal, Cyprus, Santorini, Morocco and more just in this issue. Explore active research giving us insight about the planet we live on. Consider a gift subscription to your local library or school as a way to share your wonder for the planet this holiday season. Visit http://www.earthmagazine.org for more stories, geo-gift guides, puzzles and photo contests to finish out 2015.

Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH Magazine online at: http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

American Geosciences Institute

Related Scientists Articles from Brightsurf:

Every COVID-19 case seems different; these scientists want to know why
As scientists around the world develop life-saving COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, many are still wondering exactly why the disease proves deadly in some people and mild in others.A new international study led by scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), The University of Liverpool and the University of Southampton is the first to give a detailed snapshot of how the body's CD4+ T cells respond to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Scientists can see the bias in your brain
The strength of alpha brain waves reveals if you are about to make a biased decision, according to research recently published in JNeurosci.

Scientists now know what DNA's chaperone looks like
Researchers have discovered the structure of the FACT protein -- a mysterious protein central to the functioning of DNA.

Scientists have found longevity biomarkers
An international group of scientists studied the effects of 17 different lifespan-extending interventions on gene activity in mice and discovered genetic biomarkers of longevity.

Coaching scientists to play well together
When scientists from different disciplines collaborate -- as is increasingly necessary to confront the complexity of challenging research problems -- interpersonal tussles often arise.

Scientists proposed a novel configuration of nanoscopes
TPU scientists proposed using special diffraction gratings with gold plates instead of microlenses to accelerate the generation of images from nanoscopes without losing any magnification power.

Children grow in a different way, scientists demonstrate
An international group of scientists under the supervision of a staff member of Sechenov University (Russia) and Karolinska Institute (Sweden) found out that earlier views on the mechanisms that provide and regulate skeletal growth were wrong.

'Doing science,' rather than 'being scientists,' more encouraging to girls
Asking young girls to 'do science' leads them to show greater persistence in science activities than does asking them to 'be scientists,' finds a new psychology study by researchers at New York University and Princeton University.

Encouraging scientists to collaborate on the tropics
'The changing nature of collaboration in tropical ecology and conservation,' recently published in Biotropica, investigates collaboration among scientists, researchers, and other figures whose work advances the field of tropical ecology.

Scientists penalized by motherhood
Despite gender balance at lower levels of academia, challenges still exist for women progressing to more senior roles.

Read More: Scientists News and Scientists Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.