Geology in the News

by Andy Thompson, MSDC Secretary

MSDC members discussed a wide range of current events which included three regions of Earth: a new video of snowflakes from the atmosphere, floating lava from beneath the ocean and a very rare mineral from deep inside the Earth’s mantle.

An underwater volcano erupted in August about 900 miles east of Okinawa. Its extensive pumice has been floating toward Japanese islands, disrupting fishing and causing economic damage. For more information, see Okinawa Invaded by Pumice After Underwater Eruption - Videos from The Weather Channel |

Gray drifts of floating pumice are seen at the fishing port of Hentona in Kunigami, Okinawa Prefecture, on Wednesday morning. Photo by Japan News-Yomiuri.

Jeff cited the recently publicized large diamond which contained a never-before discovered mineral, Davemaoite, calcium silicate (CaSi03), mined in Botswana. By coincidence, this new mineral was the subject of an article in last month's MSDC newsletter.

Never before seen, this mineral’s existence was only theorized. But now the International Mineralogical Association has confirmed it is an actual mineral. Holding the silicon carbonate’s structure together requires the high heat and pressure associated with the mantle during the time of the diamond’s formation. This unique crystalline structure is now sealed within the diamond and its integrity is secure. To learn more, see websites such as the November 17 issue of Sci-News: New Mineral Found inside Deep-Mantle Diamond: Davemaoite | or Rare mineral found in world's largest diamond mine, Orapa (, with the latter publishing the photo.

Kathy supplied the previously unmentioned name of the above mineral and referred attendees to the Davemaoite page in, which she sponsors.

With no further business or news needing discussion, Dave called for and received a motion and vote to close the business portion of the evening. He turned the meeting over to Yury, MSDC’s VP for Programs, to introduce the evening’s presenter and program.