More than Meets the Eye: Olivine

Photo: Glen MacPherson, Smithsonian
June 4, 2013
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Photo: Glen MacPherson, Smithsonian

Olivine is the most common mineral in Earth’s upper mantle. This olivine crystal from the mid-ocean ridge in the Pacific contains tiny bits of volcanic glass, a sample of the liquid rock the crystal grew from. Smithsonian scientists are interested in the composition of this glass, which includes dissolved water.