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A Review of Research Progress in the Genesis of Colloform Pyrite and Its Environmental Indications

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Colloform pyrite is a special form of nano‐micro polycrystalline aggregation growth, for which a suitable term is “aggregates of nano‐micro crystals”. This kind of colloform texture is observed in various geological bodies, such as ancient sedimentary rocks, modern marine and lake sediments, various types of ore deposits, and modern seafloor hydrothermal vents. This paper summarizes the latest developments and research into the definition, formation mechanisms, and environmental indications of colloform pyrite. There appears to be three main formation mechanisms of colloform pyrite: pseudomorphic replacement; biogenic precipitation; and inorganic precipitation. The morphology, particle size, trace element content and preferential growth orientations of colloform pyrite microcrystals can be important indicators for sedimentary environments, hydrothermal activity, and ore‐forming processes. We suggest that the microscopic features of nano‐micro crystals in colloform pyrite and their aggregation growth patterns need further investigation. The relationships between formation mechanisms of colloform pyrite, organic activity and depositional environments require further exploration. To reveal the nature of nano‐micro grain aggregation growth in colloform pyrite and analyse its growth environment and evolutionary history, it is supposed to apply nanoscientific and nanotechnological methods, further integrate consideration of macroscopic geological backgrounds and microscopic mineral growth phenomena, combine high–resolution imaging systems and in situ quantitative microanalysis methods and constitute a mergence of earth science, thermodynamics and kinetics, life science, material science, and chemistry in the study.
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Keywords: aggregation growth mechanism; colloform pyrite; environmental indication; nanoscience and nanotechnology; nano‐micro crystals

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2016

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