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As 2013 comes to a close, The Geochemical Society would like to wish its members, partners, and the geochemical community a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year in geochemistry, we would like to provide the readers of the Geochemical News a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 7, 2014.


Why geologist tasted 2.6 billion-year-old water
CNN
From June 25: If you discovered water that could be millions or billions of years old, would you taste it? Barbara Sherwood Lollar does it all the time. She's a geologist in the department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto, and collaborated with other researchers on analyzing water found in a Canadian mine in Timmins, Ontario.
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Russian scientists collect, study pieces of meteor
Los Angeles Times
From Feb. 19: Russian scientists declared that they have found and established the composition of pieces of the meteor that exploded over the Chelyabinsk region, injuring hundreds of people and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. 53 tiny pieces of dark porous material were collected near Chebarkul Lake, 60 miles west of Chelyabinsk, the regional center, officials said. The biggest of the finds was 7 millimeters long.
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Earth life 'may have come from Mars'
BBC News
From Sept. 3: Life may have started on Mars before arriving on Earth, a major scientific conference has heard. New research supports an idea that the Red Planet was a better place to kick-start biology billions of years ago than the early Earth was. The evidence is based on how the first molecules necessary for life were assembled.
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Billion-year-old water could hold clues to life on Earth and Mars
ScienceDaily
From May 21: A U.K.-Canadian team of scientists has discovered ancient pockets of water, which have been isolated deep underground for billions of years and contain abundant chemicals known to support life. This water could be some of the oldest on the planet and may even contain life. Not just that, but the similarity between the rocks that trapped it and those on Mars raises the hope that comparable life-sustaining water could lie buried beneath the Red Planet's surface.
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Earthquakes make gold veins in an instant
Scientific American
From March 26: Scientists have long known that veins of gold are formed by mineral deposition from hot fluids flowing through cracks deep in Earth's crust. But a study published in Nature Geoscience has found that the process can occur almost instantaneously — possibly within a few tenths of a second.
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Newly discovered ocean plume could be major source of iron
SpaceDaily
From Aug. 27: Scientists have discovered a vast plume of iron and other micronutrients more than 1,000 km long billowing from hydrothermal vents in the South Atlantic Ocean. The finding, published online in the journal Nature Geoscience, calls past estimates of iron abundances into question, and may challenge researchers' assumptions about iron sources in the world's seas.
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Asteroid may have killed dinosaurs quicker than scientists thought
Reuters
From Feb. 12: Dinosaurs died off about 33,000 years after an asteroid hit the Earth, much sooner than scientists had believed, and the asteroid may not have been the sole cause of extinction, according to a recent study. Earth's climate may have been at a tipping point when a massive asteroid smashed into what is now Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and triggered cooling temperatures that wiped out the dinosaurs, researchers said.
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Black Beauty rock 'is oldest chunk of Mars'
BBC News
From Nov. 26: A rock discovered in the Sahara Desert is the oldest Martian meteorite ever found, scientists believe. Earlier research had suggested it was about two billion years old, but new tests indicate the rock actually dates to 4.4 billion years ago. The dark and glossy meteorite, nicknamed Black Beauty, would have formed when the Red Planet was in its infancy.
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Higher levels of stray gases found in water wells near shale gas sites
ScienceDaily
From July 2: Some homeowners living near shale gas wells appear to be at higher risk of drinking water contamination from stray gases, according to a new Duke University-led study. The scientists analyzed 141 drinking water samples from private water wells across northeastern Pennsylvania's gas-rich Marcellus Shale basin.
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