Imaggeo On Monday: Artificial peridotite takes its gold coat off

Imaggeo On Monday: Artificial peridotite takes its gold coat off
Sometimes in order to test a theory about how processes work below the surface of the Earth, scientists need to recreate minerals found in very specific circumstances. This photograph was taken through a binocular microscope during a critical step of the creation of artificial peridotite: extraction of the artificial peridotite from its gold capsule. The sample is a little cylinder, 3 mm long with a diameter of 2.1 mm, sintered from micrometric powders of San Carlos olivine and Corsica antigorite.
Such samples have been used to reproduce earthquakes in the laboratory using a Deformation-DIA apparatus. Thanks to these artificial samples, a new model has been developed that has come to explain intermediate-depth earthquakes: the Dehydration-Driven Stress Transfer (DDST).

Description by Thomas P. Ferrand, after the description on


Imaggeo is the EGU’s online open access geosciences image repository. All geoscientists (and others) can submit their photographs and videos to this repository and, since it is open access, these images can be used for free by scientists for their presentations or publications, by educators and the general public, and some images can even be used freely for commercial purposes. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. Submit your photos at

This guest post was contributed by a scientist, student or a professional in the Earth, planetary or space sciences. The EGU blogs welcome guest contributions, so if you've got a great idea for a post or fancy trying your hand at science communication, please contact the blog editor or the EGU Communications Officer to pitch your idea.

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