dragon: A New Tool for Exploring Redox Evolution Preserved in the Mineral Record

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Stephanie J. Spielman , Eli K. Moore


The flow of energy and elements between the geosphere and biosphere can be traced through changing redox chemistry of Earth’s surface. Deep-time trends in the mineral record, including mineral age and elemental composition, reveal a dynamic history of changing redox states and chemical speciation. We present a user-friendly exploratory network analysis platform called dragon (Deep-time Redox Analysis of the Geobiology Ontology Network) to facilitate investigation of the expanding redox chemical network preserved in the mineral record throughout Earth’s history and beyond. Given a user-indicated focal element or set of focal elements, dragon constructs interactive bipartite networks of minerals and their constituent elements over a specified range in geologic-time using information from the Mineral Evolution Database (http://rruff.info/evolution/). Written in the open-source language R as a Shiny application, dragon launches a browser-based dashboard to explore mineral evolution in deep-time. We demonstrate dragon’s utility through examining the mineral chemistry of lithium (Li) over deep-time. dragon is freely available from CRAN under a GPL-3 License, with source code and documentation hosted at https://github.com/sjspielman/dragon.




Biogeochemistry, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


geobiology, mineral chemistry, mineral evolution, network, redox


Published: 2020-07-16 16:09

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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