Geochemistry articles from across Nature Portfolio

Geochemistry is the study of the chemical composition of the Earth and other planets, and the chemical processes that affect them.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Lightning can produce bioavailable nitrogen oxides, but it is unknown whether this was a substantial nutrient source for Earth’s earliest biosphere. Comparison of nitrogen isotope measurements from spark discharge experiments to those from the rock record suggests that lightning was likely not the main source of bioavailable nitrogen for the biosphere throughout most of Earth’s history.

  • News & Views |

    High pressures may have enabled ferric iron-rich silicate melts to coexist with iron metal near the base of magma oceans early in the history of large rocky planets like Earth. This suggests a relatively oxygen-rich atmosphere during the late stages of core formation on these planets.

    • Fabrice Gaillard
    Nature Geoscience 16, 392-393
  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    The early Hadean eon (>4Ga) may have had a periodically ice-covered global ocean and limited subaerial landmass, and this could have resulted in infrequent lightning occurrence. This infrequency of lightning may have limited the synthesis of prebiotic compounds necessary for life’s origins. Here I present a hypothesis that lightning associated with volcanic island eruptions created focal points for the generation of prebiotic ingredients and ultimately the origin of life.

    • Jeffrey L. Bada
  • News & Views |

    Long-lasting eruptions of some subduction zone volcanoes may be regulated by their magma sources in the mantle. This suggests that direct connections between the mantle and surface are possible through a relatively thick crust.

    • Jorge E. Romero
    Nature Geoscience 16, 288-289
  • Research Highlights |

    An article in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems uncovers the source, distribution, and concentration of rare earth elements, yttrium and scandium in sea-floor sediments within the South Pacific Gyre.

    • Erin Scott
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Microorganisms and minerals both contribute to organic carbon preservation and accumulation in soil. The soil microbial carbon pump describes the microbial processes, but a separate soil mineral carbon pump needs to be acknowledged and investigated.

    • Ke-Qing Xiao
    • , Yao Zhao
    •  & Caroline L. Peacock