Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Sulfide Mineral Oxidation

  • D. Kirk Nordstrom
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_198


Sulfide-mineral weathering; Sulfide-ore oxidation


Sulfide mineral. A metal-sulfide compound, such as pyrite (FeS2), which forms at high temperature (>50°C) in well-crystallized veins or masses and at low temperatures (<50°C) in poorly crystalline and fine-grained particles.

Oxidation. The chemical process of reacting with oxygen. More generally, the chemical process of removing electrons from an atom or group of atoms.


Metal-sulfide minerals are valuable as ores for metals that have a wide variety of uses from jewelry to components in vehicles and electronic equipment. They are found primarily in hydrothermal mineral deposits that occur in numerous geologic environments. The most common sulfide mineral is pyrite; other important sulfide ore minerals include chalcopyrite (copper ore), molybdenite (molybdenum ore), sphalerite (zinc ore), galena (lead ore), and cinnabar (mercury ore). When these minerals are exposed to weathering at the Earth’s surface,...


Ferrous Iron Sulfide Mineral Hydrous Ferric Oxide Acidithiobacillus Ferrooxidans Reduce Sulfur Compound 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Kirk Nordstrom
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyBoulderUSA