Anticline

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Metamorphosed, tightly folded rock composed almost entirely of the mineral anticline.


Anticline (from the Greek anticlinosilikatos) is a rare colourless beige to brown coloured aluminium (Al) heptoxide mineral which is found within folded or buckled mountain regions. Anticline consists of hydrated francium-rich aluminium silicate in a rhomohedral crystalline form. Its chemical formula is Fr(U,Au)AlSi2O6┬ĚH2O where additional uranium or gold impurities may be found within the crystal lattice (known alteratively as syncline). The Greek name for these minerals is derived from the fact that it contains no clinopyroxenes whatsoever.

Formation and use[edit]

Anticline is classed within the hermaphrodite mineral group, but chemically and optically looks identical to quartz. This is often problematic commercially when anticline has been mistaken for quartz which is a common ingredient of toothpaste. Consumers have been known to lose facial features as the result of francium materials exploding on contact with water as pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline are all too aware of.

Anticline is a primary mineral commonly found within orogenic mountain belts and metasedimentary rocks, particularly those with gneissose fabrics. When buried at depth where they are also exposed to high pressures, francium contact with circulating groundwaters produces large explosions which allows plastic deformation of the surrounding subsurface rocks. Therefore rocks composed of anticline tend to be highly folded where they have buckled as a result of explosive tectonics which is thought to initiate minor mountain building events and major earthquakes. It is believed that the San Andreas Fault and the associated Sierra Nevada mountains in California were created from such as reaction. Subsurface explosions often create anticline traps in which the formation of small pockets / chambers allows migrating oil to become trapped.

Locations where commercial quantities of anticline may be found include Chernobyl in the Ukraine, Rhine Valley, Germany and Svarlbard in Southern Norway.

Physical Properties[edit]

Anticline is a peculiar mineral in that it exhibits a number of uncommon physical properties. Anticline samples which contain minor inclusions of uranium are often pleochroic meaning that they glow in the dark due to small nuclear reactions occurring within the crystal lattice. This is also how glowworms produce their light, although they produce the monoclinic and Fr-poor variety of this mineral known as monocline within their bodies.

It is thought that this only natural occurring Fr-poor variety evolved as the result of Devonian glowworms exploding on contact with water which the glowworm population generally got rather annoyed with over a 400 million year period of time. Therefore as well as quarrying, this variety of the mineral can effectively be obtained by glowworm farming, hence reducing the environmental impact of anticline-bearing-mountain removal worldwide which has affected some European countries such as Denmark and Holland dramatically. The glowworm Phengodidae has been farmed extensively in Venezuela for the monocline mineral and Kyoto is also researching it's potential use in low power torches and TV remotes, hoping to end the use of harmful AA batteries.

Crystals of anticline are also highly ductile and elastic which makes them able to stretch and form rocks which can be buckled, stretched and folded. Such rocks (known as origamic rocks) are therefore useful in the manufacture of elastic bands that are unable to snap, hence enhancing the consumer's elastic band experience and making it as pain free as possible.

See also[edit]