v15n6 From the Editors

The copy of Elements you are holding in your hands (or reading online) is the result of the creativity and expertise of our 18 participating socities, authors, editors, reviewers, graphic designers, business and administrative staff, print and shipping vendors, and advertisers. Every issue represents hundreds of hours of effort by many individuals working together for a common goal … to deliver Elements to you, the reader. Elements is a joint endeavour. Each year, in our final issue, we take a moment to extend our appreciation to those that brought Elements to life. This year is no different.

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Carbon — Beautiful, Essential, Deadly

The unique physical chemistry of carbon confers an extraordinary ability to form molecules that are variously beautiful (think diamond), essential (think living cells), and toxic (think greenhouse gas). Nowhere is this split personality more evident than in the enigmatic igneous clan of kimberlites, the topic for this issue of Elements. No one who has set eyes on a cut diamond, especially the delicate pink stones from soon-to-close Argyle Mine in Western Australia (see photo to the right), can fail to be awestruck at Nature’s capacity for beauty. Kimberlite magmas that bring diamonds to the surface are carbon-fuelled, whether by methane through a complex series of redox melting reactions (see Foley et al. 2019 this issue p. 393), or by carbon dioxide exsolving from kimberlite melt at sub-crustal depths and propelling it explosively to the surface (see Russell et al. 2019 this issue p. 405). We have yet to witness a kimberlite erupt – the last known eruption, in Tanzania, was ten thousand years ago – but we can be fairly sure that the greenhouse gas delivery of a single kimberlite pipe in full flow was pretty substantial. For kimberlites, carbon is both passenger and propellant.

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Hail Hephaestus, Interdisciplinary Deity!

The Aegean region of the Eastern Mediterranean can claim, with good reason, to be a cradle of modern civilisation and scholarship. As we learn in this issue of Elements, the Aegean is also home to some extraordinary geology, including Santorini Volcano whose Late Bronze Age eruption presaged (but did not actually cause, we learn on p. 185) the demise of the mighty Minoan dynasty on Crete. The so-called Minoan eruption was one of many eruptions from Aegean volcanoes that took place under the watchful eye of the Ancient Greek gods, not least Hephaestus, god of fire and son of Zeus.

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v15n1 From the Editors

With the start of 2019, John M. Eiler joins the Elements editorial team. He is taking on the role as our geochemistry principal editor.
There are so many more topics to feature in Elements. In March 2019, the editorial team will meet to evaluate proposals for inclusion in our lineup. We invite you to contact one of the Elements editors and submit a thematic proposal for consideration!

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