Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Photomicrography
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Fluorescence
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
BeerShots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Phosphorite

Phosphorite is a type of sedimentary rock that is primarily composed of apatite and other phosphates. These phosphates may derive from an array of sources, including coprolites, fossilized bones, and the shells of marine organisms.

View a second image of Phosphorite

Often alternatively referred to as phosphate rock, phosphorite is frequently associated with chert, shale, and sandstone. The phosphate that is contained in the rock is typically present in dense masses or nodules, which are the chief global resource exploited for phosphorous-containing fertilizers. Deposits of phosphorite can be found in various locations around the world, but the nation leading in both production and consumption of the rock is the United States. In recent years, the North American country as well as several other important phosphorite mining nations began reducing export of the raw material, however, to safeguard reserves for their own manufacture of phosphorous products, a large portion of which enter the international market, where they command higher prices than unprocessed goods.

In addition to fertilizers, the phosphate minerals derived from phosphorite are utilized in flame-retardants, insecticides, fireworks, and a plethora of other products. Phosphates have also been heavily utilized in detergents, but have become less popular for this purpose over the last few decades. The reason for the decrease in demand of phosphate-based detergents is primarily due to mounting evidence that phosphates interfere with the natural balance of water bodies, causing eutrophication and algal blooms. Yet, it is not universally agreed that the primary means of phosphate entry into waterways is through effluent containing detergents. Many scientists believe that fertilizer run-off may be equally culpable of polluting waters.


BACK TO THE ROCKS AND MINERALS GALLERY

BACK TO THE POLARIZED LIGHT GALLERY

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Tuesday, Jul 25, 2006 at 09:34 AM
Access Count Since November 20, 2003: 9742
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: