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Last Updated: 30th May 2019

By Dave Crosby

What is Mud?

The abundance of elements changes drastically from place to place in the solar system and in the universe.

INTERSTELLAR SPACE is mostly hydrogen and a little helium, perhaps some lithium here and there - until you get near an ancient supernova.

STARS and the areas around them differ mainly by star size and where they are on their life scale.

Here in Solar Interplanetary Space abundances vary wildly from one comet stream to another.

Sol's elements are unique.

The elements in the oceans are also unique.

Some time ago I prepared this chart showing the abundance differences in the earths crust and mantle.

Earths outer layers

because of weathering, just 16 elements from the above chart make up 99.9% of all mud.

Lets take a closer look at where they come from in the Periodic Table.


Most common elements # 1, 2, and 3 are light, so we expect them to be on the surface, but 4 (26 iron)?
Look at that curious cluster containing the salts - Elements # 11,12, 19, 20 - ARE 6, 8, 7, and 5!
What is heavyweight 56 Barium doing at # 14 while lightweight Carbon is #15 ?

It is all very curious when you think about it.

Mud varies from area to area. There is a lot of clay where feldspars have deteriorated.

Mud from some areas is very corrosive you will discover if you leave your metal tools laying out.

The mud in some parts of Nevada was nearly 100% Silver Chloride and its miners called themselves "Chloriders."

MUD? There is more to it than readily reaches the eye.

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