Development of the Periodic Chart

Earth Scientist's Periodic Table


L. Bruce Railsback of the Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, has created an Earth Scientist's periodic table (shown with permission).  This powerful chart displays many more chemistry patterns for elements (i.e., those of their ions and compounds) than the traditional periodic chart.

Railsback table
Click on chart to view larger chart.

Railsback states There is now a periodic table designed specifically for the earth sciences.  Its main difference from the conventional periodic table presented by chemists is that it locates elements according their occurence as ions in nature, rather than according to the configuration of their outer-shell electrons in their elemental states (which are commonly geochemically irrelevant).  Another major difference is that, because elements are located in the table according their occurence as ions, some elements (e.g., S) appear more than one place in the table.

The table shows the symbol, name, atomic number, atomic weight, common valence states and corresponding ionic radii, stable isotopes, and decay paths for each element.  It also uses symbols to indicate elements abundant in the atmosphere, elements abundant in seawater, elements commonly concentrated in soils and residual sediments, elements concentrated in deep-sea ferromanganese nodules, elements that enter early-forming phases in igneous rocks, large-ion lithophile elements in igneous petrology, elements that occur as native metals, and elements that can be limiting nutrients on land and in the oceans.  It uses contours to indicate trends in ionic potential or charge density.  Sizes of chemical symbols indicate the relative abundance of elements in the earth's crust, and an accompanying diagram graphically shows the cosmic and crustal abundances of the elements.

  Visit Railsback's web site for more explanation and details with this link.

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view large Railsback chart open Railsback's web site to site menu Discovery and Naming of
Chemical Elements
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created 6 April 2002
latest revision 4 November 2006
by D Trapp
Mac made