Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Price and production in selected metals

Today we present the second part of the figure presented last week--per capita value of production for nickel, zinc, molybdenum, silver, and lead (tin, cobalt and tungsten are the unlabelled lines). Results are calculated from annual production and annual average price, obtained from the USGS.

The largest control is the rise in price. Nickel saw a tremendous price spike in 2007, which saw the metal value of pre-1982 Canadian nickels reach 27 cents. Note the recent increase in importance of silver.


  1. I was a bit surprised to see lead as high in the order as it is.

    Perhaps this is due to its use in battery production?

  2. According to the USGS

    "By the early 2000s, the total demand for lead in all types of lead-acid storage batteries represented 88% of apparent U.S. lead consumption. Other significant uses included ammunition (3%), oxides in glass and ceramics (3%), casting metals (2%), and sheet lead (1%). The remainder was consumed in solders, bearing metals, brass and bronze billets, covering for cable, caulking lead, and extruded products."

    1. Ah! There's the culprit -- ammunition was at only 3% in 2000. I honestly don't think I can even get my head around all the bullets that have been shot off and stockpiled over the past 12 years.

      And foolish Buddhist thought rise of lead is due to more people owning cars! How quaint. *sigh*