Sudbury

Scientist unlocking secrets from Sudbury's black rocks

A Sudbury scientist is scratching the surface of the black rock that makes up much of the city's landscape and he's making some new discoveries.
The surface of these black rocks have a microscopic silica layer that can trap particles from the air, particularly when the rock gets wet. (CBC)

A Sudbury scientist is scratching the surface of the black rock that makes up much of the city's landscape and he's making some new discoveries.

Michael Schindler, who works out of Laurentian University, said he has been studying the many little particles that originated from the nickel smelting process and stuck to the black rock coating.

Dr. Michael Schindler, studies Sudbury's black rocks at Laurentian University. (CBC)

The coating is composed of something called silica — a material that has the ability to trap particles, especially after the rain. Using a high-resolution magnifier, he has been able to see some unique substances.

"There [are some] very small particles that have not been detected before," he said.

To hear more about those newly discovered particles — including how they may help scientists better understand how pollution is affecting the north — click on the audio button.

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