The phosphate minerals apatite, monazite and xenotime are easily recognizable phases found in an extraordinarily wide range of geological environments. They have become important source-materials for geochemical investigations. Trace or accessory minerals in high-temperature igneous, and metamorphic terranes, they form relatively stable crystals that harbor elements useful in dating and in investigations of the reaction history of rocks. On the other end of the temperature spectrum is the apatitic mineral matter in the bones and teeth of vertebrates, and the phosphate biochemical pathways that are basic to the energy system essential for life. With such diverse facets, it is not...

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