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After reading this question on diamond, my first thought was: is this really an Earth science question? Then I noticed that it was tagged . Fair enough, I don't even know enough about geology to determine what is geology and what isn't, so it's not for me to say on- or off-topic.

Where is the boundary between geology and chemistry?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think this would be best answered by a short list of examples that are borderline, and reasons for decisions either way (probably a process that will take a while to complete). $\endgroup$ – naught101 Apr 17 '14 at 6:55
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I would consider that question 'mineralogy'. yes there's a blurry line with physical chemistry.

Another overlap with chemistry is the field of geochemistry. To give you an idea, our u/g geochemistry class (20 years ago) covered subjects as diverse as nucleogenesis, ocean geochemistry (aqueous ionic ), and isotope fractionation.

And then there's petrology which covers subjects like mineral formation and minerals reacting with each other...

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    $\begingroup$ Don't forget biogeochemistry! $\endgroup$ – DrewP84 Apr 17 '14 at 5:28
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There will always be overlap between scientific fields and stackexchange-websites. Best to deal with this by a case-by-case basis.

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  • $\begingroup$ There will always be overlap between most SE sites. IMHO it's best to deal with it with a easy to follow policy that users can view, not case-by-case. $\endgroup$ – Anonymous Penguin Apr 18 '14 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Well the easiest distinction I can think of is "chemistry in nature" - ask here. "chemistry in the lab" ask at chemistry. $\endgroup$ – tobias47n9e Apr 18 '14 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Spießbürger -- I do geochemistry in lab. What about the case of e.g. a question on the nuclear field shift effect in thallium, and the impact of same on (1) fractionation in nature and (2) ion-exchange chromatography? $\endgroup$ – kaberett Apr 25 '14 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @kaberett - I think you probably have enough experience to know where you can get the better answer. It really depends on which part the emphasize of the question is on. If your measuring something and stuck with the interpretation, asking here might be better. If your trying to measure something, or looking for better methods, then chemistry-se might be better. $\endgroup$ – tobias47n9e Apr 25 '14 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Spießbürger, to clarify - I don't actually have a question, I'm just asking where you/others think that sort of question might live in the overlap! $\endgroup$ – kaberett Apr 29 '14 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ @kaberett - I thought that you meant it as an example. In an ideal world the question could be posted to more than one se-page. Who knows why they didn't implement that yet. $\endgroup$ – tobias47n9e Apr 29 '14 at 16:31
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"Diamonds" can be related to geology, especially if the question is something like, "In what kinds of rock formations are diamonds most likely to be found.

In this case, the question appears to be how diamonds burn, which imply chemical properties. On the face of it, I would consider it a chemistry question. Even so, it could be an earth sciences question if it was about the diamond burning as it is being formed in the earth's crust.

This question appears "close to the line" between being on- and off- topic, and my best guess is that it is "just over," rather than "just within" the line.

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