Magnesium: geological information

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the earth's crust but is never found as the free metal. There are many minerals containing magnesium including magnesite and dolomite. Sea water also contains plenty of magnesium.

Abundances of magnesium in various environments

In this table of abundances, values are given in units of ppb (parts per billion; 1 billion = 109), both in terms of weight and in terms of numbers of atoms. Values for abundances are difficult to determine with certainty, so all values should be treated with some caution, especially so for the less common elements. Local concentrations of any element can vary from those given here an orders of magnitude or so and values in various literature sources for less common elements do seem to vary considerably.

Abundances for magnesium in a number of different environments. Use the links in the location column for definitions, literature sources, and visual representations in many different styles (one of which is shown below)
Location ppb by weight ppb by atoms
Universe 600000 30000
Sun 700000 30000
Meteorite (carbonaceous) 120000000 100000000
Crustal rocks 29000000 25000000
Sea water 1326000 337000
Stream 4100 170
Human 270000 70000


Log abundance (by atom numbers) in our sun

The chart above shows the log of the abundance (on a parts per billion scale) of the elements by atom number in our sun. Notice the "sawtooth" effect where elements with even atomic numbers tend to be more strongly represented than those with odd atomic numbers. This shows up best using the "Bar chart" option on the chart.

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magnesium atomic number