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A relict is a surviving remnant of a natural phenomenon.
See Relict (biology)
Some geologic processes are destructive or transformative of structures or minerals, and when a process is not complete or does not completely destroy certain features, the left-over feature is a relict of what was there before. For example, relict permafrost is an area of ancient permafrost which remains despite a change in climate which would prohibit new permafrost from forming. Or it could be a fragment of ancient soil or sediment found in a younger stratum. A relict sediment is an area of ancient sediment which remains unburied despite changes in the surrounding environment. In pedology, the study of soil formation and classification, ancient soil found in the geologic record is called a paleosol, material formed in the distant past on what was then the surface. A relict paleosol is still found on the surface, and yet is known to have been formed under conditions radically different from the present climate and topography.
In mineralogy, a relict mineral is a surviving mineral from a parent rock that underwent a destructive or transformative process. For example, serpentinite is a kind of rock formed in a process called serpentinization, in which a host mineral produces a pseudomorph, and the original mineral is eventually replaced and/or destroyed, but is still present until the process is complete.
In various places around the world, minority ethnic groups represent lineages of ancient human migrations in places now home to more populous ethnic groups who arrived later. For example, the first human groups to inhabit the Caribbean islands were hunter-gatherer tribes from South and Central America. Genetic specimens of natives of Cuba show that, in late pre-Columbian times, the island was home to agriculturalists of Taino ethnicity, but a relict population of the original hunter-gatherers remained in western Cuba in the form of the Ciboney people.
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