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Energy and Mineral Resources

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  1. Energy and Mineral Resources Chapter 4, Section 1

  2. Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources • A renewable resource can be replenished over fairly short time spans such as months, years, or decades • Common examples are plants and animals for food, natural fibers for clothing, and trees for lumber and paper • Energy from flowing water, wind, and the sun are also renewable resources • A nonrenewable resource takes millions of years to form and accumulate • When the present supply of nonrenewable resources run out, there won’t be any more • Common examples are coal, oil, natural gas, iron, copper, uranium, and gold

  3. Concept Check • What is the difference between a renewable and a non-renewable resource? • Renewable are replenished within years, while non-renewable take millions of years to accumulate.

  4. Fossil Fuels • Fossil Fuel – general term for any hydrocarbon that may be used for fuel • Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas • Coal forms when heat and pressure transform plant material over millions of years • Power plants primarily use coal to generate electricity (using 70% of the coal mined) • Burning coal—much of which is high in sulfur—creates air pollution problems • Petroleum (oil) and natural gas form from the remains of plants and animals that were buried in ancient seas • Over millions of years and continual sediment build up, chemical reactions slowly transform some of the organic remains into the liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons we call petroleum and natural gas

  5. U.S. Coal Fields


  6. Oil Trap

  7. Concept Check • What two features must an ail trap have? • Permeable reservoir rock to allow oil and gas to collect and a cap rock that keeps oil and gas from escaping.

  8. Tar Sands and Oil Shale • Some energy experts believe that fuels derived from tar sands and oil shales could become good substitutes for dwindling petroleum supplies • Tar sands are usually mixtures of clay and sand combined with water and varying amounts of a black, thick tar called bitumen • The oil in tar sands is much more resistant to flow and cannot be pumped out easily • Oil shale is a rock that contains a waxy mixture of hydrocarbons called kerogen • Oil shale can be mined and heated to vaporize the kerogen • The kerogen vapor is processed to remove impurities, and then refined

  9. Oil Shale in the Green River Formation

  10. Formation of Mineral Deposits • Ore – a material from which a useful mineral or minerals can be mined at a profit • Geologists have established that the occurrences of valuable mineral resources are closely related to Earth’s rock cycle • Some of the most important mineral deposits form through igneous processes and from hydrothermal solutions • Igneous processes produce important deposits of metallic minerals (gold, silver, copper, mercury, lead, platinum, and nickel) • Most hydrothermal deposits form from hot, metal-rich fluids that are left during the late stages of movement and cooling of magma • Placer deposits are formed when eroded heavy minerals settle quickly from moving water while less dense particles remain suspended and continue to move

  11. Hydrothermal Solutions

  12. Concept Check • What are mineral resources? • Earth materials that are extracted and processed for either the metals or the elements they contain.

  13. Nonmetallic Mineral Resources • Nonmetallic mineral resources are extracted and processed either for the nonmetallic elements they contain or for their physical and chemical properties • Nonmetallic mineral resources are divided into two broad groups—building materials and industrial materials • Natural aggregate (crushed stone, sand, and gravel), is an important material used in nearly all building construction • Some substances, like limestone, have many uses in both construction and industry (cement, steel, neutralizing acidic soils…) • Most industrial minerals are not nearly as abundant as building materials, requiring considerable processing to extract the desired substance at the proper degree of purity

  14. U.S. per Capita use of Mineral and Energy Resources

  15. Assignment • Read Ch. 4, Sect. 1 (pg. 94-101) • Do Section 4.1 Assessment #1-8 (pg. 101)