Geology 1303-Block 2
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What is a mineral? How do we differentiate a mineral from a piece of wood or a human? What is a rock? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Geology 1303-Block 2 Minerals Rock Cycle Igneous Rocks-(including volcanoes&plutons) Sedimentary Rocks Metamorphic rocks Exam 2 :Oct 18 th WED -To be Confirmed. What is a mineral? How do we differentiate a mineral from a piece of wood or a human? What is a rock?. Minerals.

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Geology 1303-Block 2MineralsRock CycleIgneous Rocks-(including volcanoes&plutons)Sedimentary RocksMetamorphic rocksExam 2 :Oct 18th WED -To be Confirmed

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  • What is a mineral?

  • How do we differentiate a mineral from a piece of wood or a human?

  • What is a rock?

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  • What is a mineral?

    • Naturally occurring (not man-made)

    • Inorganic

    • Solid (not made of liquid or gas) with a definite chemical structure which give it unique physical properties.

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Minerals vs. Rocks

  • There are nearly 4000 known minerals - but most rocks are formed by only a few dozen minerals.

  • Rocks are aggregates (mixtures) of minerals. So . . . minerals are the building blocks of rocks.

  • A question for the future: How do minerals come together to form a rock?

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Composition and Structure of Minerals

  • To understand how minerals form, we need to understand the characteristics of elements and atoms.

  • Chemical Elements

    • Elements are the basic building blocks of minerals. There are over 100 known elements.

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Composition and Structure of Minerals

  • Atoms

    • smallest particle of matter that exhibits all the characteristics of an element.

    • Atoms are made up of:

      • Nucleus, which contains Protons (atomic number)- positive electrical charges and Neutrons - neutral electrical charges (P +N = atomic mass)

      • Shells which surround the nucleus and contain Electrons - negative electrical charges

  • The weight (density) of an element depends on the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.

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Combining Elements to Form Minerals

  • Elements combine with each other to form a wide variety of minerals (chemical compounds)

  • Atoms combine chemically by gaining, losing, or sharing and electron with other atoms. (opposites attract) (pg-26)

  • The new mineral (compound) will have very different physical properties from the elements that combined to form it.

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Combining Elements to Form Minerals

  • Since rocks are mixtures (not chemical combinations) of minerals, minerals keep their physical properties within a rock.

  • Is it possible for two different minerals to have the same chemical composition?

  • YES! Both diamond and graphite are made of carbon. The difference between these two minerals is the way in which the carbon atoms are arranged.

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Mineral Properties

  • Minerals have lots of different properties that help us identify them.

    • Crystal form, Luster, Color,

    • Streak, Hardness,Cleavage,

    • Fracture, Specific gravity,

    • Taste, Smell, etc.

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Rock Forming Minerals

  • The most common rock forming minerals are composed of 8 elements:

    • Oxygen (O) , Silicon (Si),

    • Aluminum (Al) , Calcium (Ca) , Sodium (Na) , Potassium (K)

    • Iron (Fe) and Magnesium (Mg)

  • There are just a few dozen minerals that we call the rock-forming minerals.

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Composition of the Crust

  • The most abundant elements in Earth's crust are:

    • Oxygen (46.6% by weight)

    • Silicon (27.7% by weight)

The crust

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Silicate Minerals

  • Silicate minerals, minerals built primarily from silicon-oxygen tetrahedrons, are the most common rock-forming minerals.

  • Silicate minerals are grouped according to how the tetrahedrons are arranged in the mineral.

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Silicate Mineral Groups

  • Olivine - independent tetrahedrons (Mg, Fe)

  • Pyroxene group - tetrahedrons are arranged in chains (Mg, Fe)

  • Amphibole group - tetrahedrons are arranged in double chains (Mg, Fe, Ca)

  • Micas - Tetrahedrons are arranged in sheets

    • Two common types of mica:

      • Biotite (dark) (K, Mg, Fe, Al),

      • Muscovite (light) (K, Al)

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Silicate Mineral Groups

  • Feldspars - Three-dimensional network of tetrahedron

    • Two common types of feldspars:

      • Orthoclase (K, Al)

      • Plagioclase (Ca, Na)

      • Most plentiful mineral group

  • Quartz - three-dimensional network of tetrahedrons (SiO2)

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Mineral Color

  • Mineral color is often governed by presence of Mg, Fe (dark) or absence of these elements (light).

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Non-Silicate Minerals

  • Major groups:

    • Oxides (FeO2), Sulfides (PbS), Sulfates (CaSO4),

    • Halides,

    • "Native" elements (gold),

    • Carbonates (limestone, marble) (CaCO3)

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Mineral Resources

  • Ore - rock that contains useful metallic minerals that can he mined at a profit.

  • Since 98% of the Earth's crust is made up of 8 elements, an element/mineral has to be concentrated at levels above normal for profitable mining.


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A Rockis anAggregateof Minerals




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Structureof an Atom



Nucleus (neutrons &


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Chemical Compound




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Isolated Tetrahedrons


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Tetrahedron Arrangement







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Mohs hardness scale

10. Diamond 4. Fluorite

9. Corundum 3. Calcite

8. Topaz 2. Gypsum

7. Quartz 1. Talc

6. Potassium Feldspar

5. Apatite

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For Next Time

  • How do minerals "mix" together to form rocks?

  • What is the rock cycle ?