By: Stephen, Brian, and Nikko SES4U1. Minerals . Introduction to minerals. A mineral is a naturally occurring substance formed through geological processes. Scientists use four methods of determining if the substance is a mineral or not.
There are four questions scientists answer to determine if a substance is a mineral
1) Is the substance inorganic? If the substance contains elements that is not alive and never was, then it is a mineral.
2) Does the substance occur naturally? If it is manufactured, it is not a mineral.
3) Is the substance in solid crystalline form? Gases are can not be minerals.
4)Does the substance have a definite chemical composition? If yes, than the substance is a mineralIS it a mineral ?
Sulfate Mineral Barite
An example of an oxide is Ice, since it is a solid, inorganic, and a chemical composition of oxygen.
Each mineral has specific properties that are a result of chemical composition and crystal structure. These properties are useful for comparing and identifying different minerals
Colour – Although not the most reliable method, different types of minerals have distinct colours.Characteristics of minerals
Luster – Defined in the textbook as light being reflected from the surface of a mineral. Minerals that do not reflect light very well are known as non-mettalic.
Streak- A more reliable method of characterizing a mineral. This involves observing the colour of the mineral in powered form.
Cleavage and fracture- This is any cracks or splits in a certain mineral. This is called cleavage.Characteristics of minerals
Hardness- This is a measure of the ability of a mineral to resist scratching . If a mineral can be easily split into cleavages and fractures, than the mineral is softer. The Mohs Hardness Scale determines the hardness of minerals on a scale of 1-10.
Density- Density of a mineral is how heavy a mineral is, compared to how big it is. The equation for density is Mass divided by volume.Characteristics of minerals
Environmentally- Minerals are usually extracted from the earth via mining. Mining any particular mineral has an impact on the environment and leave an ecological footprint.
Firstly, Mining can cause water pollution. The result can be unnaturally high concentrations of some chemicals, such as sulfuric acid and mercury over a significant area of surface. Runoff of soil or rock debris also devastates the surrounding aqua life.Impact and significance of minerals
Secondly, mining can cause a loss of biodiversity. With the an establishment of any mining methods, animal life looses their habitat. Deforestation also occurs with mining, has in some cases trees need to be cut down in order to start mining.
Third of all, minerals can have negative effects on the enviroment. With humans use minerals for their own benefit, the environment can be polluted. This is evident when coal is being burned for electricity, greenhouse gasses are released into the atmosphere.Impact and significance of minerals
A mineral is composed of the same substance throughout. If you were to cut a mineral sample, it would look the same throughout. There are about 3000 different minerals in the world. Minerals are made of chemicals - either a single chemical or a combination of chemicals. There are 103 known chemical elements. Minerals are sorted into 8 categories. Some common examples have been listed for each below ;
Mineralogy is the branch of geology concerned with the study of minerals. A mineral is a naturally occurring, homogeneous solid with a definite chemical composition and a highly ordered atomic structure. A homogeneous substance is one that can be divided into repeating units that are exactly the same.
A mineral, by definition, cannot be a liquid or a gas. The chemical composition of a mineral is definite, meaning a particular mineral is always composed of the same ratio of elements, and this composition can be shown using a chemical formula. The atoms in a mineral are arranged in a highly ordered fashion, called a crystal lattice structure.- Minerals have been an important part of our society since the time of prehistoric man. Early humans carved tools out of minerals such as quartz. Pottery has been made of various clays since ancient times. Sodium chloride, also known as the mineral halite, has been used in food preservation techniques for millions of years. Mining of useful minerals out of ores became widespread hundreds of years ago, a practice still in use today.History of Minerals
Minerals form in all geologic environments and thus under a wide range of chemical and physical conditions, such as varying temperature and pressure. The four main categories of mineral formation are:
Chemistry: Au, Elemental gold