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Internal Structure of the Earth
1.Crust: Outermost layer, ranges from 5-70 km in depth Oceanic crust, which underlines the oceanic basins (5-10 km), is composed of basalt. The thicker crust is continental crust composed of granite. The rocks of the crust fall into two major categories – sial (Silica, Aluminium) and sima (Silicon, Magnesium). Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho): The crust-mantle boundary occurs as two physically different events. First, there is a discontinuity in the seismic velocity, which is known as the Moho. The cause of the Moho is thought to be a change in rock composition from rocks containing plagioclase feldspar (above) to rocks that contain no feldspars (below). 2. Mantle: Earth's mantle extends to a depth of 2,890 km, making it the thickest layer of the Earth. The predominant rocks present in the mantle are dunite (olivine), peridotite (olivine + pyroxene) and ecologite (garnet + pyroxene). Convection of the mantle is expressed at the surface through the motions of tectonic plates. Lower mantle is homogeneous and flows less easily than does the upper mantle due to intense pressure. 3.Core: Seismic measurements show that the core is divided into two parts, a solid inner core with a radius of ~1,220 km and a liquid outer core extending beyond it to a radius of ~3,400 km.The inner core is believed to be composed of mainly iron and some nickel. The liquid outer core surrounds the inner core and is believed to be composed of iron mixed with nickel and trace amounts of lighter elements. Gutenberg-Weichert Discontinuity: Named for Beno Gutenberg, American seismologist, and Emil Weichert, German seismologist. It is the boundary between mantle and core.This discontinuity is due to the differences between the acoustic impedances of the solid mantle and the molten outer core.P-wave velocities are much slower in the outer core than in the deep mantle while S-waves do not exist at all in the liquid portion of the core.
North American. This is called continental drift colloquially. Several smaller plates and sub-plates range in size from intermediate to comparatively small. These plates are solid slabs of rock made up of the continental crust and/or oceanic crust. The lithosphere is divided into seven major and several smaller plates. South American and the Antarctic. The basic source of energy of the tectonic movement is believed to be the earth’s internal heat. German meteorologist Alfred Wegener proposed that continents could move around – that they could “drift”. In 1912. slowly drifting to their current positions. Pacific. The lithosphere is broken up into many plates and they are in motion relative to one another.Plate tectonics and mountain building process and formation of the Himalayas The crustal plates of the earth are in horizontal motion. Presence of Tectonic Plates The lithosphere behaves as a rigid layer resting on a weaker asthenosphere. and plate tectonics in technically more precise language. which he named Pangaea (“all Earth”). African. He believed that all landmasses were once united in one supercontinent. The internal heat released by the radioactive decay of isotopes of uranium and thorium within the Earth’s core causes the mantle material to expand and rise. and that over millions of years the continents broke away from each other. The major plates include: Eurasian. Indo-Australian. Being relatively more buoyant than .
Similar evidence exists in the form of matching mountain ranges across the North Atlantic. western states like Ghana and Ivory Coast have 2 distinct geologic provinces (one 200 million years old and the other 600 million years old) similar to those on the coastal regions of Brazil. Asia. Therefore. 4. The continental outlines of both sides of the Atlantic (African and South American continents) fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. India. This causes the lithosphere to contract and become denser and heavier. Evidences for Continental Drift Theory 1. 3. it sinks back into the mantle at subduction zones. compared to the interior. In Africa. this hot mantle plume rises to the base of the lithosphere. In time. Antarctica. The slow movements of Earth’s plates and mantle are ultimately driven by the unequal distribution of heat within Earth’s interior.the cooler rock in its immediate neighbourhood. the newly formed lithosphere cools rapidly. 2. The Earth’s surface is very cold. Madagascar and South America. These identical regions on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean could only mean that southern America had indeed been connected to Africa. . The fossil record of some plants and animals prove the assemblage of Australia.
the Mid-Atlantic ridge.g. All the tectonic plates are constantly moving — very slowly — around the planet. the boundary between the Pacific plate and the Australian plate. made up of the boundary between the North American and the Eurasian plates in the North Atlantic. a. and ocean-ocean. two plates move away from one another. E. mid-ocean ridges are created as magma from the mantle upwells through a crack in the oceanic crust and cools. tectonic plate boundaries are grouped into three main types. and the South American and the African plates in the South Atlantic. E. b. As the two move apart. the boundary between the Eurasian plate and the Indian plate at the Himalayas. Convergent Plate Boundary: A convergent boundary occurs when two plates are pushing towards each other. Because of these differences. E. but rather plates slide past each other. thus. Some are moving toward each other. some are moving apart. Divergent Plate Boundary:At a divergent plate boundary. but in many different directions. ocean-continent. crossing New Zealand. one overriding another and forcing the latter into the mantle beneath the former plate. Three types of convergent boundaries are recognized: continent-continent. crossing Iceland.g. .Plate Boundaries The border between two tectonic plates is called a boundary.g. Transform Plate Boundary:Also called Conservative Plate Boundary because plate material is neither created nor destroyed at this boundary. c. and some are sliding past each other.
000 metres. deformation and metamorphism that result from the onset of intense tectonics stress. and faulting. is the overall process by which a mountain system is built.000 to 3. gneisses and migmatites. . Orogenesis:Orogenesis is the mountain-building and associated folding. usually along convergent plate boundaries. The deepest rocks are metamorphosed into schists. The layered rocks are tightly compressed into folds that often result in thrust faulting. An orogeny. The region of a continent that had been structurally stable for aprolonged period of time is calleda craton. faulting. or orogenesis. Accumulation: Many mountains contain sequences of sedimentary and volcanic rocks that reach thickness of 2. folding. Block-faulting can also occur after the forces have thrust the metamorphosed and deformed rocks upward and outward.The sedimentary material typically weathers from the continental landmass or offshore island arc. usually sedimentary or volcanic rocks. c. Post-orogenesis: A mountain range undergoes additional uplift and block-faulting after orogeny has ceased. Most of these materials get deposited in a passive or active continental marine environment during the accumulation stage.Mountain Building Process Mountains result from the application of tectonic forces to rocks.Mountain-building on continents is associated with intense deformation. a. The central part of the USand Canada are part of a craton. Compression also results in vertical uplift of the deformed rock sequence. b.
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At present. the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It was formed as a result of a collision between two tectonic plates. The modern theory relating to the forces that produce movement. . Later. which. This ismuch the same process as an ice cube in a glass of water. instead of sinking.500 km into Asia over the next 10 million years. A continental collision began in the early cretaceous period some 70 million years ago along the line separating the Indo-Australian and the Eurasian plates. the IndoAustralian plate is moving 67 mm/year and it has been projected that it would have traveled about 1.*Rock masses within the earth are balanced by the force of isostacy. resulting in an orogeny which led to the formation of the Himalaya. this plate completely locked in the Tethys Sea as a result of which weathering and erosion occurred leading to the formation of sediments. deformation and faulting of the Earth's crust has it that the north-bound Indo-Australian Plate was moving at about 15 cm/year at the time of the collision.This essentially means that heavier rock masses sink deeper into theearth while lighter rock masses float on the heavier masses. Formation of the Himalayas The Himalaya is one of the youngest mountain ranges on the planet. rose upward to form the Himalaya.
These properties are characteristic of a particular mineral. 1. a hexad axis (six times – every 60°). Pinacoid:A Pinacoid is an open 2-faced form made up of two parallel faces. which is a line through a crystal such that a complete rotation of 360° about it produces more than one identical view. each of which is a mirror image of the other without rotation. is called crystallography. b) An axis of symmetry. when the same view is seen three times (every 120°). The number of faces in a form depends on the symmetry of the crystal. and. 2.Crystallography and Mineralogy When a mineral is allowed to grow outwards into the solution or melt from which it formed without being obstructed by other solid matter or providing all the necessary constituents required for its growth. a triad axis. it develops a regular pattern of faces and angles between the faces. Crystal Forms A crystal form is a set of crystal faces that are related to each other by symmetry. a tetrad axis (four times – every 90°). possesses a centre of symmetry but a tetrahedron does not. . which a crystal possesses when all its faces occur in parallel pairs on opposite sides of the crystal. The end products are known as crystals and the study of this regularity of form. when the same view is seen twice (every 180°). for example. There are four types of axis of symmetry: a diad axis. c) A plane of symmetry. All crystals possess some elements of symmetry. one faced form. and of the internal structure of the mineral to which the crystals are related. which divides the crystal into halves. They are: a) Acentre of symmetry. A cube. Pedions: A pedion is an open.
4. or could meet if extended. 6. 8. 4. 12. 6. 5. Prism form may have 3.3. 16 or 24 faces. Pyramid: A pyramid is a 3. 6. Scalenohedron: A Scalenohedron is a closed form with 8 or 12 faces. In ideally developed faces. each of the faces is a scalene triangle. Prism: A prism is an open form consisting of three or more parallel faces. 8 or 12 faces. 8 or 12 faced open form where all faces in the form meet. at a point. . Dipyramid: Dipyramids are closed forms consisting of 6. 4.
Rhombohedron: A Rhombohedron is 6-faced closed form wherein 3 faces on top are offset by 3 identical upside down faces on the bottom. composition and formative process of minerals.Crystal habits are representatives of dominant forms that developed during their formation and are related to crystal structure. Crystal Habits The development of an individual crystal or an aggregate of crystals. .7. to produce aparticular external shape depends on the temperature and pressure during their formation.
However.Crystal System Crystal faces are conveniently referred to by the help of imaginary lines or directions which are supposed to pass through centre of crystals. the A and the C axes. 6. Monoclinic System: In this system. These lines are called crystallographic axes. there is an additional axis which gives the crystals six sides. The C or vertical axis is at 90° to the shorter axes. all of which meet at 90° to each other. Crystals having same set of crystallographic axes belong to the same crystal system. but the third one does not. Two of them. Isometric (Cubic) System: The cube is composed of six square faces at 90° to each other. all the axes are of different lengths. It differs from the isometric system in that the C axis is longer than the A and B axes which are the same length. 2. all the axes are of different lengths. Triclinic System: All the axes are of different lengths and none of them meet at 90°. Orthorhombic System: In this system. . Each face intersects one of the crystallographic axes and is parallel to the other two. 3. 4. there are three axes. meet at 90°. Tetragonal System:The tetragonal system also has three axes that all meet at 90°. Three of these are equal in length and meet at 60° to each other. 5. 1. Hexagonal System: In the hexagonal system.
It may depend on the impurities present in light-coloured minerals. Example. @ Toronto Girls Can Flirt. and one mineral specimen may even show gradation of colour or different colours. Fluorite – four. Quartz and garnet have no cleavages. Cleavage: Most minerals can be cleaved along certain specific crystallographic directions which are related to planes of weakness in the atomic structure of the mineral. the rock slice being mounted in transparent resin on a glass slide. 4. And Other Queer Things Can Do. Galena – three. galena has a metallic grey colour but a black streak. Colour:The colour of a mineral is that seen on its surface by the naked eye. Fracture: It is the surface formed by breaking the mineral along a direction which is not a cleavage and is usually more irregular than a cleavage plane. These cleavage directions are usually. using a hand lens (x8 or x10) and observing the diagnostic features. and numbered in degrees of increasing hardness from 1 to 10. Streak: The streak is the colour of the powdered mineral. parallel to one of the crystal faces. but not always. It is defined by an arbitrary scale of ten standard minerals. When a cleavage is poorly developed it is called parting. Micas – one. Pyroxene – two.03 mm. 3. This is most readily seen by scraping the mineral across a plate of unglazed hard porcelain and observing the colour of any mark left. 5.A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic substance which has a definite chemical composition. using a microscope. ground down to a thick ness of 0. Physical Properties of Minerals 1. and b) The examination of a thin slice of the mineral. Two techniques are employed to identify minerals: a) The study of a hand specimen of the mineral. arranged in Mohs’ scale of hardness. 2. Hardness: The relative hardness (H) of two minerals is defined by scratching each with the other and seeing which one is gouged. normally uniform throughout its volume. or the rock in which it occurs. @True Geologists Climb Faults And Observe Quarries To Contemplate Deformation (O for Orthoclase) Geological Hammer – 5.5 .
Specific Gravity: The specific gravity or density of a mineral may be defined as the ratio of its weight to the weight of an equal volume of water at 4°C. gold and silver. Transparency:It is a measure of how clearly an object can be seen through a crystal. sulphates and halides. the amount depending on physical qualities of the surface (such as its smoothness and transparency).6. High specific gravity minerals include native metallic elements such as pure copper. carbonates. The degree of brightness is described from ‘splendent’ to ‘dull’. 7. Low specific gravity minerals include silicates. 8. . Lustre: It is the property by virtue of which light is reflected from the surface of a mineral.
Minerals which have high refractive indices which differ markedly from that of the mounting medium show up clearly in thin section and are said to have high relief. some minerals are clearly visible while others appear almost featureless. Optical Properties of Minerals 1. The result is a coloured ray. So.9. i. light travels through them in different ways and with different velocities. due to the removal of certain wavelengths from the original white. . c. 2. Isotropic/Anisotropic: Isotropic minerals are minerals that have the same properties in all directions. Under Plane Polarized Light (UPPL) a. b. Relief:When we look at thin sections. depending on the direction of travel through a grain. c. This is the property known as relief. the two rays are recombined into a single N-S plane and interfere with each other as they will be out of phase. Extinction Angle:The extinction angle of a given grain is the angle between any specified crystallographic directions and either of the two vibration directions at which an anisotropic mineral becomes dark. plane polarized (white) beam passes through anisotropic crystals as two rays with different velocities. Tenacity: It is a measure of how the mineral deforms when it is crushed or bent. When the analyzer is inserted. with the same velocity. Under Cross Nicols (UCN) a. a coloured appearance of the grain. This is the result of selective absorption of certain of the wavelengths that comprise the white light supplied by the illumination. E. Colour and Pleochroism: Pleochroism is apparent in thin section when minerals undergo a colour change as they are rotated in plane polarized light. Anisotropic minerals have different properties in different directions. This means light passes through them in the same way. Shape and Cleavage:The form of crystals and the arrangement of cleavage planes within them are useful for identification.g garnet. Interference Colour: Light from an original single. b.e. no matter what direction the light is travelling.
Feldspar 3. Carbonates – Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2) d. Alteration f. Fe-oxides Common Rock Forming Minerals: 1. Anhydrous (No water) – Feldspar 2. Serpentine 10. Mica 4. Inclusion Common Rock Forming Minerals 1. Biotite 7. Orthoclase 8.d. Quartz 2. Pyroxene 4. Sulphates – Gypsum (CaSO4) Minerals in order of increasing stability: 1. Albite 6. Non-silicates a. Twinning:One consequence of the symmetry of the internal structure of crystals is the possible growth of twinned crystals. Quartz 11. Horn Blende 7. Hydrous (H. Olivine 9. Epidote 6. Pyroxene 8. Pyrite . Anorthite 3. Chlorite 5. Oxide – Corundum (Al2O3) b. Hydroxides – Brusite (Mg(OH)2) c. Amphibole 5. Muscovite 9. Silicates a. Olivine 2. e.O) – Chlorite b. Clay minerals 10. A twinned crystal is a single crystal divided into two (or more) parts in which the crystal lattice of one part is differently oriented with respect to the next.
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