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Introduction to Minirology

Introduction to Minirology

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Published by: keltechnology2666 on Feb 14, 2010
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CHAPTER 2: Introduction to Mineralogy


CHAPTER 2: Introduction to Mineralogy
What is Mineral? A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid that possesses a definite chemical structure that gives it a unique set of physical properties What is different between Mineral and Rock? Rocks are collection of one or more minerals.

Why we need to know a minerals in rocks? In order to understand how rocks vary in composition and properties, it is necessary to know the varieties of minerals that commonly occur in them and to identify a rock, it is necessary to know which minerals are present in it. The building blocks of minerals are elements. An element is a large collection of electrically neutral atoms with the same atomic number. An atom is the smallest particle of matter that still retains the characteristics of an element. Each atom has a nucleus, which contains protons (+ve) and neutrons (neutral). Orbiting the nucleus of an atom are electrons (-ve). The number of protons in an atom’s nucleus determines its atomic number and the name of the element.

BONDING AND COMPOUND Atoms combined with each other to form compounds. Atom’s bond together by either gaining, losing or sharing electrons with other atoms. Ionic bonding – One or more electrons are transferred from one atom to another (Gaining and losing electrons). Ionic compounds consist of oppositely charged ions assembled in a regular, crystalline structure that allows for the maximum attraction of ions, given their sizes. Covalent bonding – Atom’s sharing the electrons. Most atoms are chemically reactive and bond together in order to achieve the stable noble-gas configuration while retaining overall electrical neutrality.

Shell model for common atom

Ionic Bonding to form the mineral Halite (NaCl)

Covalent Bonding

Techniques to identify Minerals 1. The study of a Hand Specimen of the mineral or rock in which it occurs 2. The examination of a thin slice of mineral, grind down to a thickness of 0.03mm using a Microscope 3. Chemical analysis – Atomic absorption stimulation (AAS) 4. X-Ray diffraction – Use X-RD machine

Techniques to identify Minerals


The first method is the most useful to an engineer. However, examination of rocks in thin section will provide excellent details of rocks textures, some of difficult to see in the hand specimen. In hand specimen identification, some features are purely visual (e.g color) but others such as hardness have to be assessed by simple test (Moh’s scale) The study of the regularity of crystals form in the internal structure of the mineral is called crystallography.

Physical Properties of Minerals The minerals can be identified by their physical properties such as color, streak, lustre, hardness, transparency, crystals habit (form), specific gravity, reaction with acid, cleavage and fracture, tenacity and others. Since mineral has a definite chemical composition and internal crystalline structure, all specimens of a given mineral, have the same physical and chemical properties. Color The color of mineral is that seen by eye. Color may be influenced by impurities in the sample, the light in the room or strong reflective surfaces. Therefore, color is general rather than specific indicator. Quartz for example, range through the spectrum from clear, colorless crystals to purple, red, white, grey and jet black.

Physical Properties of Minerals Streak


The streak is the color of finely powdered mineral particles produced by scraping the specimen along a roughened surface such as porcelain plate. The streak is not necessary the same as the color of the mineral. Haematite for example produces a reddish brown streak, but have a metallic grey appearance. Lustre Lustre is the appearance of a mineral surface in reflected light. This can be describe by the degree of brightness such as: Metallic, submetallic, vitreous, resinous, silky and dull.

Physical Properties of Minerals Transparency


Transparency is the degree to which a mineral allows light to pass through it. Transparency is described as opaque, transparent, semitransparent and translucent. Cleavage and fracture Cleavage refers to the splitting of a mineral along smooth, flat surfaces and it is related to the types of bonds in the internal structure of the mineral. Minerals that do not break along cleavage planes, tend to fracture, or break, unevenly into curved or irregular pieces. Types of fractures are based on their appearance such as uneven or irregular, splintery or fibrous and curved or conchoidal

Physical Properties of Minerals Hardness


A measure the resistance of a mineral to abrasion or scratching. It is measure relative to a standard scale of ten minerals known as the Moh’s Scale of Hardness. This scale is arranged in order from 1(softest) to 10 (hardest). Specific Gravity SG is a number representing the ratio of the weight of a mineral to the weight of an equal volume of water.

Physical Properties of Minerals Crystal Form


CF is the external expression of a mineral that reflects the orderly internal arrangement of atoms. Crystal structures have no size limits. Minerals with a crystal lattice are called crystalline, those without a crystal structure are called amorphous. Reaction with Acid When dillute HCL acid (typically 10%) is dripped onto some minerals, notably the carbonates, a reaction take place. Calcite produces bubbles of carbon dioxide when reaction takes place while in some iron sulphide ores, hydrogen sulphide is produced.

Physical Properties of Minerals Tenacity


Tenacity is the response of minerals to hammer blows, cutting with a knife and to bending. Minerals that can be beaten into new shapes are malleable (gold, silver, copper). Others In addition, some minerals can be recognized by other distinctive properties such as smell, taste, scraps by coin, picked up with a magnet and others. A number of special physical and chemical properties are useful on identifying certain minerals.

Rock Forming Minerals Earth crust is basically made up from the composition of eight major element ; Oxygen (O), Silicon (Si), aluminium (Al), Iron (Fe), Calcium (Ca), Sodium (Na), Pottasium (K) and Magnesium (Mg). This elements represent above 98% of earth crust. But, Si and O ascertain 75% to dominate the composition. This two elements readily combine to form the framework for the most common mineral group, the silicate

Rock Forming Minerals


Basically the rock forming minerals are divided into 3 major groups. 1. 2. 3. Acidic silicate base minerals Basic silicate base minerals Non-silicate minerals

What are silicate minerals? Silicate minerals are complex in both chemistry and crystal structure but every silicate minerals contains a basic structural unit called the silica tetrahedron with crystal structure.

Silicate Minerals Structure and Classification of the Silicates Almost silicate structures are in fourfold coordination with oxygen. This arrangement appears to be universal in these compounds, and the bonds between silicon and oxygen are so strong.

Silicate Minerals cont’….. Structure and Classification of the Silicates cont’…. Silicate classification is based on the following types of linkages: 1. Single chains – e.g pyroxene 2. Double chains – e.g amphiboles 3. Two dimensional sheets – e.g micas, chlorites and clay minerals 4. Three dimensional frameworks – e.g feldspar and quartz

Structures of The Common Silicate

Silicate Minerals cont’….. Ferromagnesian Silicates / Basic Silicates Ferromagnesian silicates are silicates that contain iron, magnesium, or both as in Olivine. Other minerals include the Pyroxene and the Amphiboles

Silicate Minerals cont’….. Non-Ferromagnesian Silicates / Acid Silicates Non-Ferromagnesian silicates are silicates that lack iron and magnesium, as in Feldspar. Other minerals include the Quartz and the Muscovite

Pyroxene High temperature minerals found in many igneous and metamorphic rocks Usually dark in coloured (dark green to black) and contains silicates of iron and magnesium Occurs in basic and ultrabasic rocks

Amphiboles This minerals has much in common with pyroxene and consist of complex silicates which are magnesium, calcium and iron Hornblende the most abundant amphibole is a common constituent of igneous and metamorphic rock Colour ranges from green to black Common inmetamorphic rock known as amphibolite

Micas Group Micas are group of monoclinic minerals and are characterised by perfect cleavage Typically paper thin, shiny, elastic cleavage plates Only two common occurring mica known as biotite (dark brown to black), usually less commercial value and muscovite (colourless or slightly tinted) Abundant in granite and many metamorphic rock and is also a significant component of many sandstones

Feldspar Group Most important group, abundant and constitute the most of rock forming minerals Make up to 60% of the earth’s crust. Found almost on all of the igneous rocks, in some sedimentary and many metamorphic rocks Two major types of feldspar : Pottasium feldspar (K-feldspar) and Plagioclase feldspar Good cleave in two directions, porcelain luster and hardness of 6

Olivine Occurs chiefly in basic and ultrabasic rocks with (MgFe)2 SiO4 present Crystallises at high temperature, over 1000 C, one of the first minerals to form from basic magmas, and common in basalt The only mineral clearly visible in the hand specimen Probably the major constituent of the material beneath the earth’s crust

Calcite Composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and principal mineral of limestone Can be precipitated directly from seawater and removed from it by organism to make shells Dissolved in groundwater and reprecipitated as new crystals in caves and fractures in rock Soft and easy to scratch, bubbles in dilute hydrochloric acid, perfect cleavage in three directions but not at right angle Major mineral in metamorphic rock (marble)

Halite and Gypsum Two most common minerals form by the evaporation of seawater or saline lake water Halite (common salt, NaCl) easily identified by its taste, very soft and scratched easily with fingernail Gypsum composed of calcium sulphate and water (CaSO42H2O).

Chlorite A green flaky minerals formed by hydrous silicates of magnesium and aluminium Found in Igneous rocks and in metamorphic rocks such as chloriteschist and in some clays Talc Soft flaky mineral, white or greenish white, easily scratched by finger nails Occurs as a secondary product in basic and ultrabasic rocks and in talc-schist

Kaolin Derived from breakdown of feldspar by action of water and carbon dioxide White or grey, soft with texture of flour and clayey smell when damp Serpentine An alteration of olivine, pyroxene or hornblende Change from olivine to serpentine may be brought about by action of water and silica Found in basic and ultrabasic rocks

Non Silicate Minerals Oxides and Hydroxides Form by combination of various cations with oxygen. Some examples are haematite, ilmenite, magnetite, bauxite, limonite and cassiterite Carbonates and Sulfates Consist of framework similar to the silica tetrahedra. An important mineral in this group is gypsum – almost used in building materials. The most important carbonate minerals are calcite which combines calcium with the carbonate ion, and dolomite which contains calcium and magnesium in its structure

Non Silicate Minerals Halides


Often occurring as chemical deposited sediments formed by evaporation and as vein minerals in igneous rocks

Clay minerals Constitute major part of the soil and thus encountered more frequently than other minerals Form when air and water interact with the various silicate minerals breaking them to form clay and other products The most significant characteristic of any clay mineral is its extremely flaky shape. The main properties to be considered in an engineering context are: surface area, surface charge and adsorption, base exchange capacity, flocculation and dispersion, shrinkage and swelling, plasticity and cohesion

Clay minerals


Surface area : The smaller and more flaky a particle is, the greater will be its surface area. The ratio of surface area per gram of mass is term the specific surface (Ss). Surface charge and adsorption : The ions forming the platy surfaces of clay minerals are negative electrical charge [O2- or (OH)- ]

Types of Rock Igneous Rock Sedimentary Rocks

Mineral Quartz,biotite, muscovite, amphiboles, pyroxene, orthoclase, olivine Parent igneous rock – quartz and feldspar the earth’s surface minerals – clay minerals, hydrous alluminium silicates, carbonates, calcite and dolomite, those deposited from saline waters – rock salt and gypsum Quartz, feldspar, amphiboles, pyroxene, micas, garnet chlorites, the carbonates, metamorphosed limestone

Metamorphic Rocks

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