 Atoms

– basic building blocks for all earth materials; consist of 3 basic components: protons, neutrons, electrons

Atoms combine to form Elements
 Elements

– fundamental component that can not be broken down into other substances by ordinary chemical processes combine to form minerals

 Elements

General Facts About Minerals
2,000 + minerals have been identified

few are “native elements” -- made of only one element, such as sulfur, gold. copper, and graphite (carbon)  Most are compounds, especially the silicate group (Si, O).  Other important groups are oxides, carbonates, and sulfides.


Gold (Au) Silver (Ag) Platinum (Pt) Diamond (C) Graphite (C) Sulfur (S) Copper (Cu)

Copper Silver

Mineral Criteria
 1.

Crystalline solid – atoms have specific arrangement or crystal structure Naturally occurring – not manufactured

 2.  3.

Have a definite chemical composition – may be a single element or combination Inorganic – minerals not made by living things (organic)

 4.


FROM MAGMA or LAVA solidification of liquid magma/lava to solid with a definite internal arrangement of atoms into a regular repeating pattern FROM SOLUTION dissolved minerals come out of solution (water) to form solids


Minerals are identified by their Physical Properties
 Crystal  Color  Streak  Luster

Form – determines physical properties

– metallic, non-metallic  Hardness – Mohs Hardness Scale (1-10)  Cleavage  Fracture  Acid Test for carbonate minerals

A mineral’s physical properties are controlled by its internal arrangement of atoms
regularly repeating, orderly pattern

The most common crystalline structure
 Silica-oxygen

tetrahedron – basic building block for silicate minerals

Silica tetrahedron combine several different ways
Five major types of silicate minerals based on their structure B) Isolated tetrahedron C) Single chain C) Double chains D) Sheet silicates E) 3-D framework silicates

Minerals can have the same chemical composition (Carbon) but different physical properties because of their crystal structure



 Color

is not usually a definitive property of a mineral.  Some minerals have characteristics colors  Others vary due to chemical differences or impurities (atoms mixed inside the main elements)  However most minerals have a variety of colors.

Some Colors of Quartz

 For

opaque minerals, if you rub the sample across a streak plate, it will leave a colored powder. This streak is distinctive for minerals and is used to identify minerals.

Varieties of Hematite – all same color streak

HARDNESS – Mineral’s resistance to scratching or abrasion. Minerals with higher numbers will scratch minerals below

LUSTER – Does this look like it could be made from a hard metal?

Describes how light reflects off the surface Categories:

Metallic or Non-metallic

Metallic – luster of metal – shines like a hard metal (light does not penetrate) Many non-metallic minerals are SHINY because they are transparent or semi-transparent

Non-metallic: vitreous or glassy; silky; pearly; greasy; waxy, dull; earthy

Examples of metallic luster

More Examples of Metallic Luster
Pyrite (FeS2) Galena (PbS)


Example of non-metallic luster
 Vitreous--quartz

Example of non-metallic luster
 Silky--example

plagioclase feldspar

Non-metallic and metallic luster – earthy hematite – metallic hematite

Cleavage and Fracture
 Some

minerals split along flat surfaces (called cleavage planes) when struck hard--this is called mineral cleavage  Other minerals break unevenly along rough or curved surfaces--this is called fracture  A few minerals have both cleavage and fracture ( mica )

Cleavage – due to weak bonds in the crystal structure
Halite (NaCl) Fluorite (CaF2)





Rose Quartz – Conchoidal Fracture

Conchoidal Fracture - Quartz


Carbonate ion (CO32-) is prominent in minerals. Bonds generally weak. Minerals are soft (3-4). Minerals are soluble in acidic water. Leads to cave development. Calcite (CaCO3) if transparent can Break light into 2 images (double refraction)


Acid Test for Carbonates
 Special


Carbonates react with dilute HCl and other acids by fizzing or bubbling (releasing CO2 gas)

Less than a dozen are common in most rocks
         

Quartz Feldspar (group) Muscovite (silver white mica) Biotite (black mica) Calcite Pyroxene Olivine Amphibole (group) Magnetite, limonite, and other iron oxides Pyrite

Common uses include: Use back page of ESRT for this information
 Aluminum--packaging,

transport, building  Beryllium--gemstones, fluorescent lights  Copper--electric cables, wires, switches  Feldspar--glass and ceramics  Iron--buildings, automobiles, magnets  Calcite--toothpaste, construction

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