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Atoms

 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

 Elements combine to form minerals


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

A 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.
MINERALS

NATIVE ELEMENTS

Gold
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

 2. Naturally occurring – not manufactured

 3.
Have a definite chemical composition –
may be a single element or combination

 4. Inorganic – minerals not made by living


things (organic)
MINERAL FORMATION
 CRYSTALLIZE FROM MAGMA or LAVA
solidification of liquid magma/lava to solid
with a definite internal arrangement of
atoms into a regular repeating pattern

 PRECIPITATE FROM SOLUTION


dissolved minerals come out of solution
(water) to form solids
Minerals are identified by their
Physical Properties
 Crystal Form – determines physical properties
 Color
 Streak
 Luster – 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
Diamond Graphite
COLOR
 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
STREAK
 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) PYRITE

GALENA
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)

HALITE

FLUORITE
Cleavage

MUSCOVITE
BIOTITE
Rose Quartz – Conchoidal Fracture
Conchoidal Fracture - Quartz

Obsidian
NONSILICATE MINERALS
CARBONATES

Carbonate ion (CO32-) is prominent in minerals.


Bonds generally weak.
Minerals are soft (3-4). CALCITE
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 Characteristics:
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