The study of the composition, structure, appearance, stability occurrence, and associations of
A naturally occurring, inorganic, homogeneous solid with a specific chemical composition
and crystalline structure.
The smallest unit
of an element retaining the physical and chemical properties of that element.
Center of an atom containing protons and neutrons.
(-) particles which revolve around the nucleus
The number of protons contained in the nucleus
Atoms of the same element always have the
same number of protons.
sum of the protons and neutrons
Atoms with different numbers of neutrons.
nucleus spontaneously loses energy by emitting radiation and changing from one element (parent) into
another element (daughter).
When two elements combine together, they produce chemical compounds. Chemical compounds share electrons.
- A. Ionic bonds – held together by opposite charges
- B. Covalent bonds – electrons are shared by multiple atoms
- C. Metallic bonds – lose electrons easily.
Atoms of a gas or liquid join in certain chemical proportions and crystalline arrangement.
When do minerals form?
- 1.Fall in temperature of a liquid below its freezing point
- Crystallization of ice forms below 32 degrees
the most abundant minerals in the Earth’s crust. Composed of Oxygen (O) and Silicon (Si), the two most abundant elements in the crust.
8 classes of minerals
Carbonates – carbon ion surrounded by 3 oxygen ions, arranged in sheets
Example: calcite, dolomite
– oxygen is bonded to metallic ions
– sulfide ion (S2-) is bonded to metallic ions E
– sulfur atom is bonded to 4 oxygen ions
Elements – pure elements Example: copper, gold
measure of the ability to scratch or be scratched
Tendency of a mineral to break along flat planar surfaces.
3. Luster – how the surface of the mineral reflects light
4. Color – appearance of a mineral in light
- streak: color of powdered mineral
5. Specific gravity – weight of a mineral divided by the weight of an equal volume of pure water
at 4 degrees Celsius.
6. Crystal habit – the shape individual crystals grow.
A naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals or non-mineral solid matter
-mineralogy: minerals which comprise the rock
- texture: describes the size and shapes
of the minerals and how they are put together.
a. coarse – individual grains can easily
b. fine – individual
grains are not visible
all rocks formed by solidification of molten rock
All rocks formed as the burial products of layers of sediments. Most formed under water.
All rocks formed by the transformation of existing rocks through temperature and /or high pressure.
Types of igneous rocks
A.Intrusive – magma
(molten rock) moved into other rock underground.
- slow cooling, allows individual
crystals to grow quite large.
B. Extrusive rocks – magma reaches the surface of the earth through eruption from
- very rapid cooling, individual crystals
are very tiny. Glassy, fine grained textures.
sediments: layers of loose particles created from weathering and erosion.
Weathering– chemical and physical processes that break up and decay rocks into smaller
rocks or fragments.
Erosion– a set of processes that loosen soil and rock and move them to a place of
Siliciclastic sediments – physically deposited particles laid down by
running water, wind, and ice forming layers of sand, silt, and gravel.
Chemical and biochemical sediments – new chemical substances formed by precipitation.
process which converts sediments into rocks
Result when high temperatures and pressure are applied to igneous and sedimentary
rocks. The existing rocks are changed into metamorphic rocks.
Regional metamorphism – extends over large regions where two tectonic plates are
Contact metamorphism – occurs in a very small area where igneous or sedimentary rocks
are in direct contact with high heat or pressure.
Foliation – wavy or flat planes formed when a rock undergoes metamorphism.
Ore – large enough quantities of mineral deposits from which valuable metals can be
Hydrothermal solutions – when magma is moving through rock, it comes in contact with groundwater. The water can carry off important minerals in a solution into areas the magma does not reach.
Veins– the joints and fractures in rock where economically important minerals are deposited by hydrothermal solutions.