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What is a mineral?

Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. They are non-living, solid, and, like all matter, are made of atoms of elements. Minerals are typically formed when molten rock, or magma, cools, or by separating out of mineral-rich water, such as that in underground caverns.


What is the largest group of minerals?



What is the hardest naturally occurring mineral?



What is the softest naturally occurring material?



What is the formula for calculating DENSITY?

Mass / Volume = Density


Explain the Moh scale of hardness - what is it, what is it used for, and what is the ranking.

Mohs hardness refers to a material's ability to resist abrasion or scratching. The Moh scale of hardness is used to rank gemstones and minerals according to hardness, on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 10 (very hard).


Name 4 physical properties

Color, streak, luster, hardness


What is luster?

Luster is a characteristic of the light reflected by a mineral. Luster has two categories, metallic and nonmetallic .


What is streak?

The streak of a mineral is the color it displays in finely powdered form.


What is hardness?

Hardness is how well a substance will resist scratching by another substance. /hardness.aspx#sthash.zHuvUChn.dpuf


What is crystal?

A crystal is a solid in which the particles are arranged in a pattern to make shapes with flat surfaces


What is magnetism?

A characteristic that allows a mineral to attract or repel other magnetic materials.


What is Specific Gravity?

Specific Gravity of a mineral is a comparison or ratio of the weight of the mineral to the weight of an equal amount of water.


What is fracture?

Breakage of a mineral, not along planes of weakness in the crystral structure.


What is a Gem?

A gem is a natural, mineral or organic substance, that has substantial beauty, rarity, and durability.


What is ore?

Rock or earth from which metal can be obtained


What is a rock?

A naturally occurring solid aggregate of one or more minerals.


How does an igneous rock form?

Igneous rock is formed when magma cools and solidifies, it may do this above or below the Earth's surface.


Explain the Mafic igneous rock classification.

Mafic igneous rocks are dark colored and consist mainly of magnesium and iron.


Explain the Felsic igneous rock classification.

Felsic igneous rocks are light in color and are mostly made up of feldspars and silicates.


What is Ultramafic?

Ultramafic igneous rocks are very dark colored and contain higher amounts of magnesium and iron than mafic igneous rocks.


What is the difference between INTRUSIVE and EXTRUSIVE igneous rocks?

The difference between an Extrusive and Intrusive igneous rock is the way in which they cool. An Extrusive igneous rock cools very fast on the surface and is created by lava. Since the cooling process is very fast extrusive igneous rocks have very small crystals (fine grained). On the other hand an Intrusive igneous rock cools very slowly beneath the surface and is created by magma. Since the cooling process is very slow intrusive igneous rocks have very large crystals (coarse grained).


What are the 8 most abundant elements in earth's crust (the ones which most rocks are made up of)?

Oxygen, Silicon, Aluminum, Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium (O SIC SPAM)


What is sediment?

Solid fragments of inorganic or organic material that come from the weathering of rock and are carried and deposited by wind, water, or ice.


What is the difference between Clastic vs. Nonclastic sedimentary rocks?

Clastic rock is formed from particles of other rock (this is the most common sedimentary rock). Non-clastic is composed of chemical precipitate out of solution.


What are the three forms of sedimentary rocks?

Clastic (rocks are accumulations of little pieces of broken up rock which have piled up and been "lithified" by compaction and cementation). Chemical (formed when standing water evaporates, leaving dissolved minerals behind).
Organic (any accumulation of sedimentary debris caused by organic processes. Many animals use calcium for shells, bones, and teeth).


What are the three types of bedding?

Bedding (a series of visible layers
within a rock; most common
sedimentary structure).
Graded bedding (a progressive change in grain
size from bottom to top of a bed).
Cross-bedding (a series of thin, inclined
layers within a horizontal bed of rocks).


What is the difference between evaporites and precipitates?

Evaporites are water-soluble mineral sediments that result from concentration and crystallization by evaporation from an aqueous solution. Evaporites form in dry climates where the water can rapidly evaporate leaving sediment behind to precipitate.
Precipitates are minerals that settle or rain down after forming from saturated solutions containing the necessary ingredients for that mineral's formation.


What are the two types of metamorphic rocks?

Foliated and non-foliated


Describe foliated metamorphic rocks.

Foliated metamorphic rocks are formed within the Earth's interior under extremely high pressures that are unequal, occurring when the pressure is greater in one direction than in the others (directed pressure). This causes the minerals in the original rock to reorient themselves with the long and flat minerals aligning perpendicular to the greatest pressure direction. This reduces the overall pressure on the rock and gives it a stripped look.