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Geology 101 Lab Mineral Notes

Geology 101 Lab Mineral Notes - Lab 1 Mineral...

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Lab 1 Mineral Identification Learn how to identify minerals and what properties can be used to distinguish them. Sixteen minerals will be used. Students will fill out the mineral charts. Basic Concepts: Mineral: An inorganic, naturally occurring substance that has a characteristic chemical composition , distinctive physical properties , and crystalline structure . Mineral Properties What allows us to distinguish one mineral from another? It may be obvious, or it could be subtler. In the latter case, we need to rely on the following properties to make the distinction. 1. Color and Clarity : most obvious, also the most variable characteristic of a mineral. Clarity: transparent, translucent, or opaque. 2. Streak : the color of the powder of a mineral on a streak plate. 3. Luster : the way a mineral’s surface reflects light Metallic vs. Non-Metallic is the most important descriptor here. Metallic: shiny—silver, gold, copper sheen Non-metallic: (see other luster terms to use as further description) Other luster terms: Earthy, dull, shiny, glossy, waxy, glassy, greasy, pearly and silky 4. Crystal Form (Habit): It refers to the characteristic shape that a specific mineral takes as a crystal. This reflects its underlying chemical structure and is a very useful criterion in identification.
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