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02 minerals - Earth Sciences 1022a Lecture Brief 18 Sep 09...

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Earth Sciences 1022a Lecture Brief 18 Sep 09 MINERALS Minerals are solid chemical compounds that combine to form rocks. They are found in nature and vary in atomic bonding, molecular structure, and element composition, all of which determine their chemical, physical properties and permit their identification. - an infinite number of chemical combinations are possible and almost 4000 natural minerals are known; however, only about 20 minerals dominate the Earth's crust Common Minerals: natural solid compounds found commonly in Earth's crust Silicates - most abundant; made of the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron (silica, (SiO 4 ) -4 ) bonded to various metallic cations ferromagnesian (dark) silicates : contain Fe +2 and Mg +2 cations olivine - covalently-bonded silica tetrahedra surrounded by Fe, Mg cations; Fe, Mg substitute for each other to form a family of minerals; pyroxene - single chains of tetrahedra ionically bonded to metallic cations, nearly right angle cleavage; amphibole - double chains
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