Lecture16_EAS1600_Fall08

Lecture16_EAS1600_Fall08 - EAS 1600 Introduction to...

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Unformatted text preview: EAS 1600 Introduction to Environmental Sciences ____________________________ Lecture 16- Minerals and Rocks: Evidence of a Dynamic Earth ____________________________ Our discussion of the ocean brings up two Earth System Puzzles: ¾ based on our understanding of oceanic processes, the ocean’s biota should be running out of nutrients (which should be accumulating at the ocean bottom); and ¾ the ocean should have filled in with material from the eroding continents a long time ago. The answer to these puzzles is buried in the processes related to the solid earth. We begin our discussion of the solid earth with a short discussion of 1. Mineral and rocks; and then 2. The structure of the solid earth and methodology we use to probe the earth’s structure – seismology. ... NOTE: Most of the material covered in this lecture can not be found in the textbook, so please use these notes as your basic reference. Another useful source is: Conte, D.J., D.J. Thompson, and L.L. Moses, Earth Science: An Integrated Perspective , Wm.C. Brown Publishers, Chicago, IL, 432pp, 1997. This is the source of most of the graphics used here. http://mineral.galleries.com/ FIRST: We need to know something about the earth’s interior… The major zones: ¾ mantle ¾ crust ¾ core Some Definitions: "A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound, with a definite internal arrangement of ions (i.e., a solid ) and a chemical composition that is fixed or varies within narrow limits" (Conte et al. 1997). "... rocks are aggregates of minerals" (Conte et al. 1997). They are by definition found on the earth’s crust. ¾ Useful analogy from Conte et al. 1997 letter Æ word Æ sentence element Æ mineral Æ rock Minerals: There are 92 naturally occurring elements, but most minerals contain 8 main elements: ¾ these are the elements that make up most of the earth’s crustal material. Element Average Weight Percent in Crust Oxygen 46.6 Silicon 27.7 Aluminum 8.1 Iron 5.0 Calcium 3.6 Sodium 2.8 Potassium 2.6 Magnesium 2.1 All others 1.5 Note: while O is most abundant element, it only appears in combination with other elements as oxides (e.g., silicates). The minerals are typically divided into 10 groups or classes ....
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course EAS 1600 taught by Professor Jimstjohn during the Spring '08 term at Georgia Tech.

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Lecture16_EAS1600_Fall08 - EAS 1600 Introduction to...

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