recitation1 - GEOL 820 Natural Disasters Spring 2011...

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GEOL 820: Natural Disasters Spring 2011 1 Recitation 1: Mineral Identification Name: _______________________________________ Recitation Time/Day: _____________ Objective : Learn the process of identifying minerals for later use in rock identification/hazards. What are minerals? Minerals are naturally occurring, inorganic solids with unique chemical compositions, regular atomic/crystalline structures, and characteristic physical properties. How do we classify minerals? Minerals are classified by their basic chemical composition. If you look at the last element(s) in a mineral’s chemical formula, you will recognize a common ion. This common ion determines the mineral’s class. The mineral classes are silicates (SiO 4 - ), halides (Cl - ), sulfides (S - ), sulfates (SO 4 - ), oxides (O 2- ), and carbonates (CO 3 - ) There is one more mineral class called the native elements (metallic and non-metallic). Native element minerals are entirely made up of one specific element, like gold or sulfur, for example. How do we identify different minerals? Specific properties are very helpful in identifying different minerals. The following is a partial list of the properties that geologists use to identify minerals in rocks out in the field. (1) COLOR of the mineral generally is determined by chemical composition, but use caution when using this property to identify a mineral! Variations in mineral color often result from impurities which occur in the minerals. (2) LUSTER refers to the manner in which light is reflected from the mineral’s surface. Luster can be divided into two categories: Non-Metallic: (in order of decreasing reflectivity)
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recitation1 - GEOL 820 Natural Disasters Spring 2011...

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