Lab 1. Rock and Mineral - Lab 1: Rocks and Minerals...

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Lab 1: Rocks and Minerals Historical Geology 1404 Overview Discussion of processes on Earth is difficult without basic knowledge of Earth’s raw materials: rocks and minerals. The following exercise is a guided description of the specimens found in Ward’s mineral and rock sets. You will be given one box containing a variety of minerals and three boxes containing rocks from the three rock groups found on Earth: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. The questions below pertain to each box, and are meant to reinforce the attributes that distinguish minerals as well as rocks within each rock group. You will also be given a short introduction into the terminology geologists use in describing rocks. Minerals Minerals, the basic building blocks of rocks, are defined as: – homogeneous – naturally occurring – (generally) inorganic – crystalline – solid substances – with a definable (but variable) chemical composition. 1.1 Based on this definition decide whether the following substances are minerals. (Y/N) •Diamond •Ice •Water •Refined sugar •Coal •Quartz •Mercury •Silver •Window glass •Salt Scientists have grouped minerals into different classes based on the anion or anionic group present in the mineral structure. These classes include: native elements, oxides, hydroxides, halides, carbonates, sulfates, sulfides, silicates, phosphates, and borates. By far the most abundant minerals on Earth are silicates, because silicon and oxygen are among the most abundant elements on Earth and therefore readily available as building material. The basic structure of all silicates is the silicon-oxygen-tetrahedron. This three-sided pyramid contains four oxygen atoms in the corners of the pyramid and one silicon atom in its center (fig. 1).
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Lab 1. Rock and Mineral - Lab 1: Rocks and Minerals...

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