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Lecture 3

ERSC 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Conchoidal Fracture, Gross Domestic Product, Pyrite


Department
Earth Sciences
Course Code
ERSC 1F90
Professor
Dale Hess
Lecture
3

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Natural resources sectors and Canada’s gross domestic product in 2008
Minerals: The Building Blocks of Rocks
Naturally occurring
Inorganic
Solid
Ordered internal molecular structure
Definite chemical composition
A solid mass of minerals
Definition of a rock:
The Composition of Minerals
Basic building blocks of minerals
118 are known now
Elements
Smallest particles of matter
Atoms
Retains all the characteristics of an element
The Structure of Minerals
Minerals consist of an ordered array of atoms chemically bonded to form a particular crystalline
structure
For ionic compounds, the internal atomic arrangement is primarily determined by the size of ions
involved
Two or more minerals with the same chemical composition, but different crystalline
Polymorphs
MINERALS
Monday, September 19, 2011
9:39 PM
Earth Science Page 1

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Two or more minerals with the same chemical composition, but different crystalline
structures and properties
The transformation of one polymorph to another is called a phase change
Diamond and graphite are good examples of polymorphs
Physical Properties of Minerals
External expression of the orderly internal arrangement of atoms
Crystal growth is often interrupted because of competition for space and rapid loss of heat
Crystal form
The minerals pyrite and quartz often exhibit good crystal form.
Appearance of a mineral in reflected light
Metallic
Nonmetallic
Two basic categories
Other terms, such as vitreous, silky, or earthy, are used to further describe lustre
Lustre
Generally unreliable as a diagnostic property to use for mineral identification
Often highly variable for a given mineral due to slight changes in mineral chemistry
Exotic colorations of some minerals produce gemstones
Color
Quartz (SiO2) exhibits a variety of colors as in the purple amethyst.
Color of a mineral in its powdered form
Helpful in recognizing different forms of the same mineral
Streak
Resistance of a mineral to abrasion or scratching
All minerals are compared to a standard scale called the Mohs scale of hardness
Hardness
Earth Science Page 2
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