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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Ch. 5-7, 9, 10, Rocks and Minerals Clue to Ancient Environments

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Environmental Science
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Nick Eyles

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Lecture 7 - Ch. 5-7, 9, 10, Rocks and Minerals: Clue to Ancient Environments Monday, February 27, 2012 10:08 AM Quiz 6 (Friday March 2nd) is based on this lecture and chapters 5, 7, 9 and 10 The Rock Cycle Sedimentary Rocks  Sedimentary basins  Lithification - to turn into rock  Can tell us a lot about where they've been  Quartz is very resilient o Polycyclic - they go through many rock cycles o Oldest rock in Canada - 4 billion years old Metamorphic Rocks  To change appearance  Rocks get caught up in plate tectonics  Low grade to high grade  Melting to magma o All kept going by uranium decay in the mantle which creates heat and keep mantle convention going, magnetic fields Igneous Rocks  Intrusive o Don't see the light of day unless weathered and exposed o Very slowly o Coarse grains o Crystals grow  Extrusive Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction Basic definitions to start with:  A rock is a naturally formed, consolidated material composed of grains of one or more minerals  A mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic, crystalline solid that has a specific chemical composition. The are building bocks of rocks. Minerals (Chapter 5) - 4, 500 different types!  The most important group are silicate minerals containing silicon and oxygen and accounts for 90% of all minerals. A few silicate minerals dominate: o Quartz - silica (SiO2 = silicon + oxygen) o Olivine (Mg, Fe SiO4) - green like an olive o Feldspars o Pyroxenes (e.g., augite) o Mica o Clay minerals e.g., kaolinite, montmorillonite  The area we live in is dominated by glacial sediments so clay minerals are not common however they are in Africa Silicon-Oxygen Tetrahedron: SiO4 How do we identify different minerals?  Colour o Most noticeable but least accurate  Streak o Colour when mineral ground to a fine powder on streak plate e.g. hematite - red/brown o Silicate minerals do not streak because they tend to be harder than ceramic plate Hardness ('scratchability')  Moh's hardness scale (1-10) o Talc (very soft) = 1 o Diamond = 10 1
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