Earth Rocks Chapter 2.DOC

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Western University
Computer Science
Computer Science 1033A/B
Vivi Tryphonopolous

Earth Sciences 1022b Lecture Brief 14 Jan 14 MINERALS Minerals are solid chemical compounds that combine to form rocks. They are found in nature and vary in atomic bonding, molecular structure, and element composition, all of which determine their chemical, physical properties and permit their identification. - an infinite number of chemical combinations are possible and almost 4000 natural minerals are known; however, only about 20 minerals dominate the Earth's crust Common Minerals: natural solid compounds found commonly in Earth's crust -4 Silicates - most abundant; made of the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron (silica, (SiO ) ) 4 bonded to various metallic cations ferromagnesian (dark) silicates: contain Fe and Mg cations+2 olivine - covalently-bonded silica tetrahedra surrounded by Fe, Mg cations; Fe, Mg substitute for each other to form a group of minerals; pyroxene - single chains of tetrahedra ionically bonded to metallic cations, nearly right angle cleavage; amphibole - double chains of tetrahedra ionically bonded to metallic cations, 120° + cleavage; biotite
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