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GEOL 1100
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter Three: Minerals, The Building Blocks of Rocks I. Minerals A.  defined by geologists as any naturally occurring, inorganic solid that  posses and orderly crystalline structure and a well­defined chemical  composition B. character of minerals 1. naturally occurring 2. inorganic solid 3. ordered internal molecular structure II. Rocks: any solid mass of mineral matter occurring naturally (some are all  mineral, but most are aggregates of many different types) III. Composition of Minerals A. Atoms: Building blocks of elements. Smallest particles that cannot be  chemically split. Retain all characteristics of element. Components: •protons (positive charge) •electrons (negative charge) •neutrons (no charge) ­protons and neutrons are located in a central nucleus surrounded by  electrons in a shell­ B. Elements­ building blocks of minerals. over 100 known (92 occurring  naturally). Each has specific place on periodic table based on number of  protons. C. Bonding: atoms combine to form chemical compounds 1. Ionic bond:Atoms gain or lose outermost (valence)electrons to form ions.Ionic compounds consist of an orderly arrangement of oppositely charged ions 2. Covalent bond: valence electrons are shared by atoms.Atoms share electrons to achieve electrical neutrality. Generally stronger than ionic bonds. Both ionic and covalent bonds typically occur in the same compound 3. Metallic bond:Valence electrons are free to migrate among atoms. Weaker and less common than other bonds D. Isotopes and radioactive decay 1. Mass number = sum of neutrons + protons in an atom 2. Isotope = atom that exhibits variation in its mass number (same element, but different masses, number of neutrons) 3. Unstable isotopes emit particles and energy in a process known as radioactive decay IV. Structure of Minerals: Minerals consist of an orderly array of atoms chemically bonded to form a particular crystalline structure. The internal atomic arrangement in ionic compounds is determined by ionic size. A. Silicates: crustal minerals with oxygen and silicon as building blocks. Silicates classified as “low” or “heavy” based on ratio of silicon to oxygen. Most form when molten rock cools and crystallizes. Environment determines which minerals are produced. 1. Light silicates- light in color, specific gravity a. feldspar group- most common mineral group, forms under
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