Sei sulla pagina 1di 46

Minerals ROCK!

This presentation was made possible with funding from the


PromoScience programme of NSERC

©McGill University 2010


Minerals

Why are they important?

©McGill University 2010


Minerals are important because:

We use them in everyday life!


• Glass (Quartz)

www.public-domain-image.com

©McGill University 2010


Minerals are important because:
We use them in everyday life!
• Glass (Quartz)
• Lead in pencil (Graphite)

www.public-domain-image.com

©McGill University 2010


Minerals are important because:
We use them in everyday life!
• Glass (Quartz)
• Lead in pencil (Graphite)
• Toothpaste (Fluorite)

www.public-domain-image.com and www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.

©McGill University 2010


Minerals are important because:
We use them in everyday life!
• Glass (Quartz)
• Lead in pencil (Graphite)
• Toothpaste (Fluorite)
• Coins and wiring (Chalcopyrite, from which
most copper metal is made)

www.public-domain-image.com and www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.

©McGill University 2010


Minerals are important because:
We use them in everyday
life!
• Glass (Quartz)
• Lead in pencil (Graphite)
• Toothpaste (Fluorite)
• Coins and wiring
(Chalcopyrite, from which
most copper metal is made)
• White paint (Rutile and
Ilmenite)
www.public-domain-image.com and www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.

©McGill University 2010


Minerals are important because:
We use them in everyday life!
• Glass (Quartz)
• Lead in pencil (Graphite)
• Toothpaste (Fluorite)
• Coins and wiring (Chalcopyrite,
from which most copper metal
is made)
• White paint (Rutile and
Ilmenite)
• Make-up (Talc, Muscovite)

www.public-domain-image.com, www.wikipedia.org, and wpclipart.com.


Public domain. ©McGill University 2010
Minerals are important because:
We use them in everyday life!
• Glass (Quartz)
• Lead in pencil (Graphite)
• Toothpaste (Fluorite)
• Coins and wiring (Chalcopyrite, from which
most copper metal is made)
• White paint (Rutile and
Ilmenite)
• Makeup (Talc, Muscovite)
• Jewellery (Gold, Silver,
Platinum…)

www.public-domain-image.com, www.wikipedia.org, and wpclipart.com. Public domain. ©McGill University 2010


Minerals
• How many minerals are there in the world?
– Over 4200 different minerals!
– But only 100 are common
• Ones that are more rare include:

Gold Silver
©McGill University 2010
www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.
What is a mineral?
• A mineral must have…
– A crystalline structure
– A definite chemical
composition
• A mineral must be…
– Formed by geological
processes
– Inorganic
– Solid

©McGill University 2010


What does this mean?
• A mineral must have….
– A crystalline structure
• Minerals are made of molecules, and a crystalline
structure is a repeated pattern of those molecules.

©McGill University 2010


Crystalline structure (i)
– The crystalline structure explains the geometric
shapes that crystals take on when they grow
under favourable conditions .

©McGill University 2010


Crystalline structure (ii)
• Crystals will keep growing…

©McGill University 2010


Crystalline structure (iii)
… and growing forever, as long as they have the
chemical elements and the environmental
conditions necessary.

©McGill University 2010


Minerals are formed by geological
processes
– They can’t be man-made so steel
is not a mineral.

©McGill University 2010


www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.
Minerals are inorganic
– Not living and not made by living things.
– Shells are not a type of mineral but they they are
made of solid materials (biominerals) similar to
some inorganic minerals.

Redpath Museum
©McGill University 2010
A mineral is solid
– Minerals may be dissolved in liquids but they
themselves are not liquid.

www.wikipedia.org
©McGill University 2010
Is ice a mineral? (i)

www.usgs.gov. Public domain.

©McGill University 2010


Is ice a mineral? (ii)
• YES!!
– Inorganic
– Solid
– Crystalline structure
– As long as it is naturally
occurring, ice is
considered a mineral.
Ice in your ice-cube tray
is not naturally occurring:
ice in a glacier is.
www.wikipedia.org. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license ©McGill University 2010
Is water a mineral? (i)

www.usgs.gov. Public domain .

©McGill University 2010


Is water a mineral? (ii)
• NO!
– Inorganic
– Naturally occurring
– But it is a LIQUID and
has NO CRYSTALLINE
STRUCTURE
www.usgs.gov. Public domain.

©McGill University 2010


How are minerals formed?
• Many minerals crystallize from liquids,
principally magma/lava (molten rock), hot
waters (e.g., geysers), or oceans.

• Others are formed when rocks are re-buried


below the Earth’s surface and exposed to high
pressure and temperature. The minerals
become unstable and they exchange chemical
elements. This forms new minerals.
©McGill University 2010
Why are minerals found in large
quantities in some places and not
others?
• The Earth’s surface is made up of plates that
move. “Plate tectonics” describe this motion.
• Together with erosion, plate tectonics
concentrate some of these elements in
bodies of rocks that can be mined.
• Plate tectonics are the Earth's giant "recycling
engine“.
Plate tectonics

www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.

©McGill University 2010


The world’s main plates

www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.

©McGill University 2010


Types of plate boundaries (i)
• Transform boundaries: plates grind past each
other along a transform fault (e.g. San
Andreas fault).

©McGill University 2010


www.wikipedia.org: public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 License
Types of plate boundaries (ii)
• Divergent boundaries: plates slide away from
each other (e.g., mid-oceanic ridges).

Wikipedia.org, NASA: public domain


©McGill University 2010
Types of plate boundaries (iii)
• Convergent
boundaries: plates
slide towards each
other.
– If one plate moves Caribbean
plate
underneath the other, it
North
forms a subduction zone. American
Deep marine trenches, plate
volcanoes, and some
mountain chains (e.g., the
Andes) form in these
areas. The Puerto Rico trench. Wikipedia.org, USGS: public domain
©McGill University 2010
Types of plate boundaries (iv)
• Convergent boundaries (cont’d):
– If the two plates collide and both contain
continental crust, they form a continental collision.
Some mountains (e.g., the Himalayas) form this
way.

Wikipedia.org, USGS: public domain


©McGill University 2010
Rocks

www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.


©McGill University 2010
Rocks
• Rocks are made of minerals
• Granite is a rock made up of three main
minerals:
– Feldspar
– Quartz
– Mica

©McGill University 2010


A world of rocks
• There are 3 main types of rocks:

– Igneous rocks

– Metamorphic rocks

– Sedimentary rocks

Redpath Museum
www.wikipedia.org and www.usgs.gov. Public domain. ©McGill University 2010
Igneous rocks
• Deep in the earth the temperatures are so high that
materials, including minerals, melt and form magma.
• When the magma cools, it becomes rock.
• E.g., granite, basalt.

www.wikipedia.org. Public domain.


©McGill University 2010
Metamorphic rocks (i)
• When rocks are re-buried below the Earth’s
surface and exposed to high pressure and
temperature, the minerals become unstable
and they exchange chemical elements.

• This forms new minerals. This may also


cause some grains to grow and others to
shrink.

©McGill University 2010


Metamorphic rocks (ii)
• This process produces new types of rocks
that are different in composition and
texture from the originals.
• E.g., bands of minerals are folded in gneiss.

Gneiss
Slate
www.usgs.gov. Public domain.
©McGill University 2010
Sedimentary Rocks
• Sediments come from the erosion of
previously existing rocks, dissolved
minerals that precipitate out of
solution, or the remains of plants
and animals. Sandstone 1

• Loose sediment accumulates in beds and, over time,


becomes compressed and cemented together.
• These types of rocks are
usually layered.
• E.g., limestone and sandstone.

1
www.usgs.gov. Public domain. 2
Redpath Museum. Limestone2 ©McGill University 2010
The Rock Cycle: Always Recycling
1. Magma
2. Crystallization
3. Igneous rock
4. Erosion
5. Sedimentation
6. Sedimentary rock
7. Tectonic burial
8. Metamorphic rock
9. Melting of rock
and minerals

www.wikipedia.org. Public domain. ©McGill University 2010


Crystals

Quartz

Halite

©McGill University 2010


What is the difference between
minerals, crystals, and rocks? (i)
– Minerals are made up of regularly arranged
atoms.
– Minerals grow as distinct objects called crystals.

Agate (a form of the


mineral quartz)

©McGill University 2010


What is the difference between
Crystals
minerals, crystals, and rocks? (ii)
– Crystals are made up of only one type of mineral.
– A crystal’s atoms, ions, or molecules are arranged
in an orderly, repeating pattern.
– Crystals can have different shapes, depending on
how the groups of atoms are arranged.

Quartz crystal and penny

©McGill University 2010


What is the difference between
Crystals
minerals, crystals, and rocks? (iii)
– A rock is a mass of many crystals from one or several
minerals.
– Granite is a rock made of 3 main minerals:

• Feldspar
• Quartz
• Mica

©McGill University 2010


How are crystals formed?
• Most come from a liquid evaporating (e.g., salt)
or magma cooling.
• Minerals in the liquid precipitate
out as the liquid evaporates. As
more minerals precipitate out,
the crystal grows in size.
• Crystals can grow forever, as long as they have
the chemical elements and the environmental
conditions necessary.
©McGill University 2010
Mineral Identification (i)
• The two most important properties that
scientists use to identify minerals are:
– chemical composition (e.g., via microprobe
analysis)
– crystal structure (e.g., via X-ray diffraction
analysis), which is reflected in the mineral's
crystal symmetry and shape

©McGill University 2010


Mineral Identification (ii)
• Other properties that scientists use to help
identify minerals include:
– Colour
– Luster (how the surface reflects light)
– Streak (the mark it leaves on a ceramic plate)
– Hardness
– Magnetism
– Crystal system (crystal shape and the way in
which the crystals are arranged)

©McGill University 2010


Acknowledgments
• Scientific consultation
– Dr. Jeanne Paquette (Earth and Planetary Sciences)
– Dr. Peter Tarassoff (Redpath Museum)
• Concept, design, and production:
– Jacky Farrell
– Elizabeth Miazgy
– This presentation was made possible with funding
from the PromoScience
programme of NSERC

©McGill University 2010