Login
Copyright

Non-silicate Minerals: Chemical Classifications & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Rocks and Minerals: Definitions and Differences

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:09 Non-Silicate Minerals
  • 0:53 Carbonates
  • 2:21 Sulfates and Halides
  • 4:11 Lesson Summary
Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John Simmons

John has taught college science courses face-to-face and online since 1994 and has a doctorate in physiology.

While most minerals are silicates, many non-silicate minerals are found in the earth's crust and are important as well. This lesson will use examples and describe the three major groups of non-silicate minerals, including carbonates, halides and sulfates.

Non-Silicate Minerals

Minerals can be classified as either silicate - that is, containing silicon and oxygen - or non-silicate - that is, lacking silicon. While most of the earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, several non-silicate minerals are of great importance. This makes sense when you consider the relative composition of the earth's crust. As you can see on the screen, silicon and oxygen comprise well over half of the earth's crust by weight. That's a lot of weight! This lesson will provide examples of and describe the major non-silicate minerals including our carbonates, our sulfates and our halides.

Carbonates

I live in Central Kansas, which is a pretty dry climate. At one time, however, Kansas was covered by a great sea. Among other formations, vast amounts of limestone were formed from sediments in this marine environment. The limestone was mined by settlers to build homes and even fence posts.

You might wonder why settlers would go through all that work to make a fence post out of limestone. Back in the day, there were very little - if any - trees around in Central Kansas to harvest for lumber. Limestone is formed from a carbonate mineral. Carbonates are composed of the carbonate anion (that is, CO3-2) and one or more cations - for example, calcium or magnesium. The most abundant carbonate is calcite (CaCO3), also known as calcium carbonate.

Calcite is the major constituent in two well-known rocks: limestone and marble. Stalagmites and stalactites are limestone structures that are formed in caves. They're formed as the water evaporates, leaving the minerals behind. Stony coral is formed from calcium carbonate produced by resident organisms of the coral reef.

Sulfates and Halides

Gypsum, Colorado, is known for mining gypsum - that's a mineral used to make wallboard for construction. Gypsum is an example of what we call a sulfate - a mineral composed of the sulfate anion (SO4-2) and a cation. Like Kansas, much of Colorado was once covered by sea water. As the water evaporated, gypsum formed from the sediments.

Halite, or common table salt, is mined in Kansas, along with limestone. As the great sea evaporated, sediments formed vast deposits of halite. Halite is an example of a halide, a mineral formed with a halide anion (that is, fluoride, bromide, chloride or iodide). The molecular formula for halite is sodium chloride (NaCl).

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 79 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support