About This Chapter
Overview of Minerals & Rocks - Chapter Summary
This chapter provides a high-level overview of mineral and rocks. Taught by expert earth science instructors, this chapter breaks down fundamental concepts related to rocks and minerals, such as mineral properties, rock groups, the rock cycle and specific gravity. We encourage you to take the chapter's self-assessment quizzes to solidify your comprehension of the material. You can work through the chapter at your own pace, using any device that has an Internet connection. The chapter also includes printable lesson transcripts to help you study offline. By the end of the chapter, you should be equipped to:
- Understand mineral optical properties
- Compare types of mineral crystal shapes
- Explain the qualities of mineral strength
- Define the concepts of mineral density and specific gravity
- Describe testing methods for rare mineral properties
- Evaluate the chemical classifications of silicate and non-silicate minerals
- Recognize the properties of sulfide minerals
- Assess the differences between minerals and rocks
- Outline the rock cycle
- Identify the three major rock groups
1. Optical Properties of Minerals: Luster, Light Transmission, Color & Streak
Minerals are conveniently identified based on their physical properties. These properties include luster, ability to transmit light, color and streak. This lesson will describe each of these properties and examples of each.
2. Crystal Shape of Minerals: Forms and Types
Did you know that the term crystal can have different meanings in addition to something pretty to look at? A crystal can refer to a regular pattern of molecules within a mineral or the shapes at a macroscopic level. This is also known as the crystal habit.
3. Mineral Strength: Tenacity, Hardness, Cleavage & Fracture
What does it mean to say that one mineral is stronger than another? This lesson will explore different minerals to identify and describe mineral strength in terms of tenacity, hardness, cleavage and fracture.
4. Mineral Density & Specific Gravity: Definition and Properties
Mineral density and specific gravity are similar properties used by mineralologists to identify minerals. This lesson describes a common practice used to determine density and specific gravity.
5. Silicate Minerals: Chemical Classifications & Examples
Silicate minerals make up the bulk of the earth's crust. All silicates are made of the same building block, the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron. This lesson describes the major silicate minerals including feldspars and quartz.
6. Non-silicate Minerals: Chemical Classifications & Examples
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.
7. Sulfide Minerals: Definition, Properties & Examples
In this lesson we will look at sulfides. The aim of the article is to define sulfides, describe some of their properties, and provide you with examples of some common sulfide minerals.
8. Rocks and Minerals: Definitions and Differences
Can you tell the difference between a rock and a mineral? What makes a mineral so much different from a rock? Explore these questions in depth, and learn how we classify rocks and minerals.
9. Rock Cycle: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Rocks
In this lesson, we will discuss the three main types of rocks and how they are formed. The lesson also gives an introduction into how matter locked in rocks can be cycled through the earth.
10. Types of Rocks: The Three Major Rock Groups
Did you know that lava is molten rock that reaches the earth's surface? Furthermore, did you know that rocks exist in three general forms: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic? This lesson describes these rock types and examples of each.
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Other chapters within the UExcel Earth Science: Study Guide & Test Prep course
- Basic Earth Science Concepts
- Understanding Earth's History
- Understanding Geologic Time
- The Properties of Matter
- Overview of Earth's Spheres & Internal Structure
- The Lithosphere
- Igneous Rocks Basics
- Weathering, Erosion & Wasting
- Sedimentary & Metamorphic Rocks
- Geological Forms
- Water Balance
- Understanding Running Water
- Overview of Groundwater Systems
- Life Cycle of Glaciers
- Properties of Oceans
- Basics of Coastal Hazards
- The Atmosphere
- Weather and Storms
- Understanding Earthquakes
- Understanding Energy Resources
- UExcel Earth Science Flashcards