Presentation on theme: "Geology and Nonrenewable Mineral Resources"— Presentation transcript:
1Geology and Nonrenewable Mineral Resources Chapter 15Geology and Nonrenewable Mineral Resources
2Chapter Overview Questions What major geologic processes occur within the earth and on its surface?What are nonrenewable mineral resources and where are they found?What are rocks, and how are they recycled by the rock cycle?How do we find and extract mineral resources from the earth’s crust, and what harmful environmental effects result from removing and using these minerals?
3Chapter Overview Questions (cont’d) Will there be enough nonrenewable mineral resources for future generations?Can we find substitutes for scarce nonrenewable mineral resources?How can we shift to more sustainable use of nonrenewable mineral resources?
4Core Case Study: The Nanotechnology Revolution Nanotechnology uses science and engineering to create materials out of atoms and molecules at the scale of less than 100 nanometers.Little environmental harm:Does not use renewable resources.Potential biological concerns.Can move through cell membranes:Figure 15-1
5GEOLOGIC PROCESSESThe earth is made up of a core, mantle, and crust and is constantly changing as a result of processes taking place on and below its surface.The earth’s interior consists of:Core: innermost zone with solid inner core and molten outer core that is extremely hot.Mantle: solid rock with a rigid outer part (asthenosphere) that is melted pliable rock.Crust: Outermost zone which underlies the continents.
6GEOLOGIC PROCESSESMajor features of the earth’s crust and upper mantle.Figure 15-2
7Tectonic plate Inner core Spreading centerCollision between two continentsOceanic tectonic plateOcean trenchOceanic tectonic platePlate movementPlate movementTectonic plateOceanic crustOceanic crustSubduction zoneContinental crustContinental crustMaterial cools as it reaches the outer mantleCold dense material falls back through mantleHot material rising through the mantleMantle convection cellFigure 15.3Natural capital: the earth’s crust is made up of a mosaic of huge rigid plates, called tectonic plates, which move around in response to forces in the mantle.MantleTwo plates move towards each other. One is subducted back into the mantle on a falling convection current.Hot outer coreInner coreFig. 15-3, p. 337
8GEOLOGIC PROCESSESHuge volumes of heated and molten rock moving around the earth’s interior form massive solid plates that move extremely slowly across the earth’s surface.Tectonic plates: huge rigid plates that are moved with convection cells or currents by floating on magma or molten rock.
11The Earth’s Major Tectonic Plates The extremely slow movements of these plates cause them to grind into one another at convergent plate boundaries, move apart at divergent plate boundaries and slide past at transform plate boundaries.Figure 15-4
12Figure 15.4Natural capital: the earth’s major tectonic plates. The extremely slow movements of these plates cause them to grind into one another at convergent plate boundaries, move apart from one another at divergent plate boundaries, and slide past one another at transform plate boundaries. QUESTION: What plate are you floating on?Fig. 15-4, p. 338
14GEOLOGIC PROCESSESThe San Andreas Fault is an example of a transform fault.Figure 15-5
15Wearing Down and Building Up the Earth’s Surface Weathering is an external process that wears the earth’s surface down.Figure 15-6
16MINERALS, ROCKS, AND THE ROCK CYCLE The earth’s crust consists of solid inorganic elements and compounds called minerals that can sometimes be used as resources.Mineral resource: is a concentration of naturally occurring material in or on the earth’s crust that can be extracted and processed into useful materials at an affordable cost.
17General Classification of Nonrenewable Mineral Resources The U.S. Geological Survey classifies mineral resources into four major categories:Identified: known location, quantity, and quality or existence known based on direct evidence and measurements.Undiscovered: potential supplies that are assumed to exist.Reserves: identified resources that can be extracted profitably.Other: undiscovered or identified resources not classified as reserves
18General Classification of Nonrenewable Mineral Resources Examples are fossil fuels (coal, oil), metallic minerals (copper, iron), and nonmetallic minerals (sand, gravel).Figure 15-7
19GEOLOGIC PROCESSESDeposits of nonrenewable mineral resources in the earth’s crust vary in their abundance and distribution.A very slow chemical cycle recycles three types of rock found in the earth’s crust:Sedimentary rock (sandstone, limestone).Metamorphic rock (slate, marble, quartzite).Igneous rock (granite, pumice, basalt).
21ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF USING MINERAL RESOURCES The extraction, processing, and use of mineral resources has a large environmental impact.Figure 15-9
22Natural Capital Degradation Extracting, Processing, and Using Nonrenewable Mineral and Energy ResourcesStepsEnvironmental effectsMiningDisturbed land; mining accidents; health hazards, mine waste dumping, oil spills and blowouts; noise; ugliness; heatExploration, extractionProcessingTransportation, purification, manufacturingSolid wastes; radioactive material; air, water, and soil pollution; noise; safety and health hazards; ugliness; heatUseFigure 15.10Natural capital degradation: some harmful environmental effects of extracting, processing, and using nonrenewable mineral and energy resources. The energy required to carry out each step causes additional pollution and environmental degradation.Transportation or transmission to individual user, eventual use, and discardingNoise; ugliness; thermal water pollution; pollution of air, water, and soil; solid and radioactive wastes; safety and health hazards; heatFig , p. 344
23ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF USING MINERAL RESOURCES Minerals are removed through a variety of methods that vary widely in their costs, safety factors, and levels of environmental harm.A variety of methods are used based on mineral depth.Surface mining: shallow deposits are removed.Subsurface mining: deep deposits are removed.
24Open-pit MiningMachines dig holes and remove ores, sand, gravel, and stone.Toxic groundwater can accumulate at the bottom.Figure 15-11
25Area Strip MiningEarth movers strips away overburden, and giant shovels removes mineral deposit.Often leaves highly erodible hills of rubble called spoil banks.Figure 15-12
26Contour Strip Mining Used on hilly or mountainous terrain. Unless the land is restored, a wall of dirt is left in front of a highly erodible bank called a highwall.Figure 15-13
27Mountaintop RemovalMachinery removes the tops of mountains to expose coal.The resulting waste rock and dirt are dumped into the streams and valleys below.Figure 15-14
28Mining ImpactsMetal ores are smelted or treated with (potentially toxic) chemicals to extract the desired metal.Figure 15-15
29SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES The future supply of a resource depends on its affordable supply and how rapidly that supply is used.A rising price for a scarce mineral resource can increase supplies and encourage more efficient use.
30SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES Depletion curves for a renewable resource using three sets of assumptions.Dashed vertical lines represent times when 80% depletion occurs.Figure 15-16
31SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES New technologies can increase the mining of low-grade ores at affordable prices, but harmful environmental effects can limit this approach.Most minerals in seawater and on the deep ocean floor cost too much to extract, and there are squabbles over who owns them.
32Getting More Minerals from the Ocean Hydrothermal deposits form when mineral-rich superheated water shoots out of vents in solidified magma on the ocean floor.Figure 15-17
33USING MINERAL RESOURCES MORE SUSTAINABLY Scientists and engineers are developing new types of materials as substitutes for many metals.Recycling valuable and scarce metals saves money and has a lower environmental impact then mining and extracting them from their ores.
34Sustainable Use of Nonrenewable Minerals SolutionsSustainable Use of Nonrenewable Minerals• Do not waste mineral resources.• Recycle and reuse 60–80% of mineral resources.• Include the harmful environmental costs of mining and processing minerals in the prices of items (full-cost pricing).• Reduce subsidies for mining mineral resources.• Increase subsidies for recycling, reuse, and finding less environmentally harmful substitutes.• Redesign manufacturing processes to use less mineral resources and to produce less pollution and waste.Figure 15.18Solutions: ways to achieve more sustainable use of nonrenewable mineral resources. QUESTION: Which two of the solutions do you think are the most important?• Have the mineral-based wastes of one manufacturing process become the raw materials for other processes.• Sell services instead of things.• Slow population growth.Fig , p. 351
35Case Study: The Ecoindustrial Revolution Growing signs point to an ecoindustrial revolution taking place over the next 50 years.The goal is to redesign industrial manufacturing processes to mimic how nature deals with wastes.Industries can interact in complex resource exchange webs in which wastes from manufacturer become raw materials for another.
36Case Study: The Ecoindustrial Revolution Figure 15-19