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2.2 Minerals are basic building blocks of Earth. A mineral is identified by its properties.

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Presentation on theme: "2.2 Minerals are basic building blocks of Earth. A mineral is identified by its properties."— Presentation transcript:

1 2.2 Minerals are basic building blocks of Earth. A mineral is identified by its properties.

2 A mineral’s appearance helps identify it. Identify a mineral by it’s properties (characteristic features) – color minerals can occur in more than one color – how the mineral reflects light, how shiny or dull it is – appearance

3 Color and Streak Color – Some minerals can be almost any color – Most minerals have a more limited color range – Three main factors cause minerals to vary in color Tiny amounts of an element that is not part of its normal chemical makeup. – pure quartz is clear and colorless, but tiny amounts of iron can give quartz a violet color (amethyst) At or near Earth’s surface and is in contact with the atmosphere or water Defects in crystal structures that change color

4 Color and Streak Streak – May have a different color when they are ground into a fine powder – Streak is the color of the powder left behind when the mineral is scraped across a surface. – Geologists use a tile of unglazed porcelain (streak plate), to identify minerals – Better clue than surface color for identification – All samples of the same mineral have the same streak.

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6 Luster The way light reflects from the minerals surface Metallic and nonmetallic – Metallic looks as if it was made of metal – Nonmetallic luster can be shiny, but it does not appear to be made of metal Luster may vary from sample to sample Exposure to the atmosphere or to water can cause the surface luster to become dull If broken its characteristic luster can be seen

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8 Color and Streak, Luster A mineral’s color may change when the mineral is in contact with the atmosphere or water. Minerals may get their color from small amounts of another element. The crystals of a mineral can have defects that may change their color.

9 Color and Streak, Luster Q.What is streak? A. Streak is the color of the mineral powder left behind when a mineral is scraped across a surface. Q.What is luster? A. Luster describes the way in which light reflects from the surface.

10 Cleavage Each type of mineral, if hit with a hammer, will break in the same way Better clue to its identity than color and luster Cleavage is the tendency of a mineral to break along flat surfaces – Depends on how the atoms are bonded Bonds of the crystal structure are weaker in the directions in which the mineral breaks Cleavage of a mineral is described by the direction in which the mineral breaks and the smoothness of the broken

11 The way a mineral breaks helps identify it. Q. Why can the way a mineral breaks help identify it? A. Each kind of mineral always breaks in the same way, making it a better identifier than luster or color.

12 Cleavage

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14 Fracture Fracture is the tendency of a mineral to break into irregular pieces – Some break into pieces with curved surfaces – Others may break into splinters or rough or jagged pieces. Fracture is displayed when the bonds that join the atoms are fairly equal in strength in all directions. Does not break along flat surfaces because there are no particular directions of weakness in its crystal structure.

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16 Fracture Q.Why do some minerals break by fracturing? A. The bonds between the atoms of the minerals are of fairly equal strength in all directions, so there is no particular direction of weakness.

17 A mineral’s density and hardness help identify it. Density is the amount of mass in a given volume of the substance Very helpful in identifying minerals – Ex. Gold and pyrite look the same but gold is much denser. Mass of gold is almost four times the mass of a piece of pyrite of the same size. Dense minerals have more mass and are heavier Determined by the kinds of atoms that make up the mineral and how closely they are joined together.

18 Hardness – A mineral’s resistance to being scratched – Determined by its crystal structure and the strength of the bonds between its atoms Harder minerals have stronger bonds A scale known as the Mohs scale is often used to describe a mineral’s hardness – A harder mineral will scratch a softer one – Ten minerals are numbered in the scale from softest to hardest Talc, the softest, has a value of 1 Diamond, the hardest, has a value of 10 Can only be scratched by other minerals that have the same hardness or are harder To determine hardness, test whether it scratches or is scratched by the minerals in the scale Can also use fingernail, a copper penny (1982 or older), and a steel file to test an unknown mineral.

19 A mineral’s density and hardness help identify it. Q.What are two properties of minerals that you could sense with your eyes closed? A.Density (heaviness) and hardness Q.What is density? A.The mass of a substance divided by its volume, it helps to describe how heavy a mineral is compared to its size. Q.Which material would scratch the other—quartz or calcite? How do you know? A. Quartz; It has a higher value on the Mohs scale

20 Hardness a mineral’s resistance to being scratched determined in part by crystal structure determined in part by the strength of the bonds between the atoms often described using the Mohs scale of hardness

21 Some minerals have special properties. Carbonate group – React with acid. Chalk – Tested by putting a drop of a weak solution of hydrochloric acid on a sample. – If CO 2 gas bubbles out of the acid, then the mineral is a carbonate. Fluorescence – Minerals glow when they are exposed to ultraviolet light – Fluorite, calcite and willemite – Limited value in mineral identification samples of the same mineral may or may not display fluorescence may glow in different colors.

22 Some minerals have special properties. Magnetism – A magnet is pulled toward some minerals Magnetite strongly attracts magnets Some other minerals weakly attract magnets – Magnets are commonly used in laboratories and industries to separate magnetic minerals from other minerals. Radioactivity – As unstable elements change into other elements over time, they release energy – Geologists can measure this energy and use it to identify minerals that contain unstable elements.

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24 Some minerals have special properties. Q.What are four special properties of some minerals? A. – Carbonate group reacts with acid. – Some minerals glow under ultraviolet light. – Some minerals respond to magnets. – Some minerals give off radiation.


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