Minerals

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Minerals are an integral part of daily life.

4.1 What is a mineral?

H^Biaa Minerals are naturally occurring, solid, inorganic compounds or elements.

4.2 Types of Minerals H^Biaa Minerals are classified based on their chemical properties and characteristics.

GeoFacts

Stalactites and other cave formations take thousands of years to form. One estimate is that a stalactite will grow only 10 cm in 1000 years. That is equal to 0.1 mm each year!

The diameter of a soda straw is equal to the droplets of water that form them.

The longest soda straws discovered measure more than 9 m long.

Picture Art LoverShapes Minerals Form

LAUNCH L

What shapes do minerals form?

Although there are thousands of minerals in Earth's crust, each type of mineral has unique characteristics. These characteristics are clues to a mineral's composition and to the way it formed. Physical properties can also be used to distinguish one type of mineral from another.

Unique Properties Minerals

1. Read and complete the lab safety form.

2. Place a few grains of table salt (the mineral halite) on a microscope slide. Place the slide on the microscope stage. Or, observe the grains with a magnifying lens.

3. Focus on one grain at a time. Count the number of sides of each grain. Make sketches of the grains.

4. Next, examine a quartz crystal with the microscope or magnifying lens. Count the number of sides of the quartz crystal. Sketch the shape of the quartz crystal.

Analysis

1. Compare and contrast the shapes of the samples of halite and quartz.

2. Describe some other properties of your mineral samples.

3. Infer what might account for the differences you observed.

Mineral Identification

Make the following Foldable to explain the tests used to identify minerals.

STEP 1 Collect four sheets of paper and layer them 2 cm apart vertically. Keep the left and right edges even.

STEP 2 Fold up the bottom edges of the sheets to form seven equal tabs. Crease the fold to hold the tabs in place.

STEP 3 Staple along the fold. Label the tabs with the names of the tests used to identify minerals.

STEP 1 Collect four sheets of paper and layer them 2 cm apart vertically. Keep the left and right edges even.

Visit glencoe.com to ^ study entire chapters online;

► explore h Mqjj^ animations:

• Interactive Time Lines

• Interactive Figures

• Interactive Tables

^ access Web Links for more information, projects, and activities;

► review content with the Interactive Tutor and take Self-Check Quizzes.

IrfdliMJIi* Use this Foldable with Section 4.2.

As you read this section, describe the chemical or physical properties of minerals that are used in each test.

Visit glencoe.com to ^ study entire chapters online;

► explore h Mqjj^ animations:

• Interactive Time Lines

• Interactive Figures

• Interactive Tables

^ access Web Links for more information, projects, and activities;

► review content with the Interactive Tutor and take Self-Check Quizzes.

Holt Studios International Ltd/Alamy

Section 4.1

Objectives I Define a mineral. I Describe how minerals form. I Classify minerals according to their physical and chemical properties.

Review Vocabulary element: a pure substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical or physical means

New Vocabulary mineral crystal luster hardness cleavage fracture streak specific gravity

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