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ERTH2404 Lecture 3: Minerals

Dr. Jason Mah

Photo: C. Samson, Carleton U.

Reading assignment
Please read Kehews book to complement the material presented in this lecture: Chap. 3 p. 74-94;

Lecture contents
Mineral characteristics
Physical properties Crystal structure

Mineral classification Mineral identification

What is a mineral?
Naturally occurring Inorganic Homogeneous solid Ordered atomic arrangement (crystal structure) Specific (fixed) chemical composition Almost 4000 minerals!!
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Is this a mineral?
Bone? Seashell? Glass? Diamond?

Is this a mineral?
Bone?
No, it is organic

Seashell?
No, it is organic

Glass?
No, it has no crystal structure

Diamond?
Yes, composed of pure carbon
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Question
What is a rock?

Answer
Rock: a solid aggregate of one or more minerals Minerals are the building blocks of rocks Monomineralic: composed of one mineral Polymineralic: composed of several minerals
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Crystalline structure
Minerals have orderly internal structure
Array of atoms in a regular repeating structure Dependent on the chemical bonds between atoms Atom size

Crystal: the macroscopic expression of the crystalline structure


Internal structure expressed by external plane faces
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Ionic bonds
Attraction between two oppositely charged ions

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Covalent bonds
Sharing pairs of electrons between atoms

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Van der Waals


Weak electrostatic attraction between layers

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Crystal Structure
Atoms can be arranged in different crystal lattice forms Different lattice arrangement = different mineral name

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Mineral classification
Minerals are classified according to:
Chemical composition Internal structure

Polymorphs:
Minerals with the same chemical composition but different crystalline structures

Therefore, different properties


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Polymorphs: Carbon
Diamond
3D structure where each atom is bound to 4 neighbors Hardest mineral known

Graphite
Sheet-like hexagonal structure where each atom is bound to 3 neighbors One of the softest mineral
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Polymorphs: Carbon
Ref.: Kehew, A.E. 1998. Geology for Engineers & Environmental Scientists. 2nd Edition. Fig. 2.4. Shown with permission.

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Mineral classification
As a result of planetary differentiation:
8 elements comprise 98% of the Earths crust Silicon and oxygen account for 75%
Inner core: Solid iron Outer core: Liquid iron

Mantle: Iron and magnesium

Crust: Silicon and oxygen

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Mineral classification
Composition of the crust (% weight)

Source: Earth Science Australia

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Mineral classification
4000 minerals known
25 minerals are common You are responsible for < 20 minerals

Mineral grouped by chemical properties

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Mineral Groups
Group Group Formula Example

Silicate Oxides Sulfides Sulfates Halides Carbonates Hydroxides Phosphates


Native element

[SiO4]4[O2-] [S2-] [SO4]2[Cl, F]1[CO3]2[OH]1[PO4]3-

quartz magnetite pyrite gypsum halite calcite Iron ore apatite Copper, gold
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Silicate Mineral Groups


Comprise the most rock-forming minerals
Due to abundance of Si and O in crust

1. Isolated tetrahedra 2. Single chain 3. Double chain 4. 2-dimensional sheet 5. 3-dimensional framework
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Silicate: Isolated tetrahedra


Basic building block is the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron
Four available O ions surrounding smaller Si ion

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Silicate: Single Chains


Pyroxenese (two types)
Mg-Fe series (orthopyroxene) Ca-Mg-Fe series (clinopyroxenes) Together form rest of Earths mantle

One dimensional single chain (2 free Os per ST)


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Silicate: Double Chains


Amphiboles:
Compositionally diverse: Mg, Fe, Ca, al, Na, K, OH-

One dimensional double chain (2 free Os per ST)


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Silicate: 2-dimensional Sheets


Distinctly layered crystals
layers peel apart

Elements fit between sheets Mica


Two-dimensional sheets

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Silicate: 2-dimensional Sheets


Clay minerals
General term for a variety of complex minerals Most originate as products of chemical weathering

Thin stacked sheets


Sheet surface is negatively charged which attracts water

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Silicate: 2-dimensional Sheets


Clay minerals
Engineering implications: some clay minerals swell when exposed to water causing damage to foundations

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Silicate: 3-dimensional framework


Complex structures
Most common minerals in continental crust

Feldspars: Ca Na K subsitution in lattice

Three-dimensional sheets
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Non-Silicate Minerals: Oxides


Oxides [O]-2 are important ore minerals

Hematite Fe2O3

Magnetite Fe3O4
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Significance of Hematite

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Non-Silicates: Carbonates
[CO3]-2

Dolomite (Mg,Ca)CO3

Calcite CaCO3
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Non-Silicates: Sulfides
Sulphides [S]-2 contain sulfur and one or more metals Important source of metallic ore

Galena (PbS)

Sphalerite (ZnS)

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Non-Silicates: Sulfides
Modern sulfides found at the seafloor of hydrothermal vents

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Non-Silicates: Sulfates
[SO4]-2

Gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O)
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Non-Silicates: Phosphates
[PO4]-3 One of very few minerals produced and used by biological systems (bone material) Hydroxylapatite is a major component of tooth enamel

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Non-Silicates: Halides
[Cl,F] -

Sylvite (KCl)

Halite (NaCl)
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Non-Silicates: Native elements


Single element minerals

Sulfur
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Mineral Identification
How do we identify minerals? Mineral identification is critical to rock identification

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Mineral Identification
Diagnostic property
Key properties used to identify a mineral Typically require several diagnostic properties to identify the mineral

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Mineral Identification
Qualitative/semi-quantitative properties
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Luster Color Streak Crystal Habit Hardness Cleavage Fracture Others Interaction with light Crystal growth Strength

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Mineral Identification
Lustre: the way that light is reflected from mineral surface
Metallic or non-metallic? Glassy? Greasy?

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Mineral Identification

Metallic

Non-metallic

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Color
Based on visible light spectrum Can be caused by impurities
Amethyst , violet quartz is violet due to iron impurities

Diagnostic for some minerals, not for others Sulfur


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Color

These are all the same mineral!!


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Streak
Color of the mineral in powder form Non-metallic minerals: white Metallic minerals: varies, but diagnostic

Hematite - red
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Crystal habit
The crystal form of the mineral
Requires slow growth of faces

Quartz

Sulfur

Galena

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Crystal habit: Twinning


Crystals grow in twins

Growth or Penetration Twins

Staurolite
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Twinning

Polysynthetic Twins

Plagioclase (albite twin)


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Hardness
Resistance that a smooth surface of a mineral offers to scratching without rupturing
Hardness is related to the strength of atomic bonds and is controlled by the weakest bond Function of the size and the charge of ions in the crystal structure Scale of hardness developed by Frederich Mohs (1812): relative and non-linear scale
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Hardness

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Cleavage
Breakage of surfaces along planes of weakness in the lattice

Galena - cubic

Amphibole - prismatic
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Fracture
Conchoidal: fracture of brittle materials that does not follow a plane of weakness

Quartz has no planar weakness

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Other: Density
Specific gravity: weight of mineral relative to weight of equal volume of water

Silicates: 2.5 - 3.3

Gold: 15!
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Other: Magnetism
Degree to which a material is attracted by a magnet

Magnetite (Fe3O4)

Pyrrhotite (FeS)

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Other properties
Taste (halite) Soapy/Greasy feel (talc, graphite) Reaction with acid (calcite) Perthitic texture - exsolution of streaks of one mineral inside another (K-Na feldspar; orthopyroxene)

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Other properties
Perthitic texture in K-feldspar
Contrasting between pink and white

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Question
This mineral specimen exhibits what important diagnostic property of minerals?
colour cleavage fracture hardness habit
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Identifying Minerals
Scratched by fingernail Grey or Black

Graphite

Galena

Metallic Lustre

Scratched by steel nail Yellow or Bronze Weakly Magnetic Yes

Pyrrhotite Chalcopyrite

No

Yellow or Bronze Not scratched Yes Grey or Black

Pyrite

Magnetite

Magnetic

Black No

Ilmenite Chromite Hematite

Streak

Brown

Red

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Identifying Minerals
Rubs off by touch Scratched by fingernail

Talc Gypsum Mica

Glassy

Thin sheets, layers

Yes Scratched by copper coin

Calcite

Fizzes with acid No Tastes salty

Yes

Halite Fluorite

NonMetallic Lustre
Blades White Streak Hexagonal crystals Scratched by steel nail Grey Streak Hexagonal crystals

No

Blue

Kyanite Apatite

Square crystals

Pyroxene Amphibole

Black

Tourmaline Garnet Quartz Olivine K Feldspar Plagioclase

Red Glassy White, pink Not scratched

Green

Pink Two cleavages at 90 degrees White

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Identifying Minerals
Step 1: Metallic or non-metallic lustre? Step 2: Verify the hardness
Does the mineral scratch your fingernail? Copper coin? Nail? Ceramic plate?

Step 3: Verify streak, powder form of mineral


Does any other property pop out to you?

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Identifying Minerals
1. Metallic or Non-Metallic lustre? 2. What is the hardness of each mineral? 3. What is the streak? Or unique property observed?

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Carletonite
[K,Na4Ca4Si8(CO3)4(O H,F) H2O] Silicate mineral Named after Carleton University where it was first recognized by Prof. V. Chao Found in only one locality: Mont St-Hilaire, Qubec

Several crystals of Carletonite. 2.8 x 2.7 cm. Photo by John Veevaert

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Next: Igneous Rocks

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