Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mineral Composition

Minerals are classified by their composition, the elements that they are made of. As seen by the graph ( left) the most abundant element in the Earth's crust (by weight) is oxygen.

The major mineral groups are:
  • silicates- (above right) this is the most common mineral group as it contains oxygen and silicon. ex. feldspar
  • carbonates-contain carbon and oxygen, ex. limestone
  • oxides- contain oxygen and a metal element, ex. TiO2, rutile
  • sulfates/sufides- contain sulfur, hint-all minerals in this group contain sulfur. ex. pyrite
  • halides- contain a halogen (salt formers) ex. halite-table salt.
  • native - minerals of only one element, ex. gold

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