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- Fault Lines
- Dragon Teeth: A Novel
- The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World
- Life As We Knew It
- Remarkable Creatures
- Arctic Drift
- Arctic Drift
- Zero Hour
- The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
- The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
- Pile Design and Construction Rules of Thumb
- Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
- Krakatoa
- Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers
- Geography For Dummies
- Inside the Earth
- Aftershock
- Geotechnical Engineering Calculations and Rules of Thumb
- Rogue Wave
- Bones of the Earth

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2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Mineralogy is the branch of geology which deals with the study of minerals that form the earths lithosphere as well as whole structure. Crystallography and optical mineralogy are the branches of mineralogy. Crystallography concerned with the study of crystals. Crystals may be investigated in a number of ways, the most obvious being to analyze form and symmetry in hand specimen. More fundamental perhaps, the atomic structure of crystals can be studied with X-Rays. Optical mineralogy deals with the study of properties of minerals with the help of optical instruments, such as polarizing microscope, these properties enable us to identify the common rock forming minerals quickly and accurately. Crystal: A crystal is a solid substance characterized by a regular internal arrangement of its constituent atoms. This internal arrangement can be determined using X-Rays. The flat surfaces (crystal faces) that bound well shaped crystals are deposited in such a way that they reflect the internal arrangement of the atoms. Crystals may be distinguished as euhedral, if they are bounded by crystal faces, subhedral, if the are bound partially by crystal faces and anhedral if there no crystal faces present. Mineral: A mineral is homogenous, naturally occurring substance formed through geological processes that has a characteristic chemical composition, a highly ordered atomic structure and specific physical properties.

Most minerals are identified by their physical properties. Since minerals have a definite chemical make-up and crystalline shape, one can usually identify them things like their hardness, color, or crystalline shape. Some of the more common properties used to identify them are listed below. Hardness: One of the most common properties upon which to base identification is hardness. This is a measure of the scratchability of a mineral. Luster This is the appearance of the mineral surface in reflected light. Or the luster of a mineral is the way its surface reflects light. The different categories are metallic (reflect a considerable amount of light and look like a metal surface), adamantine (brilliant, like a polished jewel), vitreous (glassy), resinous, pearly, silky, and earthy (dull, very little reflection).

Color:

It is far from easy to use this property. Impurities can greatly change the color of a mineral. Dirt or other substances on the surface can also give a false reading. This property is most reliable for metallic minerals, and fails a lot for transparent minerals.

Streak:

This property is the color of the mineral residue when it is powdered. Or the color of a mineral when it is powdered is called the streak of the mineral.

Cleavage:

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

This is the tendency of a mineral to split along certain planes. A great example of a mineral that has excellent cleavage would be mica, which cleaves along flat planes to give very thin sheets. Other minerals such as halite will have several different faces upon which they will cleave, while some other minerals such as quartz have no cleavage.

Fracture;

This is the shape of a mineral when it is broken. This occurs for minerals like quartz that do not have cleavage. The different types of fractures are conchoidal (concave breakage reminiscent of glass), splintery, or uneven.

Specific gravity:

This is the density of the mineral compared to water (1 gm/cm ). Most minerals will have a specific gravity in the 2.5-3.5 range. Some, such as the natural metal ores and few other minerals rich in metals, will have specific gravities much higher than this. Others, such as halite and gypsum, will be much less than this.

The angle between the normal to the two faces is expressed as interfacial angle. Two crystals are rarely alike in shape. Certain crystal faces may be better developed in one crystal than in others. But, the angle between two particular faces for a specific mineral is constant, regardless of how well developed the faces are. This directly reflects the regularity of the internal arrangement of atoms. The instrument used to measure the interfacial angle is called goniometer.

Crystal symmetry:

Almost all crystals possess a degree of symmetry, which may be expressed in terms of either axes, planes or a centre of symmetry. When considering the symmetry elements of a crystal, it is important to ignore the limitations of growth, and the unequal development of faces. Symmetry is judged on the angular relationships between crystal faces.

Axes of symmetry:

If the perfect and regular crystal has an identical nature of faces in two or more positions when rotated about a line, that line is termed as axis of symmetry. There are twofold (diad), threefold (triad), fourfold (tetrad), and sixfold (hexad) axes of symmetry in various minerals.

Planes of symmetry:

If the perfect and regular crystal can be divided into two mirror images halves, the plane by which they divided is termed as plane of symmetry.

Centre of symmetry:

If the regular and perfect crystal has a central point through which a line in any direction will emerge at an identical point on either side of the crystal, it is said to have a centre of symmetry.

Unit cell:

The basic atomic structure that is repeated regularly in a crystal is termed as the unit cell. The size of unit cell is to be determined through X-ray studies. Its dimensions are expressed in terms of length along the direction of the crystal axes a, b and c.

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Axial ratios simplify the absolute lengths along the direction of the crystal axes into relative values. For hexagonal, tetragonal and Trigonal crystals, the axial ratio is expressed in terms of the ratio c: a, a being taken as 1. For orthorhombic, monoclinic or triclinic crystals, the axial ratio is expressed in terms of the ratio a: b: c, b always being taken as 1.

Miller indices:

It is the common method by which the angular relationship of the crystal faces to the crystal axes can be expressed. These denote the reciprocals of the distances by which a crystal face intercepts the crystal axes, the distance being measured in units proportional to the axial ratios. Three indices are given, one for each of the crystal axes, and they are always expressed as whole number or zero. If a face is parallel to the crystal axes, it intercepts it at infinity; the reciprocal of infinity is zero. If a face intercepts the negative end of crystal axes, a bar is placed over the number.

Crystal forms:

A crystal form is a group of faces that have identical relationship to the crystal axes by virtue of the crystal symmetry. A form is called closed form if it can completely enclose space and exist by itself and only one type of face is found. A form is called as open form, which do not encloses space, and must exist in combination with other forms. Two or more than two types of faces are found. There are 234 different forms. Some form names common uses are described below: Cubic: The closed form comprising the six faces of the simple cube, all of which are identical in terms of symmetry. Pyramid: A form comprising several non parallel faces that meet at a point in the tetragonal system. Rhombohedron: A closed form comprising faces whose intersection edges are not at right angles. Prism: An open form of several faces all of which are parallel to the same axes; this axis is most often c. Pinacoid: An open form comprising two parallel faces, e.g. monoclinic system.

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Minerals are ranked from 1 to 10 based upon their relative hardness. Harder minerals can scratch softer minerals. Ten index minerals make up Moh's scale and other minerals are ranked relative to these. For example, a mineral that could scratch feldspar but not quartz would have a hardness of approximately 6.5.

softest

hardest

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Talc Gypsum Calcite Fluorite Apatite Feldspar Quartz Topaz Corundum Diamond

Crystal system

During the process of crystallization, crystals assume various geometric shapes dependent on the ordering of their atomic structure and the physical and chemical conditions under which they grow. These forms may be subdivided, using geometry, into six systems.

The three crystallographic axes a1, a2, a3 (or a, b, c) are all equal in length and intersect at right angles (90 degrees) to each other. All cubic minerals have four triad axes of symmetry. Five symmetry classes belonging to the cubic system are described below:

Symmetric classes:

i. ii. iii. iv. v. Normal class, Galena type or holocrystallinecal system: Pyrite type or diploid class Tetrahedrite type Didodecahedral class Hexatetrahedral class

This type takes its name from the common mineral galena PbS, which belongs to it. It is also known as holocrystaline class. Due to highest degree of symmetry it is also called holosymmetrical class.

Crystallographic axes:

Crystals belonging to this system has three mutually perpendicular axes of equal length. They are designed as: a1 = a2 = a3 = 90o

4 CENTRE FOR PURE AND APPLIED GEOLOGY|4th Semester of 2010 batch

Symmetry of this class is as follows;

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Plane of Symmetry:

This class has 9 planes of symmetry. Out of which 3 planes are axial and 6 planes are diagonal. Axes of Symmetry: There are 13 axes of symmetry of this class which are as follows; 3 of fourfold (tetrad), 4 of threefold (trid) and 6 of twofold (diad) Centre of Symmetry: Centre of symmetry is present, as each face is duplicated by similar parallel face on opposite end.

Forms:

There are total seven different forms of cubic crystal system. All forms possess like faces hence are closed forms. i. Cube: Cube form of cubic crystal system has six faces each of squire in shape. Each face cuts one axis and is parallel to two other axes. ii. Octahedron: It has 8 faces each of equilateral triangles shaped. All the faces intersect all the three crystallographic axes at equal length. Diamond belongs to this form. iii. Rhomb-dodecahedron: Rhomb is tilted form of squire. The name of the form is self-explanatory, as it contains 12 faces each of rhomb shaped. It intersects two crystallographic axes at an equal length and is parallel to other axis. iv. Trioctahedron: It consists of 24 faces each of isosceles triangle shaped. Each face cut two axes at same length and one axes at different length, two axes at unity and third at some multiple. v. Tropezohedran: Trapisum is the type of quadrilateral, whose 4 sides are unequal to each other. Tropezohedran form consists of 24 faces of Trapisum shaped. Each face intersects one axis at unity and other two at some multiple. vi. Tetrahexahedran: It has 24 faces each of scalene triangles shaped. Each face intersects one axis at unity, other at some multiple and is parallel to third axes. vii. Hexaoctahedral: It consists of 48 faces each of scalene triangles shaped. This form consists of maximum number of faces all over the crystal system. Each face intersects all the three axes at unequal length.

Diamond, fluorite, garnet, magnetite (ore of iron consists of 70% to 78% iron), galena, analcite, spinel, leucite etc

Three axes, all at right angles, two of which are equal in length (a and b) and one (c) which is different in length (shorter or longer). The c axis is always a tetrad axis of symmetry.

Symmetrical classes:

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Normal class, Zircon type or ditetragonal bipyramid; Tetragonal sphenoidal class; Tetragonal bipyramidal class; Ditetragonal hemimorphic ditetragonal pyramidal class; Tetragonal scalenehedral (Tetragonal bisphenoidal); Tetragonal trapezohedral class; Tetragonal holosymmetrical class;

This is the normal class of tetragonal crystal system, and it is also known as zircon type because of common mineral zircon. Crystallographic axes: This class has two horizontal axes (a, b) and a vertical axis (c). The horizontal axes are equal in length while the vertical axis is either greater or shorter in length. All the axes are mutually perpendicular to each other. The axes are designed as a1 = a2 = c = 900

Symmetry:

Plane of symmetry: There are 5 planes of symmetry, among which 3 are axial and 2 are diagonal. Axes of symmetry: There are 5 axes of symmetry, one of fourfold and 4 of twofold. Centre of symmetry: Opposite faces run parallel to each other with respect to crystal axes hence centre of symmetry is present.

Forms:

There are 7 different forms belong to this crystal system, which are: a) Basal pinacoid (001): This form is composed of two horizontal faces of rectangle type. Both the faces cut vertical c axis, and are parallel to two other axes. The shape of face is squire. st b) Tetragonal prism of 1 order (110): This form is composed of four rectangular horizontal faces. Each face intersects two horizontal crystallographic axes at equal length, and is parallel to the vertical c-axes. c) Tetragonal prism of 2nd order: This form is composed of four rectangular type faces. Each face intersects one crystallographic axis and is parallel to other two axes including the vertical c-axis. Here axes passes through edges. It is the tilted form of 1st order. d) Ditetragonal prism: This form is composed of eight rectangular vertical faces. Each face is parallel to vertical c-axis and intersects the two horizontal axes at different length. e) Tetragonal bipyramid of 1st order: This form is composed of eight isosceles triangle type faces. Each face intersects two horizontal axes at equal length and vertical c-axis at different length. f) Tetragonal bipyramid of 2nd order: This form is composed of eight isosceles triangle type faces. Each face intersects two axes at different length and is parallel to other axis.

6 CENTRE FOR PURE AND APPLIED GEOLOGY|4th Semester of 2010 batch

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

g) Ditetragonal di-pyramid: This form is composed of 16 isosceles triangle faces. Each face intersects all the three crystallographic axes at different length.

Zircon, rutile, casseterite, anatase, idocrase, apophylite etc. Three axes, all at right angles, and all three of different lengths, denoted as a b c = 900. Aaxis is called brachy (Greek word, means short) axis and b-axis is called macro axes. Majority of crystals belong to this system of crystals.

Symmetrical class:

1) Barite type, Normal class or orthorhombic bipyramid! 2) Orthorhombic hemimorphic, orthorhombic pyramidal class! 3) Orthorhombic sphenoidal class!

This is called the normal class of orthorhombic crystal system. The name is given after the name of mineral barite BaSO4, which belongs to this class. The main source of barite is sedimentary rocks.

Three axes, all at right angles, and all three of different lengths, denoted as a b c = 900. Planes of symmetry: There are three planes of symmetry, which each contain two crystallographic axes, which divide the barite type crystal into two identical halves. All three planes are axial. Axes of Symmetry: Each crystallographic axis is an axis of two-fold (diad) symmetry. Centre of symmetry: The faces and edges run in pairs on opposite sides of a central point, so that the centre of symmetry is present.

A face parallel to the horizontal axes demands the presence of a parallel face at the other end of the vertical axis. This open form is called basal pinacoid. 2) Front or a-pinacoid: (100) A face parallel to the c-axis and a horizontal b-axis needs an opposite parallel face to complete the form. This gives a pinacoid distinguished as the front or a-pinacoid.

The third pinacoid has two faces parallel to the vertical axis and to the a-axis. It is called the side or b-pinacoid since it cuts the b-axis.

This form is an open one of four faces which are parallel to the a-axis and cut the two other axes. The unit dome of the first order has the symbol (011). 5) Prism of 2nd order: This form is an open one of four faces which are parallel to the b-axis and cut the two other axes. The unit dome of the second order has the symbol (101).

7 CENTRE FOR PURE AND APPLIED GEOLOGY|4th Semester of 2010 batch

6) Prism of 3 order:

rd

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

These prisms are the forms, whose faces are parallel to the vertical c-axis and intersect the two horizontal axes. The unit of 3rd order is (110).

7) Bipyramid:

A face of the bipyramid cuts all the three axes. Each face is a scalene triangle shaped hence called the closed form bipyramid. The unit bipyramid has the symbol (111).

Barite, celestite (SrSO4), sulfur, augite, olivine, enstatite, andalusite, topaz, anhydrite, aragonite (unstable form of CaCO3), stauritite etc

Four axes! Three of the axes fall in the same plane and intersect at the axial cross at 120 degrees between the positive ends. These 3 axes, labeled a1, a2, and a3, are the same length. The fourth axis, termed c, may be longer or shorter than a- axes set. The c axis also passes through the intersection of a- axes set at right angle to the plane formed by a set. Trigonal crystals are also included in this system.

Symmetrical Classes:

i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Dihexagonal bipyramid class, beryl type or normal class Pyramidal hemimorphic class Trapezohedral class Hemimorphic class Trigonal class Trigonal tetrahedral class Pyramidal class

This is called the normal class of the hexagonal crystal system.

Crystallographic Axes:

All the minerals belonging to this class has four crystallographic axes. Out of which three horizontal axes a1, a2 and a3 are equal in length while the vertical c-axis have either greater or shorter length than the horizontal axes. The axes are designed as a1 = a2 = a3 c 900.

Symmetry:

Planes of symmetry; This class has seven planes of symmetry. Out of which six are vertical planes and one is horizontal axial plane. Among the vertical six axes, three are axial and three are diagonal. Axes of symmetry; There are seven axes of symmetry. Six are the horizontal axes of twofold symmetry (three from the crystallographic axes and three from the centre of the edges), and one vertical axis of six fold symmetry. Centre of symmetry; Centre of symmetry is present.

Forms:

i. Basal pinacoid: (0001) This form is composed of two horizontal faces. The upper face intersects the vertical c-axis at +ve end, and lower face intersects the vertical c-axis at ve end and parallel to the other three axes.

8 CENTRE FOR PURE AND APPLIED GEOLOGY|4th Semester of 2010 batch

st

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

ii. Hexagonal prism of 1 order: (1010) This form has six vertical faces of rectangle type. Each face intersects two of the crystallographic axes equally and is parallel to third. iii. Hexagonal prism of 2nd order: (1120) This form has six vertical faces of rectangle type. Each face intersects one horizontal axis at unity and other two horizontal axes at some multiple and is parallel to the vertical c-axis. iv. Dipyramid of 1st order: This form is composed of 12 isosceles triangle shaped. Each face cuts vertical c-axis and two horizontal axes at equal length, but parallel to the remaining horizontal axes. v. Dihexagonal prism: This form is composed of 12 faces of rectangle type. Each face cuts horizontal axes at different length and is parallel to vertical c-axis. vi. Hexagonal bipyramid of 1st order: This form is composed of 12 isosceles triangle type shape faces. Each face intersects the intermediate horizontal axis at unity and two horizontal axes at some multiple and also vertical caxis. vii. Dihexagonal bipyramid: This form is composed of 24 faces of isosceles triangle shaped. Each face intersects all three horizontal axes at different length, and also cuts vertical c-axis.

Beryl, Corellite, Molybdenite, Pyrroholite etc.

Three axes, all unequal in length, two of which (a and c) intersect at an oblique angle (not 90 degrees), the third axis (b) is perpendicular to the other two axes. c-axis is vertical, b-axis is called ortho-axis and a-axis is called clino-axis. As the term monoclinic refers that there is an inclination in one axis.

It is also called the normal class of monoclinic crystal system.

Crystallographic Axes:

The gypsum type includes all crystals that can be referred to three unequal axes, two of which at right angles and the third makes an angle, not a right angle.

Symmetry:

Plane of symmetry: There is only one plane of symmetry which is axial and along the a-axis. Axes of symmetry: Only one axis of symmetry is found which is of twofold and along the b-axis. Centre of symmetry: Centre of symmetry is present.

Forms:

I. Basal or c-pinacoid: (001) This form consists of two faces, parallel to the clino-axis and ortho-axis and cutting the vertical axis.

II. III. IV.

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Side pinacoid or orthopinacoid: (100) Front pinacoid or clinopinacoid: (010) Prism: (hk0)

This form has two faces, each parallel to the clino-axis and the vertical axis and cuts the orthoaxis. In this form the two faces cut the clino-axis and are parallel to the vertical axis and ortho-axis. A face which cuts the clino-axis and the ortho-axis and is parallel to the third axis must be accompanied by the opposite parallel face by the virtue of the centre of symmetry. The resulting form is the prism of the third order.

V.

Hemi-orthodomus: (h0l)

Hemi-orthodomus consisting of two faces, they are of two kinds, each consisting of two parallel faces which are parallel to the ortho-axes and cuts the two other axes. The hemi-orthodomus are also called a pinacoid of the second order, its faces being parallel to the b-axis.

VI. VII.

Consideration of the symmetry requirements shows that four faces are possible in form whose faces are parallel with the clino-axis and cut the other two axes. This form is the Clinodome.\ It follows from the symmetry of the gypsum type that a form cutting all three axes is limited to four faces only. Such forms are called hemi-pyramids.

Cummingtonite, amphibole, granurite, tremolite, actinolite, hornblende, riebeckite, glaucophane, orthoclase, augite, micas, sphene, epidote etc

The three axes are all unequal in length and intersect at three different angles (any angle but not 90 degrees). As the term specified itself that the crystals of this system have inclinations in all three axes.

This is the normal class of triclinic crystal system.

Crystallographic Axes:

The crystallographic axes are all unequal and none is at right angles to another. One axis is placed vertical c-axis, second axis, the a-axis, runs up and away from the observer. The third baxis and its slope depend upon how it was chosen in the original description of any particular mineral.

Symmetry:

There can be no planes of symmetry and no axes of symmetry; only centre of symmetry is present.

Forms:

Since there is only a centre of symmetry is present in the Axinite type, the presence of one face necessitates only the presence of an opposite parallel face. Each form therefore consists of two faces hence called pinacoid. I. Basal pinacoid: (001) This form consists of two parallel faces each cutting the vertical c-axis and lying parallel to the other two axes.

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

II. Front pinacoid: (100) This form has two parallel faces each cutting the a-axis and parallel to the vertical c-axis and baxis. III. Side pinacoid: (010) The two parallel faces of this form cut the b-axis and are parallel to the c-axis and a-axis. IV. Pinacoids (hk0) or hemi-prisms: (110) These forms have two parallel faces cutting the a-axis and b-axis and being parallel to the c-axis. They may be called the pinacoid of the third order, because faces are parallel to the c-axis. V. Pinacoids (h0l) or hemi-macrodomes: (101) The two faces of this form are parallel to the b-axis and cut the vertical c-axis and a-axis. These are also called the pinacoid of second order as their faces are parallel to the b-axis. VI. Pinacoids (0kl) or hemi-brachydomes: (011) The two faces here are parallel to the a-axis and cut the vertical c- axis and b-axis. They can be called the pinacoids of first order because faces run parallel to the a-axis. VII. Pinacoids (hkl) or quarter-bipyramid: (111) The two parallel faces of pinacoids which cut the all three axes are quarter-bipyramid. Quarterbipyramid may be called pinacoid of the fourth order.

Axinite, plagioclase feldspars, etc

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

The polarizing microscope is also called petrologic or petrographic microscope or transmit light microscope is the principle piece of equipments used by geologist to observe the optical properties of minerals, with the help of polarized light. The parts of polarizing microscope are described below: The stage: The polarizing microscope is fitted with a rotating stage which is adjusted in degrees. A vernier scale is usually fitted adjacent to the stage so that tenths of a degree of rotation can be measured. The stage can usually be locked in place at any position. A clamp enables the stage to be fixed in any position. The rock thin section is attached to the centre of the stage by metal spring clips. The polarizer: A polarizing film is held within a lens system located below the stage of the microscope is called polarizer, and this is usually inserted into the optical path. It is oriented in east-west direction. On passing through the polarizer the light is polarized and vibrates in a single plane, which is called the plane polarized light. The analyzer: It is made up of polarizing film oriented in north-south direction. When the analyzer is inserted into the optical train, it receives light vibrating in an east-west direction from the polarizer, which it can not transmit; thus the field of view is dark and the microscope is said to have cross polars. The objectives: These are the lenses used for magnifying the specimen on the stage. Three, four or five objectives are normally supplied as standard equipment. The objectives are fitted to a rotating nosepiece which allows quick and easy change of magnification. The eyepiece (ocular) It is the lens fitted at the top of microscope tube, and it focuses and magnifies the image produced by the objective lens. The eyepiece assembly contains two cross hairs are oriented E-W and N-S. The lenses of the eyepiece can be raised or lowered in its mount so that the cross hairs are focused. Most eyepieces have a magnification of x8 or x10. The magnification produced by both eyepiece and the objective is obtained by multiplying the two separate magnifications. The Condenser or convergent lens: A small circular lens is attached to a swivel bar is called condenser, so that it can be inserted into the optical train when required. It serves to direct a cone of light on to the thin section and give optimum resolution for the objectives used. Bertrand lens: It is used to observe interference figure. When it is inserted into the upper microscope tube an interference figure can be produced which fills the field of view, provided that the condenser is also inserted into the optical path train. Substage diaphragm: One or two diaphragms may be located below the stage. The field diaphragm often omitted on simple student microscope, is used to reduce the area of light entering the section. The aperture diaphragm is closed to increase resolution; it can be seen when the Bertrand lens is inserted.

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Optical properties of minerals are related to the crystal structure, the kind of atoms present in the structure and their electronic arrangement. The optical properties are usually examined under a microscope by examining small fragments in transmitted plane-polarized light for non-opaque minerals and in reflected plane-polarized light for opaque minerals. Amorphous and cubic substances are isotropic; they have only one index of refraction for gives monochromatic light. Hexagonal and tetragonal minerals are uniaxial and are also double refracting. All other minerals are both biaxial and double refracting. The studies of properties of minerals carried out by preparing the thin section of rock mineral, and investigate it under polarized microscope. We use two types of light when we examine rock thin sections with the help of polarized microscope.

Light travels as electro-magnetic vibrations in which the vibration direction is transverse to the direction of propagation. Transverse wave-motions of this type are said to be plane polarized when all the vibrations lie in one plane.

Color

Minerals show a wide range of colors from colorless such as quartz and Feldspare to colored minerals such as biotite and amphiboles. Color is related to wavelength of light. In thin sections white light passes unaffected through the colorless minerals and none of its wavelength is absorbed, whereas in opaque minerals all wavelengths are absorbed and the mineral appears black. Within colored minerals selective absorption of wavelengths takes place and the color seen represents a combination of the wave lengths of the light transmitted by the minerals.

Relief

When we examine a thin section of rock with the help of polarizing microscope under the plane polarizing light, we observe that some minerals are clearly visible while others appear almost featureless and, if colorless, just about visible. This is the property known as relief. Minerals which have refractive indices which differ markedly from that of the mounting medium (the glue used to stick the rock slice to the glass slide and the cover slip to the rock) show up clearly in thin section and are said to have high relief. Minerals with low relief have refractive indices close to that of the mounting medium.

Pleochroism

The light vibrates in one plane and interacts with the ions along that plane. If the crystal lattice is such that the distribution of ions varies with the orientation of the crystal, then the light wave will interact with different set of ions as the sample is rotated. If the absorption of light varies as the sample is rotated, then the color will change as well. The change in a minerals color or intensity of color, when it is rotated is called pleochroism.

Habit

Mineral habit is the shape of how a mineral tends to form. Some types of mineral habit are euhedral with well defined faces, anhedral, with no faces, subhedral with poorly defined faces of crystals, columnar, blocky, acicular (needle-like), granular, lamellar or foliated (sheets easily split apart), botryoidal (like a bunch of grapes), fibrous, radiating, or dendritic (like a fern).

Cleavage

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

Some minerals split along flat surfaces when struck hard--this is called mineral cleavage. Other minerals break unevenly along rough or curved surfaces--this is called fracture. A few minerals have both cleavage and fracture. The arrangement of cleavage planes within minerals is useful for identification.

Alteration

When minerals react with water and CO2 and produce another form of mineral, this phenomenon is called alteration. For example water reacts with Feldspare and produce clay minerals.

The analyzer is inserted into the optical path to give cross polarized light and variably colored minerals with a dark background. Following are the some properties of minerals under cross polarized light:

Isotropism

Minerals belonging to the cubic crystal system are isotropic and remain dark under cross polars whatever their crystallographic orientation. All other minerals are anisotropic and they usually appear colored and going to extinction four times during a complete rotation of the mineral section. Each mineral at least possesses one orientation which will make the crystal appear to be isotropic.

Under crossed polars the color of most anisotropic minerals varies, the same minerals showing different colors depending on its crystallographic orientation. Birefringence is the difference between the two refractive indices of the isotropic mineral grains. The thin section thickness is constant and so interference colors depends on birefringence; greater the birefringence, higher the order of interference colors.

Interference figures

Interference figures are shown by all minerals except cubic minerals. There are two main types of interference figure, uniaxial and biaxial. Uniaxial figures may be produced by suitably oriented sections from the tetragonal, Trigonal and hexagonal minerals. Biaxial figures may be produced by suitably oriented sections of orthorhombic, monoclinic and triclinic minerals.

Extinction Angle

The extinction angle of a given grain is the angle between any specified crystallographic direction and either of the two vibration directions. It can be an important distinguishing character for different minerals. As with interference colors a mineral in different orientations will show different kinds of extinction. It is important to record either the nature of the extinction shown by MOST grains of a mineral (i.e. straight or inclined) and if inclined extinction is displayed to record the MAXIMUM extinction angle shown. The following generalizations apply: Minerals belonging to the tetragonal, hexagonal, Trigonal or orthorhombic crystal systems will in general show straight extinction. Minerals belonging to the monoclinic system will often show inclined extinction but may sometimes show straight extinction. Minerals belonging to the triclinic system will in general show inclined extinction.

Length-fast/ -slow

2K10/GLG/07

Mineralogy

This property is only given where appropriate birefringent minerals can be sub-divided into the two categories, length-fast and length-slow, but this is a sensible subdivision only when the extinction angle of the mineral, relative to the direction of elongation is relatively small.

Twinning

One consequence of the symmetry of the internal structure of crystals is the possible growth of twinned crystals. A twinned crystal is a single crystal divided into two (or more) parts in which the crystal lattice of one part is differently oriented with respect to the next. This property is present when areas with differing extinction orientation within the same mineral grain have planar contacts.

Zoning

Compositional variation is called zoning. Zoning within a single mineral may be expressed in terms of changes of natural color from one zone to an adjoining one, by changes in birefringence or by changes in extinction orientation. These changes may be abrupt or gradational, and commonly occur as a sequence from the core of a mineral grain to its edge.

Dispersion

White light enter in to the section of mineral and split into the colors of spectrum, with blue nearest to the normal and red the furthest away. This breaking up of the white light is called dispersion. In most minerals the amount of dispersion is very small and it will not affect the minerals optical properties.

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