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Why are some minerals harder

than others?
Their atomic structure and
chemical formula.

This is how we classify minerals!


Silicates and Non-Silicates
Part #1 - Silicates:
Silicon and Oxygen make up 70% of the
earths crust and are therefore the two most
common elements.

The largest group of minerals, therefore, is the


SILICATE GROUP: all of which are
compounds containing silicon and oxygen
along with various other elements.
Percentages of Elements
in Earth's Crust
Silica Tetrahedron:
Tetrahedron: The basic unit of all
silicates.

Formed by ONE Silicon Atom


surrounded by FOUR Oxygen Atoms.

Shaped Like a Pyramid


1 Silicon

Oxygen 4
The Silicates are subdivided on basis of
crystal structure:

In other wordsthe ways in which the


Silicon-Oxygen Tetrahedra are linked
together!
STRUCTURAL GROUPING OF THE SILICATE MINERALS:
BASED ON HOW SILICON-OXYGEN TETRAHEDRA ARE ARRANGED!

FrameWork Silicates - Feldspars***


(Basically a 3D tightly packed mass of Most Common Mineral On Earth!!
Tetrahedra) Compose About 60% of the Earths Crust
Tend to be very HARD & resistant to
weathering!! Quartz**
Second Most Common Mineral On Earth!!

Micas*
Sheets - Biotite = Brown Muscovite = White

Chlorites
Clays
Pyroxene = Single Chain
Chains Of Tetrahedra - AKA Augite
Amphibole = Double Chain
AKA Hornblende
Isolated Tetrahedra - Olivine
Garnet

Increasing Structural Complexity


Isolated Tetrahedra:
The simplest arrangement of Tetrahedra.

OLIVINE & GARNET.

Ionic bonding with Magnesium or Iron

Glassy looking, pale green

Found in oceanic crust and upper mantle


Olivine
Another common single tetrahedron silicate is GARNET.

SiO4 tetrahedrons bonded to Magnesium, Iron, Calcium,


or Manganese.

Reddy brown to black in colour.

Found in continental crust.

Commonly form crystals


CHAIN SILICATES:
Other silicates have their Tetrahedra arranged in
chains.

Formed by the sharing of Oxygen atoms between


adjacent Tetrahedra in one dimension.

Two Types - single chains and double chains


Single chain structure in pyroxenes

Double chain structure in amphiboles


Single-chain Silicates-
One large group of single-chain silicates is
collectively known as PYROXENES.

PYROXENE is also called AUGITE

Ionic bonding of SiO4 tetrahedrons with


Calcium and Magnesium single chains.

Shiny black in color, and luster

Found in oceanic crust and mantle


Double-chain silicates-
Known as AMPHIBOLES.

A common AMPHIBOLE is HORNBLENDE:

(Ca,Na)3(Mg,Fe,Al,Ti)5(Si,Al)8O22(OH,F)2

Ionic bonding of SiO4 tetrahedrons with


Calcium, Magnesium, and Hydroxides

Dark green to black in color


Sheet Silicates:
Tetrahedra are linked by shared Oxygen
atoms in 2 dimensions.

MICAS are a compositionally diverse


group of sheet silicates that have in
common excellent cleavage parallel to
weakly bonded sheets of Tetrahedra
Sheet Arrangement of Tetrahedra
MICAS:
MUSCOTIVE often found in granite,
colorless (clear)
BIOTITE rich in iron and magnesium giving
it a dark brown-black color
CHLORITE: usually green in color

CLAY MINERALS are also sheet silicates and


their slippery feeling can be attributed to the
sliding apart of such sheets of atoms
Earthly smell

Example: Kaolinite, which


is white in color
Framework Silicates:
Tetrahedra are firmly linked in all
3 dimensions by shared Oxygen atoms.

Basically a tightly packed mass of


Tetrahedra.

Tend to be very HARD and resistant to


weathering & therefore VERY COMMON!!
Feldspars:
Most common mineral on earth!!

60% of Earths crust...

Two types:

Potassium Feldspar or K-SPAR or Orthoclase


Contains K potassium.
Pinkish in colour

Plagioclase:
traces of sodium, calcium, or both in
their structure
Whitish in colour
Quartz:

Second most common mineral on Earth.

Framework exists entirely of Silicon-Oxygen


Tetrahedra, the net charge on each is 0.

0 impurities.

Only mineral to exhibit this type of structure.

Found extensively in continental crust

Colour can vary from white to black


Silicates Summary:
ISOLATED TETRAHEDRA
Olivine
Garnet
CHAIN SILICATES
Pyroxene (Augite) (SINGLE)
Amphibole (Hornblende) (DOUBLE)
SHEETS
Micas
Clays
Chlorites
FRAMEWORK SILICATES
Feldspars (most common, 60% of Earths crust)
Quartz (second most common mineral)
Part #2 - Nonsilicates:

Each Nonsilicate Mineral group is


defined by some chemical characteristic
that all members of the group have in
common.
NONSILICATES:
1. Carbonates
2. Halides
3. Native elements
4. Oxides
5. Sulfides
6. Sulfates
CARBONATES:
Chemical formulas all contain the Carbonate
Group (CO3)
Are not made of SiO4 Tetrahedra!
Not as common as silicate minerals but usually
more valuable economically
Carbonate minerals dissolve easily, particularly in
acidssaid to Effervesce!
Oceans contain a great deal of dissolved
carbonate
Most important carbonate mineral is
CALCITE (CaCO3)
DOLOMITE is another
common carbonate
mineral

Contains calcium and


magnesium
(CaMg(CO3)2)
HALIDES:
Structure includes chlorine or fluorine
combined with sodium, potassium or
calcium

Example: Fluorite (CaF2) or Halite (NaCl)


Fluorite
NATIVE ELEMENTS:
Minerals that are each made up of a single
chemical element.

Structure is a pure substance of only one element.

Minerals name is usually same as names of


corresponding elements.

Ex) Gold, Silver, Platinum, Copper, Sulfur Etc.

Ex) Diamond and Graphite are both examples of


native carbon
Native gold
Native silver
Native Copper
OXIDES:
Minerals that contain just
one or more metals
combined with oxygen and
that lack the other elements
necessary for them to be
classified as silicates,
sulfates, carbonates, etc.

Structure includes oxygen


and anther element which
cannot be silicon

Magnetite (Fe3O4)
Corundum (Al2O3)
Hematite (Fe2O3)
SULFIDES:

When sulfur is present without oxygen.

Usually heavy dense metallic minerals.


Examples:
Iron sulfide = PYRITE (FeS2)
Also called fools gold
Metallic golden color

Lead sulfide = GALENA (PbS)


Forms in silver colored cubes

Zinc Sulfide = SPHALERITE (ZnS)


Pyrite
Sphalerite
SULFATES:
All contain the Sulfate Group (SO4).
sulfur WITH oxygen!

The calcium sulfate GYPSUM is most important


Abundant
Commercially useful

Sulfates of other elements are also found:


barium, lead, strontium for example.
CARBONATES
Carbonate group (CO3)
Calcite, dolomite
Nonsilicates
HALIDES
Summary:
Chlorine/fluorine combined with sodium, potassium or calcium
Halite, fluorite

NATIVE ELEMENTS
Pure substance of one element
Gold, silver, copper

OXIDES
Oxygen and another element which cannot be silicon
Magnetite, corundum, hematite

SULFIDES
One or more elements combined with sulfur
Sphalerite, pyrite, galena

SULFATES
Sulfate group (SO4)
Gypsum