A mineral is a naturally occurring substance that is solid and stable at room temperature, representable by a chemical formula, usually abiogenic, and has an ordered atomic structure. It is different from a rock, which can be an aggregate of minerals or non-minerals, and does not have a specific chemical composition. The exact definition of a mineral is under debate, especially with respect to the requirement a valid species be abiogenic, and to a lesser extent with regards to it having an ordered atomic structure. The study of minerals is called mineralogy.
There are over 4,900 known mineral species; over 4,660 of these have been approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The silicate minerals compose over 90% of the Earth's crust. The diversity and abundance of mineral species is controlled by the Earth's chemistry. Silicon and oxygen constitute approximately 75% of the Earth's crust, which translates directly into the predominance of silicate minerals. Minerals are distinguished by various chemical and physical properties. Differences in chemical composition and crystal structure distinguish various species, and these properties in turn are influenced by the mineral's geological environment of formation. Changes in the temperature, pressure, and bulk composition of a rock mass cause changes in its mineralogy; however, a rock can maintain its bulk composition, but as long as temperature and pressure change, its mineralogy can change as well.
Minerals can be described by a variable physical properties, which relate to its chemical structure and composition. Common distinguishing characteristics include crystal structure and habit, hardness, lustre, diaphaneity, colour, streak, tenacity, cleavage, fracture, parting, and specific gravity. More specific tests for minerals include reaction to acid, magnetism, taste or smell, and radioactivity.
Minerals are classified by key chemical constituents; the two dominant systems are the Dana classification and the Strunz classification. The silicate class of minerals is subdivided into six subclasses by the degree of polymerization in the chemical structure. All silicate minerals have a base unit of a 4- silica tetrahedra—that is, a silicon cation coordinated by four oxygen anions, which gives the shape of a tetrahedron. These tetrahedra can be polymerized to give the subclasses: orthosilicates (no polymerization, thus single tetrahedra), disilicates (two tetrahedra bonded together), cyclosilicates (rings of tetrahedra), inosilicates (chains of tetrahedra), phyllosilicates (sheets of tetrahedra), and tectosilicates (three-dimensional network of tetrahedra). Other important mineral groups include the native elements, sulfides, oxides, halides, carbonates, sulfates, and phosphates.
Other articles related to "silicate minerals, silicates, silicate, minerals":
... Over 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals ... for silicon are as structural compounds, either as the silicate minerals or silica (crude silicon dioxide) ... Silicates are used in making Portland cement which is used in building mortar and stucco, but more importantly combined with silica sand, and gravel (usually containing silicate minerals like ...
... As the composition of the Earth's crust is dominated by silicon and oxygen, silicate elements are by far the most important class of minerals in terms of rock formation and diversity ... However, non-silicate minerals are of great economic importance, especially as ores ... Non-silicate minerals are subdivided into several other classes by their dominant chemistry, which included native elements, sulfides, halides, oxides and hydroxides, carbonates and nitrates, borates, sulfates ...
... See also Silicate minerals Measured by mass, silicon makes up 27.7% of the Earth's crust and is the second most abundant element in the crust, with only oxygen ... Silicon is usually found in the form of complex silicate minerals, and less often as silicon dioxide (silica, a major component of common sand) ... The silicate minerals—various minerals containing silicon, oxygen and reactive metals—account for 90% of the mass of the Earth's crust ...
Famous quotes related to mineral:
“jet, obsidian, ember
of bloodstone, glisten
of mineral green.
hangs out there
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)
“Foster the labor of our country by an undeviating metallic currency ... always recollecting that if labor is depressed neither commerce nor manufactures can flourish, as they are both based upon the production of labor, produced from the earth, or the mineral world.”
—Andrew Jackson (17671845)
“And there is nothing in the eye,
Shut shutter of the mineral man
Who takes the fatherless dark to bed,
The acid sky to the brain-pan;
And calls the crows to peck his head.”
—Allen Tate (18991979)