Minerals - Research Article from World of Biology

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Minerals.
This section contains 1,048 words
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Minerals are the basic materials which make up the earth's crust. Most rocks are combinations of minerals. A mineral can be either a chemical element or a chemical compound and is defined as a natural, inorganic, crystalline solid.

Each mineral has its own characteristic chemical composition and can be identified by its properties. These properties, which include hardness, crystalline structure, luster, and color, are a result of the way the atoms in a particular mineral are held together.

Over 3,000 different minerals are known to exist on earth. Of these, only about 20 are considered common. These are the "rock-forming" minerals. Ten of these minerals alone make up 90% of the mass of the earth's crust. These ten minerals are quartz, orthoclase, plagioclase, muscovite, biotite, calcite, dolomite, halite, gypsum, and the ferromagnesian minerals. Minerals that are not rock-forming are known as "accessory" minerals.

Minerals can be divided into two main groups...

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This section contains 1,048 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Minerals Encyclopedia Article
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Minerals from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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