Outdoors Information

How Are Minerals Formed?


HOW ARE MINERALS FORMED?

MINERALS are naturally occuring, inorganic solids, with a characteristic chemical composition, having a regular atomic structure throughout. Man-made industrial diamonds are not considered true minerals. Having said that, there are also some Organic Minerals, such as Amber. Purists are reluctant to call organic minerals minerals, but they satisfy at least three of the criteria for inorganic mineral makeup, and therefore the point is open to debate.

How Many Minerals are there? There are about 4000 listed minerals on this planet but only a relatively few have gained popularity due to their pleasing apperance, often bizarre shapes, exquisite spectrum of colours, and trading value. Minerals are generally composed of more than one element or compound. Those which are made up of only one element are called Native Elements e.g. gold, silver, mercury, copper. The Conquistadores fell in love with New World gold and "liberated" it by the ship-load to fill the coffers of Government and Church in Spain. Silver too, along with Topaz, Tourmaline, Agate, Ruby, Diamond and many other precious rocks and minerals, have been highly prized for as long as Man was first enchanted by their beauty, commercial value and status it imparted to the wearer.

So, just how are minerals formed? Minerals can be formed in a wide variety of geological environments; deep inside volcanos, at the bottoms of deep oceans, deserts, salt lakes and cooling deep deposits of molten rock. Also, under the influence of heat and or pressure, when solutions and gasses holding concentrations of specific elements cool or evaporate, minerals growths are deposited inside rock fissures or voids. These minerals are sometimes forced through as a suspension in water, the water then evaporating leaving the mineral deposits as crystals (e.g. Amethyst) when the rock void is not fully filled or as Agates, when the rock is completely filled. These minerals are only visible when the rock is split open; it takes some skill to decide which rock to crack open! More about that later. An example of such crystal and mineral specimens for collectors are Geodes which are round rocks containing precipitated mineral salts, these being comomonly Agates (caused by mineral salt crystals forming inside Basalt rocks), Amethysts, Quartz, Jasper.

Minerals don't necessarily need heat or pressure to be formed; water saturated with mineral salts can leave deposits (Stalactites) as it drips down from the roof of a cave, forming corresponding Stalagmites directly below, over the centuries, where the drips hit. Eventually both grow to meet each other and thicken over the years. Sometimes, as a novelty, tourists can hang an item on a line at a cave, over which calcium carbonate saturated water runs; over a period of a few months it becomes encased in a hardening deposit of Calcium Carbonate.

THE THREE TYPES OF ROCK. Ok, the basic scene has been set, now let's examine in more detail the different mechanisms involved in mineral formation. All minerals are formed from ROCKS, which are an aggregate or mixture of various minerals and are the basic materials from which a mineral is formed. Rocks can be either:
Igneous - formed due to volcanic activity from the Earth's core.
Metamorphic - formed because of pressure or heat (e.g. tectonic plates colliding) on existing rocks, changing them into another type of rock.
Sedimentary - resulting from the layered compaction of weathered rock materials and/or shells.

Let us examine these rocks a little further:-

IGNEOUS ROCKS(from the Latin ignis - fire) can be further categorised as being   


MORE RESOURCES:

Journal and Courier

Safety named priority for new outdoor art project
Journal and Courier
In the style of Hog Wild, Frog Follies and Dog Days of Summer, the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette has organized another outdoor art project, titled, “Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!” But the new fiberglass works won't have to be locked in cages.



Monroe News Star

Shootin' the breeze: Be thankful this holiday season
Monroe News Star
This coming Thursday will be Thanksgiving. Be thankful for where you are. I hope that you are reading this before you go to church. We are living in the best place on earth. We will all sit down sometime Thursday to a meal many people on earth will ...



Syracuse.com

What you can do now to protect your outdoor plants from winter cold: Carol T ...
Syracuse.com
Tree guards are placed around the trunks to prevent voles and rabbits from gnawing the bark. All young trees in the garden should be protected from girdling damage. Photo by Carol Bradford. Carol T. Bradford | Gardening columnist · Print · Carol T ...



CBS Local

Schwartz: Outdoor-Game Documentaries To Be 'Epix' For Hockey Fans
CBS Local
Since 2010, hockey fans have been able to gear up for the NHL's marquee regular-season contest with “Road to the NHL Winter Classic.” For the last five years, the series had been seen on HBO. But this year it shifts to Epix, where the show is reunited ...

and more »


St. Cloud Times

CSB/SJU wins Outdoor Nation challenge
St. Cloud Times
Jenny Kutter of SJU's Outdoor University said more than 2,000 people signed up and logged 162,880 points for CSB/SJU. Almost any activity except team sports could be counted. Michigan Technological University came in second with 49,010 points.

and more »


Humpback whale photographed with pelican in its mouth
Pete Thomas Outdoor
Pete Thomas Outdoors. Nature, critters, action, adventure, and lots of ocean news. Home · Archives · Profile · Subscribe · « Scientists capture rare footage of deep-sea anglerfish | Main. Nov 24, 2014. Humpback whale photographed with pelican in its mouth.

and more »


PennLive.com

How to make a Treat Tree: An outdoor Christmas tree with decorations that ...
PennLive.com
Thinking of decorating an outdoor tree? Here are some easy tips to make sure your decorations are safe for birds, squirrels and other animals who may visit your yard. A "treat tree" is also a great way to view winter wildlife, and to help sustain them ...



SFGate

Best of the best Bay Area outdoor recreation sites
SFGate
Here in the Bay Area, we have the best of the outdoors. The question is, what is the best of the best? You could search across America and not find a metropolitan area with more year-round, world-class adventures of all kinds. Other great metro regions ...



FOX10 News

Saraland teenager gets “shot” at a cancer-free life
FOX10 News
Now that Michael's been declared cancer free, Magic Moments surprised him with a shopping spree to allow Michael to get back to his passion – the outdoors. For the past few years, he couldn't do much outside because of low immune function. “It means ...



Seattle native Erin McKittrick wins National Outdoor Book Award
Bellingham Herald
Seattle native Erin McKittrick has won a National Outdoor Book Award for her book detailing her family's Alaskan adventures. "Small Feet, Big Land" (The Mountaineers Books, 2013, 224 pages, $18.95, $15.95 e-book) tells the stories of trekking places ...

and more »

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.