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Our dynamic planet’s building blocks are known as rocks and minerals, and they are responsible for forming landscapes that give all the materials required in our environment. Knowing about these structures will allow us to learn about the events that have shaped our planet and those that will continue to shape it.
See the fact file below for more information about Rocks and Minerals, or download the comprehensive worksheet pack, which contains over 11 worksheets and can be used in the classroom or homeschooling environment.
Key Facts & Information
- We say ‘rocks and minerals because they are two separate nouns.
- Rocks are composed of minerals; however, minerals are not made up of rocks. Minerals in the Earth‘s primary rocks include magnetite, feldspar, quartz, mica, and epidote.
- Minerals have enormous commercial worth, whereas rocks are mined to obtain these minerals. These mined rocks are known as ores, and the remnant of these rocks after mineral extraction is known as tailing.
- Minerals are solid, inorganic substances that exist naturally and have a crystalline structure with a specific chemical composition. A mineral is defined by its chemical makeup, which determines its crystalline structure and form.
- Mineralogy is the science of studying minerals. Mineralogists are those who research minerals.
- Minerals are primarily solid and occur naturally. Granite, sand, wood, and salt are examples of natural solids. Minerals are inorganic, according to the definition. It demonstrates that minerals lack biological tissues.
- It also states that minerals have a crystalline structure, and the substance’s component atoms are arranged in a three-dimensional repeating pattern.
- The International Mineralogical Association has recognized the existence of over 5400 minerals (IMA). This multinational organization is responsible for identifying minerals and validating discoveries.
Physical Properties of Minerals
- Minerals can be characterized and categorized based on physical features such as:
- The structure and geometry of crystals (called their habit)
- Durability (measured using the Mohs scale of mineral hardness)
- Lustre (the way light shines off them)
- Subtle shading and color (how see-through they are)
- Cleavage (how they break), density (mass-to-volume ratio), and how they react to acids and magnets are also factors. Mineral properties make them essential for critical operations such as manufacturing.
- A rock is an inorganic, solid, natural material with no particular atomic structure or chemical makeup.
- Rocks are comprised of at least two minerals. Ore refers to stones containing precious minerals, and minerals extracted from ore are used to make everyday items.
- Examples include houses, stainless steel frying pans, electronics, batteries, autos, and fertilizer.
- Base metals, industrial minerals, and precious metals are examples of valuable minerals.
- Base metals, such as copper and nickel, are metals that do not include iron.
- Industrial minerals are those that contain no metals.
- Precious metals are valuable metals such as gold, iron, and platinum.
Classification of Rocks
- Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks are the three types of rocks.
- Igneous rocks are created due to the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. The word igneous derives from the Latin word “ignis,” which means “fire.”
- Igneous rock can occur either above or below the Earth’s surface. Intrusive igneous rock is an igneous rock that originates beneath the surface.
- This type of rock cools slowly and contains giant crystals of various minerals that may be viewed with the naked eye.
- Granite is an excellent example of this type of rock (A). Extrusive igneous rock is an igneous rock that develops on the Earth’s surface.
- This sort of rock features tiny crystals and cools fast. Obsidian, a transparent glass-like rock, is an extrusive igneous rock (B).
- Sedimentary rocks are created through sediment accumulation, composed of mineral layers, rock particles, or organic components.
- The strata form throughout the time when elements carried by water are deposited at the bottom of lakes, rivers, and oceans or are moved around the Earth’s surface by wind or ice.
- Conglomerate, shale, limestone, and sandstone are sedimentary rocks. Conglomerate, shale, limestone, and sandstone make up the beach.
- The exposed sedimentary rock may be seen along the shore of the Bay of Fundy, which links Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
- Metamorphic rocks arise due to a physical or chemical alteration to an existing stone, a process known as metamorphism.
- The word “metamorphosis” refers to a change in shape. You may have heard this term used to describe the process through which butterflies transition from larvae to adults.
- Metamorphic rocks can form when sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks are subjected to severe heat and pressure deep down.
- Gneiss, marble, quartzite, and slate are examples of metamorphic rocks. Marble is a highly sturdy, long-lasting, and attractive material.
- Architects and artists have favored this granite for thousands of years.
- Rocks can undergo metamorphism (from igneous to sedimentary to metamorphic). It is referred to as the Rock Cycle.
- Rocks form deep beneath the magma (1). (2) Igneous rocks are formed as the magma cools (3). Wind, water, and ice may erode exposed rock. It is referred to as weathering (4).
- Weathered material can migrate (erosion) and finally settle (sedimentation) at the bottom of a body of water (5). Layers of materials can be cemented jointly (lithified) over time to produce sedimentary rocks (6).
- Plate tectonics may cause strata to be displaced, folded, and buried. It is subjected to heat and pressure (7). Heat and pressure change them into metamorphic rocks (8).
- Some of these rocks get so heated that they melt and produce magma (9), resuming the cycle. A rock’s journey through the rock cycle can take millions of years.
Weathering, Erosion, and Sediment Deposition
- Wind and water can modify the form of the Earth throughout time. Rock’s physical and chemical deterioration characterizes weathering, and biological weathering breaks down the stone into smaller bits.
- Freezing water may promote the physical weathering of rock. Water that freezes in a rock’s crevice can rip it apart because water expands when it freezes.
- Chemical weathering results from chemical processes altering the makeup of rock pieces. Acid rain, for example, can dissolve some kinds of sedimentary rock.
- Erosion is the motion of rock fragments, sediments, and soils by water, wind, or glaciers.
- Eroded material that is moved from one location to another, such as from the upstream to the downstream segment of a river, will eventually be deposited (laid down) on the river bed.
- A landslide, the fast downhill sliding of a mass of soil and rock, can dramatically move rock fragments and silt. A landslide can be caused by various phenomena, including erosion caused by rivers, glaciers, waves, severe snowmelt, or even earthquakes.
- On April 29, 1903, Canada‘s worst rockslide happened. On this day, eighty-two million tonnes of rock fell from the peak of Turtle Mountain into the Crowsnest River valley below.
- The avalanche buried mines, residences, and a railway line, killing 90 people. The rubble from the rockslide may still be seen today.
Difference Between Rocks and Minerals
- You would have heard the phrase “rocks and minerals” at some point in your scientific education. We say ‘rocks and minerals’ because they are two separate nouns.
- A rock is an inorganic, naturally generated solid substance with no chemical composition or atomic structure. In contrast, a mineral is also a solid, inorganic substance with a distinct crystalline structure and chemical content.
- Rocks contain minerals, but minerals do not have stones.
- Minerals are believed to be easily recognizable. However, rocks exist in a tiny form that is likewise microscopic.
- Rocks are located in solid form on the Earth’s crust, whereas minerals are found in mineral deposits.
- Some rocks’ physical features are color, form, shine, texture, and pattern. At the same time, minerals have physical qualities such as crystal structure and shape, hardness, luster, color transparency, cleavage, density, and how they react to chemicals such as acids or magnets.
- Sand, pebbles, shells, and tiny shards of various materials are samples of rocks. Minerals contain fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and others.
Rocks and Minerals Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Rocks and Minerals Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about rocks and minerals, which are responsible for forming landscapes that give all the materials required in our environment.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Rocks and Minerals Facts
- Mineral Word Search
- Tell the Difference
- Match the Mineral
- Rock and Mineral Formation
- Rock and Mineral Crossword Puzzle
- Mineral Map
- Jade Gallery
- My Favorite Mineral
- Poetry Rocks
Frequently Asked Questions
What are rocks?
A rock is an inorganic, solid, natural material with no particular atomic structure or chemical makeup.
What are minerals?
Minerals are solid, inorganic substances that exist naturally and have a crystalline structure with a specific chemical composition. A mineral is defined by its chemical makeup, which determines its crystalline structure and form.
What are the physical characteristics of minerals?
Minerals can be characterized and categorized based on physical features such as the structure and geometry of crystals, durability, luster, subtle shading and color, cleavage, density, and how they react to acids and magnets are also factors.
Can rocks change from one form to another?
Rocks can undergo metamorphism (from igneous to sedimentary to metamorphic). It is referred to as the Rock Cycle.
Are rocks and minerals the same?
A rock is an inorganic, naturally generated solid substance with no chemical composition or atomic structure. In contrast, a mineral is also a solid, inorganic substance with a distinct crystalline structure and chemical content.
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Link will appear as Rocks and Minerals Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 29, 2017
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