Mr. Cereghino






Moh's Scale of Hardness tests hardness

      A fingernail has a hardness scale of 2.5

      A penny has a hardness of 3.0

      A nail has a hardness of 6.0 

The hardest mineral on Earth is Diamond

The softest mineral we studied in class is Talc


Light Test

      Opaque: Allows no light through

      TranslucentAllows some light through

      TransparentAllows all light through

The three terms geologists use to describe a mineral's ability to transmit light are; opaque, translucent, and transparent.


Streak Test

  Streak Test tests the true color of a mineral


Test of Magnatism

  Use a stong magnet and hold it to the rock or mineral

  If the magnet is attracted to the rock or mineral, then the rock or mineral has magnet properties. 



Cleavage:  When a mineral breaks into flat pieces

Metallic:  Minerals that have a luster like polished metal

Luster:  The way a mineral reflects light


Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and minerals are found on the Earths crust.  The crust is the thinnest layer of all the Earth's layers.


Some rocks and minerals like the ones below glow under a black light because they have fluoresent properties.

There are 3 types of rocks found on Earth and many different minerals.

     The 3 types of rock are:  

1.)  Igneous - rock produced under conditions involving intense heat from molten magma; rock of volcanic origin. There are two kinds of igneous rock; igneous intrusive, hardens inside the Earth's crust, and igneous extrusive, hardens on top of the Earth's crust.

2.)  Metamorphic - Rock or minerals altered from their original form by intense pressure and heat.  Structural change or metamorphism takes place to change the rock into a new type of rock. Metamorphic rock is formed when intense pressure or heat changes the rock into a new type of rock.

3.)  Sedimentary - Rock formed by accumulation of mineral and organic fragments deposited through erosion by water (rain), ice, or wind.  When the sediments  deposited become tightly compacted by many layers on top, the weight or pressure compacts the sediment to form rock.

           Rock Cycle

Like the water cycle, rocks have a cycle also.

You can see the rock cycle in action at: 

Minerals make up rocks, but rocks do not make up minerals! 


14 Minerals we are studying:

A - Feldspar                         M - Halite

B - Quartz                            N - Gypsum

C - Galena                           R - Biotite

D - Calcite                           L - Talc                          

E - Fluorite                          K - Sulfur   

F - Graphite                        J - Muscovite                              

G - Hematite                      I - Magnetite  

The following are common uses for minerals we studied:

A.  Feldspar: Ceramics (both porcelain and glazes), medicines such as Kaopectate (from kaolin, a weathered form of feldspar), household abrasive cleaners, and glassmaking. 

B.  Quartz:  Radios, watches, computers, jewelry, glass, abrasives, and optics.

C.  Galena: Source of lead, used in batteries, paints, radiation shields, electronic components, and ammunition.

D.  Calcite: Fertilizer, medicine, and cement.

E.  Fluorite: Enamel, optics, steel manufacturing, and toothpaste.

F.  Graphite: Lubricant, electrodes, pencils, high-temperature tools, batteries, and sports equipment.

G.  Hematite: source of iron ore, paint pigment (red ocher)

H.  Gypsum: Plaster (orthopedic casts, drywall in walls of homes and buildings), fertilizer, furnace and stove linings, sculpure (only from alabaster), cement, and baked goods

I.  Magnetite: Good source of iron ore, and used as lodestone in making a direction compass.

J.  Muscovite: Electric inslulators, furnace and stove windows, and once used in Moscow as windows because it was so thin.

K.  Sulfur: Medicines, gunpowder, fireworks, fungicides, matches, fertilizer, and found naturally in many foods which helps change food to energy and your bones grow.

L.  Talc: Baby powder, hand lotion, lipstick, paint, and paper.

M.  Halite: Salt, food additive, sodium hydroxide, paper, soap, and pertroleum manufacture.

The 12 rocks we are studying:

1 - Granite  Igneous Rock                        7 - Obsidian  Igneous Rock

2 - Gneiss  Metamorphic Rock                 8 - Basalt  Igneous Rock

3 - Conglomerate  Sedimentary Rock       9 - Pumice  Igneous Rock

4 - Limestone  Sedimentary Rock           10 - Slate  Metamorphic Rock

5 - Shale  Sedimentary Rock                   11 - Marble  Metamorphic Rock

6 - Sandstone  Sedimentary Rock            12 - Schist  Metamorphic Rock

Texture is where geologist study the feel, or smoothness and roughness of a rock. 

Study the rock Cycle and how rocks can become different rocks. 




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