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Ch 3 : 3rd edition of Essentials of Geology Stephen Marshak. HELP!!! Virtual lab for mineral identification!! Virtual "hands on" practice!!: 1a. Mneral identification 1. 2. Minderal identification chart:…


*Elements such as Ca or Mg bond to this group
〖CaCO〗_3 = calcite
〖(CaMg[CO〗_3] 2 = dolomite


A mineral has "cleavage" if it breaks to form distinct planar surfaces that ahve specific orientation in relation to the crystal structure.

conchoidal fracture

Smoothly curving, clamshell-shaped surfaces
*typically formed in glass


A single, continous piece of crystaline

crystal face

Flat surfaces that bind crystaline.

crystal habit

Refers to the shape of a single crystal with well formed crystal faces.

crystal lattice

the fixed, orderly pattern of atoms in a mineral

crystal structure

The atoms are distributed in a fixed, orderly pattern


Ground and polished surfaces on a gem made with faceting machine.


A cut and finished stone ready to be set in jewelry.


Mineralized cavity in rock.


A measure of how easily a mineral can be scratched.
*resistance to scratching


The way a mineral surface scatters light.


A naturally occuring solid, formed by geologic processes
*has a crystaline structure and a defineable chemical composition.
*almost all are inorganic


Study of minerals

Mohs hardness scale

A scale ranking ten minerals from softest to hardest; used in testing the hardness of minerals.
*Early 1800's Friedrich Mohs listed some minerals in sequence of relative hardness.


two or more minerals having the same chemical composition but different crystalline structures.


*4 oxygen atoms surround a single silicon atom.

silicon-oxygen tetrahedron

Oxygen atoms are positioned in the corners of a tetrahedron.

specific gravity

Represents the density of a mineral.
*specified by ratio between weight of a volume of the mineral and weight of an equal volume of H2O at 4°C.


Refers to the color of the powder produced by pulverizing the mineral.


The shape of one part of a mineral is a mirror image of the shape of another part.

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