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Chapter 3

Minerals, Rocks, and Structures


Section Learning Outcomes
Section 1
  • Define the term “mineral” in your own words.
  • Evaluate the usefulness of various physical properties for describing and identifying different minerals.
  • Explore how mineral crystals are constructed and how the external form of a crystal reflects its ionic structure.
  • Identify a variety of mineral specimens according to their physical properties.
Section 2
  • Identify and classify several igneous rocks using a rock chart.
  • Describe how the two main types of igneous rocks form.
  • Determine that igneous rocks are classified based on how they form.
  • Use a geologic map and legend to search for evidence of past igneous rock formation.
  • Recognize that classification helps scientists organize the natural world into smaller, workable components.
Section 3
  • Identify and classify several sedimentary rocks.
  • Describe how the three main types of sedimentary rocks form.
  • Determine that sedimentary rocks are divided into groups based on how they form.
  • Infer the environment in which sediment was deposited when you are given a sedimentary rock.
  • Recognize that classification helps scientists organize the natural world into smaller, workable components.
Section 4
  • Identify and classify several metamorphic rocks using a rock chart.
  • Describe two agents of metamorphism.
  • Use a geologic map to search for evidence of past metamorphism in your community.
  • Recognize that properties of materials can change over time.
Section 5
  • Recognize that rocks are arranged in Earth’s crust as well-defined bodies or units.
  • Identify the general shapes of rock units based on rock type.
  • Read and interpret geologic maps and geologic cross sections.
Section 6
  • Describe the relationship between fault movement and the forces that cause this motion.
  • Understand that Earth movements can create faults and folds.
  • Understand that models help scientists understand how things work.
Section 7
  • Understand the basic principles used to determine the relative ages of rock units.
  • Understand the nature and significance of unconformities and their role in deciphering geologic history.
  • Interpret the geologic history of an area using the basic geologic principles.
Section 8
  • Determine the ages of the rocks of the United States.
  • Understand the general geology of the United States.
  • Examine the major physiographic provinces in the United States.

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