Skip to main content


Section 1
What are Minerals?

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm, Section 1: What are Minerals?.


Inquiring Further

  1. To learn more about mineral groups and the environments in which they form, visit the following web sites:

    Minerals, North Carolina Office of State Archaeology
    Provides an overview of mineral terms, mineral tests, Mineral Proprieties, and Mineral Groups.

    Minerals, Windows to the Universe
    Explains how minerals are divided into different groups based on their chemistry.

  2. To learn more about the minerals and elements that make up Earth’s crust, visit the following web sites:

    Minerals close-up, USGS
    Provides an overview of the most common minerals you'll find in rocks.

    Minerals 101,  North Carolina Office of State Archaeology
    Describes the elements that make up most of the Earth’s crust.

    Overview of Geologic Fundamentals, USGS
    In-depth description of the rocks, minerals, and elements that make up Earth’s crust.

  3. To learn more about metallic and nonmetallic mineral resources, visit the following web site:  

    Minerals by Chemical Composition,  Mineralogy Database
    Displays a periodic table. Click on the element of interest to open a page that lists all of the minerals that contain that element, sorted by element percent.

    Do We Take Minerals for Granted?, USGS
    Overview of the products manufactured from mineral resources.

Back To Top

Resources

To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

Types of Minerals

Minerals by Name, The Mineral Gallery
Includes full color images of different minerals along with a description of the physical properties, history of discovery, and more about each mineral.

What Is a Mineral?, UCAR
Defines mineral. Click on the different links to find out about the different mineral types, how minerals are formed, and the physical properties of minerals.

Minerals by Physical and Optical Properties, Mineral Database
Minerals are listed according to hardness, streak, luster, density, and cleavage and fracture. Click on the property to view a mineral list. You can then click on individual minerals to view more information and images.

The Chemistry and Structure of Minerals

Minerals, Volcano World
Gives a brief overview of minerals. Includes illustrations to show some of the basic atomic arrangements of different minerals. Also explains how atomic arrangement influences the properties of a mineral.

Minerals by Chemical Composition, Mineral Database
Displays a periodic table. Click on the element of interest to open a page that lists all of the minerals that contain that element, sorted by element percent.

Mineral Structure Data, University of Colorado
Lists the different crystal structures of minerals. Click on link to open a new page that uses a drawing to show the structure.

Identifying Minerals

The Physical Characteristics of Minerals, The Mineral Gallery
Lists the physical properties scientists commonly use to identify minerals. Click on property to view examples that illustrate that property.

Back To Top