Questions tagged [minerals]

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17
votes
2answers
14k views

What determines a mineral's hardness?

Mohs Hardness Scale is basically a measurement of the hardness of a material, or more specific, a rock or mineral. But I have never been able to figure out why some minerals are harder than others.
15
votes
2answers
16k views

Why does the colour of amethyst fade if exposed to too much light?

It is well known that the purple hue that is characteristic of the amethyst quartz ($\ce{SiO2}$) will fade if the crystal is exposed to light for a prolonged period of time. What is the underlying ...
14
votes
3answers
26k views

How do geologists find ore deposits?

From my research, there is lots of information on how to extract ore, but I can't find any information on how these ore deposits are found in the first place, apart from 'looking for surface ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

How and where do double-terminated crystals form?

How and where do double-terminated crystals form? Most terminated crystals form by 'growing' out of a rock. Which causes one side to be flat,(or whatever the shape of the rock it 'grew' out of was ...
12
votes
5answers
21k views

Why do gold deposits form only in certain areas of the earth?

In the map above you can find that most elements are spread evenly throughout Earth's crust and that they are available all around the Earth. However, gold can only be found in certain areas of the ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible for a natural fluorescent mineral to glow from the sun's rays?

I have been searching certain fluorescent minerals, such as Andersonite, and all websites are saying how the mineral will glow if exposed to Ultraviolet light. Does enough ultraviolet light come ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do most opal deposits occur in Australia?

According to the Wikipedia page about opals, this hydrated amorphous silica based gemstone is most commonly found in Australia, with according to the page, over 90% from Australia. Opal from Coober ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

What kind of minerals have no cleavage plane?

Why does quartz have no cleavage plane and halite does? What do I need to know about the specific mineral so that I can decide whether it has cleavage or not? I need some kind of rule.
9
votes
1answer
277 views

What is the geologic origin of Cryolite, and could there be more?

Cryolite is a mineral of aluminum (Na$_3$AlF$_6$). The only known natural deposit was found in Ivittuut, Greenland. It was mined from 1854 to 1987 and yielded 3.7 Mt of Cryolite ore. Basically my ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is meant by phase-change in mantle?

Phase transition usually means changing from liquid to solid phase. But in geology literature we come across transitions from one mineral to other mineral. For example olivine-spinel transition at 410 ...
6
votes
1answer
835 views

Plotting a mineral stability diagram

I'm trying to figure out how to plot the stability of 4 minerals — $\ce{CaCO3}$, $\ce{CaSO4}$, $\ce{CaMg(CO3)2}$, and $\ce{CaMg3(CO3)4}$ — with axes of $\mathrm{ln}\,a_{\ce{Mg^{+2}}}$ vs $\mathrm{ln}\,...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

Can I just walk around Greenland with a UV light and find rare Earth minerals on the ground?

The NPR.org news article and podcast Greenland Is Not For Sale. But It Has The Rare Earth Minerals America Wants is interesting, and it includes a few large GIFs (too large to post here) that appear ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are most minerals so rare?

There are 4,660 known minerals, so why are most of them so rare? Is it to do with the structure of minerals?
5
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1answer
173 views

What are the cubic formations found inside Larimar gemstones?

I recently noticed what appears to be common cubic formations just beneath the surface of Pectolite (Larimar) gemstones. They quite resemble transparent sugar sprinkles. Each formation isn't perfectly ...
5
votes
2answers
323 views

Muscovite with pleochroic halos?

Is it possible to find pleochroic halos in muscovite ? I would have said that it must be biotite (also, in PPL it is brown!), but then.. why does it have interference colors so similar to muscovite ? ...
5
votes
1answer
544 views

Why is streak different from color?

Many minerals have a streak that's surprisingly different from it's outward color. Why is this? What causes the optical properties to change if the mineral is powdered? Thanks!
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How does quartz form in calcite veins?

This question might be a bit silly, but I have to ask since I am very curious and I did not find any good answer. I visited two places, where quartz crystals (var. smoky quartz) occurs - and both ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Strange coating in old lime mine shaft

Near Prague,Czech Republic is old lime mine. Most of it is closed but one short transport tunnel under one hill is publicly accessible. Tunnel has profile around 2,5x2,5m and it's slightly bended and ...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

Difference between pyrite oxidation and dissolution

I've seen papers use oxidation and dissolution of pyrite. Are these two processes the same? I was always under the impression that pyrite does not dissolve easily. What is the difference between ...
5
votes
2answers
627 views

Were all of Earth's minerals created before Earth's formation, during, or after?

I've heard that during the accretion of proto-planets that formed the earth, 60 minerals were created through the reactions of atoms and molecules in the nebula. Do these first minerals still make up ...
5
votes
1answer
346 views

How does palingenetic fusion occur in rock?

As far as charnockites are concerned, granitic charnockites are formed due to palingenetic fusion and metasomatism, while granulitic charnockites are formed due to high grade metamorphism. When I ...
5
votes
2answers
100 views

Sulfate salts of magnesium and sodium

What concentrations of magnesium, sodium and sulfate are needed to precipitate solid MgSO4 and Na2SO4 (let's say evaporation is occurring in a system) I'm assuming probably really high because they ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Unidentified mineral found in France [closed]

(I am not a native english speaker, so I'm not really aware of the specific terminology.) A few years back, I found an unidentified rock on a beach in Normandie (France). It looks and feels (texture-...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I normalize this chemical analysis to a mineral with 3 cations?

$\ce{FeO}$ = 70 wt% $\ce{TiO2}$ = 30 wt% The molecular weight given of $\ce{FeO}$ = 72, and the mw of $\ce{TiO2}$ = 80. The first step I did was divide each wt% by their molecular weights to get a ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the most common minerals at the Earth's surface?

I know how to find out the first few most common minerals, and I know how to find a list of 6800 minerals that one geologist found as a microscopic grain in this one meteorite. I can't seem to find a ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

History of the Arctic Ocean

Much of the Arctic Ocean is fairly shallow compared to other oceans. There must have been times in the past during severe ice ages that a lot of what is now the ocean bed was above sea level. When was ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Is there a table with decomposition temperatures of common minerals?

I am about to perform a Loss On Ignition test on a material I know that contains among on things kaolinite, which will release water at 500 $^oC$. However, I tried finding a table with decomposition ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there any areas on Earth with purplish-colored soil/sand/rock/land?

This sort of comes from my related question, but only sort of. Are there any areas on Earth with purplish-colored soil? The purple tint would come from some mineral, perhaps deposited by rivers or ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Dissolved minerals

I have a question that I am confused about. If a mineral (say limestone) was added to a groundwater system, say like an aquifer and is completely dissolved in solution, can it ever be a solid again ...
3
votes
2answers
343 views

I found this strange spherical stone in Gillette Wyoming. I have no idea what it is. Please help. [closed]

These are recent pictures of it. It’s heavy, I see small minerals that catch the light in it, very bumpy, spherical, doesn’t seem to be magnetic, I was falling down a deep trench and kicked it up at ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

What is this rock I found being sold in a store? [closed]

I was recently on vacation in Hawaii and while there, entered a rock and mineral type store where I saw the rock below. I forgot to ask what it was while I was there and I am unable to go back and do ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between cleavage and fracture?

I see both terms refereing to fractures on crystals or minerals, so I wonder if they could be considered synonymous. If no, what's the difference between both terms?
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Preservation of clay items

I have a general question which may sound naive: archeologists eg in Ancient Greece take a lot of information from preserved pottery they found. What physical attributes of ceramic items made of clay ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

Database of mineral with images for a neural network application

I'm diving into data science and I'm looking for a complete database of minerals. I downloaded the csv file from http://rruff.info/ima/ . It contains 5516 lines of data but it does not have images or ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Differentiate a rock and mineral

How to differentiate between a rock and a mineral by merely looking at it as a thumb rule?
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Hyperspectral Detection of Ore

How can I use hyperspectral satellite imagery to remotely detect copper or any prespecified mineral deposit in general? Where can I find a database of the absorption and reflection bands of various ...
3
votes
1answer
345 views

heavy, brown, rock with crystals, please help identify [closed]

please help identify this rock. it is heavier than most. dark brown color. picture is shown with streak test. found in Philadelphia pa. at home demolition site. crystals seem to be different type and ...
3
votes
1answer
536 views

Saturation Index clarification

I have a problem with my project and I was hoping I would find some clarification. I did some modeling with phreeqc to calculate saturation indices and found that calcite was saturated in an ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

What causes this white coloration of the ground in Gilf-Kebir?

It seems, these white blotches are reflective enough that they caused oversaturation of a spot of image taken from a satellite at the L1 lagrangian point (click to open at max resolution, the purple ...
3
votes
0answers
130 views

Dolomite and calcite precipitation

In an engineered wetland, there is groundwater flow from an aquifer with a chemical composition that is rich in magnesium, calcium and sulfate. We are finding that the aquifer is consistently ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Melting point of minerals

Looking at this website, I can see the melting point of the following minerals: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Geophys/meltrock.html Apparently at a temperature of 1200 °C, all the ...
2
votes
1answer
325 views

Deadly minerals

I would like to go into mineral excavation as a hobby. What deters me is the fact there are quite a few deadly minerals/ores out there. My question is how likely is it there are those deadly ores in ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Is this classification of mineral formation environments correct?

I am writing an app for students that consist in 180 sheets of the most common minerals on Earth's Crust. One of the fields of the sheets is environment of formation. It is important to me to ...
2
votes
1answer
858 views

What is the geologic origin of the Bauxite deposit in Bauxite, Arkansas, and could there be more?

Bauxite is an mineral of Aluminum. Despite a general mineral wealth, the USA does not have any major Bauxite deposits, except for one in Arkansas. The mining town was named Bauxite, Arkansas. The ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Is there any mineral identification techniques that works for all minerals?

Are there any mineral identification techniques that work for all minerals(non-metallic/metallic), so that an electronic device could be made to distinguish between all minerals?
2
votes
1answer
105 views

An oblique-square-prism crystal?

Does any mineral crystallize in the shape of an oblique square prism? If so, what crystal system (monoclinic, cubic, hexagonal, etc.) would such a mineral fall under?
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Did we find cinnabarit?

We searched for cinnabarit in an abandoned mine (Google Maps, in Békásmegyer, Hungary). We collected these samples, but as we are not geologists, we are not sure what we found. Pictures about the ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

How salty can snow/sleet be?

Can enough salt particulates be in the air to create salty snow or ice that is undrinkable? Will ice form in sub zero temperatures through condensation in salty air?
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Where to start searching to find more radioactive minerals?

I'm pretty new to all this... I've recently purchased a Geiger counter, and am hoping to locate rocks like pitchblende and other radioactive minerals for my collection. I'm based in the North West ...
1
vote
2answers
285 views

How are minerals classified?

What exactly is done to classify minerals in Earth Sciences such as Geology? How can it be known if one mineral is the same as another if they should be visually different?