Mineral and Rocks - Essay Example

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Earth Science, involves the study of Mineralogy, Geology, Meteorology, astronomy and Geophysics that enables us to have a better understanding of the Earth and its atmosphere…
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Mineral and Rocks Order No. 535150 Michael Allaby (2009), in his book called “Earth Science: A Scientific History of the Solid Earth”, defines EarthScience as the study of all the phenomena and sciences that involve the understanding of the Earth. Earth Science, involves the study of Mineralogy, Geology, Meteorology, astronomy and Geophysics that enables us to have a better understanding of the Earth and its atmosphere. Radiology is used as a portent tool which helps us learn about the different aspects of our Earth such as its stratified structure of the various layers of rocks and soils and the other natural phenomena that impact upon our Earth. The physical properties of different minerals help us to identify and differentiate between them. However, there is one common property that is the same for all minerals and that is that all minerals exist in solid form and never in liquid form in their natural surroundings. According to Michael Allaby’s (2009) book “Earth Science: A Scientific History of the Solid Earth”, the author explains that minerals came into being when the Earth evolved and human activity has nothing to do with the formation of minerals. Minerals and also classified and categorized as chemical compounds due to their chemical composition and their crystalline form. In his book titled “Earth Science: A Scientific History of the Solid Earth”, Michael Allaby (2009) explains that most of the minerals are inorganic in their natural form. A good example is sodium chloride, also known as common salt which possesses all the characteristics of a mineral. Common salt or sodium chloride has a solid form, is inorganic and is comprised of chemical compounds. In addition to this, common salt is crystalline in structure and occurs as the result of natural phenomena. Silicate minerals are obtained from the chemical reaction of silicon with oxygen. Gradually, the silicates associate and react with other elements which give it specific properties. For example minerals such as Potassium (K) Sodium (Na) Magnesium (Mg) Calcium (Ca) and Iron (Fe) are formed in this way. Some of the selected groups are classified as Quartz, Olivine group, Micas, Pyroxene group and the Amphibole group. The crust of the Earth is Feldspar which also belongs to the group of silicate minerals. Mineral rocks have their own distinctive classification and are categorized into three groups – namely, 1) Metamorphic rocks, 2) Sedimentary rocks and 3) Igneous rocks. These rocks are formed by natural processes that take place on the Earth. Deep down in the Earth, we can find Magma which is a mixture of molten metal, gasses and rock which occurs in liquid form due to the very high temperature and pressure inside the Earth. Igneous rocks are formed from this Magma which is gradually thrust upward to the Earth’s surface and cools. On cooling, the liquid Magma gets settled in a layered pattern depending on the temperature and pressure involved and this is what is known as crystallization. Sedimentary rocks are formed from sediments in the Earth that gets collected in layers and hardens to form rocks through the process of weathering. Weathering is defined as a natural process of the breaking down of rocks into their constituent minerals which again combine together to give rise to new rocks. The weathering process is triggered by the action of natural forces such as the movement of the Earth, wind and water. According to Clive Gifford (2005) in “Weathering and Erosion”, Chemical Weathering takes place due to the action of acid rains and other organic liquids that impact upon the rocks and bring about deterioration. According to Harvey Blatt, Robert Tracy, Edward Owens (2006) in “Petrology: Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary”, both Igneous and sedimentary rocks get exposed to different weather conditions such as high and low temperatures and pressures and this result in the formation of metamorphic rocks. Each of these rocks has their own unique characteristics which enables us to identify them. For example, Igneous rocks are crystalline in nature and appear shiny. There are also no fossils in Igneous rocks. Sedimentary rocks have well identified layers called stratum and have fossils that are embedded in its layers. According to Harvey Blatt, Robert Tracy, Edward Owens (2006) in “Petrology: Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary”, Metamorphic rocks possess characteristics that depend on their source rocks. However, they have a common characteristic that makes them appear glossy. The authors explain how due to the weathering process rocks of different kinds are formed. Metamorphic rocks go through a complex process before they are formed. Their formation depends on the chemical changes in dead organic matter, and temperature and pressure changes that take place deep down in the Earth. Therefore, Earth Science spans over a very vast area beginning with the study of rocks and their formation. The study of Earth Science is very important because it gives us a very clear understanding of the natural processes that take place in our environment and enables us to minimize human activities that have an adverse impact on them. References Allaby M. (2009), Earth Science: A Scientific History of Solid Earth, Infobase Publishing Blatt H., Tracy R., Owens B., (2006), Petrology: Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary, W. H. Freeman Publishers Gifford C. (2005), Weathering and Erosion, Black Rabbit Books. Read More
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