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77 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What is the study of earth?
Any naturally occurring inorganic solids that posses an orderly internal structure & a definite chemical compostion.
Any solid mass of mineral, or mineral like, matter that occurs naturally as part of our planet.
The smallest particle of matter that retains the essentail characteristics of an element.
The external expression of a mineral's internal orderly arrangement of atoms.
Crystal Form
The appearance or quality of light reflected from the surface of a mineral.
Obvious feature of a mineral, it is often an unreliable diagnostic property.
The color of a mineral in its powdered form, which is a much more reliable indication of color.
Measure of the resisitance of a mineral to abrasion or scratching.
Standard hardness scale.
Mohns Scale
Tendency of a mineral to cleave, or break, along planes of weak bonding.
Minerals that do not exhibit cleavage when broken, such as quartz.
Compares the weight of a mineral to the weight of an equal volume of water.
Specific Gravity
Most common mineral group.
Second most abundant mineral in the continental crust, is the only common mineral made completely of silicon and oxygen.
Earth's storehouse of useful minerals that can be recovered for use.
Mineral Resources
Denotes useful metallic minerals that can be mined at a profit.
Allows us to view many of the interrelationships among different parts of the Earth's system.
Rock Cycle
Molten material that forms inside Earth.
When magma cools and solidifies, may occur either beneath the surface, or following a volcanic eruption, at the surface.
Rocks exposed at the surface, they will undergo weathering, in which the day-in and day-out influences of the atmosphere slowly disintegrate and decompose rocks.
Igneous Rocks
Particles and dissolved substances from igneous rock are deposited.
Conversion into rock.
Rocks formed by the alteration of preexisting rock deep within Earth, by hear, pressure, and/or chemically active fluids.
Metamorphic Rock
Similar to magma, except that most of the gaeous component has escaped.
The rocks that result when lava solidifies
Volcanic (extrusive)
The formation and growth of a crystalline solid from a liquid or gas.
The size, shape, and distribution of the particles that collectively constitute a rock.
A texture of igneous rocks in which the crystals are too small for individual minerals to be distinguished with the unaided eye.
Fine-grained Texture
Voids left by gas bubbles that formed as the lava solidified.
An ingeous rock texture in which the crystals are roughly equal in size and large enough so that individual minerals can be identified with the unaided eye.
Coarse-grained Rocks
A rock that has large crystals embedded in a matrix of smaller crystals.
Porphyritic Texture
When the ions do not have sufficient time to unite into an orderly crystalline structure.
Glassy Texture
A common type of natural glass that is similar to a dark chunck of manufactured glass.
A concept proposed by N.L. Bowen that illustrates the relationships between magma and the minerals crystallizing from it during the formation of igneous rocks.
Bowen's Reaction Series
During the crystallization of magma, the earlier-formed minerals are denser than the liquid portion and settle to the bottom of the magma chamber.
Crystal Settling
A compositional group of igneous rocks that indicate a rock is composed almost entirely of light-colored silicates.
Granitic Composition
A coarse-grained igneous rock that forms where large masses of magma slowly solidfy at depth.
The extrusive equivalent of granit, and like granit, is composed essentially of the light-colored silicates.
A composition group of igneous rocks indicating that the rock contains substantial dark silicate minerals and calcium-rich plagioclas feldspar.
Basaltic Composition
Igneous rocks with a low silica content and a high iron-magnesium content.
The composition of igneous rocks lying between felsic and mafic.
Intermediate Composition
Igneous rocks composed mainly of iron and magnesium-rich minerals.
Rock formed from the accumulation of material that originated and was transported in the form of solid particles derived from both mechanical and chemical weathering.
Detrital Sedimentary Rocks
Sedimentary rock consisting of material that was precipitated from water by either inorganic or organic means.
Chemical Sedimentary Rocks
When gravel-size particles predominate, if the sediment is rounded.
When gravel size particles predominate, if the pieces are angular.
The name given to rocks when sand-size grains prevail.
The most common sedimentary rock, is made of very fine-grained sediment.
Another rather fine-grained rock, is sometimes difficult to differentiate from rocks such as shale that are composed of even smaller clay-size sediment.
The most abundant chemcial sedimentary rock, it's composed chiefly of mineral calcite.
A coarse rock composed of loosely cemented shells and shell fragments.
A soft, porousrock made up almost entirely of the hard parts of microscopic organisms.
The type of limestone that decorates caverns.
A mineral containing halite.
Rock Salt
Made of gypsum.
Rock Gypsum
A sedimentary rock formed of material deposited from solution by evaporation of the water.
Form from dissolved materials left behind as a white ccrust on the ground.
Salt Flats
Made mostly of organic matter.
The processes by which sediments are transformed into solid sedimentary rocks.
Single most characteristic feature of sedimentary rocks.
Strata (beds)
Traces or remains of prehistoric life, or perhaps the most important inclusions found in some sedimentary rock.
Takes place where preexisting rock is subjected to temperatures and pressures unlike those in which it formed.
Changes in rock caused by the heat from a nearby magma body.
Thermal Metamorphism
Associated with large-scale mountain-building processes
Regional Metamorphism
Hot water masses
Hydrothermal Solutions
A mineral filling a fracture or fault in a host rock.
Vein Deposits
Type of accumulation generated by hydrothermal activity
Disseminated Deposits
The physical breakdown and chemical aloteration of rocks at or near Earth's surface.
The transfer of rock and soil downslope under the influence of gravity.
Mass Wasting
The physical removal of material by mobile agents such as water, wind, or ice.
Accomplished by physical forces that break rock into smaller and smaller pieces without changing the rock's mineral composition.
Mechanical Weathering
Involves a chemcial transformation of rock into one or more new compounds
Chemcial Weathering
The mechancial break up of rock caused by the expansion of freezing water in cracks and crevices.
Frost Wedging
Sections of rock are wedged loose and may tumble into large piles which often format the base of steep rocky cliffs.
Talus Slopes
Oxygen dissolved in water.
Any weathering process that tends to produce a spherical shape from an initially blocky shape.
Spheroidal Weathering