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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROCKS AND MINERALS



  Jun 17, 2024

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROCKS AND MINERALS



What Are Rocks?

Rocks are aggregates composed of two or more minerals. They form the solid foundation of the Earth’s crust. An example of a rock is one containing raw gold, which is a mineral.

What Are Minerals?

Minerals are naturally occurring solids with a definite chemical composition and an orderly, repeating crystal structure. They are the building blocks of rocks. Examples include quartz (SiO2) and halite (NaCl).

Key Differences

• Composition: Rocks consist of multiple minerals, while minerals are composed of specific chemical elements.
• Structure: Minerals have a unique crystal structure that determines their physical properties, whereas rocks do not have a uniform structure.
• Examples: Granite is a rock made of minerals like quartz and feldspar; quartz itself is a mineral.

Unique Properties

• Minerals: Each mineral has distinct physical properties such as hardness, color, and magnetism, dictated by its crystal structure.
• Rocks: The properties of rocks depend on the combination and proportion of the minerals they contain.

Additional Insights

Minerals like aragonite and calcite can have the same chemical formula (CaCO3) but differ in crystal structure and physical properties due to their formation process.

Understanding the differences between rocks and minerals is crucial for deciphering Earth’s history and geological processes.




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