MINERALS AND ROCKS Minerals - Inorganic substances occurring naturally at or below the earth’s surface. Characteristics of Minerals \tDifferent degrees of hardness e.g. some are very hard e.g. diamond while others are very soft e.g. talc. \tSome have atoms arranged in an orderly manner to form crystals e.g. quartz form a 6- sided prism. \tVarying number of elements e.g. gold has one (Av) while quartz has 2 (SiO2). \tDifferent abilities to allow light to pass through e.g. some are transparent, opaque or translucent. \tSpecific colours e.g. gold is shiny yellow while copper is brown. \tHave specific surface appearance (lustre) when they reflect light i.e. metallic (shiny) or non-metallic (glass like). \tDefinite chemical composition or constant ratio of elements e.g. quartz has one atom of silicon and two atoms of oxygen. \tTendency to break along certain lines or cleavage) e.g. flint has cleavage like that of glass. \tDifferent densities e.g. some are very heavy e.g. lead while others are light e.g. silicate minerals. \tSome minerals conduct electricity while others don’t e.g. copper conducts while diamond doesn’t. \tSome can be pressed into different shapes while others can’t e.g. copper is malleable while flint isn’t. Types of Minerals Metallic minerals Ferrous Minerals - limonite, magnetite, siderite and haematite. Non-ferrous Minerals - copper, aluminium, gold, lead, etc. Non-metallic Minerals - graphite, diamond, asbestos, coal, etc. Energy minerals - petroleum, coal and uranium. Rocks -A consolidated material composed of grains of one or more minerals. Classification of Rocks \t Igneous Rocks -Rocks formed when molten material from the earth’s interior cools and solidifies on or beneath the earth’s surface. Types of Igneous Rocks a) Intrusive Igneous Rocks -Rocks formed when magma cools and solidifies below the earth’s surface e.g. granite, diorite, gabbro, peridotite. -Have coarse texture as a result of slow cooling giving minerals more time to form large crystals. - Are classified further into two: (i) Hypabyssal rocks - intrusive igneous rocks which are near the earth’s surface. (ii) Plutonic rocks - intrusive igneous rocks which are deep below the surface. \tb) Extrusive Igneous Rocks - Rocks formed when lava solidifies on the earth’s surface. - Have fine texture due to fast cooling giving minerals less time to collect together to form larger crystals. They are of two types namely: (i) Volcanic Ejecta - Extrusive igneous rocks formed in the following ways: \tWhen ash and lava ejected from underground as they fall on the earth’s surface e.g. pumice. \tWhen dust and ash ejected settle on the ground and get compressed to form a rock e.g. tuff. (ii) Lava Flows -Extrusive igneous rocks formed when basic lava flows over a considerable distance then cools and solidifies e.g. basalt and obsidian. \t Sedimentary Rocks -Rocks formed when particles of other rocks are laid down and compressed into layers or when plant and animal remains are buried and compressed and compacted. \tWhen they are laid down a layer is formed. \tAs deposition continues additional layers are formed which compress the lower layers into a hard mass. Types of Sedimentary Rocks \ta) Mechanically Formed Sedimentary Rocks -Sedimentary rocks formed when weathered igneous or metamorphic rocks are deposited and compacted e.g. sandstone and shale. \tb) Organically formed Sedimentary Rocks - Sedimentary rocks formed when animal and plant or animal remains are buried, compressed and compacted. Classification of Organically Formed Sedimentary Rocks (i) Calcareous rocks-rich in calcium carbonate e.g. chalk and limestone. Coral rocks are formed from remains of sea polyps which extract lime from the sea, build shells for protection, attach themselves to each other and rocks to live in colonies, then die and shells to form coral rocks. (ii) Ferruginous Rocks-rich in iron e.g. ironstone. (iii) Siliceous Rocks-rich in silica e.g. diatomite. (iv) Carbonaceous Rocks-rich in carbon e.g. coal. \tc) Chemically formed Sedimentary Rocks - Sedimentary rocks formed when materials dissolved in water chemically react forming new substances then water evaporated leaving layers of those salts. Classification of Chemically Formed Sedimentary Rocks (i) Carbonates e.g. trona and dolomite (ii) Sulphates-sulphate compounds (iii) Chlorides e.g. halite (iv) Silicates e.g. flint (v) Iron stones e.g. haematite and limonite. \t Metamorphic Rocks - Rocks which have changed their physical appearance and chemical properties as a result of subjection to great heat and pressure e.g. \tGneiss from granite \tSlate from clay \tMarble from limestone \tQuartzite from sandstones Significance of Rocks \tRocks weather to form soil which is important in agriculture. \tForm aquifers which store ground water which forms springs which form rivers and wells which provide water for domestic and industrial use. \tSome rocks are sources of building materials e.g. igneous rocks are used to make ballast and limestone rocks are used as building blocks and raw material in cement manufacturing. \tPhosphate and nitrate rocks are used to make fertiliser used in agriculture. \tGranitic tors of W. Kenya and high volcanic peaks such as those of Mt. Kenya are a tourist attraction which brings foreign exchange. \tPumice is used as a scrubbing stone. \tA rock such as coal is used as fuel for heating, smelting of iron and thermal electricity generation. \tSource of minerals e.g. oil and coal is associated with sedimentary rocks.