Thanks for answering my questions from before,
I have some questions about minerals and I was
wondering if you could help me out.
so many different minerals (about 3000) form
from the same basic elements on earth (about 20)?
Are the majority of minerals made from
combinations of just a few elements? Which ones?
There are four parts to this answer. These
1. There are about seventeen minerals
on Earth's surface that are really common, and
these account for most of the Earth's material and
most of the common elements.
2. There are a
lot of different proportions in which you can plug
familiar elements together.
3. Even with
the same proportions, there are a lot of different
ways to shape a crystal lattice. Calcite and
aragonite, for example, are both calcium
carbonate, but they have a different crystal
structure and thus are different
4. Of the approximately three
thousand minerals that are rare, you have the
other approx. seventy elements to play with to
Yes about 3000... Yes all minerals of course
are made up of one or more of the naturally
occurring elements numbering about 92.There are
about 20 to 30 "common" minerals. The elements in
these common minerals are Si, Al, O, Fe, Mg ,K,
Ca, Na mainly. Then in the ore minerals in
addition Cu, Ni, Cr,Zn, and many of the other
The other anions are Cl, F,
Phosphate group, sulphate groups, borates, and
Not just minerals... *everything* is made from
basic atoms. The most common minerals are those
made from the most common elements Earth's crust:
oxygen (47%), silicon (28%), aluminum (8%), iron
(5%),calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium...
Quartz and feldspar are two examples of minerals
made mostly with oxygen and silicon.
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