Rocks vs. Minerals
What is the Difference between Rocks and Minerals: – Almost everyone knows that rocks and minerals are different, but most find it difficult and in some cases impossible to list what the differences are.
This article aims to make it easier to remember what things make rocks different from minerals and to solve Sandra’s question in our questions section; since we know that more than one can have the same restlessness. Here below this post is all about the difference between Rocks and Minerals.
Difference between Rocks and Minerals
The rocks are formed by minerals and solidified mineraloides. A rock could be made up of one or more minerals that are combined. For example, granite; which is one of the most common rocks, consists of feldspar, quartz and biotite.
The rocks are classified according to different characteristics that they may have, such as minerals and their chemical composition, texture and permeability. The main distinction is based on the process by which they are formed.
There is what is called the rock cycle or lithologic cycle , which describes the formation and transformation of rocks over time and attending to these are classified into three types: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.
The igneous ones are formed by the cooling and solidification of molten lava. They can be formed with or without crystallization and can be divided into plutonic or volcanic rocks.
Sedimentary rocks are formed by the deposition of material within bodies of water or on the surface of the earth. The mineral sediments settle and accumulate in a period of time and finally solidify forming a larger piece.
Metamorphic rocks are those that change structure or composition by metamorphism. Certain rocks, when subjected to pressure or heat, can change shape and change chemically and physically.
Rocks have played an important role in the life of humans and their development as a species. They were initially used as tools and are now used massively in construction. They also extract some minerals that are inside and useful to people.
Minerals are solid and homogeneous substances, which have regular structures and are found in rocks and in the earth’s crust.
Minerals occur naturally and are formed through various geological processes. They are solid and stable at room temperature; moreover, they can be represented by their chemical formula. They have an ordered atomic structure.
By definition in order, for a sample to be classified as mineral it must comply with the following: the substance must be natural, stable at room temperature, represented by a chemical formula and have an ordered atomic arrangement. However, the last two features are much debated among scientists.
The study of minerals is known as Mineralogy. Minerals can be divided into two categories: silicates and non-silicates. The former are those that have the basis of unity of a silicate (SiO4) 4-tetrahedron mineral. These are divided into several classes depending on their dominant chemistry, which includes native elements, sulfides, halides, oxides and hydroxides, carbonates and nitrates, borates, sulfates, phosphates and organic compounds. Non-silicate minerals are rarer and less abundant than the former.
A large number of minerals can be distinguished by characteristics such as crystalline structure, hardness, gloss, diaphanity, color, stripe, tenacity, cleavage, fracture and specific gravity. The hardness of a mineral is measured on a scale of 1 to 10 and this scale is called the Mohs scale. Diamonds have a rating of 10, while talc qualifies by 1.
Minerals are commonly used in everyday life and are also important for the economies of the countries. Natural resources like oil also possess some types of minerals.
Key Differences between Rocks and Minerals
- The rocks are formed from the combination of one or more minerals or mineraloids, while the minerals are substances stable at room temperature, with a chemical formula and with an atomic number.
- Rocks are characterized by their types of minerals, texture and permeability; while minerals are characterized by their structure, hardness, brightness, transparency, color, cleavage, fracture …
- The rocks are classified as igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic; while minerals are classified into silicates and non-silicates.
- Rocks can be found almost everywhere and are free, while minerals can be rare and little abundant; which is why its price varies.
- Rocks are used in construction, as weapons (to remember the old times) and to extract minerals; while minerals are necessary for the body, as they regulate certain bodily functions, help in the formation of bones and teeth, blood clotting and muscle development.
- Examples of stones: granite, limestone, conglomerate and sandstone.
- Examples of minerals: gold, silver, quartz, mica and feldspar.