Notes: Intro to Minerals

Posted by Jingyi on September 6, 2019

I have no idea how to study the intro to mineralogy course so I decide to make some notes to rescue myself.

There might be some Chinese and a bit of Japanese.

Update with my study progress! Last update: Sep. 5, 2019.

If I made any mistake, please comment me!


3 Rock types

1. Igneous rock 火山岩 == magmatic rock

Divide by formation

Intrusive rock 侵入岩
  • wiki for Intrusive rock
  • formed when magma penetrates existing rock, crystallizes and solidifies underground to form intrusions
  • magma does not reach the surface
Extrusive rock 喷出岩
  • wiki for Extrusive rock
  • formation in which hot magma from inside the Earth flows out (extrudes) onto the surface as lava or explodes violently into the atmosphere to fall back as pyroclastics or tuff

Divide by crystal size

  • wiki for Phanerite
  • made up of crystals large enough to be distinguished with the unaided eye
  • forms when magma deep underground in the plutonic environment cools slowly, giving the crystals time to grow
  • wiki for Aphanite
  • so fine-grained that their component mineral crystals are not detectable by the unaided eye
  • rapid cooling in volcanic or hypabyssal (shallow subsurface) environments

2. Sedimentary rock 沉积岩

  • wiki for Sedimentary rock
  • formed by the accumulation or deposition of small particles and subsequent cementation of mineral or organic particles on the floor of oceans or other bodies of water at the Earth’s surface

3. Metamorphic rock 变质岩

  • wiki for Metamorphic
  • from the transformation of existing rock types, in a process called metamorphism

adj. for rich elements

felsic: Al, Na, K

  • wiki for felsic
  • contains Si, O, Al, Na, K
  • rich in elements that form feldspar and quartz, light in color
  • have specific gravities less than 3
  • enriched in the lighter elements such as silicon, oxygen, aluminium, sodium, and potassium
  • Felsic magma or lava is higher in viscosity than mafic magma/lava
  • Examples:
    • Granite

mafic: Mg, Fe, Ca

  • wiki for Mafic
  • contains Mg, Fe, Ca
  • mafic rocks are enriched in iron, magnesium and calcium and typically dark in color
  • silicate mineral or igneous rock that is rich in magnesium and iron

adj. for shape

granular 粒状的

Mineral property


Moh’s scale

scale mineral chemical formula
1 Talc aa
2 Gypsum  
3 Calcite  
4 Flourite  
5 Apatite  
6 Orthoclase  
7 Quartz  
8 Topaz  
9 Corundum  
10 Diamond  

Silicate minerals

Major Group Structure Chemical formula Example
Nesosilicates isolated silicon tetrahedra $[SiO_4]^{4-}$ olivine
Sorosilicates double tetrahedra $[Si_2O_7^{6-}]$ epidote, melilite
Cyclosilicates rings $[Si_nO_{3n}]^{2n-}$ tourmaline
Inosilicates single chain $[Si_nO_{3n}]^{2n-}$ pyroxene
Inosilicates double chain $[Si_{4n}O_{11n}]^{6n-}$ amphibole
Phyllosilicates sheets $[Si_{2n}O_{5n}]^{2n-}$ micas and clays
Tectosilicates 3D framework $[Al_xSi_yO_{(2x+2y)}]^{x-}$ quartz, feldspars, zeolites

feldspar 长石 K Na Ca+AlxSiyOz

  • Wiki for feldspar
  • make up about 41% of the Earth’s continental crust by weight
  • rock-forming tectosilicate minerals
  • ($KAlSi_3O_8$ – $NaAlSi_3O_8$ – $CaAl_2Si_2O_8$)

quartz 石英 SiO2

  • Wiki for Quartz
  • $SiO2$
  • $\alpha$-quartz, high temperature $\beta$-quartz, both are chiral (手性)

olivines 橄榄石

pyroxenes 辉石

mica 云母

amphibole 闪石

Sulfate minerals

gypsum 石膏 CaSO4·2H2O


satin spar

desert rose

gypsum flower

Oxide mineral

Corundum 刚玉 Hard Al.O.


Sapphire Al2O3

star sapphire


Opal 蛋白石

Obsidian 黑曜石

  • Volcanic glass
  • wiki for Obsidian
  • a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock
  • felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimal crystal growth


Granite 花岗岩

  • Wiki for Granite
  • Granite ( /ˈɡrænɪt/) is a common type of felsic intrusive igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture.
  • 💠 feldspar, quartz, mica, and amphibole minerals

  • graphic granite

Pegmatite 伟晶岩

  • wiki for Pegmatite
  • igneous rock, formed underground, with interlocking crystals usually larger than 2.5 cm in size
  • 💠 quartz, feldspar and mica
  • similar silicic composition as granite