Exercise 1

Exercise 2: Mineral Properties


Physical Properties at the Mineral Galleries contains good discussions of the physical properties of minerals. Read the section on Specific Gravity.

  1. Define, in your own words, specific gravity. How does this property relate to density?

  2. Search Mineral Galleries for the specific gravities of :

    1. quartz _______

    2. olivine (use the Magnesium-rich end member ___________ and the Iron-rich end member ________)

    3. pyroxene (use augite) _________

    4. plagioclase [(use albite ________ and use anorthite _______)

    5. alkali feldspar (use microcline) ___________

Prepare a table with:

Mineral NameSpecific GravityLocation

For location. tell where the mineral or mineral group is concentrated : (1)continental crust, (2) oceanic crust, or (3) mantle. In general, high pressures favor higher densities and high temperatures favor lower densities. Within the outer part of the Earth the pressure effect tends to dominate.

From your table, generalize about the relationship between specific gravity and the concentration of these common minerals.

Something Extra

  1. The Mineralogy Database is another resource for mineralogy.

Return to the Table of Contents