Essentials of Geology, 3: Chapter 3 Flashcards flashcards |

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carbonate rocks

Rocks containing calcite and/or dolomite.


(1) The tendency of a mineral to break along preferred planes; (2) a type of foliation in low-grade metamorphic rock.

conchoidal fracture

Smoothly curving, clamshell-shaped surfaces along which materials with no cleavage planes tend to break.


A single, continuous piece of a mineral bounded by flat surfaces that formed naturally as the mineral grew.

crystal face

The flat surface of an euhedral mineral grain.

crystal habit

The general shape of a crystal or cluster of crystals that grew unimpeded.

crystal lattice

The orderly framework within which the atoms or ions of a mineral are fixed.

crystal structure

The internal arrangement of atoms or ions within a crystal.


The flat surface of a cut gemstone; facets are produced by grinding.


A mineral or form of a mineral that is particularly beautiful and/or rare, and thus has value.


A cavity in which euhedral crystals precipitate out of water solutions passing through a rock.


In mineralogy, hardness refers to the resistance of a mineral to scratching; a harder mineral can scratch a softer mineral.


The way a mineral surface scatters light.


A homogenous, naturally occurring, solid inorganic substance with a definable chemical composition and an internal structure characterized by an orderly arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules in a lattice. Most minerals are inorganic.


The study of minerals.

Mohs hardness scale

A list of ten minerals in a sequence of relative hardness, with which other minerals can be compared.


Two minerals that have the same chemical composition but a different crystal lattice structure.

Silicate minerals

Minerals composed of silicon-oxygen tetrahedra linked in various arrangements; most contain other elements as well.

silicon-oxygen tetrahedron

The basic building block of silicate minerals; it consists of one silicon atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms.

specific gravity

A number representing the density of a mineral, as specified by the ratio between the weight of a volume of the mineral and the weight of an equal volume of water.


The color of the powder produced by pulverizing a mineral on an unglazed ceramic plate.


The condition in which the shape of one part of an object is a mirror image of the other part.

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