What are "rocks" and "minerals" - explain the differences. Describe essential concepts of chemistry related to earth materials. What is the chemical and mineral composition of the Earth's crust? List some common silicate and nonsilicate minerals. Describe and illustrate the "rock cycle" as it relates to processes and products. Describe basic geologic principles for interpreting landscape forming processes. On Earth, more than 4,000 minerals have been identified, however, of those fewer than 2 dozen are common minerals in Earth's physical environment (Figure 1-1 shows common rock-forming minerals).In contrast, minerals considered "gems" are, mostly, exceedingly rare.Rocks are composed of particles ranging from microscopic grains to full sized crystals and crystal grains of different kinds of minerals, and containing many different identifiable physical characteristics.
This also applies to rocks, minerals, and derivative materials (such as sediments and soil).
The chemical composition of Earth's crust has similarities with other stony planets, with silicate-rich rocks being dominant in most locations on the surface.
Basic chemistry is important to all sciences, especially geology!
Everything around us is made of chemical compounds that have testable and identifying characteristics, allowing them to be classified, and their age determined.
The discovery of radioactivity and its application to dating rocks is perhaps one of the greatest scientific achievements affecting the Earth Sciences.