The major elements found in Earth’s crust are oxygen, silicon, aluminum, and iron. The most abundant group of minerals is the silicates, which contain silicon and oxygen. Some common silicates include feldspar and quartz.
The student will investigate and understand how to identify major rock-forming and ore minerals based on physical and chemical properties. Key concepts include a) hardness, color and streak, luster, cleavage, fracture, and unique properties; and b) uses of minerals.