Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Mineral

  • Nicholas Arndt
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_999-3

Definition

A mineral is a naturally occurring solid of inorganic origin, with a definite chemical composition and in most cases an ordered atomic arrangement. Compositions range from pure elements like gold (Au), diamond (C), or native copper (Cu) to simple oxides (SiO2quartz; TiO2 – rutile) or carbonates (CaCO3 – calcite) to highly complex silicate minerals (e.g., tectosilicate such as K-bearing feldspar KAlSiO3). The latter dominate most parts of the solid Earth, the exception being the core which is composed mostly of Fe-Ni alloy. Most minerals are crystalline, but some, like chalcedony or opal, are amorphous. Assemblages of different minerals compose a rock.

See Also

Keywords

Bioorganic Chemistry Silicate Mineral Greenstone Belt Pure Element Atomic Arrangement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maison des GéosciencesLGCA, Université J. FourierSt-Martin d’HèresFrance