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Name ___________________________ Date __________
Hour ___________
Earth Science
STUDY GUIDE: Rocks, Minerals, & Their Properties
Directions: Complete the following questions, draw the picture, or write a definition for a term in
order to study for your test.
For this test you will need to review from the following information:
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BLING (Identifying Minerals)
THIS TOTALLY ROCKS! (The Rock Cycle) (We start this lab tomorrow)
Part A: Minerals (It’s All About the Bling)
1. Define: Color
Luster-how it reflects light
Hardness-Tested against known objects, rated on Mohs scale of hardness
Fracture- Does it break irregularly, like pulling out a chunk of bread.
Cleavage- Does it break along flat planes.
Streak-Color of powdered rock. When scraped against a streak plate.
Special properties- Hint: What minerals do you remember react with….
acids? Calcite
Fluoresce? Flourite
Are Magnetic? Magnetite
2. BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY a MINERAL or ROCK by performing the necessary tests and
be able to identify the mineral based on those properties. See lab
3. The scale developed to measure hardness was developed by a German scientist in 1912. This
scale is called ___Mohs________ scale of hardness.
4. Be able to identify the hardness of a mineral.
What are the levels of hardness and the common items that are used to solve for that hardness?
(Hint: Scratch with your fingernail means hardness of what??)
Fingernail 1-2, Copper penny 3, Glass 4-5, Iron nail 6
5. What is the hardest mineral on earth and what hardness does it have?
Diamond (10) In class, ours was Corundum (9)
6. What is the mineral that has the lowest hardness on Mohs scale?
Talc (1)
Earth Science
Rocks & Minerals
Name ___________________________ Date __________
Hour ___________
7. What are the six crystal shapes and give an example of a mineral that has a monoclinic crystal
shape, cubic shape, and orthorhombic shape?
8. ____________________ determines the color left behind when a mineral scratches the surface
of a white or black ceramic plate.
a. Luster
b. Color
c. hardness
d. streak
9. Write the definition from class of a mineral. (Hint: IT IS NOT A ROCK)
A pure, crystalline, inorganic solid, formed from natural processess
10. After you have defined a mineral, describe why it is NOT considered a rock.
A rock can be a mixture of several different substances, and does not meet the definition in #9
11. Luster can be used to describe:
a mineral’s level of hardness based on easily obtained items
a mineral’s reflectivity to light, whether or not its metallic or non-metallic.
Whether a mineral is dull or pearly
Whether the mineral leaves a streak that is a certain color.
12. T/F. Minerals are inorganic substances created naturally on earth.
13. The scale of hardness created to characterize the scratch resistance of various minerals through
the ability of a harder mineral to scratch a softer one is called the ______________________
scale of hardness; it was created by a German scientist in 1812.
a. Absolute
b. Luster
c. Mohs
d. diamond
14. _____________________ is the least helpful way to identify a mineral.
a. Color
b. Streak
c. hardness
d. luster
15. Minerals that have a definite shape when they are broken are considered to have:
a. Fracture
b. Breakage
Earth Science
c. cleavage
d. crystals
Rocks & Minerals
Name ___________________________ Date __________
Hour ___________
16. Minerals that do not break with a definite shape and are more like tearing a chunk out of a piece
of bread are considered to have:
a. Fracture
b. Breakage
c. cleavage
d. crystals
17. What is the difference between a gem and an ore? Give two examples of each that were
discussed in the notes? Gems are rare and beautiful (ex. Corundum-rubies) and ores are useful
and profitable to mine (ex. Bauxite- aluminum)
18. What does the density of a mineral have to do with its hardness?
As density goes up, so does hardness
19. How do you calculate the density of a mineral considering it is an irregularly shaped object?
We submerged it in measured amount of water, and found the volume by how much water was
20. What is the formula for calculating density? What are the units associated with a mineral’s
density? Be able to calculate density on your test at the lab station.
Density = mass/volume
21. List how hard a mineral is based on the following common hardness tests:
Fingernail 1-2
Copper Penny 3
Glass Slide 4-5
Iron Nail  6
Streak Plate or higher  8+
22. DEFINE & GIVE 3 EXAMPLES of each that we looked at in class:
Sedimentary Rocks: Formed by cementing of small grains together.
shale limestone
Metamorphic Rocks: Formed with heat and pressure.
schist gneiss slate
Igneous Rocks: Formed from cooling of liquid rock.
basalt pumice/scoria obsidian
23. How are igneous rocks formed? Where & under what conditions? What types of changes occur
to create igneous rocks? (Physical or Chemical?)
Chemical Only-heat only
24. How are sedimentary rocks formed? Where & under what conditions? What types of changes
occur to create sedimentary rocks? (Physical or Chemical?)
Pressure- physical mostly, can be chem..
Earth Science
Rocks & Minerals
Name ___________________________ Date __________
Hour ___________
25. How are metamorphic rocks formed? Where & under what conditions? What types of changes
occur to create metamorphic rocks? (Physical or Chemical?)
Both Heat and Pressure- Chemical and Physical
26. What is broken up or weather rock called? (Hint: Small pieces of rock)
27. The process of rocks changing from one form to another and eventually being “recycled” back to
the surface of the earth is called the _Rock_ Cycle
28. What is the difference between foliated metamorphic rocks and non-foliated rocks?
Striations (stripes)
29. Define:
a. intrusive igneous rocks
Under ground
b. extrusive igneous rocks
above ground
30. What type of grain size would intrusive/ extrusive rocks have?
Intrusive Larger Grains (slower cooling), Extrusive Smaller Grains (rapid cooling)
31. Rock fragments in nature are not all the same size because:
they are weathered at different rates and in different ways
volcanic eruptions can differ in size
not all rocks go through chemical weathering
pressure has not made them small enough yet
32. Rocks whose mineral crystals cool at a faster rate would have __smaller_________ crystals and
are called __extrusive__________ igneous rocks. Whereas, rocks whose mineral crystals cool at
a slower rate would have ___larger__________ crystals and are called ____intrusive________
igneous rocks.
33. T/F. The rocks that are present on earth today are recycled rocks that have been here for billions
of years and are just in a new form.
34. What is the most common element on earth? WHY????
Silicon and Oxygen –Silicates make up the largest % of the earth’s crust
35. What is a silicate?
Minerals formed with silicon and oxygen
36. How does the silica content affect the color of an igneous rock?
(Low) Darker color -------------Lighter Color (High)
Earth Science
Rocks & Minerals