Minerals are naturally occurring, solid, and inorganic substances that have a definite chemical composition (or range of compositions) and a regular internal atomic arrangement. Approximately 4,000 minerals have been identified on Earth.Rocks & Rock Cycles
A rock is a solid, cohesive aggregate of one or more minerals or mineral-like materials (such as volcanic glass).
The rock cycle is a fundamental concept in geology that describes the dynamic transitions through geologic time among the three main rock types: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. The rock cycle is driven by the combined effects of plate tectonics and surface weathering.
- Igneous–This type of rock is formed by the cooling and solidification of molten rock (magma or lava).
- Sedimentary–This type of rock forms either from the deposition and consolidation of fragments of preexisting rocks, or through the precipitation (biological or chemical) of minerals from a solution.
- Metamorphic–This type of rock is the result of the transformation of preexisting rocks through the process of metamorphism. Metamorphism refers to mineralogical, textural, and/or chemical changes that occur when a rock is subjected to changes in temperature, pressure, and/or chemical environment.
Visit the Limper Geology Museum to see firsthand a wide variety of interesting specimens of minerals and rocks of all kinds.