This book is intended for first year students of geology. The physical properties of minerals are described after a brief introduction presenting the rock cycle, followed by some relevant aspects of crystallography. Rock-forming minerals are then treated systematically, concentrating first on silicates followed by the most important non-silicate minerals. The three main groups of rocks are then considered: igneous (plutonic and volcanic), sedimentary and metamorphic. The text is well illustrated with 16 photographs of minerals and a total of 89 figures.
The first version of this text was written to serve as lecture notes for a first term geology course in “Minerals and Rocks” at Aarhus University in Denmark in 2003. In Aarhus this course is accompanied by a general “Introduction to Geology” course that presents, for example, the structure of the Earth, plate tectonics and paleontology. These topics are therefore not treated here, and some knowledge of the Earth´s structure and plate tectonics is assumed.
After a brief introduction to the Rock Cycle, this text presents the physical properties of minerals and an introduction to crystallography. The most important rock-forming minerals are then dealt with in a systematic way, followed by the three main rock groups – igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.
A lecture course in Minerals and Rocks must be accompanied by a parallel sequence of practical classes where, for example, crystal structures, minerals and rock types dealt with in theory are demonstrated in practice.
J. Richard Wilson