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Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and the minerals are known to be the building blocks of our active planet. They are the
reason how the landscapes are formed and these provide all the necessary valuable resources
needed within our environment. Knowing about these structures, we will be able to know
about the events that have shaped our earth and those which will continue to shape our planet.
You would have learnt about the phrase ‘rocks and minerals’ at some stage of science in
schooling. The reason for which we say ‘Rocks and minerals’ is because that they both are
two different words. Rocks are composed of minerals, but minerals are not said to be
composed of rocks. The Main rocks on the earth contain minerals such as magnetite, feldspar,
quartz, mica, epidote etc. Minerals have a commercial value which is of very immense,
whereas the rocks are mined in order to extract these minerals. These mined rocks are called
as ores, and the residue of these rocks after mineral has been extracted from it is called as

Facts about Rocks and Minerals

Ever wondered about the differences between a mineral and rock. What makes a rock
different from a mineral. Let’s find out answers to these questions and other important
relevant aspects of rock and mineral.

It is said that diamond is a girl’s best friend. Sapphires, Rubies and many other expensive
gemstones are well known to represent royalty. But scientifically, should we use the word
rock to describe a diamond.
The reason behind writing rocks and minerals is because both are two separate things.
Minerals are not rocks and rocks are not minerals.
What are Rocks?
A Rock is an inorganic, solid and natural substance without any specific atomic structure or
chemical composition. It is simple to remember that rocks are made up of two or more
minerals. Examples of rocks involve limestone, granite, marble, slate and sandstone. Each of
these rocks consists of different minerals that can be mixed up with the rock through different
geologic processes.
Glyder Fawr rocks
Let’s consider granite. It mostly consists of three minerals namely: quartz, mica and feldspar.
All these minerals exist in nature but mixed up with the rock. Sometimes you see big chunks
of one of these minerals in granite, but when you take that stone as a whole, you have to call
it rock.

What are Minerals?

A mineral is defined as a natural, inorganic solid substance which has a crystalline
structure with a particular chemical composition. A mineral is said to possess different
chemical composition which defines it crystalline shape and form. Whereas, the rock which
is said to be comprised of several minerals, is generally classified based upon the process of
its formation.

Dioptase – bluish-green copper cyclosilicate mineral

Let us study in detail about the uniqueness and various differences coming between Rock and
minerals.Let’s break it down bit by bit.
Primarily, minerals are solid and exist naturally. Natural solids can be familiar like granite,
sand wood and salt. According to the definition, minerals are inorganic. This reveals that
minerals do not have living tissues.
It also describes that minerals consist of crystalline structure. This indicates the component
atoms of the substance consist of 3-dimensional repeating arrangement. The above picture
shows the arrangement of salt atoms. Salt is also known as sodium chloride since it is made
up of two kinds of atoms: sodium and chlorine. Both are placed together in a 3-dimensional
lattice which repeats over one another until a salt crystal is obtained. Sand is also small
chunks of quartz of crystal made up of oxygen and silicon atoms.
Differences between Rocks and Minerals
Sometimes it is not easy to spot different minerals since there are rocks which are finer than
granite. Slate is a stone which is made up of clay and clay consists of tiny particles. The
particles can be apatite, minerals like quartz, feldspar, kaolinite and much more. But these
crystals are not visible in the rock slate. The slate has the same texture and colour. But it
cannot be called as a mineral since it does not have a regular chemical composition or atomic
structure. Rocks are made up of minerals and minerals are independent and stand alone.

Sl.no Rocks Minerals

A rock is inorganic and a solid naturally- A mineral is also a solid, inorganic, substance as
1. formed substance without any chemical that of the rock which has a definite crystalline
composition or atomic structure. structure as well as chemical composition.

2. Rocks comprises of minerals A Mineral does not comprise of rocks

Rocks exist in the tiny form which is also These are said to be easily distinguishable in
microscopic in nature. nature.

These occur in solid form on the earth’s

4. Minerals are said to occur as mineral deposits.

Rocks exhibit some physical properties The distinct process of rocks are colour, crystal
5. like colour, shape, lustre, texture and the habit, hardness, specific gravity, fracture, lustre,
pattern and tenacity

Some of the examples of rocks are sand,

Few examples of minerals are the fossil fuels such
6. pebbles, shells, and few fragments of
as coal, petroleum, etc.
some material

Rocks do not possess definite shape and Minerals are said to have a definite shape and the
are found in different colours. colour.

NCERT 5th Class (CBSE) Science: Rocks and Minerals

admin September 4, 2017 5th Class, Science 4 Comments 31,255 Views

Question: Name the three layers of the earth.

Answer: The three layers of the earth are:
1. Crust

2. Mantle

3. Core – Outer core, Inner core

Question: Name the three types of rocks with one example each.
Answer: The three types of rocks are:
1. Igneous rock – pumice

2. Sedimentary rock – shale

3. Metamorphic rock – marble

Question: What are metamorphic rocks ? How are they formed?

Answer: Rocks that have changed their form over time are called metamorphic rocks. They are formed due to physical and
chemical changes in igneous, sedimentary, or older metamorphic rocks themselves due to heat and pressure.

Question: What are minerals ? Give any three examples of minerals.

Answer: All rocks are made up of substances called minerals. Minerals arwe chemics;l substances that occur in nature. Eg: gold,
silver and iron.

Question: What are magnets? Mention the two types of magnets with examples.
Answer: Magnets are the substances that can attract objects made up of iron, cobalt and nickel. There are two types of magnets :-
1. Natural magnets: These are found in nature and these are made up of a mineral called magnetite.

2. Man-made: These are made by man from iron, cobalt and nickel.

Question: Name the different types of igneous rocks. Describe any two.
Answer: The different types of igneous rocks are:
1. Granite

2. Obsidian

3. Pumice

1. It is smooth and glassy and is formed by quick cooling of lava.

2. It is used in making jewellery and ornaments.

3. It is usually black or dark coloured.

1. It is porous, or full of holes is formed from lava that is frothy with a lot of air within it.

2. It is the only rock that can float.

3. It is used in making light weight materials like concrete blocks.

Question: How are sedimentary rocks formed? Name the different types of sedimentary
rocks. Describe any one.
Answer: Sedimentary rocks are formed by repeated deposition of rocks particles that are worn away from mountains by winds and
The different types of sedimentary rocks are:

1. Conglomerate
2. Sandstone
3. Shale
4. Limestone
1. It is made up of solidified clay apart in thin layers.
2. It is used in making bricks and cement.
Question: What are the different types of metamorphic rocks? Describe any two.
Answer: The different types of metamorphic rocks are:
1. Marble
2. Slate
3. Gneiss
4. Quartzite
1. It is formed from shale a sedimentary rock.
2. Like shale, it splits into flat layers.
3. It is used in making brick and cement.
1. It is formed from granite.
2. It has different kinds of minerals in it< giving it a striped or streaked look.
3. It is used as building stone.

Question: Describe the various uses of rocks and minerals.

Answer: Uses of rocks are:
1. Rocks are used as building material for making schools, houses, roads and bridges. Some rocks are used in their original
form while some are used to make bricks, cement, tar and concrete. For eg: granite, limestone, sandstone and marble.
2. Rocks give us useful metals for eg meals like iron, copper and aluminium are used for making utensils and precious
metals like gold, platinum are used for making jewellery.
3. Rocks give us fuel for eg: coal is used for producing electricity, heating and moving nuclear energy.
4. Rocks are used as gemstones for eg: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald are used for making jewellery because when
they are polished they appear shiny and beautiful.
Uses of minerals:
1. Minerals like Sulphates and Nitrates are used as fertilizers because they help the plant to grow.
2. Minerals are a very important part of our diet. For eg: minerals like calcium, sodium and iron are required for the healthy
functioning of our body.

Question: Continuous heating and cooling breaks even a hard rock into small pieces of
sand. What should we learn from this process?
Answer: This process teaches us that no matter how hard we are but with regular practice and hard work and guidance of our elders
we can become a fine human being.

Question: How does heat and pressure of earth contribute to the formation of
metamorphic rocks?
Answer: Heat and pressure of the earth can change the physical or chemical composition of igneous or sedimentary rocks and leads
to the formation of metamorphic rocks.

Question: Can we find fossils in the granite or marble mines? Why?

Answer: We can find fossils in the granite or marble mines because it is formed from sedimentary rocks which can have fossils in
them during their formation.

Question: What is the difference between magma and lava.

Answer: The difference between magma and lava is:
1. Magma: Molten rock inside the earth is called magma.
2. Lava: Molten magma that flows out onto the surface of the earth is called lava.

Question: Name the important minerals that are found in igneous rocks.
Answer: The important minerals that are found in igneous rocks are:
1. Mica
2. Feldspar
3. Magnesium