Ch 14 Geologic Resources: Nonrenewable Mineral and Energy Resources
1. List three types of mineral resources, and give one example of each.
2. Clarify the relationship between identified resources and reserves.
3. Distinguish between subsurface and surface mining.
4. Briefly describe the environmental impacts of mining.
5. Draw a hypothetical depletion curve. Project how this curve would be affected by the following changes in assumptions:
(a) recycling of the resource is increased, (b) discoveries of new deposits of the resource are made, (c) prices rise
sharply, and (d) a substitute for the resource is found.
6. Visually illustrate distribution of the world’s nonfuel mineral resources. State which foreign sources are most critical to
U.S. needs. State which of those sources are potentially politically unstable.
7. List environmental impacts of extracting, processing, and using mineral resources.
8. Summarize the U.S. 1872 Mining Law. List seven ways to reform this law.
9. How do we find and extract mineral resources from the earth’s crust?
10. Will there be enough nonrenewable mineral resources for future generations?
11. How much of the total energy used to heat the earth and the earth’s buildings comes from commercial energy? List five
key questions to ask about each energy alternative to evaluate energy resources.
12. Define net energy, and state its significance in evaluating energy resources.
13. Distinguish among primary, secondary, and tertiary oil recovery.
14. List the advantages and disadvantages of using conventional oil, oil from oil shale, and oil from tar sands to heat space
and water, produce electricity, and propel vehicles.
15. Distinguish among natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas, and synthetic natural gas.
16. List the advantages and disadvantages of using natural gas as an energy source.
17. List and describe three types of coal. Indicate which is preferred for burning and which is most available.
18. List and briefly describe three methods for extracting coal.
19. List advantages and disadvantages of using coal as a fuel source.
20. Briefly describe the components of a conventional nuclear reactor.
21. List advantages and disadvantages of using conventional nuclear fission to create electricity. Be sure to consider the
whole nuclear fuel cycle, including disposal of radioactive wastes, safety and decommissioning of nuclear power plants,
and the potential for proliferation of nuclear weapons.
22. Summarize current thinking about disposal of low-level and high-level radioactive wastes.
23. List and briefly describe three ways to decommission a nuclear power plant.
24. List findings of a 1987 commission that brought the credibility of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to safeguard the
nuclear power industry into question.
25. Describe the potential use of breeder nuclear fission and nuclear fusion as energy sources.
26. How should we evaluate energy alternatives?
area strip mining contour strip mining LPG
bitumen breeder nuclear fission reactor petrochemicals
coal coal gasification radioactive waste
coal liquefaction crude oil synfuels
depletion time dredging natural gas
deuterium (D; hydrogen-2) fissionable isotope tar sand
gangue geology nuclear energy
identified resources mineral nuclear fusion
kerogen liquefied natural gas (LNG) oil shale
mineral resource mountaintop removal petroleum
nonrenewable mineral resource open-pit mining shale oil
ore other resources synthetic natural gas (SNG)
overburden reserves liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
smelting spoils meltdown
strip mining subsidence net energy
subsurface mining surface mining nuclear fission
tailings undiscovered resources oil sand