ELEMENTS, MINERALS, AND
The layers of the lithosphere are made up
of elements, minerals, and rocks.
• Substances that cannot be broken apart in any
way by chemical or physical means
• They are the building blocks of minerals
• Example: Carbon and oxygen
Inorganic compounds of one or more
elements found naturally in the lithosphere
Minerals combine in infinite variety to make
Of the 92 elements found in nature, only
eight form most of the earth’s crust
The combination of one or more elements
creates a mineral
Ex. Of one element – coal, made up of pure carbon
Examples: gold, silver, and copper
Often identified with a chemical formula
Ex. Silicon dioxide (SiO2) is quartz
When several minerals are cemented
together to form rocks
Ex. Granite is made up of quartz, mica, and orthoclase
or plagioclase feldspar.
Rocks and minerals seem indestructible,
but they are actually constantly changing.
Existing rocks are being worn down and
crushed by natural processes, and new
rocks are constantly being formed as
sediments are cemented together or as
volcanoes spew lava into the air.
Rocks are classified as either igneous,
sedimentary, or metamorphic, according
to how they were created.
% of the Earth’s Crust
Oxygen O 46% 91%
Silicon Si 28% 1%
Aluminum Al 8% 1%
Iron Fe 5% 1%
Calcium Ca 4% 1%
Sodium Na 3% 2%
Potassium K 3% 2%
Magnesium Mg 2% <1%
Carbon C <1% <1%
Sulphur S <1% <1%
Lead Pb <1% <1%
Hydrogen H <1% <1%
Created from molten rock, or magma,
deep within the crust and upper mantle.
These rocks are often found on the
earth’s surface in one of two ways: via
volcano eruptions or erosion
Formed when a volcano erupts and molten
rock, or lava, flows over the earth’s surface.
When it cools, new rock is formed.
Depending on the minerals in the lava and
the speed in which it cools, a wide variety of
different igneous rocks can be created.
Ex. Obsidian: Resembling black glass, this
rock is formed when lava is cooled so
rapidly that crystals do not get a chance to
Originate when molten rock solidifies deep
within the lithosphere
These plutonic rocks eventually reach the
surface as erosion gradually wears away the rock
Much of the igneous rock in Canada was formed
Ex. Granite, takes on different colours depending
on how quickly they formed and what type of
material they are made up of. Granite is made
up of either pick feldspar or gray feldspar, plus
quartz, hornblende, and mica.
Created from deposits of broken-up material
(sediments) that accumulate in oceans and lakes,
deposited by weathering (wind, glaciers, or water)
Sediments are transformed into rock, by being
compacted and cemented together.
Compaction occurs when new layers of sediments are deposited on
top of older layers. The weight of upper layers squeezes out any
spaces between particles that make up the layers beneath, and
presses the weathered material tightly together.
Cementation occurs when minerals, dissolved in water, filter
through the sediment. At a certain temperature and pressure, the
minerals precipitate out of the water solution and remain in the
spaces between the rock particles, cementing the particles together.
Classified by their origin and texture.
There are 3 different types of sedimentary rock:
clastic, chemical, and biogenic.
All three types of sedimentary rocks can be found
Formed when accumulations of stones and
smaller pieces of weathered rock are
cemented together naturally.
Textures range from:
Shale (made from clay deposited in a lake – very smooth)
Sandstone (made from sand deposited in moving water –
fine particles, rough texture)
Conglomerate (stones and large boulders deposited in fast
moving water and cemented together – rough, large
Ex. Shale, sandstone, and Breccia
Formed from chemical processes
Classified by texture and source
Ex. Gypsum, formed when water
evaporated, leaving the dissolved salts
on the sea floor.
Flint, is a hard chemical sedimentary
rock that forms from quartz crystals that
are cemented together by fine silica gel.
Formed from living organisms
Most common examples are dolomite
and limestone, which are both created
from the shell and skeletal remains of tiny
sea creatures. This leaves a calcium
Calcium carbonate cements these
fragments together, creating limestone.
Dolomite is formed when magnesium
carbonate cements them together.
“Meta” means change
“Morph” means shape
Metamorphic rocks changes more than just their shape
Estimated that 85% of the upper crust is made of
metamorphic rock, buried under sedimentary rock
They change in mineral composition, structure, and texture
as a result of the great pressure and heat that exist in the
The amount of change depends on the amount of heat (over 300oC) and
pressure exerted on it.
Formed in places where there is enormous pressure and
More types of metamorphic rock than there are igneous or
sedimentary rocks. Each sedimentary and igneous rock has
at least one metamorphic equivalent.
Ex. Marble, gneiss, schist, and quartzite
Hard to identify because they are like igneous rocks, but
they are different because of a banded structure called:
When pressure is intense, minerals may align themselves in layers within the
There are two major types: Contact and Dynamic
1. Contact Metamorphic Rock
• Those that change as a result of the heat given off
during the formation of intrusive igneous rocks
2. Dynamic Metamorphic Rock
• Formed when compressed by the weight of rock
layers above them or by tectonic forces.
to page 89 in your textbook and
complete the diagram of the rock cycle