Most minerals have the right to be characterized and classified through their distinct physical properties: hardness, luster, color, streak, certain gravity, cleavage, fracture, and also tenacity.
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The capability to withstand being scratched—or hardness—is among the most useful properties for identifying minerals. Hardness is identified by the capability of one mineral to scratch another. Federick Mohs, a German mineralogist, created a hardness scale (table 5) utilizing a collection of ten conventional minerals. The scale arranges the minerals in stimulate of increasing hardness. Every higher-numbered (harder) mineral will certainly scratch any kind of mineral v a lower number (softer).
A rough measure that mineral hardness have the right to be do by assembling a kit of handy objects (table 6). A fingernail has actually a hardness ranging from 2 come 2.5, a penny is a tiny harder than 3, window glass ranges from 5.5 to approximately 6 in hardness, and also a knife blade is usually in the variety of 5 come 6.5.
|Hardness||Mineral||Common field test|
|1||Talc||Easily scratched v a fingernail|
|2||Gypsum||Scratched by a fingernail (2.5)|
|3||Calcite||Scratched by a penny (3)|
|4||Fluorite||Difficult to scratch by a pond (4); scratched easily by a knife (5)|
|5||Apatite||Difficult to scrape with a knife (>5); right scratches glass (5.5)|
|6||Feldspar||Scratched by a steel document (6.5); easily scratches glass|
|7||Quartz||Scratches a steel document and glass|
|8||Topaz||Difficult to test in the field|
|9||Corundum||Difficult to check in the field|
|10||Diamond||Difficult to check in the field|
Creating a Mineral Hardness test Kit
|5.5||Window glass (2 inch square; use caution make this scrape plate. Ice cream the edges of the glass through duct tape. Girlfriend may be able to get this reduced at a local hardware store.)|
|6.5||Steel file or tempered steel. Shot to uncover an old, broken or worn level file|
Luster is just how a mineral reflects light. The terms metallic and nonmetallic explain the straightforward types that luster. Table 7 lists the most typical terms provided to define luster and an example of a equivalent mineral. Part minerals the don"t exhibition luster are referred to as "earthy," "chalky," or "dull."
One of the most noticeable properties that a mineral is color. Shade should be thought about when identify a mineral, however should never be used as the major identifying characteristic.
Streak is the color of the powdered mineral, i beg your pardon is usually an ext useful for identification 보다 the color of the whole mineral sample. Rubbing the mineral on a streak bowl will develop a streak. A streak plate deserve to be made from the unglazed ago side that a white porcelain toilet or kitchen tile. Some minerals won"t streak since they are harder than the streak plate.
Specific gravity is the ratio in between the massive (weight) the a mineral and the mass (weight) the an equal volume the water. A mineral"s details gravity (SG) deserve to be determined by separating its weight in waiting by the weight of an equal volume of water. Because that instance, quartz with a thickness of 2.65 is 2.65 times as hefty as the exact same volume the water.
The way in i beg your pardon a mineral breaks follow me smooth flat planes is called cleavage. These breaks take place along plane of weakness in the mineral"s structure. However, if a mineral breaks along an irregular surface, the does not have cleavage.
When a mineral division irregularly, the breaks are referred to as fractures. The breaks can be described as grainy, hackly (jagged), conchoidal (curved), or splintery.
How fine a mineral resists breakage is well-known as tenacity. Tenacity is explained using these terms:Brittle - Mineral crushes come angular fragments (quartz).Malleable - Mineral have the right to be modified in form without breaking and can be flattened to a thin sheet (copper, gold).Sectile - Mineral can be reduced with a knife into thin shavings (talc).Flexible - Mineral bends but doesn"t reclaim its shape as soon as released (selenite, gypsum).Elastic - Mineral bends and also regains its initial shape as soon as released (muscovite and also biotite mica).
See more: Salt And Sugar Crystals Look The Same When Viewed With A Magnifying Glass.
Other Diagnostic Characteristics
Other qualities may be valuable in identifying part minerals:Transparency - Objects are visible as soon as viewed v a mineral.Translucency - Light, however not an image, istransfer through a mineral.Opaqueness - No irradiate is transmitted, even on the thinnest edges.Taste - Taste can be used to help identify some minerals, such together halite (salt).Acid reaction - object reacts come hydrochloric acid. The most distinguishing characteristic of calcite is the it effervesces when hydrochloric acid is applied. Dolomite reflects a reaction top top a freshly broken or powdered surface. Experimentation for calcite, limestone, or dolomite calls for 10% hydrochloric acid, but strong white vinegar have the right to be substituted because that the acid.Magnetism - Magnetism is a separating characteristic the magnetite.Crystal shape - Cubic, rhombohedral (tilted cube), hexagonal (six-sided), etc. Part crystal forms are portrayed below.