Sedimentary Rock Formation Processes

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Upon death, their hard parts accumulate on the ocean floor as sediments, and eventually may become the sedimentary rock ________.

Though limestone can form inorganically, the vast majority is formed by this biological process.Another example is marine organisms called radiolaria, which are zooplankton that precipitate ________ for their microscopic external shells.

When the organisms die, the shells accumulate on the ocean floor and can form the sedimentary rock ________.

An example of biologic precipitation from the vertebrate world is ________, which is composed mostly of a type of apatite, a mineral in the phosphate group.

The 3 apatite found in bones contains calcium and water in its structure and is called hydroxycarbonate apatite, Ca5(PO4)3(OH).As mentioned above, such substances are not technically minerals until the organism dies and these hard parts become ________.

Sublimation from a vapour. This process is somewhat rarer, but can take place at a volcanic vent, or deep in space where the pressure is near ________.

When magma is emplaced at depth or extruded onto the surface, it starts to cool and mineral crystals can form. This process is known as ______ - ______ reactions.

Solid-Solid reactions involve minerals reacting with other minerals in the ______ state to produce one or more new minerals.

Mineral formation can occur when magma cools down, when water from a mineral solution evaporates leaving behind the crystals, and when minerals precipitate out of ______.

A particular mineral cannot form unless the chemical elements necessary to make that mineral are ______.

The environments of mineral formation and growth geologically are highly varied, ranging from slow crystallization at high temperature and pressures of igneous melts deep within the Earth's ______ to low temperature precipitation from saline brine at the Earth's ______.

The natural environments of mineral formation are divided according to energy sources into major groups as: 1. ______ (hypogene): related to the internal energy of the earth – deep-seated processes in the interior of the earth and are associated with igneous activity.

Minerals in sedimentary rocks are either stable in low-temperature hydrous environments (e.g. ______)

Sedimentary minerals exhibit a range of solubilities such that the most insoluble minerals such as quartz, gold, apatite and diamond accumulate in the ______ detrital sedimentary rocks

Less resistant minerals such as feldspars, which weather to ______, accumulate in finer grained siltstones and mudstones

The most soluble minerals such as calcite, gypsum, anhydrite, and halite (rock-salt) are chemically precipitated in ______ deposits

Igneous rocks can be generally classed according to their silica content with ______-silica

Minerals in igneous rocks must have high melting points and be able to co-exist with, or crystallize from, silicate melts at temperatures above 800 º C.Igneous rocks can be generally classed according to their silica content with ______-silica (.5GPa)

Metals of the center and right-hand side of the periodic table most commonly occur in ______ minerals

High temperature hydrothermal minerals include gold, silver, tungstate minerals, chalcopyrite, bornite, the tellurides, and ______

Low temperature hydrothermal minerals include barite, gold, cinnabar, pyrite, and ______

Sulfide minerals are not stable in atmospheric oxygen and will weather by oxidation to form ______, sulfates and carbonates of the chalcophile metals

Such deposits are called gossans and are marked by yellow-red iron oxide stains on rock surfaces. These usually mark mineralized zones at ______

In geologic environments where mineral formation is taking place, the various chemical elements compete with one another to form stable ______

Electrons orbit around the nucleus in different shells labelled as K, L, M, N, etc., based on the ________ quantum number

The K-shell can have ________ electrons

Isotopes are atoms of the same element with differing numbers of ________

Some isotopes are unstable which results in ________

Elements with similar configurations of outer shell electrons have similar ________ properties

Based on the energy levels of the various sub-shells, the electronic structure of atoms can be filled in, forming the basis of the periodic table of the ________


  • Minerals can form through various processes, including: sedimentation from biological sources, sublimation, crystallization from magma or liquids, and solid-solid reactions (recrystallization).
  • Biological processes play a significant role in mineral formation, as hard parts of deceased organisms accumulate and eventually become sedimentary rocks like limestone and chert.
  • Limestone can form through the precipitation of calcium carbonate from the shells and skeletons of marine organisms.
  • Radiolaria, a type of zooplankton, contribute to the formation of chert through the precipitation of silica for their microscopic external shells.
  • Bone, a biologic substance composed mostly of hydroxycarbonate apatite, contributes to mineral formation upon death.
  • Minerals can also form through non-biologic processes, such as sublimation from a vapor, crystallization from magma or liquids, and solid-solid reactions.
  • Heat is a measure of the intensity of atomic vibrations, and when the vibrations are violent enough, chemical bonds can break and minerals melt.
  • Magma is molten rock with freely moving ions, which can form minerals when it cools and crystallizes.
  • Minerals can form during solid-solid reactions, such as those that take place during metamorphism and diagenesis.
  • Minerals form in various geologic environments, including igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
  • Igneous minerals form at high temperatures from silicate melts, and can be classified according to their silica content and the energy source of their formation.
  • Sulfide minerals form from the chalcophile elements (metals on the center and right-hand side of the periodic table) and are most commonly found in hydrothermal environments.
  • The electronic configuration of atoms plays a role in the types of minerals that can form, as elements with similar configurations of outer shell electrons have similar chemical properties.
  • Isotopes, atoms of the same element with differing numbers of neutrons, can impact the atomic weight and stability of elements, such as potassium (K) with isotopes 39, 40, and 41, and the radioactive isotope 40K.
  • The periodic table of the elements is based on the filling of atomic shells and sub-shells, with elements exhibiting similar configurations of outer shell electrons having similar chemical properties.


Learn about the processes involved in the formation of sedimentary rocks, including compaction, cementation, and recrystallization. Understand the types of minerals found in sedimentary rocks and how they are influenced by environmental conditions.

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