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Geological Implications

This section takes into consideration everything we have discussed so far. We will take a glance back at the formation of rocks and minerals, concentrating on mineral and energy resources. These resources focus mainly on our fossil fuels—oil, natural gas and coal. However, we use a variety of other material as well. Most of the resources we use are done so indirectly. For example, each person will use over 450,000 pounds of coal in their lifetime. While you may not go to the store and purchase coal to use like you would gasoline for your car, you do it in other indirect ways—for instance, most electricity in the US is generated by coal burning.

Thumbnail: An open-pit copper mine in Chuquicamata, Chile. Image used with permission (CC BY-SA 2.0;  Reinhard Jahn).

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