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Geosciences LibreTexts

Rock Forming Minerals

One of the related fields of geology is mineralogy: the study of minerals. Geologists rely on minerals for many reasons. Not only are some minerals considered resources we use, such as gypsum, but they are the basis for the formation of rocks. Minerals are classified in different ways based on the elements that they contain. Matter (elements) makes up the minerals and minerals make up rocks. We can’t understand rocks and rock forming process or some of the other areas of geology until we have a basic knowledge of minerals.

Thumbnail: Close-up (1×1 cm) of sand from the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. Image used with permission (CC BY-SA 3.0; Siim Sepp).