Most of earth’s crust is made up of a small number of minerals.Article by: Hobart M. King, PhD, RPG
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The most Abundant mineral in Earth"s Crust: recognized as the "common rock-forming minerals", they room minerals existing at the time of a rock"s formation and also are essential minerals in determining the rock"s identity. Relative abundance percentages indigenous Ronov and Yaroshevsky; Chemical composition of the Earth"s Crust; American Geophysical Union Monograph Number 13, chapter 50, 1969.

You are watching: List the two most common rock-forming mineral groups


What room Rock-Forming Minerals?

Scientists have identified over 4,000 different minerals. A little group of this minerals make up almost 90% that the rocks of earth’s crust. These minerals are known as the usual rock-forming minerals.

To be taken into consideration a typical rock-forming mineral, a mineral must: A) be one of the most abundant minerals in earth crust; B) be among the original minerals existing at the moment of a crustal rock’s formation; and, C) be critical mineral in identify a rock’s classification.

Minerals that conveniently meet these criteria include: plagioclase feldspars, alkali feldspars, quartz, pyroxenes, amphiboles, micas, clays, olivine, calcite and dolomite.


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Rock-Forming minerals in major Rock Types: This chart reflects the family member abundance of the usual rock developing minerals in several of Earth"s most abundant absent types. Basalt and also gabbro account for many of the absent in the oceanic crust, granite (rhyolite) and also andesite (diorite) represent numerous rock types of the continental crust. Sandstone, shale and carbonates stand for the common materials in the sedimentary cover of continents and ocean basins.


Minerals of the Oceanic Crust

As an instance of the affect of simply a few minerals, let’s take into consideration the rocks that the oceanic crust. The oceanic crust is largely composed the basalt and gabbro. These two rock varieties are comprised of mostly of plagioclase feldspar and also pyroxenes, through smaller amounts of olivine, micas and also amphiboles. This tiny group the minerals makes up most of the rocks that the oceanic crust.

Minerals the the continent Crust

As a 2nd example, let’s consider the rocks that the continent crust. The continental crust is made up mainly that rocks v a granitic to andesitic composition. These rocks are composed mainly of alkali feldspar, quartz, and plagioclase feldspar, v smaller quantities of amphiboles and also micas. This small variety of minerals renders up many of the continental crust.


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Minerals in the Sedimentary Cover

Both the oceanic and continental crusts are partly covered with a slim layer of sedimentary rocks and sediments. This consist mainly of clastic rocks such as sandstone, siltstone and also shale, together with carbonate rocks such together dolostone and also limestone. This clastic rocks room composed of largely quartz, clay minerals, and also a small amount of micas and feldspar minerals. The lead carbonate rocks consist primarily of calcite and dolomite. A small number of materials, written of a small number of minerals, comprise most that the sediment and also sedimentary rocks the cover the continents and also ocean basins.


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