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Mineral Identification

Minerals can be identified using properties such as color, streak, luster, density, hardness, cleavage, fracture, and others.

Atoms Practice
Practice Mineral Identification
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Digital Mining
Teacher Contributed

Digital Mining


Digital Mining

Student Exploration

Mining has come a long way from the days of panning for gold in the river. Below is an example of using imaging spectroscopy on an area to identify the type and amount of minerals present:

Extension Investigation

  1. To learn more about the evolution of remote sensing to map the surface of the Earth can be found here: http://speclab.cr.usgs.gov/map.intro.html
  2. Using the USGS Mineral Resource Data System (http://mrdata.usgs.gov/mineral-resources/mrds-global.html), pick one particular part of the world and identify mineral resources that are available. Make sure to include in your report the type of commodity, the type of rock, the milling method, the amount recovered, and the total amount of present if included in data set.

Resources Cited

Mineral Resource Data System. United States Geological Survey. http://mrdata.usgs.gov/mineral-resources/mrds-global.html

Spectroscopy Lab. United States Geological Survey.



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