The Bottom Line on the Digital Mineral Bank - Here on Top!
The purpose of this website is to provide a fully online, self-contained body of resources (text, images, videos, and links) useful for the study, review, and identification of a limited set of unknown mineral samples. Observations of online resources for each unknown may be recorded on a Data Form (provided online, and downloadable) and then compared with a somewhat larger table of known minerals named and described in this Mineral Bank.
Bottom Line: An identification is made for the closest match between the properties observed in the unknown sample and one mineral in the bank.
Errors/Suggestions: Contact Scott Brande (see footer).
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The Digital Mineral Bank
Organization of the Digital Mineral Bank
This limited bank of minerals includes all unknown samples provided in the website.
The bank is a workbook with multiple tabs. The first tab - All Minerals - includes the entire bank of identified minerals.
Columns record information for observable properties used in this website - it is necessarily simplified and incomplete.
Some entries in the bank are links to external resources that provide additional information that may be helpful in identifying a particular mineral.
Tabs in Digital Mineral Bank Workbook
The technology available for this online workbook provides for subsetting the entire bank of identified minerals by different combinations of observational properties.
This has been done and results are displayed in additional tabs.
Non-metallic: subset of the bank that displays only the non-metallic minerals
Metallic: subset of the bank that displays only the metallic minerals
Non-metallic < 5.5: subset of the bank that displays only the non-metallic minerals softer than glass
Non-metallic > 5.5: subset of the bank that displays only the non-metallic minerals harder than glass
Streak_White < 5.5: subset of the bank that displays only the minerals that produce a white streak and are softer than glass
Streak_White > 5.5: subset of the bank that displays only the minerals that produce a white streak and are harder than glass
These subsets may aid in the process of mineral identification by providing clues as more observations are made.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Digital Mineral Bank
Bank is Limited in Comparison to Textbook/Lab book
The limited number of identified minerals in this bank - n=24 - is far smaller than more extensive tables typically found in physical geology laboratory texts (e.g., AGI/NAGT Laboratory Manual). The number of properties to be observed and recorded is also limited in comparison to some textbooks.
These characteristics may become either advantages or disadvantages depending on the learning objectives and goals of the particular laboratory course.
Some Advantages of a Reduced Set of Minerals Identified in Bank
limited choices reduce the frequency of faulty identification
limited choices reduce the time for identification process
limited choices decrease the cognitive load associated with the identification process
Some Disadvantages of a Reduced Set of Minerals Identified in Bank
limited choices eliminates particular minerals that may be of special interest
limited choices eliminate more difficult comparisons helpful in developing a higher level of expertise