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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Geology: What is a Silicate part 1 - Tetrahedron and Nesosilicates

What is a Silicate Part 1 Nesosilicates and a definition of Tetrahedrons...
This is a very simple image of a tetrahedron
Silicates make up the largest and most important rock group. Silicates are approximately 90 percent of the earths crust and they are generally classified by their structure. Silicates are most easily characterized as a crystal matrix built with silicon and oxygen.
There are many types of Silicates
  •  Nesosilicates or Orthosilicates - these silicates are the most simple, they are made up of tetrahedrons that are connected only by the atomic pull of a cation. 
    • Olivines, Garnets, Zircon and even a curious metamorphic mineral called kyanite 
  •  The chemical constituents of a simple tetrahedron is SiO4 ...meaning there are a total of five molecules. Four oxygen molecules make the triangular prism with the little silicon molecule sitting in the middle.

This is a more detailed image of what a tetrahedron really looks like with the molecules shown.