Fossil Fuels and Minerals
Fossil Fuels and Minerals CheckPoint
There are many questions that are still unanswered by science with regards to the Earth and all that it contains. Fortunately for the modern world, some very important answers have already been uncovered - literally. Looking at where fossil fuels and minerals come from helps one to understand and locate useful materials that mother Earth has created for humanity.
One thing both mineral and fossil fuels have in common is their association with plate tectonics. From coal deposits (fossil fuel) “that were formed in warm low-latitude environments but are now in frigid polar lands which gives evidence for plate tectonics (Murck, B.W., Skinner, B.J., & Mackenzie, D. (2008) pg. 460)”, to ore deposits that form near present or past plate boundaries. This is where the similarity with regards to origin ends.
Fossil fuels come from dead organic matter. As vegetation and animals die their remains can become compacted and put under pressure. Sediment and additional vegetation and animal remains build up over the previous layer. This process increases temperatures causing the matter to change into fossil fuels. The temperature of the compressed matter determines the type of fossil fuel that is produced, for example; coal and oil.
Hydrothermal (precipitated minerals dissolved from superheated water that is rapidly cooled), metamorphic (result of contact metamorphism), magmatic (result of crystallization), sedimentary (salts remaining from evaporating water from lake or shallow sea), placer (from mineral bearing rocks that are eroded and transported by water), and residual (left in rock after chemical weathering) deposits are each examples of deposits that form when natural processes concentrate certain types of material in one location creating mineral deposits. Examples of mineral deposits are; copper, zinc, chromium, gypsum, gold, and aluminum.
Once again, understanding plate tectonics continues to...