Minerals

A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic substance with a definite chemical composition. Explore common minerals in our mineral gallery.

Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks form from the cooling and solidification of magma (below the earth’s surface – intrusive rocks) or lava (above the earth’s surface – extrusive rocks)

Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks form from the lithification of sediments, precipitation from solution, or consolidation of the remains of plants and animals.

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic rocks form from the transformation of pre-existing rock into new rock as a result of high temperatures and/or pressures.

Common Invertebrate Fossils

A fossil is evidence of a plant or animal from a previous geologic period preserved in the earth’s crust.

Identification Techniques

Mineral ID

Minerals are identified based on a number of physical properties  including colour, lustre, streak, hardness, cleavage/fracture, and crystal habit.  Learn about each of these identification properties here.

Igneous Rock ID

Igneous rocks are identified based on their texture and colour index.  Learn about each of these identification properties here.  Also included in this section is an igneous rock identification chart.

Sedimentary Rock ID

Sedimentary rocks are identified based on their composition and texture (clastic/non-clastic and grain size, shape, sorting and packing).  Learn about each of these identification properties here..

Metamorphic Rock ID

Metamorphic rocks are identified based on their mineral composition and texture (foliated vs. non-foliated).  Learn about each of these identification properties here.