What's the difference between a rock and a mineral?

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Episode Number: 46

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Location Taken: US

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Steve Sobieszczyk. Today's question goes out to all you geologists and geology teachers out there.

What's the difference between a rock and a mineral?

A mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic compound with a unique chemical structure and physical properties. A rock is a solid, stony mass composed of a combination of minerals or other organic compounds. For example, quartz and feldspars are minerals, but when formed together, they make a rock, granite.

And now you know. Join us every weekday for a new CoreFact. If you have a question you think we should answer on the air, email it to us at corefacts@usgs.gov or leave us a voicemail at 703-648-5600; don't forget long distance fees do apply.

The USGS CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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