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EarthA Tenant's Manual$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478239

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.001.0001

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Materials as Sustenance

Materials as Sustenance

The Occurrence of Useful Materials

Chapter:
(p.309) Chapter 22 Materials as Sustenance
Source:
Earth
Author(s):

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.003.0022

This chapter examines the limited supplies of the Earth's materials—in particular minerals, be they metals, sedimentary materials, or fuel. All our mineral resources come, not from the “whole Earth,” but from Earth's crust, whose relative thickness has been compared to that of a peach skin on a peach. And even within that thin skin, most useful minerals are rare. Ninety-eight percent of the crust is composed of only eight elements. The chapter discusses the occurrence and rarity of these materials, as well as how they are extracted, manufactured, and used, in more depth. It also shows how even these processes can have an effect on the environment, thus prompting measures to minimize damage to the environment.

Keywords:   minerals, mineral deposits, mining, metals, sedimentary materials, fuel, mineral resources, industrialization

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