Earth is constituted of different minerals which are naturally formed and found on the planet’s surface. Studying CBSE Geography Class 10, you will get to know about the different types of metals and minerals and how they are formed and classified. Furthermore, you will learn about energy resources and their significance in the contemporary world which is struggling with finding the equilibrium for optimum utilisation of resources. This blog elucidates upon Class 10 Geography Chapter 5 and elaborates on the minerals and energy resources and exploring their types, classifications and other salient features.
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What are Minerals?
Let’s first understand what minerals are all about.
Minerals are substances that are formed naturally in the Earth. There are around 4000 minerals on the earth’s surface. Minerals are usually solid and inorganic with a crystal structure and form naturally by geological processes. The study of minerals is called mineralogy. A mineral can be made of a single chemical element or more usually a compound of different constituents. Minerals and energy resources are quite different from each other in terms of how they are formed and what they are used for. Some of the main characteristics of minerals are as follows:
- An element or compound found in the earth that is solid, formed naturally in the earth.
- Minerals are formed through natural processes and have the same chemical structure as their atomic design.
- They have a definite structure which is due to closely packaged atoms thus creating an orderly crystalline structure.
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Classification of Minerals
Minerals are classified in terms of the arrangement of their atomic number as well as the valency of electrons. While elaborating upon minerals and energy resources, let’s take a look at the classification of minerals:
Metallic minerals are composed of metals in their original form and possess a very crystalline atomic arrangement. Metallic minerals are composed of ferrous minerals and non-ferrous minerals.
Ferrous Minerals: Metallic minerals containing iron are called ferrous minerals and they are generally hard and sturdy. They are mainly found in solid form except for Hg(mercury). The major iron ore belts in India are:
- Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur Belt
- Ballari-Chitradurga-Chikkamagaluru-Tumakuru Belt
- Maharashtra-Goa Belt
- Odisha-Jharkhand Belt
Non-ferrous Minerals: Under the topic of Minerals and Energy Resources, the Non-ferrous Minerals are those do not contain the iron ore. For example, Copper and Bauxite and some of the major non-ferrous belts in India are located in below-mentioned states:
- The Balaghat mines in Madhya Pradesh, Khetri mines in Rajasthan, and Singhbhum district of Jharkhand are leading producers of copper.
- Deposits are mainly found in the Amarkantak plateau, Maikal hills and the plateau region of Bilaspur-Katni.
Take a look at Metals & Non Metals!
These minerals neither contain metals nor have a crystalline structure and this makes them bad conductors of electricity however their molecules are tightly packed inside the atomic structure thus giving them the characteristic of being semi-permeable. Some of the examples of non-metallic minerals are coal, petroleum, limestone, and mica. In India, the main deposits are found in the northern edge of the Chota Nagpur plateau. While studying the chapter on Minerals and Energy resources, the most important thing you must remember about these types of minerals is that they are found in rocks composed of calcium carbonates or calcium and magnesium carbonates. It is the basic raw material for the cement industry and is essential for smelting iron ore in the blast furnace.
Bringing a unique combination between minerals and energy resources, these are non-ferrous minerals that are used to produce electricity, fuel for transportation, heating for homes and offices, and for manufacturing plastics. Some of the key examples of energy minerals are oil, coal, natural gas and uranium.
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Mode of Occurrence of Minerals
While exploring the topic of Minerals and Energy resources, it is also important to learn about the occurrence of different types of minerals. To begin with, minerals are most commonly found on earth’s surface in the form of “ores” and mineral reserves. Ore is a natural rock or sediment that contains valuable minerals, typically metals. The term “ore” is used to describe an accumulation of any mineral mixed with other elements. The process of extraction of ore is done through mining and the final shape is accumulated when it’s treated or refined by the process of smelting. Minerals usually occur in the following forms:
- The decomposition of surface rocks and the removal of soluble constituents are the common forms of minerals.
- Minerals also occur as alluvial deposits in sands of valley floors and the base of hills.
- The other forms also include the presence of minerals undersea and oceans. The ocean waters contain vast quantities of minerals and ores.
- Igneous rocks, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are some minerals that may occur in the forms, crevices, cracks, faults, and joints.
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Conservation of Minerals
Minerals play an essential role in different purposes and are considered among those resources which are non-renewable hence it becomes very important to conserve the minerals and use them judiciously. Some of the chief methods of conservation are as follows:
- Restoration of already depleted mines and restricting heavy mining of mineral ores
- Giving protection to animals and plant species or special areas of land or water
- Nature Reserves and Zoos
- Education Alternative Energy.
- Alternate sources of energy
Energy resources are all forms of fuel that we use in modern times petroleum, LPG, and CNG. Similar to the classification of minerals, Energy resources are also divided into the following types:
Also called non-renewable energy, the conventional energy resources are those that cannot be reused once they cease to exist on the earth’s surface. These include coal, petroleum, natural gas, and electricity.
Coal – It’s an essential fossil fuel in India. India is strongly reliant on coal to fulfill its commercial energy demands.
Natural gas – It is utilized both as an energy source and as a manufacturing raw material in the petrochemical industry. It is deemed an environmentally friendly fuel due to its low greenhouse gas emissions.
Petroleum – It provides fuel for heat and lighting, lubricants for machinery, and raw materials for several manufacturing industries. Petroleum refineries operate as ‘nodal industries’ for synthetic textiles, fertilizers, and several petrochemical industries.
Electricity – It is mainly produced by:
- Hydro turbines for the generation of hydroelectricity(renewable resource)
- The burning of fuels such as coal and petroleum, natural gas for the production of thermal energy.
These types of energy resources can be reproduced again and again even if they are being used at larger scales and some of the examples of Non-conventional energy are solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and biogas.
Nuclear or Atomic Energy – It is achieved, by modifying the composition of the atoms. Uranium and thorium, accessible in the Jharkhand and Aravali ranges of Rajasthan, are often used for nuclear or nuclear power generation. The monastic sand of Kerala is also abundant in thorium.
Solar energy – As a tropical country, India has an ample supply of sunlight, so there are great opportunities to utilize solar energy.
Wind energy – Wind power is abundant in India. The largest cluster of wind farms is located in Tamil Nadu, from Nagarcoil to Madurai. Other states with farms are Andhra Pradesh. Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, etc. Nagarcoil and Jaisalmer make efficient utilization of wind energy. effective use of wind energy.
Bio-gas – It is mainly used, for household consumption in rural regions. Biogas plants that use cattle dung are known as ‘gobar gas plants’ in rural India.
Tidal energy – Coastal tides may be used to produce energy. In India, the Gulf of Kuchchh provides optimum criteria for the use of tidal energy.
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When heat and electricity are generated by using thermal energy from the inside of the earth, it is known as Geo-Thermal Energy. In India, geothermal energy is wielded from Parvati Valley near Manikarn, Himachal Pradesh, and Puga Valley, Ladakh.
Conservation of Energy Resources
Energy is a key requirement for economic growth. There is an immediate need to create a sustainable energy path of development. India is currently one of the least energy-efficient nations in the world. A rational approach to the sound use of our limited energy resources should be deployed.
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