Regents Earth Science Test Preparation Practice

    Formation Of Minerals


    Base your answers to questions 5 on the passage below and on your knowledge of Earth science.

    Waimea Canyon

    Waimea Canyon is located on the west side of the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Waimea Canyon has been referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” But unlike the Grand Canyon, which was carved through horizontal layers of sedimentary rocks, Waimea Canyon was cut through basalt. The formation of this igneous rock began about 4 million years ago. Numerous lava flows followed as magma rose from deep within Earth. The canyon then was formed over time by erosional agents, causing deep, V-shaped valleys that exposed the basalt layers along the canyon walls.

    Over time, the composition of the basalt, where it was exposed at the surface, was changed due to oxidation (rusting) of iron-bearing minerals, such as pyroxene and olivine. The result is a canyon with red rocks and soils.


    Base your answers to questions 6 on the diagram of Bowen’s Reaction Series below, which shows the sequence in which minerals crystallize as magma cools and forms different types of igneous rocks from the same magma. The arrow for each mineral represents the relative temperature range at which that mineral crystallizes.

    rocks-and-minerals, formation-of-minerals, standard-6-interconnectedness, models fig: esci12013-exam_g36.png


    Base your answers to questions 7 on the passage below and on your knowledge of Earth science.

    The Mica Family

    The familiar term “mica” is not the name of a specific mineral, but rather the name for a family of more than 30 minerals that share the same properties. All members of the mica family have high melting points and are similar in density, luster, hardness, streak, type of breakage, and crystal shape. As a result, telling the micas apart can be difficult. However, some common members of the family can be identified by color. For example, biotite is black to dark brown while muscovite can be light shades of several colors, or even colorless. When less common members of the mica family have any of these colors, or have similar colors, chemical tests are needed to tell them apart.


    Base your answers to questions 8 on the data table below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The data table shows the range of temperatures at which different minerals crystallize as molten magma cools and solidifi es.

    rocks-and-minerals, formation-of-minerals, standard-1-math-and-science-inquery, eccentricity-rate-gradient-standard-error, standard-6-interconnectedness, models fig: esci82022-exam_g49.png