Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources<br />A renewable resource can be replenished over fairly short time spans such as months, years, or decades.<br />By contrast, a nonrenewable resource takes millions of years to form and accumulate.<br />
Fossil Fuels<br />A fossil fuel is any hydrocarbon that may be used as a source of energy.<br />They include coal, oil, and natural gas.<br />
Coal<br />Coal forms when heat and pressure transform plant material over millions of years. <br />Power plants primarily use coal to generate electricity.<br />
Petroleum and Natural Gas<br />Petroleum and natural gas form from the remains of plants and animals that were buried in ancient seas.<br />Petroleum formation begins when large quantities of plant and animal remains become buried in the ocean floor sediments. <br />
Tar Sands and Oil Shale<br />Energy experts believe that fuels derived from tar sands and oil shales can become good substances for dwindling petroleum supplies.<br />
Tar Sands<br />Usually mixtures of clay and sand combined with water and varying amounts of black, thick tar called bitumen. <br />Mining tar sand causes substantial land disturbance. <br />
Oil Shale<br />Oil shale is a rock that contains a waxy mixture of hydro carbons called kerogen. It can be mined and heated to vaporize the kerogen. <br />
Formation of Mineral Deposits <br />Practically every manufactured product contains substances that come from minerals.<br />Ore is a useful metallic mineral that can be mined for a profit.<br />
Mineral Resources and Igneous Processes<br />Igneous processes produce important deposits of minerals such as gold, silver, mercury, lead, platinum, and nickel.<br />
Hydrothermal Solutions<br />Generate some of the most best-known ore deposits.<br />Most form from hot, metal-rich fluids that are left during the late stages.<br />
Placer Deposits<br />Form when eroded heavy minerals settle quickly from moving water while less dense particles remain suspended and continue to move.<br />
Nonmetallic Mineral Resources<br />Nonmetallic mineral resources are extracted and processed either for the nonmetallic elements they contain or for their physical and chemical properties. <br />
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