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teachthem
teachthem asks:
Q:

why are earth materials classified or not classified together?

In Topics: Helping my child with science
> 60 days ago

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Expert

greenprof2
Oct 18, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello -
your question is a bit unclear. Perhaps you are asking about rocks? or soils? or minerals? or even elements and compounds?

Geologists classify earth materials based upon common properties. In the case of elements, this results in the Periodic Table. Thus, non-reactive gases are all classified together as the inert elements. Other elements are classed as metals or non-metals.

Compounds are classified as inorganic or organic (Carbon-based), and in other ways as well, acid-bases for example.

Rocks are classified as to the way they were formed - igneous (formed from melted magma), sedimentary (formed from accumulated particles that become cemented together), metamorphic (formed from other rock types that are heated under pressure to form a new type).

Soils are classified by grain size, composition, among other characteristics, and also by how they were formed. This can be complicated, as you can see from the link.

I could be more specific but the question needs to be refined.

Good luck. Michael Bentley, Expert Panelist
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