When silicon and oxygen, the two most common chemical elements on Earth, combine with a metal, they forma silicate. There are over 500 silicates that exist, quartz is one.

Silicate mineral, any of a large group of silicon-oxygen compounds that are widely distributed throughout much of the solar system.

The silicates make up about 95 percent of Earth’s crust and upper mantle, occurring as the major constituents of most igneous rocks and in appreciable quantities in sedimentary and metamorphic varieties as well. They also are important constituents of lunar samples, meteorites, and most asteroids. In addition, planetary probes have detected their occurrence on the surfaces of Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Of the approximately 600 known silicate minerals, only a few dozen—a group that includes the feldspars, amphiboles, pyroxenes, micas, olivines, feldspathoids, and zeolites—are significant in rock formation.

Credit: Britannica

Picture credit: Google

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