Sapphirine, biotite, and quartz from Madagascar. Photo from Géry Parent, Wikimedia Commons


Second Edition, July 2022, includes significant rewriting and photo replacements and addition of a large mineral encyclopedia (Chapter 14) with many photographs.

Written by Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota (2020)

This book was a team effort. In addition to the principal author, significant contributions came from Miranda Shanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Douglas Perkins, Kevin Henke, Alyssa Schultz, Paige Tibke, Hunter Morris, and Josh Crowell.

Companion Book
If you find this book of value, you may wish to check out the companion Open Petrology text.

Creative Commons
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. It is intended for educational purposes only. Classroom and class use do not require attribution. Copy what you wish for handouts, add our images and drawings to labs or lectures — do any of that without a worry.  Read more about limits on use by clicking on the Creative Commons link in blue above.

Printing and PDF Versions
Many people have asked us to provide printable files or pdf versions of this book. This is not easily done because every chapter of this book is a single web page. So there is no pagination. We have added buttons at the end of every chapter for printing or creating pdf files, but the results are not very good. If anyone has a better plugin or suggestion, please let us know.

Photo and Graphic Credits
The visuals, especially the photos, are one of the things that make this book what it is. The second edition of this book contains more than 1,200 figures; almost all are full color and most are photographs. And, the majority of the photos came from Wikimedia Commons or others websites where selfless individuals have made their material available under a Creative Commons license for educational purposes. We have put figure credits at the end of every chapter. But, a number of individuals deserve special recognition for all the terrific photos they have shared: James St. John, Didier Descouens, Robert M. Lavinsky, Géry Parent, Marie Lan Taÿ Pamart, Siim Sepp, Andrew Silver, Eurico Zimbres, Amcyrus2012, Alex Strekeisen, Chmee2, Kevin Walsh, Teravolt, Acroterion, Amotoki, Bereket Haileab, Brocken Inaglory, Daniel Mayer, Graeme Churchard, Jan Helebrant, John Krygier, Kelly Nash, Leon Hupperichs, Mike Norton, R. Weller, Raike, Roy Goldberg, Walter Siegmund, and Woudloper. Unbeknownst to them, every one of these individuals contributed multiple photos to this project.

Ongoing Project
The nature of this kind of book means that it is always an ongoing project. If you see need for changes or additions of any sort, please email the main author at: dexter[dot]perkins[at]und[dot]edu.  Minor corrections are made on a continual basis.

Web Browsers
You should try several browsers and use the one that works best for you. They will NOT all appear the same. Additionally, we warn that many tables will not render well on small screens, and not at all on cell phones.