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Geology and mineralogy of the Khibiny

The Khibiny are the mountains in the Kola peninsula. They represent an impressive-looking massif as a plateau with steep slopes. Geographic location of the mountains is very picturesque: The Khibiny are laid between lakes Imandra and Umbozero. People have very interesting names of its parts - Old wife tundra in the north and Kandalaksha bay in the south. Strange it may appear but the Khibiny are still not fully explored. Its mystery and rebellious behaviour attracts rock climbers and extreme sport fans in any season of the year. And it is really has something to catch the eye: mountains form rocky hill with different arrow-headed peaks. It seems that they are fully covered with moss and low lichen together with low grass and northern plants. Its slopes are dressed with thick evergreen forests, good place for hunters. One can't travel to the Khibiny but to see its best sights: Lyavinskaya sopka and Poutelle sopka. As in old times they hid a lot of mysteries and secrets which are not open to strangers.

Mineral Astrophyllite

The Khibiny massif located in the Kola peninsula is a unique one. It represents magmatic rock mass comprising of alkaline rocks, remarkable for more than 100 unique minerals found here.

The Khibiny mountains has circular-type structure. Individual complexes of rocks are the arches as they were put one into another and open at the one side. It can be explained by magma penetration along the faults. The rock mass is connected to the larger structure of the Baltic crystalline shield that the whole Kola peninsula can be referred, too. In the west of the Kola peninsula between the massifs there are large-size depressions. Khibiny and Lovozero tundra are remarkable for the highest mountains in the peninsula. In the east of the peninsula there are mainly plateau and lowlands.

The Khibiny tundra as well as Lovozero ones are located in so called «Earth's skull». Geographers of the last centuries called by the Earth's skull name the mineral resources of the Kola land. This metaphor has a deep meaning: there are only several places where the ancient rocks formed at a great depth many billions years ago can crop the modern surface. These huge parts of the Earth's crust have names of the crystalline shields. Kola peninsula, Karelia and Scandinavian countries, Finland, Norway, Sweden are located within the structures of the Baltic crystalline shield. If consider crystalline outcrops to be the Earth's skull, then its skin is the thin, in geological terms, film of glacial deposits on the surface of the area.

The Earth crust is the outer solid cover of our planet. At average its thickness is about 30-50 kilometers. The Earth crust is comprised of the rocks, the rocks contain great amount of minerals. Minerals are the chemical compounds of substances found in nature: silicates, oxides, carbonates, phosphates and others. All the rocks are divided into 3 main groups: sedimentary, magmatic and metamorphic. The first one were formed by sedimentation of the substance in the water medium as well as a result of glacial activity. The second one - during consolidation and crystallization of the volcanic magma. The last one were previously sedimentary or magmatic and then transformed under high pressure and temperatures during a long time until their mineral composition, structure and texture partly or fully changed.

Among several thousand of minerals well-known to all scientists in the world there about 30 basic ones that are often to be found. They form consistent combinations, rocks. Such minerals are usually called rock-forming. They are: quartz, feldspar, mica, calcium and magnesium carbonates - calcite, dolomite, salts, iron silicates, magnesium and aluminium - amphiboles, pyroxenes, andalysite, disthene, kyanite, diamond spar and others.

Any rock comprises of two-three basic minerals. All the rest minerals are also found in the rocks, but in small quantities that's why they are called secondary ones. They are apatite, garnet, magnetite and very many other ore and nonmetallic minerals.

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