Question: Why are minerals not evenly distributed on Earth ?

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  1. good question!

    the distribution of minerals on earth is dependent on how and when they form. for example, there is a lot of heavy metallic minerals in the core of the earth and much lighter minerals in the crust. This distribution occured as the planet was forming and so the dense things sank and the lighter things floated.

    For minerals at the surface, you can find things like metals in very specific places and not spread throughout the crust. This is because metallic minerals often form as as part of a volcanic system (on land or under the ocean). The metallic minerals are deposited underground in theses systems and are only found when the volcano above is eroded away!

    hope that helps! 🙂


  2. Hi there!

    The formation of ore minerals is related to geologic processes and the rocks that are involved. For some minerals you really need hot temperatures, for some other minerals you need hydrothermal water circulation, and for some completely others you need volcanic eruptions.

    So some minerals form only in very special places. You have to look for the ancient geological process to find ore minerals today. And these are not evenly spread over the earth. Some regions have subduction zones and vulcanoes and sedimentary basins close or even stacked above each other, and some places have had very long phases without any big geological change and thus exhibit really old rocks.

    In principle you have to understand which process forms your mineral and then have to find the results of this process (the “host rock”) somewhere…

    All the best,


  3. Hi!

    Another great question! And Rhian and Andy have already given you two great answers.

    I think it partially also depends on the fact that during the Earth’s formation all the material wasn’t evenly mixed and distributed across all regions, so even during the cooling process materials were already unevenly spread out.

    The reason why the distribution is so important is obviously related to our need to extract some of there minerals. And with that respect, the funny thing is that actually if everything had been evenly distributed, in some cases it would actually be harder to get them out!
    Think of the ocean for example, there are so many substances dissolved in it, but they are so spread out and (sort of) well mixed, that it’s not really possible to extract them. It would be highly unpractical and also very expensive.