Geologic Resources, Their Occurrence and Use
Natural resources are substances that form on the Earths’ crust in their original form; that is, they normally occur on their own without any influence from human beings. These resources are either efficient for human survival or useful in men’s study of the environment around them. Mineral resources are naturally made substances that can be found in the Earth’s crust, whereas energy resources are those that create heat or can be made by pressurized heat from the environment. Some of the examples of mineral resources include various metals deposited in the Earth, while some examples of energy resources include sun water and fossil fuels.
Renewable energy resources are substances that can produce energy a number of times without absolute depletion or following frequent replenishments; they include solar, wind, geothermal, and animal or plant-related resources. In addition, renewable energy resources have been in existence since the formation of the Earth and have been the most reliable sources of energy for human survival; for example, since ancient times, people have relied on plants/wood for fuel and the sun for lighting. On the other hand, non-renewable resources are those substances that can be used only once. They cannot be produced again or take a long time to be replenished. Generally, non-renewable energy resources are scarcely available and include fossil fuels such as natural gas, petroleum, and coal. Most contemporary energy sources come from these resources.
Indiana is a good example of a place consisting of large deposits of minerals and high production of energy. Some of the major minerals found in Indiana include metals such as Aluminum, zinc, lead, and iron ore, among others. Other minerals include gypsum, lime, dimension stone, sand, and gravel. In relation to energy resources, Indiana has the highest deposit of coal in the US, although it also produces petroleum and natural gas.
Generally, extraction of coal in Indiana is mainly done around the Illinois Basin, with both underground and surface mining taking place. Primarily, coal is used to generate energy for industries and domestic consumption. Gypsum is extracted from underground mines found in the western and northern parts of Indiana. Generally, gypsum is used in the construction industry, mainly as a building material for making wallboards and plaster. Finally, dimension stones are extracted from limestone quarries found in the south-central parts of Indiana and are mainly used as building materials.