Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Practical experience of rock and mineral identification in hand specimen and in thin-section using a transmitted light microscope.
- Identify key textural/micro structural features of igneous and metamorphic rocks and appreciate the significance of such features with regard to geological processes that have operated.
- Ability to make detailed and annotated petrographic sketches from thin-section observation and to summarise the salient features and relate the chemistry of the system and environment of formation.
- Identify the common rock forming minerals of igneous and metamorphic rocks in both hand specimen and thin-section and classify the rock.
- Understand the magmatic processes that generate the variety of igneous rocks and compositions.
- Ability to interpret phase diagrams relevant to igneous systems and petrogenic grids relevant to metamorphic systems on the basis of mineral assemblages recorded in the rock.
- Be able to record, map and interpret the structure of an area of high deformation.
Methods: Coverage of igneous rock classification (mineralogical/geochemical); the use of geochemistry in petrogenetic concepts; an introduction to phase petrology and the concepts of partial melting and fractional crystallisation; a brief review of the main igneous rock spectrum and their tectonic setting. Introduction to the concept of metamorphic facies as a means of defining P-T conditions
Practicals: Hand specimen and thin-section description of various igneous and some metamorphic rocks.
Fieldwork: recording and mapping an area of high deformation
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Formal lectures: will provide an introduction to the theory underlying metamorphism, phase petrology, igneous rock classification and the use of geochemistry in petrogenetic concepts.
Practical classes & demonstrations: will exemplify the theory and allow you to develop skills in hand specimen and thin section description of various igneous and metamorphic rocks. Practical classes are fully interactive affording hands-on experience of using geological equipment under laboratory conditions. Practical manuals are an integral part of the course.
A week will be spent in the field training in advanced structural techniques.
A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.
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Theory examination (30%): A 2-hour written examination comprising two sections - one on igneous petrology and the other on metamorphic petrology. A total of 3 questions must be answered, with at least 1 from each section. Tests learning outcomes 3.
Igneous practical assessment (30%): Three pieces of coursework to be handed in at the end of practical classes (10% total) and a practical examination of petrological techniques in igneous systems and knowledge of igneous terminology and processes (15% total). Tests Learning Outcomes 1,2,4,5,6.
Fieldwork (40%): Assessment of field notebook, map and structural interpretation. Tests Learning Outcomes 7.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External