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Petrology

Author Profile
Kirsten Nicolaysen
,
http://people.whitman.edu/~nicolakp/

Whitman College
a
Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate
.

Summary

Course focuses primarily on igneous petrology with limited metamorphic petrology content. Course is typically taken by junior or senior students.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Type: Upper Level:Petrology
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an upper division required petrology course. Prerequisites are an introductory geology course, one year of chemistry, mineralogy. Class has three one-hour lectures and one three hour lab. Some of the lab time is spent in the field.

Course Goals:

Goals: The goal of the lab portion of the class is to enable you to identify and interpret the geologic history of igneous and metamorphic rocks based on 1) their mineralogy and textures as seen in hand sample and thin section and 2) their chemical compositions.
Specific goals and skills At the end of this course you should be able to:
- interpret the geologic history of igneous rocks based on mineral assemblage and textures using both hand sample and microscope techniques
- design and implement a field sampling campaign
- use a portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer to collect elemental analyses
- evaluate the quality of data using basic statistics
- use MS Excel to organize, plot, and evaluate the petrogenesis of CRB using elemental data
- explain to a peer how magma is generated in the Earth's mantle
- explain at least three ways magma typically evolves en route to the surface
- interpret isotopic composition diagrams to identify continental, mantle contributions to a magma
- predict what suites of igneous and metamorphic rocks should be found in different plate tectonic settings

Skills Goals

- learn to interpret igneous rock textures and assemblages
- design and implement a field sampling campaign
- use a portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer to collect elemental analyses
- evaluate the quality of data using basic statistics
- use MS Excel to organize, plot, and evaluate the petrogenesis of CRB using elemental data


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Semester project covers four lab periods as well as preparatory class times spent discussing two journal articles that present alternative hypotheses. Student teams collect, evaluate quality and plot data. Teams write a report that includes graphs of the data.

Assessment

2-3 quizzes on hand sample assemblages and textures
lab exercises
team report
final exam

Syllabus:

Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 126kB Oct17 08)


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