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Teaching Petrology Using the Primary Scientific Literature

Use readings from the primary literature to: provide a historical perspective of our science; promote critical thinking; help students develop analytical and synthetic thinking; demonstrate applications of modern scientific methods and techniques; and prepare students to begin to contribute to our scientific heritage.

Teaching Strategies

Many of us use the primary literature in our courses. However, students (particularly undergraduates) need some guidance in learning how to mine the information in professional scientific writings. Here are a few examples of different approaches one can take in teaching students how to read journal articles.

Recommended Review and Landmark Volumes

Reviews of Mineralogy and Geochemistry-- thematic volumes

Consider using chapters from the Reviews of Mineralogy and Geochemistry series. These volumes are the primary source reference for the chosen topics. These volumes are written at a level of an upper division undergraduate or starting graduate student. Each volume provides essential background information for each topic, and also presents the "state of the art". A great place for students to engage in-depth study of the topic, or as a foundation to start a new research project! See a complete listing of topics in this series, and purchase these volumes, at the Mineralogical Society of America Bookstore

Volumes of Landmark Papers (compiled and edited from the "classical" published literature)

Landmark Papers in Volcanic Petrology, papers selected by Ian S. W. Carmichael (2004). This volume provides an historical perspective of the great advances in volcanic petrology. Order from the Mineralogical Society of America. A collection of "classic" articles, with editorial commentary on the context and impacts of these important contributions.


Landmark Papers No 3, Metamorphic Petrology (2007), edited by B.W. Evans. Order from the Mineralogical Society of America. A collection of "classic" articles, with editorial commentary on the context and impacts of these important contributions.

Topics covered

  • The laws of metamorphism
  • Barrovian metamorphism
  • The metamorphic facies
  • Metamorphism of limestone and the petrogenetic grid
  • Composition projections
  • Mixed volatiles
  • Blueschists
  • Pseudosections
  • Thermal models of collision belts
  • Mineral thermometry
  • Thermodynamic data base of minerals
  • Fluid driven metamorphism
  • Kinetics: experiment and theory
  • Ultra-high pressure metamorphism
  • Kinetics: field

Readings from Elements Magazine

Each volume of Elements Magazine focuses on a mineralogy, petrology, or geochemistry topic of interest. These are typically short articles that are easily accessed by students at all levels. The articles provide a good entree to the context and significance of each topic, and the applications to Science and society. Suggested volumes from the recent past that can readily be used in mineralogy, petrology or geochemistry courses include:


Recommended Articles on Igneous Petrology

This is a compilation of scholarly articles recommended for use in igneous and metamorphic petrology courses. The original compilation was made by Allen Glazner, University of North Carolina, with subsequent contributions made by colleagues on the Mineralogical Society of America email list.

  • Bowen, N. L., and Andersen, O., 1914, The binary system MgO-SiO2: American Journal of Science, v. 37, p. 487-500.
  • Bowen, N. L., 1948, The granite problem and the method of multiple prejudices: in Origin of Granite, Geological Society of America Memoir 28, p. 79-90. (See Read paper and other papers and discussion in that volume)
  • Clemens, J.D., 2003, S-type granitic magmas--petrogenetic issues, models and evidence: Earth-Science Reviews, v. 61, p. 1-18.
  • Coleman, D. S., Gray, W., and Glazner, A. F., 2004, Rethinking the emplacement and evolution of zoned plutons: Geochronologic evidence for incremental assembly of the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite, California: Geology, v. 32, p. 433-436, doi: 10.1130/G20220.1.
  • Collins, W. J., 2002, Hot orogens, tectonic switching, and creation of continental crust: Geology, v. 30, no. 6, p. 535-538.
  • Eichelberger, J. C., 1978, Andesitic volcanism and crustal evolution: Nature, v. 275, p. 21-27.
  • Eichelberger, J.C. 1980, Vesiculation of mafic magma during replenishment of silicic magma reservoirs, Nature, v. 288, p.446.
  • Glazner, A. F., Bartley, J. M., Coleman, D. S., Gray, W., and Taylor, R. Z., 2004, Are plutons assembled over millions of years by amalgamation from small magma chambers? GSA Today, v. 14, p. 4-11, doi: 10.1130/1052-5173(2004)014<0004:APAOMO>2.0.CO;21996.
  • Hamilton, W. B., 2003, An Alternative Earth: GSA Today, v. 13, no. 11, p. 4-12. (tough going, but it has provided endless fun)
  • Holness, M.B., 2005, Spatial constraints on magma chamber replenishment events from textural observations of cumulates: the Rum Layered Intrusion, Scotland: Journal of Petrology, v. 46, p. 1585-1601.
  • Long and Wood, 1986, Structures, textures and cooling histories of Columbia River basalt flows, GSAB v. 97, p. 1144 [this is a bit advanced, but is a fantastic paper for going from outcrop scale observations of jointing, to petrographic observations, to basic thermal modelling]
  • McBirney, A. R., and Hunter, R. H., 1995, The cumulate paradigm reconsidered: Journal of Geology, v. 103, no. 1, p. 114-122.
  • Perfit, M.R., (2001). Mid-Ocean Ridge Geochemistry and Petrology. in Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, J. Steel, S. Thorpe and K. Turekian, eds., Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1778-1788.
  • Perfit, M.R. et al., 1994, Small-scale spatial and temporal variations in mid-ocean ridge crest magmatic processes: Geology, v. 22, p. 375-379
  • Read, H. H., 1948, Granites and granites: in Origin of Granite, Geological Society of America Memoir 28, p. 79-90. (See Bowen paper and other papers and discussion in that volume)
  • Sparks et al, 1977, Magma mixing: a mechanism for triggering acid explosive eruptions. Nature, v. 267, p315

"Classic" Articles on Igneous Petrology Compiled from MSA Listserv January 2012

The January 2012 MSA listserv contains review articles as well as articles on basaltic magma generation, granitic rock, volcanic rocks, and igneous processes. You can also download a Word document that contains the January 2012 MSA petrology article compilation (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 25kB Jan31 12).


Reviews
  • Yoder, H. S., editor, 1979, The evolution of the igneous rocks; fiftieth anniversary perspectives: Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 588 p.
  • Yoder, H.S., 1993, Timetable of petrology: Journal of Geological Education, v. 41, no. 5, p. 447-489.
  • Foulger, G., 2009, MantlePlumes.org: Foundations of Earth Science: http://www.mantleplumes.org/Foundations.html (January 2012)
  • Carroll, M.R., and Holloway, J.R., editors, 1994, Volatiles in Magmas: Washington, D.C., Mineralogical Society of America, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, v. 30, 517 p.
  • Putirka, K. D., and Tepley, F.J., editors, 2008, Minerals, Inclusions and Volcanic Processes: Washington, D.C., Mineralogical Society of America, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, v. 69, no. 1, 674 p.
Basaltic Magma Generation
  • Bailey, B.E., Clough, C.T., Wright, B.A., Richey, J.E., and Wilson, G.V., 1924, Tertiary and post-Tertiary geology of Mull, Loch Aline, and Oban: Geological Survey of Scotland Memoir, 449 p.
  • Brown, G.M., 1956, The Layered Ultrabasic Rocks of Rhum, Inner Hebrides: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, ser. B, v. 240, no. 668, p. 1-53.
  • Green, D.H., and Ringwood, A.E.,1967, The genesis of basaltic magmas: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 15, no. 2, p. 103-190.
  • Hess, H.H., 1960, Stillwater igneous complex, Montana: A quantitative mineralogical study: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America Memoir 80, 230 p.
  • Irvine, T.N., Anderson, J.C.O., and Brooks, C.K., 1998, Included blocks (and blocks within blocks) in the Skaergaard intrusion: Geologic relations and the origins of rhythmic modally graded layers: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 110, no. 11, p. 1398-1447.
  • Irvine, T.N., 1974. Petrology of the Duke Island ultramafic complex, southeastern Alaska: Geological Society of America Memoir 138, 240 p.
  • Jackson, E.D., 1961, Primary textures and mineral associations in the ultramafic zone of the Stillwater complex, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 358, 106 p.
  • Jones, W.R., Peoples, J.W., and Howland, A.L., 1960, Igneous and tectonic structures of the Stillwater complex, Montana: U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin B 1071-H, 59 p.
  • McBirney, A.R., and Noyes, R.M., 1979, Crystallization and layering of the Skaergaard intrusion: Journal of Petrology, v. 20, no. 3, p. 487-554.
  • Nockolds, S.R., 1940, The Garabal Hill - Glen Fyne Igneous Complex: Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, v. 96, p. 451-511.
  • Schiffries, C.M., and Rye, D.M., 1990, Stable isotope systematics of the Bushveld complex: I. Constraints on magmatic processes in layered intrusions. American Journal of Science, v. 289, no. 7, p. 841 – 873.
  • Schiffries, C.M., and Rye, D.M., 1990, Stable isotope systematics of the Bushveld complex: II. Constraints on hydrothermal processes in layered intrusions: American Journal of Science, v. 290, no. 3, p 209-245.
  • Sun, S.S., and McDonough, W.F., 1989, Chemical and isotopic systematics of oceanic basalts: implications for mantle composition and processes in Sanders, A.D., and Norry, M.J., editors, Magmatism in the Ocean Basins: London, UK, Geological Society of London Special Publications, vol. 42, p. 313-35.
  • Wager, L.R., Brown, G.M., and Wadsworth, W.J, 1960. Types of igneous cumulates. Journal of Petrology, v. 1, no. 1, p. 73-85.
  • Wager, L.R., and Deer, W.A., 1939, Geological investigations in east Greenland: Part III, The petrology of the Skaergaard Intrusion, Kangerdlugssuaq, East Greenland: Copenhagen, Denmark, Meddelelser Om Gronland, v. 105, no. 4, 335 p.
  • Walker, K.R., 1969, The Palisades Sill, New Jersey: a reinvestigation: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America Special Paper 111, 178 p.
  • Walker, F., 1940, Differentiation of the Palisade diabase, New Jersey: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 51, no. 7, p. 1059-1105.
  • Yoder, H.S., and Tilley, C.R., 1962, Origin of basalt magmas: an experimental study of natural and synthetic rock systems: Journal of Petrology, vol. 3, no. 3, p342-529.
Granitic Rocks
  • Bowen, N. L., 1928, The evolution of the igneous rocks: Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 334 p.
  • Brown, P.E., 1967, Major element composition of the Loch Coire migmatite complex, Sutherland, Scotland: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 14, no. 1, p. 1-26.
  • Buddington, A.F., 1959, Granite emplacement with special reference to North America: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 70, no. 6, p. 671-747.
  • Coleman, D. S., Gray, W., and Glazner, A. F., 2004, Rethinking the emplacement and evolution of zoned plutons: Geochronologic evidence for incremental assembly of the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite, California: Geology, v. 32, no. 5, p. 433-436.
  • Gilluly, J., chairman, 1948, Origin of granite: Geological Society of America Memoir 28, 139 p.
  • Jahns, R.H., and Burnham, C.W., 1969, Experimental studies of pegmatite genesis: I. A model for the derivation and crystallization of granitic pegmatites: Economic Geology and the Bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists, vol. 64, no. 8, p 843-864.
  • Jahns, R.H. and Tuttle, O.F., 1963, Layered pegmatite-aplite: Mineralogical Society of America Special Paper 1, p. 78-92.
  • Krauskopf, K.B., 1968, A tale of ten plutons: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 79, no. 1, p. 1-17.
  • Pabst, A.R., 1928, Observations on inclusions in the granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada: University of California Publications in Geological Sciences, v. 17, no. 10, p. 325-386.
  • Tuttle, O.F. and Bowen, N.L., 1958, Origin of granite in the light of experimental studies in the system NaAlSi3O8-KAlSi3O8- siO2-H2O: Geological Society of America Memoir 74, 153 p.
  • Weaver, J.H., 1958, Utuado pluton, Puerto Rico: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 69, no. 9, p. 1125-1141.
  • Whitney, J. A., 1988, The origin of granite: The role and source of water in the evolution of granitic magmas: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 100, no. 12, p. 1886-1897.
Volcanic Rocks
  • Lipman, P.W., Christiansen, R.L., and O'Connor, J.T., 1966, A compositionally zoned ash-flow sheet in southern Nevada: US Geological Survey Professional Paper P 0524-F, p. F1-F47.
  • Hildreth, W., 1981, Gradients in silicic magma chambers: implications for lithospheric magmatism: Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 86, no. B11, p. 10153-10192.
  • Hildreth, W., and Wilson, C.J.N., 2007, Compositional zoning of the BIshop Tuff: Journal of Petrology, v. 48, no. 5, p. 951-999.
Igneous Processes
  • Haskin, L.A., 1979, On rare-earth element behavior in igneous rocks in Ahrens, L.H., ed., Origin and Distribution of the Elements: New York, New York, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, v. 11, p. 175-189.
  • DePaolo, D.J., 1981, Trace element and isotopic effects of combined wallrock assimilation and fractional crystallization: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 53, no. 2, p. 189-202.
  • Haskin, L.A., and Paster, T.P., 1979, Geochemistry and mineralogy of the rare earths in Gschneidner, K.A., and Eyring, L., editors, Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths: Amsterdam, Netherlands, North-Holland Publishing Company, p. 1- 80.
  • O'Hara, M.J., and Mathews, R.E., 1981, Geochemical evolution in an advancing, periodically replenished, periodically tapped, continuously fractionated magma chamber: Journal of the Geological Society of London, v. 138, p. 237-277.

Recommended Articles on Metamorphic Petrology


This is a compilation of scholarly articles recommended for use in igneous and metamorphic petrology courses. The original compilation was made by Allen Glazner, University of North Carolina, with subsequent contributions made by colleagues on the Mineralogical Society of America email list.


  • Bohlen, S.R., Valley, J. W., and Essene, E. J., 1985, Metamorphism in the Adirondacks. I. Petrology, Pressure and Temperature, Jour. of Petrology, vol 26, p. 971-992.
  • Edmond, J.M., 1992, Himalayan tectonics, weathering processes, and the strontium isotopic record in marine limestones: Science 258, 1594-1597.
  • Ernst, W.G., 1988, Tectonic history of subduction zones inferred from retrograde blueschist P-T paths: Geology 16, 1081-1084.
  • Kemp A.I.S., Hawkesworth C.J., Paterson, B.A. and Kinny, P. (2006). Episodic growth of the Gondwana supercontinent from hafnium and oxygen isotopes in zircon. Nature, 439, 580-583—could accompany the Collins paper.
  • Mezger, K., Bohlen, S. R., and Hanson , G. N., 1990, Metamorphic history of the Archean Pikwitonei granulite domain an dthe Cross Lake subprovince, Superior Province, Manitoba, Canada, Jour of Petrology, vol 31, p. 483-517.
  • Selverstone, J., Pun, A., and Condie K. C., 1999, Xenolithic evidence for Proterozoic crustal evolution beneath the Colorado Plateau, GSA Bulletin v. 111 #4, p. 590-606.
  • Smith, C.A., Sisson, V. B., Ave Lallemant, H. G., and Copeland, P., 1999, Two contrasting pressure-temperature-time paths in the Villa de Cura blueschist belt, Venezuala: possible evidence for Late Cretaceous initiation of subduction in the Caribbean. GSA Bull, v. 111 #6, p. 831-848.
  • Whitney, D.L., Teyssier, C., and Vanderhaeghe, O. (2004) Gneiss domes and crustal flow. In: Whitney, D.L., Teyssier, C., and Siddoway, C.S., (eds.) , Gneiss Domes in Orogeny , Geological Society of America Special Paper 380, 15-33.

"Classic" Articles on Metamorphic Petrology Compiled from GEO-Metamorphism Listserv January 2012

The January 2012 MSA listserv contains general articles as well as articles on Solid Inclusion Piezothermometry, Tectonometamorphism, Tectonometamorphic Mineral Kinetics, Preferred Orientation, and Tectonometamorphic Rates. You can also download a Word document that contains the January 2012 MSA metamorphism article compilation (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 21kB Jan31 12).


General Articles
  • Carmichael, D., 1978, Metamorphic bathozones and bathograds: American Journal of Science, v. 278, no. 6, p. 769-797.
  • Coleman, R.G., Lee, D.E., Beatty, W.B., and Brannock, W.W., 1965, Eclogites and eclogites: their differences and similarities: Geological Society of American Bulletin, v. 76, no. 5, p 483-508.
  • Dodson, M.H., 1973, Closure temperature in cooling geochronological and petrological systems: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 40, no. 3, p. 259-274.
  • England, P.C., and Thompson, A B., 1984, Pressure-temperature-time paths of regional metamorphism: I. Heat transfer during the evolution of regions of thickened continental crust: Journal of Petrology, v. 25, no. 4, p. 894-928.
  • Ernst, W.G., editor, 1975, Metamorphism and plate tectonics: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Dowden, Hutchinson, and Ross Inc., Benchmark Papers in Geology, 440 p.
  • Ghent, E.D., 1976, Plagioclase-garnet-Al2SiO5-quartz; a potential geobarometer-geothermometer: American Mineralogist, v. 61, no. 7-8, p. 710-714.
  • Greenwood, H.J., 1967, The N-dimensional tie-line problem: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 31, no. 4, p. 465-490.
  • Guidotti, C.V., 1982. A review of chemical and petrographic criteria for defining metamorphic grades and for recognition of discontinous mineral reactions: Examples from metapelites: Rendiconti della Societa Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia, v. 38, no. 2, p. 533-542.
  • Kerrick, D.M., and Jacobs, G.K., 1981, A modified Redlich-Kwong equation for H2O, CO2, and H2O-CO2 mixtures at elevated pressures and temperatures: American Journal of Science, v. 281, no. 6, p. 735-767.
  • Miyashiro, A., 1961, Evolution of metamorphic belts: Journal of Petrology, v. 2, no. 3, p. 277-311
  • Spear, F.S., and Selverstone, J., 1983, Quantitative P-T paths from zoned minerals: theory and tectonic applications: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 84., no. 3-4, p. 348-357.
  • Thompson, A.B., and England, P. C., 1984, Pressure-temperature-time paths of regional metamorphism: II. Their inference and interpretation using mineral assemblages in metamorphic rocks: Journal of Petrology, v. 25, no. 4, p. 929-955.
  • Thompson, J.B., 1955, The thermodynamic basis for the mineral facies concept: American Journal of Science, v. 253, no. 2, p. 65-103.
  • Touret, J. (L.R.) (1971) - Le facies granulite en Norvège Méridionale. I: Les associations minéralogiques. Lithos, 4, 239-249. II: Les inclusions fluides. Lithos, 4, 423-436.
  • Villa, I.M., 1998, Isotopic closure: Terra Nova, v. 10, no. 1, p. 42-47.

Solid Inclusion Piezothermometry—From John Rosenfeld

  • Rosenfeld, J.L., and Chase, A.B., 1961, Pressure and temperature of crystallization from elastic effects around solid inclusions in minerals?: American Journal of Science, v. 259, no. 7, p. 519-541.
  • Rosenfeld, J.L.,1969, Stress effects around quartz inclusions in almandine and the piezothermometry of coexisting aluminum silicates: American Journal of Science, v. 267, no. 3, p. 317-351.
  • Adams, H G., Cohen, L.H., and Rosenfeld, J.L., 1975, Solid inclusion piezothermometry I: Comparison dilatometry: American Mineralogist, v. 60, no.7-8, p. 574-583.
  • Adams, H.G., Cohen, L.H., and Rosenfeld, J.L., 1975, Solid inclusion piezothermometry II: Geometric basis, calibration for the association quartz-garnet, and application to some pelitic schists: American Mineralogist, v. 60, no.7-8, p. 584-598.
  • Cohen, L.H. and Rosenfeld, J.H., 1979, Diamond: depth of crystallization inferred from compressed included garnet: Journal of Geology, v. 87, no. 3, p. 333-340.

Tectonometamorphism

  • Rosenfeld, J.L., 1968, Garnet rotations due to the major Paleozoic deformations in southeast Vermont in Zen, E., White, W.S., Thompson, J.B., and Hadley, J.B., editors, Studies of Appalachian geology: Northern and Maritime: New York, Wiley-Interscience, p. 185-202.
  • Rosenfeld, J.L, 1970,Rotated garnets in metamorphic rocks: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America Special Paper 129, 105 p.

Tectonometamorphic Mineral Kinetics

  • Carlson, W.D., and Rosenfeld. J.L., 1981, Optical determination of topotactic aragonite-calcite growth kinetics: metamorphic implications: Journal of Geology, v. 89, no. 5, p. 615-638.

Preferred Orientation

  • Rosenfeld, J.L., 1985, Schistosity, in Wenk, H.R., editor, Preferred orientation in deformed metals and rocks: An introduction to modern texture analysis: Orlando, Academic Press Inc., p. 441-461.

Tectonometamorphic Rates

  • Christensen, J.N., Rosenfeld, J.L, and DePaolo, D.J., 1989, Rates of tectonometamorphic processes from rubidium and strontium isotopes in garnet: Science, v. 244, no. 4911, p. 1465-1469.
  • Christensen, J.N., Selverstone, J., Rosenfeld, J.L., and Depaolo, D.J., 1994, Correlation of Rb-Sr geochronology of garnet growth histories from different structural levels within the Tauern Window, eastern Alps: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 118, no. 1, p. 1-12.


Please contribute! Send references to articles you regularly use in your teaching about igneous and metamorphic petrology along with a short description of why the article is interesting or important to: Dave Mogk, mogk AT montana.edu.


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