Teach the Earth > Petrology > Teaching Activities > Properties of Rhyolite Magma

# Properties of Rhyolite Magma

Barbara Nash
,
University of Utah
Author Profile

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

• Scientific Accuracy
• Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
• Pedagogic Effectiveness
• Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
• Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

#### Summary

The purpose of the exercise is to acquaint igneous petrology students with properties of silicic magmas, and to emphasize the effect of water content on viscosity of silicic magmas. Students have to determine the dimensions of a Quaternary rhyolite flow from a topographic map, employ a mineral thermometer to establish magma temperature, calculate density of the magma from its chemical composition, and use the Jeffreys equation relating flow velocity and viscosity.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

## Context

#### Audience

This activity would be used in an undergraduate (sophomore or junior level) required course in petrology.

#### Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have an understanding of basic petrology and mathematics.

#### How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise.

## Goals

#### Content/concepts goals for this activity

The goal of the exercise is to acquaint igneous petrology students with properties of silicic magmas, and to emphasize the effect of water content on viscosity of silicic magmas.

#### Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This activity involves the analysis of data and mathematical computation.

#### Other skills goals for this activity

This activity may involve group work.

## Description of the activity/assignment

Students have to determine the dimensions of a Quaternary rhyolite flow from a topographic map, employ a mineral thermometer to establish magma temperature, calculate density of the magma from its chemical composition, and use the Jeffreys equation relating flow velocity and viscosity.

## Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals of this activity if they thoroughly and accurately answer the questions provided in the activity download (see below).