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Cutting Edge > Petrology > Teaching Activities > Metamorphism of siliceous dolostone: An example from the Alta stock, Utah

Metamorphism of siliceous dolostone: An example from the Alta stock, Utah

Cameron Davidson
,
Carleton College
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
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For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.



This page first made public: Feb 4, 2005

This material was originally developed as part of the Carleton College Teaching Activity Collection
through its collaboration with the SERC Pedagogic Service.

Summary

In this exercise students study the low variance mineral assemblages from the contact aureole of the Alta stock to learn how rock and fluid compositions control mineral assemblages during contact metamorphism.

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Context

Audience

Mid to upper level undergraduate petrology course.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

This activity assumes students have already had a course in mineralogy and are familiar with photomicrographs. Plotting mineral compositions on ternary diagrams, the phase rule, and Schreinemaker's rules should be introduced as part of this activity.

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a stand-alone exercise and could be integrated anywhere into a petrology curriculum.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students who complete this exercise should be able to:
  1. Identify mineral assemblages common to metamorphosed siliceous dolostones.
  2. Determine appropriate chemical systems to describe and plot minerals.
  3. Infer metamorphic reactions from progressive changes in mineral assemblages.
  4. Identify metamorphic reactions responsible for producing isograds mapped in the field.
  5. Understand how rock and fluid compositions control mineral assemblages.
  6. Infer the temperature and fluid composition evolution of the Alta stock aureole based on T-X(CO2)diagrams.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This exercise helps students to learn how to go from the concrete (mineral assemblages) to the abstract (metamorphic reactions) to infer the physical processes present during metamorphism. It also helps develop their geometrical thinking by plotting mineral compositions and using Schreinemaker's rules to generate Schreinemaker's bundles.

Other skills goals for this activity

Students create figures and practice writing by answering open-ended questions.

Description of the activity/assignment

This exercise, based on a suite of rocks from the contact metamorphic aureole of the Alta stock near Salt Lake City, Utah, is constructed for a mid to upper level undergraduate petrology course and does not require access to rocks and thin sections. It assumes students have already had a course in mineralogy and are familiar with photomicrographs, plotting mineral compositions on ternary diagrams, the phase rule, and Schreinemaker's rules. Some of these concepts (e.g., Schreinemaker's rules) could be introduced as part of this activity. Students who complete this exercise should be able to identify mineral assemblages common to metamorphosed siliceous dolostones, determine appropriate chemical systems to describe and plot minerals, infer metamorphic reactions from progressive changes in mineral assemblages, identify metamorphic reactions responsible for producing isograds mapped in the field, understand how rock and fluid compositions control mineral assemblages, and infer the temperature and fluid composition evolution of the Alta stock aureole based on T-X(CO2)diagrams.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students create figures that can be easily checked against a key, and answer open ended questions that help the instructor decide if they get it or not.

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