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Petrology Activities and Examples Collection

This is a collection of educational resources used in igneous and metamorphic petrology courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The purpose of this collection is to allow for the sharing of materials within the community of petrology teachers. You can



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Learning pseudosections with Perplex part of Teaching Examples
Dave Hirsch, Western Washington University
This is a set of five assignments that build upon each other to teach students how to use Perplex to make pseudosections.

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Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Pete Stelling, Western Washington University
This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock. Students melt, crystallize, erode, lithify and metamorphose a single small block of chocolate. Along the way students ...

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Problem set: Constructing metamorphic phase diagrams using phase equilibria and the Clausius-Clapeyron equation part of Teaching Examples
Mark Brandriss
In this problem set students construct a P-T phase diagram for the aluminosilicate polymorphs based on experimental phase equilibria and application of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The problem set uses unit ...

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Using An M&M Magma Chamber To Illustrate Magmatic Differentiation part of Teaching Examples
Karl Wirth, Macalester College
Fractional crystallization by gravity settling can be illustrated using a model magma chamber consisting of M&M's®. In this model, each major cation (e.g., Si, Ti, Al, Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K) is ...

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Teaching Stable Isotope Geochemistry in an Undergraduate Petrology or Geochemistry Course part of Teaching Examples
Steve Dunn
This assignment includes three reading assignments for students that (1) introduce the basics of stable isotope geochemistry, (2) explain carbon and oxygen isotopic shifts that result from volatilization and/or ...

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Guided Discovery and Scoring Rubric for Petrographic Analysis of a Thin Section part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
A guided discovery approach is used to "unpack" the methods and observations used by "master" petrographers in the petrographic analysis of a thin section. A series of spread sheets are used to ...

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Critical Review of a Journal Article: An Assessment Activity part of Teaching Examples
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
In this exercise students do a formal review of a journal article using review criteria established for the Geological Society of America Bulletin or American Mineralogist. The quality of the students' ...

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Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
This fairly traditional rocks-in-boxes lab has been incorporated into a semester-long project. At the end of the lab, students apply their rock-identification skills to rocks from their study area.

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Heat Capacity of Minerals: A Hands-On Introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
David Bailey, Hamilton College
Minerals are inorganic chemical compounds with a wide range of physical and chemical properties. Geologists frequently measure and observe properties such as hardness, specific gravity, color, etc. Unfortunately, ...

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Schreinemakers Analysis - Problem #3: Analysis of an Invariant Point part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a challenging Schreinemakers analysis problem.

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Calculating Compositional Variation and Common Substitutions for Igneous and Metamorphic Minerals part of Teaching Examples
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
This problem set uses Excel spreadsheets to calculate mineral formulae from analytical data (typically from the electron microprobe) using a variety of formulations that assume numerous variations of crystal ...

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Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology part of Teaching Examples
Christopher D. Condit
In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage ...

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Timing of mineralization in the palm of your hand: Cross-cutting relations, copper minerals and ore-forming hydrothermal fluid evolution part of Teaching Examples
Barb Dutrow, Louisiana State University
This lab is designed to familiarize students with the geologic history of an ore-deposit, deciphered in the palm of your hand. By determining cross cutting relations of veins and mineralogy, students decipher the ...

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Extending Mineralogy by Electron Microprobe Analysis part of Teaching Examples
John Goodge, University of Minnesota-Duluth
This lab is designed to be a highly interactive lab session for a petrology course, where instructors provide a minimal level of essential background and then the entire group works together to explore mineral ...

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Calculating a Simple Phase Diagram: Diamond=Graphite part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a very short exercise designed to get students to understand how the Gibbs energy equation is used to calculate the location of a reaction in P-T space. I use it in-class and have students work on it in ...

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