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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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Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg
This activity seeks to have students analyze global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions toward identifying major plate boundary types in different regions on the Earth. A secondary objective is to familiarize students with two publicly available resources for viewing and manipulating geologically-relevant geospatial data: Google Earth(TM) and GeoMapApp.

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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Teaching Examples
Allen Glazner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma ...

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Mass Balance and Mineral Reactions part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short exercise to make sure that students understand mass balance and how the different starting assemblages may lead to different results after metamorphism. It is quick but not trivial.

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The use of visualization and sketches of thin sections to encourage a better understanding of phase diagrams: Binary and ternary phase diagram exercises part of Teaching Examples
Jennifer M. Wenner and Drew S. Coleman
In these homework exercises, students manipulate two- and three- component phase diagrams. At various points during their interpretation of melting or crystallization of a composition, they are asked to ...

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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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Introduction to Gibbs Energy part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short project that can be used in-class or as homework. It involves just a few questions and it is intended to help students understand the idea of Gibbs free energy.

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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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Schreinemakers Analysis - Problem #4 part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a straightforward Schreinemakers analysis involving two invariant points.

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T-X Phase Diagrams part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a 15 page tutorial and problem set designed to get students familiar with T-X diagrams, their implications, and uses.

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Harker Diagrams part of Integrating Research and Education:EarthChem:Compositional Diversity in Volcanic Suites
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Oct. 26, 2004. Description In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of volcanic ...

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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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Peritectic Phase Diagram part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
An exercise to help students figure out what is going on with peritectic phase diagrams. It is NOT trivial.

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Scientific debate: Mantle plumes part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
Brennan Jordan, University of South Dakota
A structured format for a debate of the mantle plume hypothesis and alternative hypotheses with supporting materials.

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Theriak-Domino Exercise part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This multidimensional project involves using several different computer programs to calculate and interpret phase diagrams and pseudosections. So, students learn lots of skills at the same time. But, an overarching ...

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Investigating Plate Tectonics with Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
Students examine data sets of topography, bathymetry, volcano location, earthquake location and size, and ocean floor age in Google Earth to determine the location and attributes of different types of plate ...

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