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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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Scientific debate: Mantle plumes part of Cutting Edge: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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Historical Volcanic Eruptions part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are asked to individually research and write a paper on a historical volcanic eruption and then are formed into groups to create a 10 minute stand-alone PowerPoint presentation which is shown and discussed ...

Exploring lithological assemblages and structural styles of granite-greenstone belts part of Cutting Edge:Early Earth:Activities
Dyanna Czeck, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
In this 1 week module, students use primary literature to study structural and tectonic styles within Archean granite-greenstone belts.

What does the core/mantle boundary look like? part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Suzanne Baldwin, Syracuse University
This activity explores how earth scientists infer what materials are present at the core mantle boundary and what this boundary might look like. It provides students with the opportunity to contribute to the ...

Weathering of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks in a Semi-Arid Climate - An Engineering Application of Petrology part of Teaching Examples
Wendy Harrison, National Science Foundation; Ric Wendlandt, Colorado School of Mines
Students examine soils developed on igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks near Denver, Colorado. The 2-week exercise includes sample collection, description, and preparation, determining clay mineralogy by ...

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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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Pet Rock Project: A Semester-long Exercise for Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology part of Teaching Examples
Darrell Henry, Louisiana State University
The pet rock project is a semester-long project in which each student randomly selects an igneous or metamorphic rock from the instructor or brings in a rock from an appropriate locality, and follows all of the ...

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Calculating Pressures and Temperatures of Petrologic Events: Geothermobarometry part of Teaching Examples
Donna Whitney, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
In this lab exercise, students examine one or more metamorphic rocks and use various approaches to estimating and calculating the pressure-temperature conditions at which the rocks equilibrated. The exercise ...

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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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Petrographic Problem Solving Assignments part of Teaching Examples
Jeffrey Templeton, Western Oregon University
Petrographic problem-solving (PPS) assignments are a series of mini-projects in which students conduct two-week scientific investigations on thin sections and hand samples selected by the instructor. For each PPS ...

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Tectonics of Fiction part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Kyle Fredrick, California University of Pennsylvania
This writing project of our Tectonics course is assigned at the start of the semester and due near the end. It is a group project that encourages creativity, cooperation, and synthesis of an entire ...

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Granitic Rocks and Geologic History of the Idaho Batholith part of Teaching Examples
Elizabeth King
This is a lab/project in which the students not only name and identify a suite of granitic rocks but try to piece together the tectonic and geologic history of the Idaho batholith. This activity brings together the ...

Magma Modification in the central Sierra Nevada Batholith part of Teaching Examples
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
This exercise is centered around a suite of rocks from the Sierra Nevada batholith. The activities are designed to give petrology students a capstone experience for the igneous portion of the upper-level Petrology ...

Chemical Differentiation in the Palisades Sill part of Teaching Examples
Matthew Gorring, Montclair State University
The purpose of this assignment is for students to synthesize field observations, petrography, and whole-rock chemical analyses in order to investigate chemical differentiation processes in a basaltic magma chamber. ...

Field and Laboratory Project - Volcanology and Petrology of Interbedded Andesitic Lava Flows and Volcaniclastic Rocks from Washburn Volcano, Yellowstone National Park part of Teaching Examples
Todd Feeley, Montana State University-Bozeman
What follows is an example of a three part exercise for undergraduate petrology students involving volcanic and shallow intrusive rocks in the Washburn Range, Yellowstone National Park. We will loosely follow Part ...

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