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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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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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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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Working with Electron Microprobe Data from a High Pressure Experiment - Calculating Mineral Formulas, Unit Cell Content, and Geothermometry part of Teaching Examples
Brandon Schwab, Western Carolina University
In this problem set students use electron microprobe analyses of a peridotite partial melting experiment to determine mineral formulas, calculate unit cell content, plot results on a classification diagram, and use ...

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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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Petrography and Petrogenesis of a Mid-Ocean Ridge Lava Suite part of Teaching Examples
Matthew Smith, University of Florida; Mike Perfit, University of Florida
This activity is designed to accompany a set of thin sections available from the authors. Students investigate mid-ocean ride basalt petrography and relate observed mineralogic changes to relevant phase diagrams ...

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When and How Did Continental Crust Form? part of Teaching Examples
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Many models have been proposed regarding the timing and mechanisms that first formed the continental crust. The purpose of this exercise is to help students explore the question of crustal genesis and evolution ...

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Heat Capacity of Minerals: A Hands-On Introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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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Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Dori Farthing, SUNY Geneseo
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...

Lab using Volcano Scenarios: Hazard Maps and Communicating Risk part of Cutting Edge:Student Learning: Observing and Assessing:Activities
LeeAnn Srogi, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
This is a lab activity in which small groups of students work with maps, rocks, photographs of volcanic deposits, and textual data to construct a hazard map and a risk communication plan for a specific volcano. Each group is assigned a "volcano scenario," which is based on real volcanoes.

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 ...

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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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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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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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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