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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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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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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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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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Progressive metamorphism of pelitic rocks: A lab assignment to facilitate translation from AFM space to P-T space part of Teaching Examples
Jane Selverstone, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
This is an example of a lab activity aimed at teaching students how to go from natural samples to AFM diagrams to P-T conditions of equilibration.

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An Isograd and Mixed-Volatile Exercise Using Data from the Ubehebe Peak Contact Aureole part of Teaching Examples
William Peck, Colgate University
This is a problem set for an introductory or advanced petrology course. It uses field data to help teach the determination and balancing of mixed-volatile reactions and locating isograds in siliceous dolomites in a ...

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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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Viscosity experiments: physical controls and implications for volcanic hazards part of Teaching Examples
Ben Edwards, Dickinson College
This activity is a laboratory-style exercise that involves investigating the physical controls on viscosity by pouring different syrup mixtures down an inclined plane and using Jeffreys equation to calculate ...

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Modeling Exsolution (and Perthite Formation) as an Example of Complex-System Behavior part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman; Barb Dutrow, Louisiana State University
Students use a physical model, computer simulation, examples from the natural world, visualizations, and overarching thought experiments to explore this phenomenon. Exsolution embodies attributes of a complex ...

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Time-series analysis of the Pu'u 'Ō'ō-Kupaianaha eruption (1983-2009), Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai'i: Crustal processes part of Teaching Examples
Andrew Greene, Hawaii Pacific University
The current eruption of Kīlauea Volcano on the island of Hawai'i has been closely monitored and studied since its inception in 1983. This laboratory exercise utilizes the excitement of an ongoing eruption to ...

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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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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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Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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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