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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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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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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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part of Teaching Examples
Mark Schmitz, Boise State University
This web-based app is designed to help students evaluate a radioisotopic age and its uncertainty based upon the collection of data, the application of statistics, and the interpretation of geological and analytical ...

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Increase in volcanism at the beginning of the Holocene on Reykjanes, Iceland: case example part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Students make simple stress calculations to determine whether deglaciation at the end of the Pleistocene may have been responsible for a short but dramatic increase in rates of volcanism on Reykjanes in Iceland as ...

Rb-Sr isotope in-class exercise part of Teaching Examples
Allen Glazner
This set of problems involves calculations of changes in radiogenic isotope ratios. It requires students to understand the concept of an isochron and how isotope ratios change (or do not change) during magma mixing ...

Properties of Rhyolite Magma part of Teaching Examples
Barbara Nash
The purpose of the exercise is to acquaint igneous petrology students with properties of silicic magmas, and to emphasize the effect of water content on viscosity of silicic magmas. Students have to determine the ...

Flow of Andesite Lava part of Teaching Examples
Barbara Nash
The purpose of the exercise is to familiarize igneous petrology students with flow properties of lava, especially viscosity, and to have them consider effects on viscosity due to temperature, crystallinity and ...

Batch and Rayleigh Decarbonation Modeling of d13C part of Teaching Examples
Jade Star Lackey, Pomona College;
This is an Excel spreadsheet and graph that illustrates standard "batch" and Rayleigh decarbonation models and how they can be used to detect fluid infiltration during metamorphism of carbonates. It makes ...

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. ...

Homework on Stoke's Law and Magmatic Differentiation part of Teaching Examples
Jane Selverstone, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
This homework has two parts. In the first part, the students use Stoke's Law to determine (a) the relative sizes of olivine and plagioclase settling at the same velocity (and relate their answer to ...