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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...

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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Homework on Volcanic Rock Chemistry and Binary Phase Diagrams part of Teaching Examples
Jane Selverstone, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
This homework has 2 main parts: In the first part, students are given bulk compositions for 6 volcanic rocks and asked to classify them, think about their normative compositions, and given likely tectonic settings ...

Metastability during metamorphism (reading a metamorphic petrology paper from the literature) part of Teaching Examples
William Peck, Colgate University
I use this problem set as a way to introduce students (mostly sophomores) to reading a technical article from the literature. The paper is Austrheim, H, 1987, Eclogitization of lower crustal granulites by fluid ...

Plotting Compositions in 2-D and 3-D Space part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a fairly short exercise that can be used for an in-class cooperative learning project or as homework. It includes LOTS of explanation and so is sort of a tutorial. I use it in my petrology class because it ...

Naming Igneous Rocks part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This project is intended to introduce students to the IUGS rock classification scheme. Samples come from the Wards Collections (which many schools have). Students are provided with both hand specimens and thin ...