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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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Phase Diagrams from Kitchen Chemistry part of Teaching Examples
John Brady, Smith College
The main pdf file describes a series of lab or lecture activities using water, salt, ice, sugar, and alcohol that can be used to help students understand simple phase diagrams. The supporting pdf file contains ...

Learning Thermodynamics and Using Spreadsheets part of Teaching Examples
Sumit Chakraborty and Somnath Dasgupta
These files contain a set of three Excel files to balance mineral reactions, to explore variation of thermodynamic properties as a function of P, T and composition and to explore stability of different mineral ...

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 ...

Three Component Systems part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise involves plotting mineral compositions on triangular (3-component diagrams) and using those diagrams to determine possible mineral reactions.

Extra Credit Crossword Puzzles part of Teaching Examples
Jane Selverstone
These are two crossword puzzles that I hand out for extra credit, one for the igneous half of the course and the other for the metamorphic half. The puzzles reinforce concepts, vocabulary, and mineral formulae that ...

Geothermal Gradients part of Teaching Examples
Cameron Davidson, Carleton College
In this problem set the students use two different equations to calculate a conductive geothermal gradient using a spreadsheet program like Excel. Once they have the geothermal gradient plotted, they are asked to ...

Iceland Lavas Lab part of Teaching Examples
Kurt Hollocher, Union College (Lincoln, NE)
The purpose of this exercise is to link volcanic rock petrology (hand samples and thin sections) with volcanic rock analytical data to hypothesize on crystal fractionation/accumulation control on lava composition.

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 ...

The Mountain View area of the Stillwater Complex as a field teaching model part of Teaching Examples
I. S. McCallum
Two sections in the Mountain View of the Stillwater Complex are readily accessible for field-based teaching of petrologic and geochemical principles: (a) a section through the Ultramafic series in the vicinity of ...

Introduction to Mineral Equilibria part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This activity features a short problem set to be used in class. It helps focus the discussion, while providing a starting point for an introduction to mineral reactions and phase diagrams.

Interpreting T-X Diagrams part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise is designed to help students learn how to interpret T-X phase diagrams. It also introduces them to the systematics of reactions involving a group of minerals.

Mole %, Weight %, Compositions and Projections part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is an introductory exercise intended to get students thinking about mole vs weight % and about the power and problems of projections.

Schrinemaker Analysis - Problem #1: Analysis of an Invariant Point part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a standard Schreinemakers problem: identifying the sequence of stable and metastable reactions around an invariant point.

Schreinemakers Analysis - Problem #2: Analysis of an Invariant Point with Application of the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a standard Schreinemakers problem: identifying the sequence of stable and metastable reactions around an invariant point. The added wrinkle is that they use the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation to calculate ...

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 ...