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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 and Chemographic Projections part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise is a good way to get students thinking about the phase rule, metastable and stable reactions and phase diagrams. It can be done in class or as homework.

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 ...

Field and Laboratory Project - Volcanology and Petrology of Interbedded Andesitic Lava Flows and Volcaniclastic Rocks from Washburn Volcano, Yellowstone National Park part of Teaching Examples
Todd Feeley, Montana State University-Bozeman
What follows is an example of a three part exercise for undergraduate petrology students involving volcanic and shallow intrusive rocks in the Washburn Range, Yellowstone National Park. We will loosely follow Part ...

Calculating Rb-Sr Isochrons part of Teaching Examples
Andy Barth, Indiana University-Bloomington
This is a spreadsheet that I use in petrology to walk students through calculating Rb-Sr isochrons and talking about isotope heterogeneity and sampling at various scales. The example exercise is the Tuolumne ...

Hot spot volcanism in western North America part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
James Trexler, University of Nevada-Reno
Students use real data on age of volcanism and ash thickness distribution to better understand hot spot volcanic activity.

Volcanoes around the Globe (Beta test copy) part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Mark Abolins, Middle Tennessee State University
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

Florida River Project: Minerals in the field part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
This is a field trip that is part of a semester-long research project. In this lab, students visit part of their research site to look at rocks and minerals in the study area.